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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Current Native Watercraft Models as of February 2018 - What a Lineup!  (Read 1658 times)

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bmb

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Hey folks,

Native Manta Ray 12XT just released - what a cool new boat at an excellent $899 price point!  Should be carried at several of our NorCal dealers.

Pedal Drives
Lightweight and Cartoppable:
Slayer LT 12 Propel - 12' long, very stable in flatwater, good hull speed.  Relatively light weight at around 70lbs without the seat and drive, eminently cartoppable.  It does sit fairly high out of the water though, meaning its not going to be the best boat for you in rougher conditions such as in the ocean.  I can stand and fish in this model easily.


Slayer 10 Propel - 10' long, 34" wide.  In my opinion, very stable.  It's a bit slower than the other models due to its wide bow entry, but the tradeoff being that its a small pocket rocket.  Stable all the way through the hull with the expanded tankwell.   But at approximately 60lbs carrying weight, you can't find a more capable boat in a super easy to carry size.


Manta Ray 12 Propel - 12'2" long, 33" wide in the middle.  Very good hull speed, probably one of the fastest prop driven kayaks on the market today.  Good stability, lower to the water.  It's a bit of a wet ride on the ocean but getting close to the waterline gives it stability in swell. I feel very comfortable in mine in any conditions.  Also right around 70lbs, so easily cartoppable.


A bit heavier, still cartoppable:
Slayer Propel 13 - 13' long, 89lbs. The original model of the modern propel series, the SP13 is still one of the most popular boats Native sells.  Its a great all-rounder, with good speed, very good stability.  It can handle any conditions that NorCal waters throw at ya.  Not the best turning kayak with its stock rudder, and can definitely use after market rudder modifications.  There's plenty of those out now.  In that sense, it's really not much different than needing a Hobie sailing rudder upgrade.


FX 13 Propel - 13' long, 79lbs.  Great Canoe/Kayak hybrid boat, very stable and very quick due to its hull design and bow entry.  You gain standing stability since your feet are below the waterline. Not an ocean/rough water boat since it is not self bailing, but if you want a great all rounder boat to fish in freshwater or do things like photography, you can't go wrong.


Bass Fishin' Line -
Titan 10.5 - The new pocket rocket at 37.5" wide with a nice strong bow entry and great stability, this boat will be the small water basser's dream. While it's still relatively heavy at 97lbs, it is powered by the Native Propel Drive and with new hull design that came with the Titan, it handles like a dream.  Can turn on a dime and get you almost anywhere you want to go.


Titan 12 - Just landed!  This boat was just released in February 2018. It's got a really nice, sharper bow entry, and a huge bow hatch for those who like to store a lot of equipment up front.  It will be the perfect in-betweener boat for those who don't want the huge weight of the Titan 13.5, but still want the stability, maneuverability and standability of the Titan series.  At 109lbs unladen, its a lot of boat, but actually a lot more reasonable and not much more weight than the 10.5 is.


Titan 13.5 - The beast. At 13.5' long and a bit over 150lbs, this boat is Native's top of the line bass boat, with tons of storage and stability options.  Its got good speed and good maneuverability.  Only problem? its heavier than snot.  Great for those who can trailer it or truckbed it, but its still a bit of a bear.  It had some early release issues but those are mostly hammered out.


The entire Titan Series has rod tip protectors attached to the hull, with rod butt stagers attached to the groove track.  This allows you to store fishing rods horizontally on the boats and protect those tips!  The Titan 13.5 has 4 rod protectors (2 on each side), while the Titan 12 and Titan 10.5 have two each. 

Starting in February 2018, the Titan series kayaks have a new seat pan, which allows you to adjust the seats to both a high and low position!

Non Pedal Drives
Slayer XC 12 - Comin' soon!  Should be out in March.  This is a shallow draft, wide and stable boat made for fishin' the rivers.  It has drag chain mounts, integrated rod tip protectors, a super clean deck.  This should be great for slower moving rivers like the American in summertime. 

