Ocean Kayak Prowler 4.3 ultra, and also trident version

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MadMike
Posts: 6271
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:09 pm
Kayak Make: Ocean Kayak, Stealth
Kayak Model: Ultra 4.7, Stealth EVO 495
Location: Whangarei

Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:19 pm

A review of the Ocean Kayak Prowler and Trident I have been working on for a while... Sorry took a it's time coming out.

Over the last few Years I have been privy to paddling a variety of different Kayaks for both fishing and just pleasure paddling, I have spent a considerable amount of time in the saddle on most that I have had the pleasure to be on the water in, spending anything from 1 hour a day up to 9 odd. This gives me a fair bit of time to build a relationship with the boat and work out all of their little quirks, likes and hates etc. I have been a part of the Ocean Kayak “Pro” fishing team for 2 odd years although I have opted out of this in recent times. I started my Journey into the world of Ocean Kayaks paddling a Prowler 4.5, and although loved the hull for speed and paddling comfort I found it had a few things missing that I found to be quite critical in today’s day and age for fishing, I jumped over to the Ocean Kayak Prowler Ultra 4.3, and then onto the 4.7, Both Kayaks are impressive and both have their differences worth considering.

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Ocean Kayak Prowler 4.3 Ultra First paddle of this Kayak and I was in love. Decent hull speed and great glide, combined with exceptional primary stability made this kayak my go to for fishing, be it coastal or harbor, Paddling flat calm or 30knot + wind it ticked a lot of boxes. Weighing in at around 33KG it wasn’t to bad to get on and off the roof of the 4×4 but was boarder line on right on my limits for a straight lift, one wing mirror later and a trailer was soon sourced for future outings. Please note you can see a list of improvements at the bottom of the page incorporated into the new Trident series 4.3 ultra!

General layout

of the Kayak is pretty well thought out with ample room for all the fishing gear you “need” to take with you, a forward Hatch for storing day trip and or overnight gear and is big enough to get a trolley into to save the walk back to the vehicle or having to discretely hide it in the sand dunes.

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The center hatch comes standard with the ocean Kayak Rotating lid that has the idea of being able to flip your sounder over in a surf situation and protect it, While this is a good idea the feature is a little flawed, To start with I found that I put way to much gear in the centre well to be able to flip the lid over and hide the sounder underneath, this can’t really be blamed on the kayak though, but secondly the lid is far from water tight and in a rolled in the surf situation opened the lid to find my sounder sat upside down in a completely filled centre well, After this happened a couple of times I decided to save weight (the standard lid is about 2.5kg) and installed the light weight none rotating option.

Seating as you’re all aware is quite a critical part of a fishing Kayak, it’s also a seriously subjective part and what one person finds comfortable another may not, but it should however offer certain things. It should allow you to be able to pull out of the seat when paddling to maximize transfer of power to the kayak and give you reasonable support both under the upper thighs and along the lower back and not allow you to slop around left to right, it also needs to offer comfort while sat in the same spot for hours, varying levels of each one means a sacrifice in the other. I prefer to not use very high backed seats as I find they restrict your torso rotation and also reduce stability.

The Ocean Kayak prowler 4.3 Ultra comes standard with the “upgrade seat”, which is effectively a Necky rubber bum pad and an adjustable solid mounted back band. When they designed the Prowler ultra 4.3 they put a lot of emphasis into a low centre of gravity to offer maximum Primary stability, and that they certainly accomplished. The down side to this is A: you are constantly sat in water because the seating position is below surface level, in summer this could almost be considered nice but in winter it certainly adds to the ache in the lower back, and B: Because your seated so low your bum is actually bellow your feet creating issues for larger people. Unfortunately for me long paddles became a little bit to painful and meant I had to make land fall every couple of hours and allow the feeling to return to my legs.

I would also like to add at this point that the new Ocean Kayak Trident 4.3 made in America has rectified this issue by adding some height and leg support to the base seat pan, you are now drier and also far more comfortable, and this is the single biggest improvement I feel they could make to the 4.3.

Rod holders and fittings on the Ocean Kayak Prowler 4.3 ultra are generally well placed and well thought out, with 2 forward facing rod holders and 2 rear facing it gives you ample places for rods, while the Kayak also comes with 2 moulded in holders directly behind the seat I found them to be as close to useless as a useless thing can be, they are placed too close to the seat and interfere with paddling position but they are also very shallow and allow the rods to rock around not offering confidence your rods will still be there when destination is reached. The kayak comes fitted with Brass inserts for fitting Anchor pulleys and ice boxes, the standard Ocean Kayak pulley rig is fantastic out of the box as is the Ice box. The only thing I did find with the ice box in the Ocean Kayak Prowler 4.3 is that because it sits in very close to the rod holders when you open the lid the reel of the rod on that side tends to get in the way, this is certainly not a deal breaker but is something that I found a tad annoying.

