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My review of the Ocean Kayak Trident


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#21 LiamH

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 09:02 AM

Hi, excellent review. Have been thinking of getting a Trident myself, how much do they retail for?

#22 Mark Crame

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 03:17 PM

Hi Liam, standard version is RRP £669, Angler £699.
Wetter than an otter's pocket.

#23 Starvinmarvin

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 05:21 PM

Nah, same hat.

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Scale is about right :thumbs: watch out though, your not the only one with Photoshop skills... :rolleyes:

Yoh Hoh Ahoy!
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Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro
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Ocean Kayak Trident 15
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140 Angler (Yellow)
Malibu Mini-X


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#24 Mark Crame

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 08:05 PM

Today saw me beginning the rigging of the Trident ready for when it gets out on the water for a fishing trip.

First job was to fit anchor trolley systems, on both sides to give me the choice when at sea. A visit to the local chandlers saw me sourcing what I needed and the photograph below shows the components for ONE trolley, everything being doubled and mirrored on the opposite side and I will write this from the point of view of a single trolley from herein to avoid confusion. Prices in Sterling, totalled for full quantity of each item.

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The components are as follows:

7m of 7mm Yellow nylon cord - £4.90
50cm of 4mm Yellow shock cord (cut into 4 pieces of 25 cm each) - £0.35
2x Rino Pulley Blocks - £7.00
4x 3x20 Stainless Steel O-Rings - £1.60
2x 5mm Stainless Steel Bow Shackles - £1.40
1x 8mm Stainless Steel Carabiner - £3.00

Total Price (one side) - £18.25.

The trident is superbly designed for setting up an anchor trolley. There are rigging points all over the place and this allows for an easily self-manufactured full-length anchor trolley system. The first thing to do is remove the two pieces of cord running through these fittings and set aside for future use if required.

At the furthest rigging points fore and aft I tied a 25cm piece of shockcord into an overhand loop which hold at the end the pulley block. The shockcord gives slack when the swell raises the boat in the water and tightens the lines when not in use.

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Next I chose points behind and in front of the seat area and attached Bow shackles and O-Rings to these to form running eyes for the side of the rope unused by the anchor carabiner. These allow free passage of the rope without any resistance on the rope but keep the lines below the level of the cockpit and therefore tidier and safer.

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I then ran the cord through these eyes

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and through the pulley blocks

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The final stage was to tighten the cord and tie off both ends of the rope to the remaining O-Rings and fit the carabiner between them.

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The whole process took maybe 20 minutes and involved no drilling and no tools other than a screwdriver to loosen off the rigging points, scissors to trim loose ends, pliers to pull them really tight and a lighter to melt the frayed ends. Very simple and easy to do.

That done I turned my attention to the hatches, and those bits of string that held them once the clips had been released. First I tackled the bow hatch and after removing the thin line I tied an overhand loop into one end of a piece of shockcord and fitted it through a convenient pad eye.

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I then widened the hole in the hatch and pushed the other end of the shockcord through, finishing with a double overhand knot.

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With the hatch closed I know had a more substantial hatch keeper, and as it was tied in this way I can push the slack into the hatch through the hole, which is smaller than slack bungee.

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I did the same for the rod pod, but turned the hatch the other way around, cup holder away from me as I intend using it for something other than cups of coffee, which I pour and drink straight away so as too avoid missing bites or having it get cold. I again removed the small line and widened the hole enough to get the shockcord through, again tied into a double overhand knot, terminating on the outside of the hatch.

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I then made a hole on the inside of the hatch lip which I threaded shockcord through – this lip being turned over and not actually having an ‘outside’ edge. The line had originally been tied to a strap.

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Once again, a nice tidy and strong solution which could have all slack pushed out of the way.

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Third job of the day was not really a normal consideration. I’m a tart and as such I don’t like the brass swivel clips fitted to the seat backs. On my 15’s I replaced these with stainless steel carabiners as they were smaller and looked neater, and didn’t tarnish. However, this time I decided to save weight and also make the yak quieter by using plastic clips, which should also reduce wear and tear on the pad eyes.

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While fitting these it reminded me of something. With my Prowler 15 not handling the surf too well (it’s designed for something completely different) I had often considered buying thigh straps but not gotten around to it. However, I had two long straps with these clips at each end which were on lighting stand holdalls. Were as in past tense. They are now temporarily installed so I can finally see whether thigh straps would be a useful addition for my kayaking as anything that keeps me from getting wet at the end of a trip is surely worth having.

