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My review of the Ocean Kayak Trident


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#31 Yakity - Yak - u.k.

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 06:50 PM

Yakity

You have a pm

Thanks

Ped




Hi Gary.

Read your message.......sorry for late reply.



Bill. :thumbs:

#32 Mark Crame

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 09:36 PM

So, how does the Trident handle for me when rigged for a fishing trip? Today I finally finished the initial part of my trials with a 4 hour paddle with fishing gear under conditions that represent those I usually face.

And it handled brilliantly!

Load it up, they said, and then it’ll impress. Well, I didn’t have to load it much – a couple of rods, a box of lures and other tackle (more than I usually take though I must admit) and that was it.

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I took it down to the Broad and launched into a stiff breeze and slight chop and paddled straight into it.

Immediately I could feel the weight and solidity of the kayak, no flexing, less slap and equal tracking to the Prowler 15. This was also the case later heading downwind and even across the wind it held the direction fine. At this point I shall revise my feeling that the Trident definitely needs a rudder. It doesn’t. It would, I feel, benefit from one but I now suspect that the veering off-track of the other day was through a combination of strong wind AND strong current while going crosswind and therefore not an accurate statement overall.

Was it still slower than the P15? Yes and no. The best analogy I can think of is a bicycle gear. Imagine that the P15 is say 3rd gear, a good combination of movement for effort. Trident is 4th gear, harder to get shifting initially but once going it’s there. The glide is great on it, it carries on steadily and once going requires no more input than the 15. Coupled with the tracking that’s a good trolling yak.

I paddled pretty much all of the 4 hours I was out today. The standard seat was fine for back support, I had my changing mat underneath though so can’t comment on the padding down below. I used the Carlisle two-piece carbon fibre paddle for at least 3 hours of that and although it is a little short for me I have got used to it and have found it to be a good bit of kit. Brilliant for controlling the yak too. Getting used to the higher seating position is also part of that.

Drifting: It goes nice and slow. Weathercocks round and then kind of sits there, hardly moving. Sure, a drogue will slow you down more but I’d be happy drifting baits down at the leisurely pace I was going today.

Dryness: I had bungs in, and then took them out. It made no real difference – the water in the cockpit was from paddle drips. Nothing over the side either.

Playing fish from it: Doesn’t pull around as quickly when bringing a lure in which is an improvement but is still responsive enough to aid the angler. A good, steady fishing platform. The only negative is the slightly raised position, making it a bit harder to hold a pike in the water to get its strength back after the fight – but that’s a minor criticism.

Yep, bloody good kayak to paddle after pike. And it catches too:

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Wetter than an otter's pocket.

#33 spyro

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 10:04 PM

nice report, saw the Trident at the boat show, lovely bit of kit ..

#34 Coastal Kayak Tours

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 08:19 AM

Thanks for the great review of the ok trident. it was very observant and clear. I am still unsure of your comparison to the prowler 15. right now I am fishing a prowler 15 elite from nz really love this boat. but is the trident better. one of the guides in my company wants to pick up a new yak and we are trying to figure out the best boat to get. sometimes its tough to keep up with all the new and current inovations. so my big question wich do you prefer more the prowler 15 or the trident let me know. it will be easier to reach me at my business guides@coastalkayaktours.com. i try to check this site but am pretty busy. the biggest fish I caugh on my prowler was a 40 lb barracuda it was a monster. i have some good fishing pictures posted at www.coastalkayaktours.com there is also a direct link to my e-mail here thanks for the review and help aloha. Boogie-D

#35 Mark Crame

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 09:16 PM

The 15 and the Elite are two different beasties. I haven't tried the Elite, I have posted in more detail on the other thread. And now for a heavy surf test:

I had the opportunity this week to face heavy surf off the beach and try the Trident in it to see how it would fare. Being a long kayak it is clearly not ideally suited for surfing – it isn’t designed for it as a Yak or Frenzy isn’t designed for all day paddling and fishing. The swell was 7 feet or so and the shallow sandy bottom gave long, powerful waves that look deceptively small from the beach. A beach that had suddenly shrunk in size and become stony, the tide being up and the sand being washed away.

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I got everything stowed, all straps tightened and the yak launched, paddling through a lot of big foaming patches. Big foam, 1-2ft, didn’t phase it at all; it kept on straight even with the bow getting hidden from view regularly. So I got the camera out and tried to show the scale of the waves – which as usual doesn’t work. I sat there a good while trying to catch the picture I wanted, staying straight and nose on, drifting slowly to starboard with the current and plenty of water beneath me and not that much into the cockpit.

