Friday, 2 November 2012

Stealth Supalite X

I have recently bought a Stealth Supalite X Fibre glass fishing Kayak this kayak is designed to deal with the big surf conditions in South Africa and as a lot of my fishing involves surf landings and launches I thought it would suit my needs and possibly enable me to get out or more importantly in when conditions rough up a bit.
The quick specifications are:
Perfect For Tough Surf Launches
Fast Gliding Abilities
International Standards Safety Buoyancy Complaint
(L) 4.3m x (W) 0.63m
Weight - 25KG
Angler Weight 120KG - Maximum Load 170KG  
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On the first session paddling the Supalite X in some small surf it felt strange sitting high up compared to my Dorado but after a bit of practice I was surfing the waves right the way into the beach without any problems and climbing up over them paddling out was great as the bow has a pronounced curve to it which enables the kayak to ride up and over the breakers and not cut through them as much as a sharper bowed Kayak
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Then it was time to paddle out into the deeper water to do some self rescues which was very easy and requires little effort to re board even with some rollers bearing down on me
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The next session was to be a short fishing session to see how the kayak faired at anchor no problems here either there was a little bit of noise as the chop hit the squared off stern but that was to be expected and as I had not yet fit a cleat to prevent the trolley from sliding back towards me it kept creeping back which lead to me being side on to the tide for a short while now and again but no trouble and easily fixed
The kayak paddles a lot faster than I would have thought all be it in decent conditions but not a lot slower than my other Kayak could be different in a strong headwind though
After the first few outings I did some modifications to the foot pedals as they needed adjusting for me as my knees were much to high affecting balance and also interfering with my paddle stroke so a morning spent with a hacksaw,drill,tape measure and some heat shrink tubing and I managed to extend the legroom to suit my needs which transformed the kayak 100% and was a lot comfier and more controllable in the waves.
Also the kayak comes as standard with velcro foot straps which I think would be great in warmer climates where you paddle in bare feet but I felt it could become a potential foot trap when wearing neoprene boots so removed them from mine which was a simple job.
The storage on the Stealth Kayaks is massive allowing me to store my C-Tug,Spare paddle and all of my gear plus rods even my 7' 6" one piece without a problem and with room to spare plus a hatch behind the seat
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The small hatch at the stern is for accessing the rudder assembly
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I have fit a rear anchor trolley which was easily done and utilises some of the original fittings only needing to add one extra pad eye which is only there to guide the bungee and also one cleat the main strain on the trolley will be taken on the original reinforced fittings
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The cleat to lock the anchor
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Also mounted a compass, scotty mount and gps mount
The fish finder install requires a little bit of work and thought as the stealths are twin skinned so mounting a transducer means you need to gain access to the hull otherwise the transducer would just be firing into a void between the inner skin and the hull the best way to do this was to install a hatch inside the fish hatch and then a marine gland to feed the cable for the transducer through you could always put the battery between the two skins but I think mine will be going in the main hatch
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Not the easiest job to do as its tricky working in the confines of the hatch but well worth it when its complete
Then the head unit I am mounting using velcro pads two benefits to this method no drilling and also easy to remove so you have a clear deck either once at anchor so a fish cant knock it off or when returning through the surf the deck is totally clear so no chance of snapping the mount if you get wiped out
The cables can just be trapped under the edge of the fish hatch might need to notch out a little bit to allow them space
I used a thick piece of plastic chopping board and cut a template of the fish finder base out and screwed the mount to this which made a nice surface to attach the velcro to
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And then it just needed a second pad on the hatch lid for the base to stick to
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Once I had modified the foot pedals I took it out to test it in the sort of conditions it is designed for and was filled with confidence with the way it performed superb riding up and over the breakers and also really good fun riding them back in again with the bow being broader and very buoyant it doesn't bury its nose on a steep wave it just pushes on and out rides the wave in and keeps a straighter line with a bit of practice
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The Supalite has fixed skeg and rudder at the rear which I thought could be a problem as its not retractable but can honestly say its not been an issue either in the shallows or dragging the kayak out of the water
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As the Kayaks are built to order in South Africa there is a wait from ordering to delivery but this does mean you can pick your own colour design and extra fittings hatches,rod holders for no extra cost and for the quality of Kayak the cost is very reasonable IMHO
I know after speaking with Chris who Imports the Stealth Kayaks the shipments should be getting more frequent by next year
Full details of the Stealth Kayaks can be found here:
http://www.stealthkayaks.co.uk/
Chris Really is a helpful bloke and knows his stuff about the kayaks in the range and also knows a thing or two about rigging them
Hope this is of help to some people when trying to decide on a kayak and anything I've missed I will add to this post at a later date
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Andy

