Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
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- Great for lakes and rivers and to get to those excluded fishing spots
- Lightweight, easy to carry
- Tracks and paddles with ease while offering maximum stability
- P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier)
- Two flush mount and one swivel fishing rod holders
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Great for lakes and rivers. Lightweight, easy to carry. Tracks and paddles with ease while offering maximum stability. Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High Density Polyethylene. Two flush mount rod holders. One swivel rod holder. Large open cockpit. Adjustable padded seat. Storage compartment. Shock cord deck rigging. Adjustable foot braces.Water bottle holder. Protective thigh pads..
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I did a lot of research before purchasing this kayak.
What became apparent early on, is that you must evaluate your own personnel needs and usage before you decide which yak is best for you. There are many styles/brands to choose from & most differences seem subtle, but can make a big difference once you start using the boat.
For me: Kayak weight was a top priority. Because I paddle alone most of the time, loading & portaging to off the beaten path creeks and rivers is a big part of it, I drew the line at 50 lbs.
But I also wanted a 12ft. Boat for improved tracking and extra weight carrying & cargo space.
I wanted a "sit on top" for ease of access and better for warm weather use in relatively flat water.
I looked for boats that had high ratings on seat comfort and the journey answered.
The paddle that came with it(as a promo) is fine for my use as I just need a durable big dip paddle.
I like the removable waterproof hold in the stern. It is fairly large & it's convenient to just remove the whole unit for packing and transport.
I'm 6'1" @ 190lbs. Legroom is good, with the adjustable foot pegs all the way forward.
I have found that getting in and out is best done with a feet wet approach. Meaning I prefer to pull up on the bank, straddle, then sit/rise. Rather than enter/exit from a dock. Once your in, you sit low enough that the yak feels very stable.. But with only a 29" width, getting in and out is less so.
However, the narrower width allows for great tracking, maneuverability and reduced the overall weight. Overall, for me, the compromise in stability is worth it. The Journey is durable. I throw it in the back of the truck, have been through brushy creeks, rocky bottoms, and have drug it hundreds of yds down gravelly paths, with nothing to show more than expected scratches.
I like the looks of this yak, the high prow does a good job with light chop, but doesn't seem to catch wind.
The rod holders are adequate, though I did replace the Scotty with a better model.
I keep a small waterproof tackle box forward, which is fine for me, as I am not a real serious fisherman.(no fish finder , trolling motor, anchor trolley, etc.)
Drawbacks of the journey:
I think the biggest drawback is no access between the hulls.
Therefore it makes it more difficult to modify(you can't just reach your hand inside and tighten a fastener. You have to use a Molly or a bolt anchor, etc.)
Also you don't have access to all that storage space. There is a small waterproof hold forward, but it's only about the size of a cup holder.
No scuppers: this wasn't that big a deal for me as I don't use this yak on the coast, where a self bailer is more important going thru the surf . But it does mean a wetter seat.(I think most sit on tops get you wet, mainly from paddle drip). I use a two inch waterproof pad to sit on, (& waterproof pants in cool weather) & carry a big sponge.
No side handles: so I rigged a sling & take the weight on my shoulders, though looping the sling around the fore/aft handles is another step, (I use wide furniture moving web straps) I do think the sling worthwhile as it is a lot easier to carry.
All in all this is great kayak, for me.
I'm a heavy guy of average height, and know I wanted something with a higher weight rating to carry me and a bunch of gear. At 240 lbs, it was light on the water, and took little input to maneuver. I had rented, borrowed, and researched before the purchase, & it paid off. I love it.
Having only taken it on a 2-hour maiden voyage, I have no regrets yet. Things you should know:
* Mine came with scupper holes, only up by the legs, with a drain lip to keep it there.
* This thing is big, without much to grab in the middle. I use the lip, but found a remnant of nylon strapping made a great shoulder strap. A loop on each end fits around the bow/stern handles, and functions as an anchor when I'm near shore.
* Get a good paddle and lanyard (or make one)
* The rear storage is quite a twist to reach, and the bow compartment is way beyond your toes.
* The 10' version of this is also an excellent boat