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Trouble is, there were surfers on MY beach (cheeky bastards) so I was on the next bit along as I didn’t want to either get in their way or send the yak careering into them.

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This unfortunately meant I was the wrong side of the groyne for the bit of beach I’ve got to know and I didn’t want to head further along as there are some concrete ridges which could do me some damage if I went onto them. It was really pumping too, great to watch and it kind of kept the attention.

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So, I drifted to starboard more than I thought. I started to paddle out into the waves at a slight angle to try and get further from them and not be broadside and also to try and run out of the surfzone into the swell to see if I could – I wouldn’t have even taken the P15 down to the beach as it was too rough. It was Frenzy weather.

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Big waves were going under me without a problem – lean back, ride up and over – big foam as said before was going under as well. Trouble is, nothing is actually going to get me through a large wave curling onto the bow; even the Frenzy’s have dumped me like this when I tried them in the big stuff. I got dumped. The Trident took a big one right on the bow and tipped over to the right, capsizing and dunking me. I actually managed to keep hold of the paddle though, which was tied on, so it didn’t get away from me.

Anyway, sorted things out, got back on and sat in the waves a bit longer but couldn’t get out. The surfers started crowding me as I had the best waves and they were sitting around in the swells rather than riding anything (I was now the other side of the groyne where I would normally have launched) so I went back onto the beach and home (it was only intended as a quick try for the review, 2 launches and 2 beachings being hoped for).

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Upshot is that the Trident can’t fulfil a role it wasn’t designed for as a surf yak as far as getting out in big waves is concerned. You can probably get out if you read things right and time things right (which was not what my purpose was, I wanted it rough and difficult) as it goes over large waves and foam and keeps direction well. As I didn’t get out I can’t say how it comes in but imagine it’ll be fine unless a wave crashes on the stern – but the extra buoyancy in the bow will at least keep the nose higher than the P15 which was prone to tipping even in small stuff if you weren’t paying attention.

Criticism time (that wasn’t, that was wrong conditions purposely used for testing). The webbing on the straps is too thin, as I already thought – the straps worked loose and thus the hatches worked loose too. Not massively so, but when I rolled and had a yak upside down in the foam for a while I did take in a fair amount of water. By which I mean at least a bucketful. This is easily dealt with though by the replacement with thicker webbing so that the buckles grip tighter. I am also intending to add front and rear straps to the forward hatch (I have no reason at all to access it at sea now) and perhaps a rear one to the Rod Pod (purely for launching and beaching as I do intend carrying my SLR on occasion, and I have already done a front one).

Please note, however, that I am not as experienced a kayaker as most on here and was deliberately trying to face something I wouldn’t dream to fish in. It’s no surprise I got my arse kicked! I left the surfers too it:

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Wetter than an otter's pocket.

#36 Mark Crame

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 09:41 PM

I’ve been busy since I last added to this thread. I’ll begin with a minor modification found online by Richi – the fitting of a hatch to the Rod Pod.

Rod Pod Hatch

I had a real Black & Decker day with this, getting out the Workmate and Jigsaw and cutting a hole that was filed down to a smooth circle. An 8” hatch with catbag was attached with the self-adhesive backing and a goodly selection of stainless bolts screwed into well nuts. The bag is large enough to hold a fleece, the hatch is large enough to provide access to the rod pod without exposing a large area to waves and the ease of keeping things secure and the way and out of the water but easily accessible is a definite advantage. Such a useful mod that I’m going to add another one or two so I have them at each end – one for the fleece and one to attach a bait bowl to.

Rudder System

Next I decided that it might make things easier with the Trident if I fitted a rudder onto it. I decided that I really should give it a try after paddling for a long way with strokes almost exclusively on one side due to the direction I wanted to go and the conditions at the time regarding current. Granted my Prowler 15 would probably also have reacted the same way but with the raised height on the Trident from the extra buoyancy I imagine the wind was also having an affect. I was in two minds whether I wanted a rudder as the extra weight and length might make it less manageable on land (my garden isn’t very big and the access is quite tight through the rear gate and alleyway behind) and also because it creates drag if down and wind resistance if up. Against this, the added weight would help overcome excess buoyancy on the stern and allow easier directional paddling on those occasions when I wanted to go a different way to the yak itself. Furthermore I felt it would be very useful when coupled with the Pacific Action sail – something I proposed to make more use of than previously.