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The trident, as I said, has plenty of attachment points and I assume that the ones I used were in fact designed in to take thigh straps.

A further note regarding the fittings on the Trident. Pad eyes have recesses underneath them now which gives more room to use behind them and this is a minor thought but major improvement. I am continually finding these clever little ideas on the Trident and it speaks volumes.

Edited by Mark Crame, 15 September 2007 - 09:24 AM.

Wetter than an otter's pocket.

#25 boomphat

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 08:50 PM

Mark Crame...amazingly precise instructions and photos, anywhere ever!
I've got recesses under the eyelets on my P13 btw.
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#26 SeaDooDavid

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 08:24 AM

WOW ~~~~~ That is turning into a serious fishing machine :thumbs:

Thanks for the report Mark, a pleasure to read / view and inspiring in the extreme :clap2:

SDD~~~~~ :sun:

#27 Mark Crame

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 10:01 PM

Part Three.

This morning I woke up early and took the Trident down to the water for a proper test paddle. According to Magic Seaweed the conditions were 4ft swell at 4 second spacing with a 17mph south westerly. The swell was like that past the breakwater, but the surf was mostly a couple of feet with just a few decent sets. It was warm outside and nice and bright and so I trolleyed up, pulled on a wetsuit, grabbed my PFD and cameras and wandered down to the beach.

First thing I did was take some photographs of the Trident as it looks now, just because the light was nice.

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The next ones were those I’d missed on the first look at the kayak - the front hatch:

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and the underside of the hull:

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from the bow:

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and from the stern:

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The Rod Pod also has another safety use, ie that of storing a two piece paddle. I would suggest having some kind of securing feature for this as there is of course no bulkhead and it can end up at the stern, which is no use in the event of an emergency, maybe a Velcro leash on the inside.

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The main paddle was of course secured in the paddle keeper when not needed:
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I had brought my usual paddle - a Carlisle Day Tripper cheapie - and the fancy one, to see what difference they made. Beginning with the cheapie I pulled the yak into the water and paddled slowly out straight through the surf. Again, it held a very straight track through this and I remained dry. I turned and went back in, again very straight and dry and repeated the exercise with the two-piece. I then repeated the exercise a further time but quicker and once again it handled it fine, riding straight over the waves and keeping me dry – basically unless you have one curl over just as you hit it you should stay pretty dry.

Once out, I removed my camera from the hatch and photographed the anchor trolley from the seat. First I pulled it so it was to the fore:

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And then again to the aft:

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It worked smoothly and well and the lines remained out of the cockpit. The only difficulty was where I had joined the two lengths of rope by re-melting having had them cut in two pieces by mistake, this was a bit bulkier and didn’t go smoothly through the block so will need to be shrunk slightly.

I then tried sitting side saddle, something I personally don’t tend to do, and it was fine. There is plenty of buoyancy so it doesn’t let a noticeable amount of water in but I didn’t feel too secure – the reason I don’t normally sit side saddle – as the kayak will weathercock and move with the swell and the high seating position does enhance the movement. It was fine though.

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Reaching around to the back of the tankwell was also tried and this was easier than on the Prowler 15. I also went forward and opened and closed the bow hatch, again with no difficulty and the high, buoyant bow kept it clear of any ingress of water. Very stable kayak this.

I paddled over to an area where the surf is usually bigger and more uneven (getting broken up by the pier legs). Swell was 3-4ft but not really producing rideable surf, although the water was very broken. I pointed my nose at a groyne (down boy!) and sat there. And sat there. It stayed straight, just bobbing up and down with the swell. I may as well have been at anchor.
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The tide was quite far out now and the water was shallow – between 1 and 3 feet and I sat side on to the surf for a good while, staying pretty dry (it was small surf by this point, maximum 2 feet) and not rolling over or being pushed around in direction. The following photograph was something I wouldn’t try in the P15 but which was fine with the Trident. I was in 12-18 inches of water, side on to the surf and paddled through the legs of the pier. The water is very messy here and runs fast; there are also banks around the pier so it does tend to be unpredictable. Spacing between the legs is I would say about 12 feet – not sure, but thereabouts. I went through easily and without being pushed much off course at all.

