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2014 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Kazkazi Dorado...first paddle  (Read 6143 times)

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SBD

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Put a few miles on the Dorado last night cruising Lake Mendo. Overall, this thing is a DREAM to paddle, unlike any SOT I have ever tried. Can't wait to get it in the salt, which will be the real test....the break down:

At 15.75 long and 24.8 wide, this is a long and relatively slender kayak, with graceful traditional sea kayak lines...very lovely to look at. :smt007 Having tried several other SOT's of similar dimension, I was expecting it to paddle something like a T-160 and/or a Cobra Expedition. It is like neither by a large margin, but first a few pics of the yak and the layout.

Side view...



The inside of the fish box is simply enormous. If you fill this thing, youv'e had a HELL of a day! I'll have to try it out but a grumpy ling, or a 30 pound salmon should have no trouble sliding down the shute. The end of the door is right in your lap, so access is a breeze. The hatch construction is refreshingly SIMPLE. A thin, hinged glass lid that with generous overlap and a quality rubber seal. Attention yak MFGs...It doesn't need to be an trickier than this!!!



Since no fish were in the plans I put my tackle box, slippas, and t-shirt in the shute for safe keeping while I paddled. This gives you an idea of the scale...



The fish chute leads up to a much larger fish box. The fish box is the area under the blue "cover" The cover is permantly bonded to the hull. The entire inside of the fish box has a smooth gelcoat finish so keeping it clean should be relatively ez. The round hatch aids clean-up and fish retrieval. The rudder pedals are not like any other SOT I have seen. Again, simple but robust. (are your detecting a theme here :smt003). The heavy-duty nylon pedals slide on a billet track. Controls adjust via nylon webbing...



The back of the boat is just as elegantly simple. A shallow tankwell is "scuppered" using a pair of notches out to the side. There is a small compartment with a hatch behind the seat, and then a larger storage area behind that. There is a bulkhead between each area. The rudder is also simple, but robust. Dacron lines are used for the controls, no cables...



Once I was done gawking at the layout I got in...WAY in. This was intially the most stunning part of the test padlle. When you go to drop your a$$ into the seat it just keeps going...it felt like I was falling through the yak. The seat is LOW. After paddling our boats it felt like the water line was at my armpits...hmmm. After getting snuggled in however, it became apparent that once again, somebody at Kaskazi knew what they were doing. The sculpted cockpit is snug, but very comfy. The seat pan is so deep, no additional seat is needed. I was really concened about the footwells, but they were fantastic. Super narrow by our standard, but just the right shape. Normally a cockpit this cozy has some blasted protuberance right where you don't want it making some part of something go numb, but none of that here.  Cool.  :smt004

The hatch and bow are almost the same level which makes setting a rod down up front very handy. There is a small deck loop up front that you can slide the rod tip under to keep it from sliding around. If you add a bungee near the rod buttes you could easily secure rods in this fashion for a surf launch/landing. Your gear might get wet, but you'll still own it!



Once under way is where my new love affair began. First off, I was waiting to feel the twitchyness of something like the Expedition...not there. Believe it or ot this beotch is stable as all get out...I'm not kidding. Way more stable than an Expedition or a T-160. It may be a bit much for a total newb, but anyone with reasonable water time will feel fine right away. I was stunned. :smt007 I farted around for a moment trying the rudder etc. Paddling was ez and efficient, the rudder turns it on a dime.

Then I put the whip to it. HOLY CRAP BATMAN this thing moves. Water was flying past the gunnels and their wasn't a lick of sound from the bow or STERN...just fluid movement. :smt007 :smt007 Then I put the rudder up and it was even faster. :smt007 :smt007 :smt007. Hung out a brace and leaned it over and it carved a sweet ass turn in nothing flat...oh my...me likey alot. It did however become obvious that the low seat height will require a much shorter paddle for the right geometry. I adjusted mine down to 230 and it was still too long.

Paddled a few miles in search of evening boils, and none were found. Great nature show however. Saw a nice family of otters and a bunch of deer.

Mrs Otter with two pups...



Deer family...



I got into some small chop on the paddle back and the performance remained impressive. Quiet and efficinet. Looking forward to getting this thing in the salt. The wetness factor, since it is completely undrained, remains untested. Also concerned about the durability and thrash-ablity. I'll keep you posted, as I plan on getting this in big blue ASAP, but so far I love this thing!!!!



« Last Edit: July 31, 2006, 01:12:24 PM by scwafish »


MolBasser

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Thanks for the post.

How is the fishability with you sitting so low to the waterline?

How does one get water out when you take a wave?

MolBasser
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SBD

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Mol:

Castability/fishability are fine...didn't really notice a difference.  Your not so low it affects fishing, but you are significantly lower than other yaks.

As to bailing, not really sure...still untried.  While it sounds silly, there isn't a whole lot of room for water once your in.  You cant really see it in the pics but the cockpit is VERY contoured, which leaves very little room for anything other than you, including water.  Major excess goes out the notches by the side handles.  I see this boat as being super capable in the surf, and don't invision it taking on that much, if any water on a reasonable day.

The folks I know on the east coast that have these simply keep a yak sponge handy to bail out any lingering water that is annoying.  Like I said, I'll let you know about the reality of it all once its gotten tested in the salt.