Opening the packet up I was struck by how many bits and pieces there were.

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I mean, it’s not like I’m Mr Handyman naturally or anything so I could see myself having a few problems with this if not careful. What I really needed was to take my time, dry-fit things first and do it all step by step as per the instructions. And give myself as much time as needed without any of the family about.

I laid out all the pieces. I was struck at how beautifully engineered the rudder body was. I like solid pieces of well-fitted ‘bits’ and this felt substantial and trustworthy. It was one of those Volkswagen moments, you know the one: the bloke doing and undoing the door locks…anyway, I practiced putting the rudder body, blade and bracket assembly together to get an idea of how it would look, laid out the other pieces as they should go and then got to work with the fitting instructions being referred to constantly.

First thing to do was get the drill out and make some holes. There is a groove let into the side of the footwell area that takes the rudder rails

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and another notched area on the stern.

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The steering lines run through these and so they must be opened up and have rubber grommets pushed into the holes, through which some tubing is pushed.

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Now, it appears that like me everyone manages to push the bloody grommets through into the hull. Try to keep a hold of them if you can because it’s a pain otherwise as you need to fiddle or start again.

So, holes drilled and tube fed through it was time to fit the foot rails.

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There is a right way up and wrong way up for these, get the bungee knot at the bottom and then screw them into place.

Now you need to feed the steering cables through the tubing in the hull and attach one looped end to the webbing that goes through the tri-glide buckle. The loose ends come out through the stern, which is where you want to attach the rudder bracket:

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That done, you need to attach the rudder body to it via the nuts and bolts attached

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and attach the blade to the rudder body. These stages are self-explanatory.

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Now you have to start thinking and drilling. Strap eye and clam cleat need fitting to your rear port-side:

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followed by a strap eye for use as a line guide and the rudder catcher

Edited by Mark Crame, 03 January 2008 - 09:44 PM.

Wetter than an otter's pocket.

#37 Mark Crame

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 09:51 PM

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Now, this causes a slight difficulty that I have yet to surmount – the stern carrying handle is now in a really poor position (was never a great location in the first place) as it is effectively blocked by catcher and rudder blade. The additional weight makes it more desirable than before as well so I need to think of a way around this. For now I have removed it and just make sure I get a good hold of the stern when carrying it with two people. I can’t tow it backwards on the C-Tug though and that is an issue with the alleyway behind the house – I must go to the bottom and turn when walking it to the beach.

The next stage is where I had a few head-scratching moments. You must feed bits of cord and bungee here and there, around this and that and tie them off just-so. My description is intentionally vague as there is no easy way to describe it – just follow the photographs on the instruction sheet and you’ll find the way. Be aware also that as you move the rudder blade so changes the position of the line – which is why it looks all wrong when you do it.

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Knot the line and bungee together, using the strap eyes you installed, and check that they are as they should be.

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I would suggest leaving the line uncut until you have tested it on the water and ensured that they are correctly done. To be honest I found this to be the worst part of the rudder installation. It looks untidy and a bit of a liability for catching with hooks or yourself, especially when combined with the rigging lines already fitted and the anchor trolley if you have them on the port (or both) sides (like I do). There is the need for a simplification and modification here and I will set my mind to it at some point in the future. As it is I find that deploying/retracting the rudder needs a disproportionate amount of effort so I’m keen to fiddle here.

Now for the last bit. The metal steering cables need to be looped at the stern end and attached to the rudder body via the nuts provided so it can do this:

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Easy enough and crimping these, melting the shrink tubing around them and cutting off the loose ends completes the job. As long as you ensure you cut the LOOSE end of the cable and NOT the piece that carries on through the hull the job is complete…

So, installation complete, using the rudder was the next stage. First attempt was aborted. I was on the Broad and after fishing for a while decided to deploy the rudder – only to notice that the bungee retainer had not been removed and so I’d have to land or clamber over the tankwell to undo it. No matter, conditions didn’t warrant the rudder any way and a lesson was learned. I waited until I went offshore a few days later to try it under normal sea conditions but encountered a couple of obstructions to my plan. First of all the sea was running ideally – I had no need to deploy the rudder on either leg of the days fishing. I did have a play with it to get used to the feel of things and to position the pedals where I wanted them but the rudder itself served no purpose on this day.

In fact I was stalled for quite a while as for various reasons I was land-bound for weeks. But then the day came when things all came together to provide the perfect opportunity to put it through its paces on the Broad. It was windy, it was choppy, there was a current (it’s tidal) and, more importantly, I had fitted my new Pacific Action sail (of which more later).