Rendering Shown


Manta Ray Angler 12 XT - Just Dropped!  Should be available at some local dealers very soon!  This is a well designed, super affordable paddle craft at 12 1/2' long and 33" wide. This model has a newly designed high/low seating option.  It will be stable enough to fish standing up, and has a new electronics ready console. Strong hull shape with a sharp entry to cut through the water. 
Short teaser video up on Facebook at Native's page: https://www.facebook.com/nativewatercraft/



Manta Ray Angler 12 LT - Comin' Soon!  Was told it would be possibly ready in March but no promises.  Very similar to the MR Angler 12 XT, but with a thermoformed hull. This will be Native/Hurricane's first real kayak fishing designed thermoform.  Very simple design but easy to rig and will be easy to carry. I would guess it will come in a bit around 60lbs. 


Manta Ray Angler 12 - the original MR 12, this is a very affordable, bare bones model with a wheel in the keel for easy transport. Very efficient hull although a bit of a wet ride at times.  Will give you what you need, when you need it, but not much more.


Slayer Series (12, 12 Pro, 14.5 Pro) - very good all rounder models, and they are very well designed for saltwater fishing here.  A bit tough to find these models in local shops.


FX/Ultimate Series (FX 12,15 Tandem, Ultimate 12, Ultimate 14.5 Tandem) - All very good canoe/kayak hybrid boats, meaning they're great in skinny water, very stable and a little lighter weight when you consider all of their included options.


Versaboard - Have you ever heard of this? Probably not since they're tough to find.  But this is Native's SUP hybrid, and a very popular boat in the flats of Florida and the South.  Very stable, trim and good to fish from.  One of our guys catches huge redfish and speckled trout off his all year long. Really affordable and easy to transport with the wheel in the keel.


So what are things that people wonder about Natives?
Design - a lot of Native's newer models have the squared off stern.  Why is that?  Well it's really not any different than boat design, as a squared off stern provides extra stability and storage capacity without a significant trade off in speed.  That's because speed is primarily a factor of waterline length and hull efficiency.  Almost all kayaks get wider in the middle, but most get narrow towards the stern.  That does not actually help much with speed, but does result in less rear stability.  The trade off here of course is increased weight due to having more boat and more plastic.

Plastic - Native's models seem comparatively heavier than some other manufacturers.  Well, that's primarily due to their plastic quality and thickness.  They have very thick hulls, and the Titan series are foam infused to help stiffen up the hulls and prevent hull flex when standing. That results in a bit heavier boat but one that will last a lifetime.  You won't be able to throw a flashlight into the hull and turn one of their kayaks into a glowstick.

Rudders - why the integrated rudders?  Native has done extensive testing on its rudders and has found that hull design actually affects a kayak's ability to turn much more than the rudder in itself.  While flip-down rudders may be a little easier to deal with off the water, in itself they do not provide significantly better turning radius, and increase cost. 

Rudder Cables - You've probably heard a few horror stories of rudder cables snapping.  That's really no different than other wear items in other kayaks - if you are careful with your rudder cables (like I am), you won't likely have many issues.  Native is continuing to test rudder changes to improve its rudder cable reliability and will always stand behind its product through its extensive dealer network.

So, where can you get one?  As of today, Native models are carried at multiple stores throughout Northern California. In no particular order, they are:

Adventure Sports Kayak City - Sacramento
Headwaters Kayak - Lodi
California Canoe and Kayak - Sacramento (call before going to see what models are available)
California Canoe and Kayak - Oakland (call before going to see what models are available)
Clavey Paddlesports - Petaluma
Sierra Nevada Adventure Center (SNAC) - Sonora, Arnold and Murphys.  To receive first shipment April 1.  Call to see what models are available.
West Marine - Several West Marine stores carry the Native Slayer Propel 10 on display

In addition, Native's sister brand, Hurricane Kayaks, also has models at some* of the dealers listed above.  These kayaks are all super lightweight thermoformed models, with some more recent fishing advancements. However, most of them tend to be cherry, non angler models, which will allow you to modify them as you see fit.