MolBasser

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Right on.

Please bring one to mendo for us to play with if you can.

MolBasser
2006 Kayak Connection Father's Day Champion
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Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Homebrew!
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SBD

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We will definitely have both at Mendo.


mooch

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THanks for the insight Sean  :smt007


ChuckE

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Excellent report.
Given identical design and dimensions... are glass boats inherently faster than plastic ones?

Winner - 2013 Doran Beach Crabfest
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KayakBuilder

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Minimize the landing speed in the surfzone because their design has minimal rocker and will broach easily. Test it w/o rods & gear until you get the feel. The lack of rocker is the biggest contributor to speed, then rigidity of glass, then the smooth finish is the imperceptible last fraction of a second advantage over plastic.
How is the comfort sitting perpendicular?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2006, 01:57:33 PM by KayakBuilder »


SBD

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Quote
are glass boats inherently faster than plastic ones

Seen lots of debate about this but I feel the difference would be small, if not miniscule.  What you do get is a much more rigid, and responsive feel.  The hull feels zippy and much more rigid in wind chop than a plastic yak.  With a boat this light in plastic you can squish the hull with your hands ...not nearly as flexy on this boat.  There was a gaping hole in the bow from a fork lift and it took everything I had to deflect it about 3/16 of an inch to line everything back up.  I could have EASiLY deflected unsupported plastic that much. 

Quote
Minimize the landing speed in the surfzone because their design has minimal rocker and will broach easily. Test it w/o rods & gear until you get the feel. The lack of rocker is the biggest contributor to speed, then rigidity of glass

I understand what your saying, but it doesn't look all that flat to me...about the same as a P-15.  There is also a generous amont of volume in the front of the hull.  However, I'll take your advice and play in the surf stripped before getting silly.

Quote
How is the comfort sitting perpendicular?

This aint' happening.  While you can dangle your feet outside the hull, sidesaddle is not possible with the deep seat.  You can however scoot back onto the rear deck/day hatch for a change of position.  This is better than it sounds, but no substitute for side saddle.


KayakBuilder

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As part of your next report, please include a pic of the underside for a view of the keel line.
Thanks for the report!


Pelican

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Hey Sean - Any up=date on the beautiful Kazkazi? Have you had it in the salt yet? Tom


MolBasser

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I found the cockpit to be overly cramped.  I was annoyed by the fact that my calves were "pinched" by the hull and that I had skin in constant contact with the fiberglass.

That said, the boat is ripping fast and feels sturdy.  I don't think it would take the abuse that plastic boats take though.

The seat was way more comfortable than I thought it would be.

Bottom line, I wouldn't buy one.

MolBasser
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SBD

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Lets see...it is tight, or better described as snug.  This is intentional as this yak is un-drained.  The idea is for the paddler to displace water when it gets wet decked.  Unlike most SOTs the cockpit is available in different sizes to accomplish this.  I ordered what I guesses would fit me and it fits just fine.  It is more comfortable than I imagined. 

That said, if you're a size 10 in a size 9 Dorado its not at all pleasant.  Our Kaskazi Pelican has the smaller cockpit and its brutal on me and heaven for Leah and Jelly.

I have had it in the salt a number of times now.  Basically, it gets swamped in a surf launch.  Once outside you have to stop and bail.  Once you do so you'll realize it was worth your time.  Once outside the surf launch it is in another class compared to any plastic SOT.  It is however, narrow etc., and not a good call for the newb.   

The layout is weird, but in a good way.  I didn't like it the first few times, but now i have it set up for my needs, and I now think it is the smartest layout ever, but it requires a different approach, a more minimal, zen-sh approach.  If that appeals to you, then you will love it.  If you have the need to bring it ALL, this boat will be hell.

The glass is certainly more fragile, but easier to repair as well.  While you can't drag this yak around by the hair, it is light enough that you can just shoulder it with relative ease.

So in the end it a diffrerent approach for a different audience, but the Dodo audience definitely gets the best performing boat.



MolBasser

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It is a fine boat, I just wouldn't want one. I like to bring more crap with me than other people do, and I just couldn't get over the narrow leg wells.

It was just me. Others may not have a problem with it.

I definately likeed how it was stiffer than plastic boats and it was certainly faster than any SOT out there that I have paddled.

The tank well didn't impress me either, but like I said, I tend to carry more stuff than other fishers and like Scwafish says, this is a more minimalist boat.

It goes to show that testing lots of kayaks to find the one that works for you is the way to go.

MolBasser
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Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Homebrew!
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ChuckE

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Quote
I tend to carry more stuff than other fishers
Hey Mol... yes... you do!  :laughing7:
For me, two rods is the most I'll ever carry.

Winner - 2013 Doran Beach Crabfest
2nd Place tie - 2012 Alameda Rockwall Halibut Derby
Winner (Biggest Rock Crab) - 2010 Half Moon Bay Crabfest
Winner - 2009 Alameda Rockwall Halibut Derby
Winner - 2009 Paradise Halibut Hunt
Winner - 2007 NCKA Angler of the Year
Winner "Grand Slam" - 2007 Bendo @ Mendo III
2nd Place - 2007 Monterey Bay Kayak Fishing Derby
Winner - 2004 Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing Derby


 

anything