I launched and spent the first hour paddling around without either sail or rudder deployed, getting used to how things were on the water in order to better make the comparison. Then it came time to deploy the rudder. First thing I found was that you have to keep it centrally positioned so with feet on the pedals I began pulling on the cord. Hard graft that turned out to be. I tried again, still no joy – just raising the rudder off the catcher slightly. It actually took both hands to pull the rudder blade up over the rudder body and down into water. It takes just as much effort to raise it again too (landing on the catcher with a hefty thump!). Now, it’s possible that I have things tightened up too much or a cord running incorrectly and this I need to check but I am also trying to come up with an easier system of deploying and retracting it as it would be no fun turning half around and tugging with both hands over one side in a heavy swell.

Deployed, I discovered that the Trident turned as tightly, it seemed, as a Frenzy which is half the length and has a different hull shape. For some of the inland waters I fish this is of great benefit as not only are they at times fairly narrow but also rather congested for the summer months. It was a very tangible difference and one which had me sold on the idea immediately regardless of its effects on general paddling. Had I tried this in the sea it would not have made such an impact nor would I deem it as important as I only need that manoeuvrability when in the surf zone or when going through the harbour mouth in swell. Definitely a small water benefit!

It was actually quite easy to get used to as well – left foot down turns the kayak left and vice versa so it soon became instinctive allowing me to steer subconsciously, paddle subconsciously and spend more time checking rod tips for the signs of snags.

I took things further. I usually fish quite close to the margins but when the water is as low as it was on that day and the wind is up I tend to stay further out as I cannot control my drifting accurately enough. I tried doing that with the rudder, following the slight contours in the margins on the finder and although it really was too shallow to not snag the lures I was able to trace a precise route with far more accuracy and ease than previously. Again, an inland benefit rather than one I’d use on open sea around here but if coming through an area of sub-surface rocks it would be of benefit.

As to general steering – and this was backed up a few days later on the sea when I did indeed need to deploy it because of my nose turning – it made a vast difference. I could paddle equally on both sides (more energy efficient and faster) and keep on my course heading with ease. Threading my way between moored boats and mooring buoys was a doddle too and traversing the broad above the narrow (slightly) deeper gulley was simplicity itself.

The rudder really came into its own when I deployed the sail though but I will describe those together in the sail section. Suffice to say it really makes the Trident a superior paddle without question. As a side note all attachment points were fitted in my usual choice of well nuts rather than rivets, screws etc as I find them a very good way of fitting things to the hull.

Pacific Action Sail.

About six months ago I got myself a 1.5 square metre Pacific Action Sail as Richi had made it look like a great and useful accessory. I must confess that my initial acquaintance with it was somewhat overshadowed by a lack of decent wind and a lifeboat being scrambled to ‘rescue’ me as it was presumed that I was in distress. Granted, the sail wasn’t doing anything and the fish weren’t biting but I was hardly distressed about it! I’d fitted it largely as per the instructions onto my Prowler 15 and it all fit quite well:

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The next time I tried it was a bit windier and I got a mate (experienced kayaker and windsurfer who incidentally works for CEFAS as an oceanographer and is amazed at my fishfinder) to show me how to use it a bit more effectively. He popped the sail up:

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manoeuvred it into the sea

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got afloat

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and sailed right off the beach, a few hundred yards downwind, across a few hundred yards and back again, sailing a triangle off the beach. For a downwind sail I found it surprising and had a go under his direction finding myself able to do it. I figured I’d cracked it – but sadly I was mistaken. Yes, I had been taught the rudiments of sailing with a PA sail (it’s dead easy by the way) but hadn’t actually had a problem beforehand – with the wind’s power large being blocked from the land and quite gusty because of it throughout most of the summer I just wasn’t getting enough power to get a steam up. I did, however, stick with it and when conditions were favourable I was able to do quite well, shifting at a nice speed and enjoying the experience:

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but I didn’t like some of the rigging on it. Mostly only minor things; the small jam cleats I found almost impossible to deal with; I fitted carabiners instead of the supplied snap clips as they were easier to use on the attachment points I fitted to the hull and the trimming line crossed the deck where my feet were which could prove an obstruction in a capsize (incidentally, recovery when the mast is stowed is no more difficult than without)

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Edited by Mark Crame, 03 January 2008 - 09:52 PM.

Wetter than an otter's pocket.

