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Tell me what you think of this 'yak

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Certified SCUBA Rider
May 7, 2002
a mate of mine is selling his sea kayak because he never uses it anymore, so its got me thinking about using it for diving. it would be great to be able to paddle past the silty river runoff an get to the clean water on the outer reefs. other advantages are stowing the fish.

here are the specs for the kayak. its designed for fishing, but i think that most spearos who use kayaks use the fishing boats.

Length 4525mm
Beam 590mm
Depth 280mm
Mass 29kg
Front Hatch 250mm
Back Hatch 380x280mm

some questions though. most of the time we drift dive because of the prevailing current, so anchoring up wouldnt be so great. is it ok to use the kayak as a big float? also, when the waves get bigger, do you swim it out, or do you have to be good enough to make the paddle?
and do you wear the wetsuit from the beach? in winter i dive with a 5mil 2 piece, but the air temps are almost always +20 deg. it must be helleva uncomfortable paddling in the suit.


here's the side


  • pelican_side.jpg
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Lekker one, that. Saw a guy swimming his out in the cape, not too much of a hassle apparently.

Only problem is that you should stow everything as if it's going to capsize - nothing should be able to get washed off.

Most guys I've seen using a kayak for diving used it as a float.

if I have to edit one more of my posts for spelling mistakes, I quit
Last edited:
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Hiya Griff

Check out:


I've got a 'Cuda Extreme (very similar to the Wahoo model). My fins, 1.1m guns and gear all fit into the hatch, which is securely closed. If you capsize, everthing is ok. Just keep your mask around your neck in case of you capsizing. I've used my about twice, but then i gat a RIB
:D :D :D

I'm actually thinking of getting rid of it. Give me a PM if you're interested.

Hey i use a 2 man ocean kayak malibu, it is excellent as a dive kayak, its a sit on top and wider thn the one pictured i think. Its easy to climb back into from the water but it does take a practiced technique, it can carry 2 kitted divers although it does sit low and is hard to paddle in rough seas but with just one man it is easily paddled even in the roughest sea and has loads of space. Ive swam with it as my float, its not too bad but again the worse the conditions the harder it will be, especially with a brisk wind. As SAspearo said make sure everything is tied on as you will capsize at some point and you wouldnt want to loose any gear, that includes your paddle! Mines rigged with gun clips on both side front and back (can easily take 4 guns) a hatch front back and centre.. front is usually food and water, centre fish etc and back a windproof car keys etc. I also have bungy's and eyes all over the thing to tuck/tie other gear to when paddling etc. I use an anchor to and have a 3lb fold out one with 2m chain and 20m of rope which works a treat. Paddling is a nightmare in a 2 piece 5mm (as i use) wetsuits arnt made for the rotation your arms do when paddling. Temps are usually lower for me (uk) so a wet wetsuit leaves you cold especially with the wind hence the jacket. Usually i take the top half off for a long paddle and wear the jacket. Oh and always paddle in big surf, kayaks surf waves really well and you can catch a ride or if your swimming be dragged, when paddling out hit them head on and dont chicken out or you'll be over the side. Mines been out in 4m waves with dive gear (i ended up surfing the waves not diving though!) Ive also taken it on ten plus mile round trips and even down a couple of wiers when on the river. So yeah get it and have a laugh! Oh one more thing.. again! Dont have poncy show off carbon fibre paddles they dont last ten minutes in the sea especially round rocks. Good luck.
invest in a paddle leash and a bunch of carbiners.

stay loose and hit the waves head on. bend forward and kiss the deck. STAY LOOSE!

practice surfing. lean into the way and low brace. the first guy that trys to teach you to high-brace, promtly beat within an inch of his life and and go back to lowbracing. you shoulders will thank you.

Hmm..... wonder if you could cartwheel that.... bet it would do some sweet splits :cool:

Iam an ex-Durban spearo.....used to use a perception Kayak for diving/spearing off Umdloti. Its really excellent, even took it with when I moved to the UK....I rigged a fish finder to it. Stuck the transducer to bottom from inside with some epoxy and ran it off a sealed lead acid (5 Amp hr) battery ,though a smaller one would have worked.No problems at all despite being dumped by waves going in and out of the surf. The fishing bags are really usefull for putting gear and fish in. You can get them from Tripper Adventures in Durban.

Griff to answer your questions........

I used to take a small fold-up anchor (like the ones for a rubber duck) but hardly ever used it, I think they are more trouble than they are worth as your float line often gets tangled up in it.
I used to tie up to the shark nets, then jump in with a gun + small float in the usual way and hunt the reefs in the immediate area.Alternatively, attach your line to the canoe and drift.

For surf entry the easiest thing is to put your wetsuit + weight belt on before going in.Put all your fins,mask etc ina safe place (I used the fish bag, but you could put them inside the kayak). Despite with the paddling I did not get uncomfortable with a 3mm Picasso suit even in Durbs!!!


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that boat should be great. i usualy paddle mine out to where i want to go, usualy cant get there from land. and anchor it. dive the arear cor a while then pick up and leave. I never paddle with the top of the suite on, it makes it way to hot. usint it as a float should be fine for drifting but the boat might go faster or slower than you. but you will figure out what you want to do with it soon enough.
I get a Cobra Expedition... is fast, really fast, and track like an arrow. I get as well a wing paddle and with the combination I get to any spot and must of the coastal islands around the north island of New Zealand with minimal efforts.

I add a pole with a flag and a light and a portable VHF for safety.

I use too techniques:

-Bungee to the kayak when hunting for large or blue water fish.

-Small anchor on a safe place (never with the wind heading out to the sea and be sure you can not lose the anchor: splicings and chain) for rock fishing.

Is great to be able to have a break, drink or hide the fish from the sharks. Change spot is made on a breeze, and is amazing the range this thinks give you. It doesn't take long to get it back to the top of my car to get to another spot 1h away.

I've been handling 2m waves and 25knt winds with out any problem... but is not for the faint heart! I recommend a basic/safety sea kayaking course and learn a bit about paddle strokes to get the maximum out of you wing paddle. Wing paddles optimize your effort and use the back groups instead of you arms getting much better results: well worth the effort and the extra money.

The only time I've get to the edge is feeding the hatches with two 20kg yellow tails and a 8kg snapper: plus all the gear I find myself singing loud " the yellow submarine" (My kayak is yellow) on 1m waves. Bloody hard to pull too! Since I strap the second big fish on the top in case I need to get rid of it.

Hummmm! a fish finder... sounds like a dam good idea. Does help a lot?

I wouldn't mind to try the one on the picture... looks good.

Get of the beach is always a problem... On a sparo configuration the boat have must of the weight on the top, and if you don't sit on it he will have a tendency to flip over and then hit you when swimming out. If is not another option to get on the water, I normally try to get over the bar paddling: is fun game and a healthy burst of adrenaline.

I normally wear a long sleeves lycra or polyprop (with a plastic cycle jacket if is cold) top when paddling and keep the neoprene long johns. I finish the dress up on the spot; is easier if you place your legs out the side with your float under the knees (on a narrow hull).
My fish-finder worked well. I use a small Hummingbird, basic but tells you where the reefs are and how deep...I connected up once I was through the back line, had it strapped under some shock cord to the middle part of the deck between the legs.

As mentioned the transducer (+battery) was mounted inside the kayak, glued to the bottom.
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