User Review: Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5 Solo
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $800 as a demostrator model from a dealer
Excellent for camping and fishing from. Plenty of room for gear, comfortable seating. Never feels cramped.
- Open design allows for free movement when fishing.
- Open design provides plenty of space for gear.
- Design allows you to stand when casting.
- I have found it hard to paddle in open water/lakes.
- A bit on the heavy side
My first experience with this boat was on a camping trip in the Louisiana Atchafalaya Basin with a group of friends. One of the ladies that came had this kayak, and I loved the room and open design. When she let me take it out for a spin, I fell completely in love. Within 2 weeks I had purchased my own.
I have found this kayak to be roomy, which for me is key. I like to camp and there is plenty of room in this boat for gear. On a 3-day trip this past spring, it was like being at a car camping event, the comfort that was provided by the amount and types of gear I could bring in this thing. For fishing, you can sit in your seat and cast with no problem as the seat is a bit raised above the bottom of the boat. You are not bumping your elbows while casting or reeling in.
The handling on this boat is great. In bayous and rivers it is easy to steer whether there is a current or not. I do find it to be slower when paddleing than more conventional kayaks, but that could have something to do with my skill level. I have found that on open water I have had problems with the boat. It seems to catch the wind over a large surface and I have found myself fighting to gain ground while paddleing. I also find that keeping it straight while in open water with a wind is a constant battle.
The seat is very comfortable even when paddleing for 6 to 8 hours a day. At camp, it slides out of the boat effortlessly and makes for a very comfortable seat beside the campfire. The adjustable back allows me to recline when I want to go with the current and sit up to dig in when I want to paddle fast.
The construction is solid. I have taken it over logs with no problem. It does not sound nor feel like it is going to come apart on you. The stability is great. When being bumped from underneath by logs and gators, I have never felt as if I would turn over. I have not personally stood in mine (I don't trust my own balance), but I have watched others stand in theirs. The stability is amazing.
For me, it is a perfect kayak for my style of paddling.