If you have any questions about any Native models, please feel free to contact me via PM and I'll be happy to answer or direct you to someone who can.

Thanks all,
Ben
-bmb

« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 08:39:15 AM by bmb »


NowhereMan

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Thanks for the detailed writeupósounds like there are some great options. Just curious as to which West Marine stores would carry them, as Iíve never seen one at the Santa Cruz WM.
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Ive seen them in WM San Carlos but its usually only 1 or 2 smaller pedal boats, definitely havent seen the 150lb behemoth. They probably have them in the sausalit wm as well.....id call ahead to see what's in stock first.
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Ive seen them in WM San Carlos but its usually only 1 or 2 smaller pedal boats, definitely havent seen the 150lb behemoth. They probably have them in the sausalit wm as well.....id call ahead to see what's in stock first.
Yeah my understanding is they really only carry the SP10 right now, but hope that expands.  WM doesn't really advertise them either, kind of an "eye catcher" kayak when you're in the shop looking at other stuff.  But a good way to see the kayak build quality, although the pedal drives aren't always installed.  Always best to shop at a local kayak-specific shop if you're interested.   

I've updated the post a bit with some pictures and links for anyone interested in the lineup.  It's really expanded and I don't think people are aware of how large their pedal lineup is - I think its as expansive as everyone's and very comparable to Hobie's lineup now, with maybe a bit better fishing focus on their paddle-only side.

I mean, tell me another manufacturer that released 5 new kayak fishing models this year!


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So Manta Ray 12 prop is better suited for salt than slayer lt 12 right?
https://youtube.com/channel/UC6mxd4WmuKFxDEozl7vuMzA

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So Manta Ray 12 prop is better suited for salt than slayer lt 12 right?
I would say yes.


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https://youtube.com/channel/UC6mxd4WmuKFxDEozl7vuMzA

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bmb

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updated with new pics of the Manta Ray 12 XT - Shipping now!  Only $899, and a very reasonable 63lb hull weight.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 08:32:56 AM by bmb »


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updated with new pics of the Manta Ray 12 XT - Shipping now!  Only $899, and a very reasonable 63lb hull weight.


Are you a fan of the Manta Ray 12 Angler? Looking for a pedal kayak in the $2k range, mainly used in saltwater but nothing too serious.  Thinking about this one or something like the Topwater PDL.  Thoughts?


bmb

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updated with new pics of the Manta Ray 12 XT - Shipping now!  Only $899, and a very reasonable 63lb hull weight.


Are you a fan of the Manta Ray 12 Angler? Looking for a pedal kayak in the $2k range, mainly used in saltwater but nothing too serious.  Thinking about this one or something like the Topwater PDL.  Thoughts?
It's my personal favorite, but not for everyone.  I ride it all the time.  It is best for paddlers who do not mind a little bit of a wet ride and don't carry too much gear.  It is similar to a mix between a revo and an outback.  Can handle any conditions, sits relatively low in the water.  I would say you should definitely try it out though - Headwaters carries them and is the only place around you can demo one, unless you come to Livermore and borrow mine.

Generally speaking, better for paddlers who are <250lbs, don't mind wet rides, and are more of minimalists.  The Slayer Propel 10 is a topwater alternative - they have lowered the price on that model to compete with the Topwater's price point.  It is a very different boat from the MR12 and the Topwater, but a lot lighter weight if that matters.

I don't know if anyone gives demos on the Topwater but I'd definitely ask around. I think Kayak City is the only one that carries it though.


RDods

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updated with new pics of the Manta Ray 12 XT - Shipping now!  Only $899, and a very reasonable 63lb hull weight.