#38 Mark Crame

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 09:54 PM

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but when the wind was usable it worked, and it worked well even with people new to kayaking and sailing:

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and speed-wise I had to paddle flat-out to keep up:

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That was the 1.5 square metre sail on the Prowler 15. A faster and lighter boat, and bearing in mind the wind here, I figured I’d need something a bit more powerful to increase the times I could use it and so decided to sell the smaller one and upgrade to a 2.2 square metre version (Pacific Action model PA_LO22). I’d already rigged the Trident to take the old sail but sold it before the wind came up enough to play with it. Thus I was able to make my first sail on the Trident with the larger one.

Putting together the pieces was simple – a five minute job if that. It involves attaching mast sections to each other, sliding them though channels on the sail, shackling them into position and adjusting bits, like putting up a tent almost. I dare say you could do it afloat.

Installation was simple. I screwed a pad eye to the fore deck just behind the carrying handle and put a carabiner through the front shock cord. I chose to use this instead of the clip as it was a bit easier to attach one-handed

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I also screwed pad eyes either side of the bow

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and placed the sail feet on the front hatch.

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I felt that this would not flex the hull itself whilst sailing and would also pull the hatch cover tighter. Bear in mind that along with beefier webbing I had also added front and rear straps to the hatch so it was held more securely than standard.

I then ran the control lines down the side of the kayak and through a plastic dog clip attached to an existing pad eye.

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The next step deviated from the recommended fitting by actually cutting the control line halfway and not fitting the inline jam-cleats. I instead fitted clam cleats to the hull and fed the lines directly onto these.

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I’d found this on another forum and Richi had by now tried it out, giving the thumbs up. I did it to get rid of the lines crossing my feet but it was to prove even better in practice. The other way works but this improved upon it.

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I then terminated the control line with another dog clip that fitted to another existing pad eye. Thus I could release the sail from the cleats in an emergency but still have the lines reachable by hand.

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All set up on the bank it was ready to give it a whirl.

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I didn’t use it straight away as mentioned earlier (this was the day I gave the rudder a good testing). Instead I did some fishing and rudder usage until I ended up at the bottom of Oulton Broad by the lock gates. This gave me a clear run right up to the dyke exiting the top of the Broad onto the River Waveney. So, without further ado and with the rudder out of the water I unfurled the sail and off I went.

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I was up to 3+ mph in no time and the cleats were working brilliantly allowing me to position the sail just so and with careful manipulation when necessary I could stay hands off most of the time. Easy. Then I deployed the rudder.

What a difference – I could stay on the wind precisely or point to where I wanted to go. I could go at angles, get my speed up or down by deviating slightly and all kinds of stuff without any real effort. It was an absolute pleasure and I got up to 4.5 mph at one point without fuss. It was so easy that I sat there sending a text message on my phone whilst crossing the broad. Bear in mind I also had two rods out and optimum trolling speed that day was around 3-3.5 mph which is also optimum for the lures I had out.

The only drawback I have found so far between my old and new sails is length. Being longer it encroaches more on cockpit space when laid down to the side. With the rudder attached, this really narrows the space for your left foot and makes it less than comfortable (and it also presses down on the sonar shield). I got around this by way of the cleats by actually paddling a round today with the sail furled but pointing up at a 45 degree angle and although it catches the wind slightly it proved to be a superior way of carrying an unused sail.

Anyway, I carried on sailing along and then…oh…blimey…

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz! Fish on!

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Making me I believe the first person in the UK to catch a pike on a lure whilst under sail in a kayak.

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Blue Mackerel Big S and a nice fighting fit 3lb’er…the sail was furled in seconds, pulled down to the paddle keeper (quickest option) and I brought it in. Beauty, nice and sleek but solid and well toned too.

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Sail unfurled and I headed back up the side of the broad and onto the dyke again. For a kayak angler I can’t think of a more suitable test than that!

As yet I have still to test it on the sea but I certainly get the impression that I am going to have an increased amount of opportunities to use it with its larger sail area. It would be interesting to compare side by side with another Trident with the smaller sail fitted so when those of you who already have sails fancy a race…..

Oh, a further addition. I got up to warpspeed with it today in strong winds (around 30mph). Not reccommended for those pregnant or with heart trouble as they say at the theme parks. A white knuckle ride if ever there was one. I didn't have the GPS connected up properly so couldn't get an accurate speed but I estimate 8mph+! The paddle back was a lot slower...
Wetter than an otter's pocket.