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Performance

I was generally pleased by the performance out of the Ocean Kayak Prowler 4.3 Ultra. it tracks well in most conditions, responds to good paddle Technique and under rudder can handle pretty much any condition I could throw at it. Most mornings I could be found paddling up the river or around the harbor in a variety of conditions so had a pretty good chance at testing it most situations from 20knot chop through to flat calm. I must admit of all the Kayaks I have paddled the ultra 4.3 is definitely the kayak I felt the most at ease that it wouldn’t throw me out.

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Speed wise I could sustain an easy 7.5 Km/h happily, but pushing it to my limits I maxed out at about 9.2 Km/h while this is not going to be a record breaking speed by any stretch the cruise speed is definitely admirable.

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In the surf, on launch I have never been bucked out. its easy to launch and because of its hull design tries to up and over in most situations. while not the driest ride ever (if you want to stay dry in the surf buy a boat) it is more than capable of taking in some decent dumpers. On returning to the beach the Kayak has ample speed to be able to make your way in with out to many disasters, While it doesn’t mind riding waves of up to about 1m I did find it liked to bury its nose if you got you angle to straight. if you got the angle to great it wanted to broach with not a lot of happy median between the 2. certainly not a surf ski at any rate.

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Ocean Kayaks on the Up and up?

In recent months JOW retracted fully from production and wholesale in NZ (written 6-9-14) and now use a wholesaler (Cameron sports NZ), production of kayaks is now done off shore in the mighty US of A and for a while we were filled with apprehension as to what quality we could expect. What we have seen is a marked improvement in the quality of manufacture, gone are the imperfections and porous surface areas, the waves and rolls of the NZ made one, The kayaks are also lighter and stiffer, at I guess I would suggest a change of plastic and also a higher quality of machine, (like I said though, this is a guess)

The Prowler Range of Kayaks in now no longer available, it has been replaced by the Trident. This is not only a name change but also a redesign and redevelopment of most ranges as well as adding models that until now were not available in NZ.

The New Ocean Kayak Trident 4.3 Ultra has had a significant revamp improving on areas that in the prowler range fell a little short for me.

Info and Photo's on the trident provided by Rob Fort (thanks mate)

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These improvements include: • New seating configuration that places the user in a higher position which results in a dryer more comfortable ride plus much better leg positioning as the feet are now below the seat. •

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• Small integrated recess areas on either side of the leg area in front of the seat base allow small container storage using the included bungee that is attached to the deck.

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• The rudder track and peddle system has changed with the most noticeable area the larger peddle profile which is a lot more comfortable against the sole of the feet.

• Rod holders previously located behind the seat area removed.

• The four inch hatch located on the rear well’s front side wall is no longer included also.

• Single rear scupper hole within the rear well area removed resulting in less drag on the water.

• Looking below deck at the kayaks hull a slight change to the bow (nose) shape which is flared slightly wider providing better lift.

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• Improved plastic making the kayak much more rigid with no soft spots anywhere and less flexing overall. This also offers a nicer hull shape will no indents or ripples.

• 2kgs Lighter.

• Inserts not utilised with fittings have black anodised stainless bolts in them instead of just insert which is open to salt corrosion. Performance

• Slight improvement in stability

• Increase in overall speed

• Greater ability to climb over chop and swells


So far a big thumbs up on the improvements on an already great Kayak.


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AndrewRawlingson
Posts: 2504
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:03 pm
Location: Northland

Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:23 pm

really good summary of the 4.3 :y:
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MadMike
Posts: 6271
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:09 pm
Kayak Make: Ocean Kayak, Stealth
Kayak Model: Ultra 4.7, Stealth EVO 495
Location: Whangarei

Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:24 pm

Thanks andrew


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Stockist of, Ocean Kayaks, Old Town Kayaks, Phoenix Kayaks , Humminbird, Scotty, Rob Fort ACC and much much more!

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Badassfisher
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:50 pm
Kayak Make: Ocean kayak
Kayak Model: 4.3
VHF Call Sign: Badass
Location: Auckland

Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:51 pm

Great read thanks MadMike :y:
Love my 4.3

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YakFisho Snapps
Posts: 5541
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:38 pm
Kayak Make: Stealth
Kayak Model: Evolution 495,BFS..
VHF Call Sign: Yakfisho Snapps
Location: Wellington

Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:38 pm

Very nice review Chief :y:....

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WLShafor
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:30 am
Kayak Make: Ocean Kayak
Kayak Model: Ultra 4.3
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:35 pm

Thanks for the write up.
Ocean Kayak - Ultra 4.3 Trident
Ocean Kayak - Trident 11
Mad Rive Canoe - Synergy 14

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