Are you a fan of the Manta Ray 12 Angler? Looking for a pedal kayak in the $2k range, mainly used in saltwater but nothing too serious.  Thinking about this one or something like the Topwater PDL.  Thoughts?
It's my personal favorite, but not for everyone.  I ride it all the time.  It is best for paddlers who do not mind a little bit of a wet ride and don't carry too much gear.  It is similar to a mix between a revo and an outback.  Can handle any conditions, sits relatively low in the water.  I would say you should definitely try it out though - Headwaters carries them and is the only place around you can demo one, unless you come to Livermore and borrow mine.

Generally speaking, better for paddlers who are <250lbs, don't mind wet rides, and are more of minimalists.  The Slayer Propel 10 is a topwater alternative - they have lowered the price on that model to compete with the Topwater's price point.  It is a very different boat from the MR12 and the Topwater, but a lot lighter weight if that matters.

I don't know if anyone gives demos on the Topwater but I'd definitely ask around. I think Kayak City is the only one that carries it though.


Hmm I'm hearing mixed reviews on the MR12 about water - I'm looking for more of a dry ride, from the pedal system and over the top of the boat.  I'm around 165 5' 10" so don't need something extreme.


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Hmm I'm hearing mixed reviews on the MR12 about water - I'm looking for more of a dry ride, from the pedal system and over the top of the boat.  I'm around 165 5' 10" so don't need something extreme.
I think you'll be a relatively dry ride at your weight.  It gets some water over the bow in swell, but it washes out pretty well through the front scuppers.  I keep my front two scuppers open. I get no water through the drivewell, most of the water comes in through my scuppers.  Wet butt is the part to be concerned about as it is absolutely miserable, and is no issue in the MR12 since the seat is raised off the deck. 

I usually have about 1" of water at the very front of the cockpit where my scuppers are open.  Some people don't like even a single drop of water in their cockpit, I personally don't care since I'm dressed for the conditions.  It's all personal preference.  No water gets inside the hull of the boat since there are no hatches on the deck, there are just two well sealed hatches above the water line.  I think I have heard of people recently trying to use one-way scuppers to prevent water from being in the kayak. It's a possibility I've thought about looking into but like I said, I'm not afraid of water in the boat.


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I have a Slayer and a Mariner and donít get that wet except when pulling big fish into my lap, not that that happens often or is a deal breaker when it does. They both drain fine the Mariner sits real low in the stern making it way easier to reboard. Iím Weigh in at 245lbs so at your weight not much concern about a wet ride unless your sloppy with the fish and gear or make a habit of punching through bigger waves when beach launching. The punching waves is why Iíll never put one way scuppers in, Iíll get wet anyway but it drains way faster.


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Thanks for the great info. I am considering a Native pedal drive, but the rudder seems like a problem because of the way I get it on top of my car. Sometimes I have to lean my kayak up on the car so that it is resting on the stern and then lift the stern and push it onto the roof. If I did that with a Native it seems like all the weight would be on the rudder. Will this break the rudder over time?


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Thanks for the great info. I am considering a Native pedal drive, but the rudder seems like a problem because of the way I get it on top of my car. Sometimes I have to lean my kayak up on the car so that it is resting on the stern and then lift the stern and push it onto the roof. If I did that with a Native it seems like all the weight would be on the rudder. Will this break the rudder over time?
No, the rudder is plastic and is very durable. Have not heard or anyone breaking an actual rudder.  On the other hand, I'd recommend considering loading stern first instead to see if that would help you with loading, or put some sort of block under the keel to protect it (and keep it from sliding!)  I used to load my kayak that way as well but just dead lift it now that I'm back under 70lbs for kayak weight.  The Slayer Propel at 89lbs was just too much for me to dead lift.

That stern first works fine on the "traditional" models like my Manta Ray, but might be a bit weird with the newer squared off kayaks.  Really depends on what kayak you have.