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I paddled back to where I had launched and played some more in the surf. Although not designed as a surf boat this naughty little minx just wants to play! Well, play we did for a good half an hour. I couldn’t ride any of the waves today but I paddled into shore forwards, out forwards, in backwards, out backwards, in laying flat pointing forwards, out laying flat pointing forwards, in laying flat pointing backwards and out laying flat pointing backwards, the lying down ones repeated with my legs crossed as if having a kip. Now, there is no sane reason nor justification for most of those exercises, they were pointless and wouldn’t be used normally, but for the sake of doing them they were done. They were all VERY easy, the direction holding and mostly I kept dry, with the exception of some of the backwards ones on the way out, dependant on the breaking of the wave.

At this point Mike (Mb) arrived and so I handed over the Trident and went and fetched a Prowler 15, which I had fitted my Pacific Action sail to. Two reasons – Mike was enquiring about them the other day and the wind was strong. Coming back to the beach ten minutes later he looked dry (and resplendent in his new dry gear) and we went out again after I placed my C-Tug in the bow hatch of the Trident to try things with a bit more weight in. I also placed a paddle in the paddle keeper to make sailing easier and deployed it, trying to sail right off the beach. I couldn’t because of the position of the groyne so instead paddled out a little bit and then started to move quite quickly. Glancing back Mike was standing in the water, a wave having caught on the stowed paddle, knocking it up and hitting him. He stowed it again and launched with ease – but he couldn’t catch me, I was flying. I played around a bit doing a good rate of knots and then came back to where he was. I crossed the wind both times and having had a good successful sail (with virtually no effort on my part – in fact I was on the mobile for a few minutes of it to a mate who was too slow waking up to join us). I think I’ll put one on the Trident too; it certainly does make things a breeze (!)
Wetter than an otter's pocket.

#28 Mark Crame

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 10:07 PM

...

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Now Mike and I tested the weather-cocking. I felt the other day that it was slower to turn with the wind than the 15. I was wrong. We got parallel to each other but with a bit of space between us so as to not block the wind. We both pointed at a particular shore mark and called out as we turned to another. We then swapped boats and repeated the exercise as a control check to ensure it wasn’t dependant on the person in the saddle (shape, weight, wind resistance, lack of hair etc). That’s a story in itself and will follow in a moment. The verdict was unanimous – the Trident weathercocks quicker. Substantially quicker. I can’t say accurately but at a rough guesstimate I’d say between 20 and 40% faster than the Prowler 15.

Swapping boats. Apart from the weather cocking we both wanted to do some capsize drills and I especially needed to test the Trident for this. Plus Mike wanted to try the sail. So, instead of doing things on dry land, or getting in the water and then into the other one we decided to cross-deck. Good idea that. I got out of the Prowler and across to the Trident. So for a while we had Mike and I both on it, me forward and him near the seat. It felt stable enough. However, when Mike went across to the Prowler we became unstuck – literally. The Prowler tipped on its side when the weight was put on it and try as he might Mike couldn’t get it to behave. I was my usual helpful self and took a photograph but I don’t think Mike will forgive me for posting it! Still, he tested his dry gear – custom made locally by Liquid Logic – just not when he was expecting to. He soon clambered back in and I retrieved my camera from the Rod Pod and hung it around his neck. This was the first time I’ve seen Mike look worried on the kayaks; I told him to be careful because that was £2k of camera. I then handed him my compact – which is waterproof and asked him to snap me doing the capsize drills with the Trident:

I got in on the leeward side and flipped her over:

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Reaching over, I turned her right way up:

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Kicked myself on:

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And clambered aboard:

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Simple. Now for the windward side.

Flipped her over:

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Reached over and began hauling myself up:

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Clambered in:

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And made myself comfy.

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It was like getting into bed. The buoyancy and shape I assume is what makes it so easy to right – it sits high (but not so high you can’t reach over) and can be flipped back over very easily – far easier than the P15. There is also more space to put your feet etc and the buoyant wide gunwhales give you plenty of stability. There was no tippiness, no effort to pull here over, nothing, on either side of the boat. VERY safe in that respect.

Then just for the sake of it, I decided to stand up. The first attempt I was trying to work out how to stand and went in. I got out and tried again:

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Having worked it out I got up easily enough:

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And stayed standing upright for a good 30 seconds I’d guess, the sea wasn’t flat either. More stable than the 15 which I’d have gone over the side in seconds on. I then started to get myself back down and went for a swim. I’ll stay seated when fishing I think.

Mike deployed the sail and got the hang of it as soon as he started. He was off and I was paddling as hard as I could to keep up.

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This is the point when I start evaluating the paddling of the Trident, the important part and so I have kept it until last so that I can pull it all together.