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

McMurdo FastFind 220 GPS PLB A great bit of kit especially for the solo paddler

I've recently taken the plunge and bought myself one of these not cheap but could turn out to be the best £199 ever spent and knowing its there if I should need it is invaluable

Another item that I seem to carry but hope I never use

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The full info here:

 

McMurdo's latest Fast Find PLB sets new standards in Personal Locator Beacon 406 MHz location technology and builds on the phenomenal success of the 210 with addional features. The Fast Find 220 is a potential life saver; it is extremely compact and will slip into the smallest pocket. You can set off in the most remote locations around the world, and be confident of being able to contact the world’s professional search and rescue services. Fast Find should be carried as a last resort safeguard against any life threatening incidents that may occur anywhere in the world.
Features of the 220 PLB:

  • New 6 year battery life
  • New contemporary styling
  • New Retro reflective float pouch included as standard
  • New lanyard and universal carry pouch included as standard
  • New smaller box
  • Protected antenna
  • GPS as standard across the range
  • No Subscription and no call charges
  • Sunday, 21 October 2012

    Out with some fine company 21/10/2012

    Had a trip out from Marske today and was joined by Chris and Phil from the North West and Nigel and David from Halifax also Mark joined me who lives locally but was keen to land his first Ray I couldn’t promise this but would put him in the right area Nigel was easier to keep happy he wanted a Flounder and knew I could almost guarantee him one of these

     

     

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    Once out on the water we paddled out to one of my marks that has produced Ray for me before and anchored up it was slow going to say the least and as I started to fear that the lads who had travelled were becoming a bit disappointed I was relieved to see Chris lift a nice Thornie aboard so I slipped anchor and paddled over to photograph and weigh it pulling the scales round to 11lb 6oz the pressure was starting to lift now

     

     

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    Unfortunately the rest of the session was to be made up of very small whiting and small flatfish

     

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    Mission accomplished for Nigel bagging many Flounders

     

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    as the fishing was slow myself Chris and Phil spent a few hours messing in the surf which was great fun today a great day with good friends

    Got to test out Chris’s Pro Fisha 575 in the waves wish I had a bigger garage to store one in but might have to invest in a Pro fisha 475 soon!

     

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    Sunday, 14 October 2012

    First Fishing trip out in the new ‘Stealth’ 13/10/2012

    Managed a trip out today on the new Yak and gave it a thorough test launching and landing in some big powerful surf very pleased with how it performs also got to test the anchor trolley out and it sat quite well at anchor a bit noisy but expected with the shape of the stern slapping against the chop need to fit a cleat to lock it off as it did creep slowly which would have led to becoming side on to the tide but this can be easily rectified

     

     

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    Fish were plentiful but mainly small flatfish and whiting but I did hook and then loose a decent Thornback Ray gutted would have been nice to christen the yak with a good Thornie but never mind maybe next time

     

     

     

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    The kayak has grown on me a lot now I have managed to sort out the foot pedal position and paddles faster than I have given it credit for and up to now handles the rough stuff very well  

    Thursday, 11 October 2012

    Stealth Supalite X 1st outing

     

     

    I picked up my new Kayak this week it’s a Stealth Supalite X which is looking like it will be great for when the surf kicks up a bit still lots of rigging to be done and a proper review once I have managed to get out a few times and tested it out a bit more.

     

     

    But initial thoughts are very good massive fish hatch and plenty of other storage excellent riding the waves in still need to figure out if I can move the footrests to make it fit a bit better and managed plenty of self rescues even in the deepwater surf without any problems.

     

    Some pics for now

     

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