First I must say that it was a practically empty boat. I had, in the hull, a camera weighing a couple of pounds, a fleece, a carbon fibre paddle and one (later two) C-Tugs. This kayak is designed as a fishing platform and thus to be carrying weight, so this paddle review is only half of the story, to be continued when I load it up. So please do bear that in mind. Everyone so far who I have spoken to that has paddled it says it is two different beasts dependant on what’s in/on it. Comments are ONLY valid for an empty kayak, strong wind and saltwater. I can’t stress this enough.

To begin, I paddled out trying to keep a straight line. I couldn’t. It veered off to the right (the wind was pretty much right to left), repeating the experience of the other day. This also happened with Mike. I must say that I have never used a rudder on a kayak but if what I understand of them is correct then this kayak definitely needs one.

You can’t use a short paddle effectively as you are up high. It will do the job, but it is more tiring. You can do close-in and reaching-out strokes with ease (I don’t know the technical terms) and can rudder/turn with the blade to the rear with no bother too. But it is a hard boat to paddle in open sea compared to the P15. It seems to wallow quite a lot and takes a lot of effort and a lot of time to get anywhere. That’s across the wind. Against the wind and before the wind it moves a lot more efficiently, being easier to physically move and keeping a better course. Some hull slap was evident at times, but not a lot and it was dependent on wind and wave direction and also speed. It wasn’t enough to be of concern but I did take note of it for the review.

Paddling in the surf is largely described earlier in the text but it paddles far easier than in open sea in these conditions. Surf was, in fact, the only time in which I’d say the Trident paddled better than the Prowler 15 – but it was a hundred times better.

Turning. It seems to turn a lot easier and in a smaller circle than the 15 even though it’s longer by ten centimetres or so. I need to do a proper comparison on a river during a calm day but that is my feeling for now.

It’s slower than the Prowler 15 too, doesn’t cut through the water half as well. The 15 doesn’t have the buoyancy of the Trident of course and is a lot lower and wetter to ride.

So, all in all an interesting couple of hours. I tried as many things as I could, including some that I would never dream of doing in normal situations. In many ways the Trident fell short, and in just as many others it excelled.

If I wanted to take a fly rod and go for bass, with just some sandwiches, I wouldn’t take a Trident. If I wanted to troll a few lures in the river with a couple of rods, I wouldn’t take a Trident. If I was out for a bit of float fishing on the river, I wouldn’t take the Trident. If I wanted to take out my lobster nets and drop them off the pier, I wouldn’t take a Trident. If I wanted to have a lazy afternoon paddle when on the beach I wouldn’t take a Trident. The Prowler 15 is the better boat for all of those. If that’s what you want to do with your kayak, then you need to be looking at the Elite 4.5 or Prowler 15 (depending on which country you are in) or something similar.

If I wanted to take a box full of pirks, weights, a few rods and some spare warm gear and go wrecking I’d take the Trident. If I wanted to spend the whole day on the sea fishing, I’d take the Trident. If I wanted to go in rough sea, I’d take a Trident. If I was in the habit of taking a load of gear with me, I’d take trident. If I had to face a tricky launch and beaching, I’d take the Trident. If I was hoping to bag up with mackerel, cod or what have you I’d take a Trident. If I was trying for Tope, conger or skate I’d take a trident. If I was to fish Protea Reef in South Africa (where I have experience from ski-boats) for yellowfin, yellowtail, musselcracker, sailfish, marlin or sharks I wouldn’t dream of taking any kayak other than a Trident!

This kayak is designed purely and simply as a fishing workhorse. It is designed to do the job and do it well. It is designed to keep you dry, in your seat, your tackle safe and bring home a freezerful of small fish or a tuna in the tankwell and if that is what you ask of it then you will not be disappointed.

Part Four will be an evaluation of the kayaks paddling abilities when loaded up.
Wetter than an otter's pocket.

#29 Yakity - Yak - u.k.

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 05:18 PM

Hi Mark.

Nice installment mate.
Thanks for the pics of the hull.
This post of yours is going to be a great help to those thinking about adding a Trident to thier fleet.
Again......lots of effort and hard work gone into it.


Bill. :thumbs:

Hi Mark.

Nice installment mate.
Thanks for the pics of the hull.
This post of yours is going to be a great help to those thinking about adding a Trident to thier fleet.
Again......lots of effort and hard work gone into it.


Bill. :thumbs:

oooooops....... :rolleyes:

#30 Ped

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 12:02 PM

Yakity

You have a pm

Thanks

Ped