Native Ultimate 12

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Jim Wallace, May 29, 2008.

  1. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Anyone here in the northwest have the Ultimate 12? I'm thinking of getting one. I'd like to hear from owners of this craft who fly fish out of it. Thanks in advance.


    By the way, I don't want to hear from dyed-in-the-wool wet-butt SOT yakkers who will naturally be prejudiced against anything that is not a SOT. I don't want an SOT, as I don't plan on paddling in the ocean. If I wanted to head out into the Pacific, though, i might consider one. Normally, I won't be letting myself get caught out in anything bigger than 1' chop, as I fish protected estuaries, slow rivers, and small lakes. I have already lurked thru various forums and have read all the arguments why SOT owners like their designs better. Very convincing for their own purposes, but I don't need to hear any more from kayak anglers who don't fish out of one of these. Thanks.
     
  2. skirkpat

    skirkpat New Member

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    Jim,

    There's an old saying "if you want to be wet, cold and uncomfortable, buy a kayak. If you want to be dry, warm and comfortable, buy a canoe".:rolleyes:

    I think the Native Ultimate 12 falls into the dry, warm and comfortable category. I've never fished out of one, but I have paddled one. Took a little bit of getting used to (myself being a long time canoeist), but once I got the hang of it I really liked it. Very stable, easy to stand up in. Lots of room, like a canoe, but a bit lower center of gravity (like a kayak) that gives additional stability. I gave serious thought to buying one, but $$$ got in the way (I should say lack of $$$ got in the way). It's is not a performance boat - not real good speed and not real good maneuverability, but OK on both accounts.

    My only slight concern is that it may not handle choppy water as well as a canoe or kayak without taking on some water. But, if, like you say, you don't plan on being out on the water in choppy conditions, it shouldn't be a problem. I would guess it performs closer to a touring kayak in a river than a river canoe or river kayak. But again, in slow rivers, it shouldn't be a problem.

    I, too, would be interested in hearing from people who own one and have spent a lot of time in one.
     
  3. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Thanks. I'm probably going down to Portland to try one out on Saturday. Only dealer i found in the northwest that have some and where you can do that is Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe.

    My trusty old 13' Sportspal sq. stern paddles like an old dog. I like its stability for standing and casting, though. I'm fixing the hull.

    I won't know if I'm going fast or slow, relatively, as I'm paddling into some backwater side channel or creek mouth on the Elk River Estuary all by my lonesome.
     
  4. wolverine

    wolverine Member

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    Its sort of a hybrid canoe/kayak. I've been looking at them also. Comparing them to the NuCanoe which is a bit more of a kayak/canoe. If you put a value on staying dry, the $$$$ isn't so bad. To be dry on a yak takes either a dry top & waders, or a dry suit that costs more than a lot of yaks. The one thing that I really like about the NuCanoe is that you can put an electric motor on it.
     
  5. Chad Lewis

    Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

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    I don't have the U 12, but I do have the U 14.5. I wanted the option of setting it up for tandem or solo. I did read on a couple forums about guys that bought the 12 and kinda wished for the 14.5 because of space. There's a fantastic forum for Native Watercraft that's run by Lakeline Watersports in Austin, TX. Lots of Ultimate owners talking about fishing out of their boats and how they've set them up. Plus I can highly recommend Lakeline for any accessory you want to buy; great to deal with and good prices to top it off. They even helped me get a couple things for my boat (parts it should have come with) when the dealer I purchased it from couldn't help me. Speaking of Native dealers, I bought mine from Alder Creek. No choice really, they're the nearest dealer to WA state. I won't go into details but I'll never buy anything from them again and recommend everyone save themselves a lot of pain and buy from someplace else. My experience was that bad! I'm not a complainer, but those guys really sent me over the top. The parts they didn't include with the boat and then couldn't be bothered to get for me is just the tip of the iceberg..... :mad: I heard some good things about the shop before I went there to buy the boat, and even Native had good things to say about them and were suprised by their actions. Maybe I just got the only asshat salesman in the store.

    Anyway, onto the boat. I've set mine up with the front and rear skirts, two paddle holders and the anchor trolley. Also two rod holders. I think at least one skirt is important for some dry storage, and the paddle holders and anchor trolley almost essential. I bought the boat with a 230cm length paddle, but ended up buying another paddle that's 240cm. 240 is perfect, and the 230 is good for the bow paddler. From what I've heard a 240 is needed for the Ult. 12 also.

    As for fishing, it's a machine. I replaced a pontoon with the boat and was looking for two things- be able to see where I'm going (paddle instead of row) and be able to stand up and fish. I got both in spades and a lot more. Standing is ridiculously easy. If you fall while standing it's because you did something stupid, not because you were simply fishing. I even stand and paddle all the time when I'm looking for fish or just checking stuff out. I get some curious looks and a few comments when I'm cruising around a lake or fishing while standing. Guess it looks dicier than it really is. It's also WAY faster than a pontoon. Looks are mostly jealous when I'm shooting across the lake at 4 mph into a headwind and not even working hard. According to my GPS I push it around at 3.5 to 4 mph most of the time, and that's a pretty comfortable pace. I no longer look at the far corners of a lake from a launch site and say "I just don't feel like going way over there today" :rofl: I think it handles some chop on the water really well. I took the boat to Baker Lake for an overnight trip and ran into a strong headwind that was really kicking up the lake. Constant 6-8 in. waves with a few over a foot thrown in for good measure. Nothing came over the bow and I didn't feel the waves were slowing me down, just the headwind. The tunnel hull seems to handle waves well. I've also done a couple trips in the Sound, between Whidbey Island and the mainland, and it's been no problem.

    I could go on about the boat, but I think you've got the idea. I researched for several months before buying and think it's the best of its kind out there and recommend one for everybody :rofl: A couple more things to think about... If you don't know already, learning how to paddle correctly (efficiently) will let you enjoy the boat a lot more. And buy the lightest paddle you can afford. If you're using the boat to just fish it's not as important, but if you plan on any exploring or trips then the light paddle is worth every penny. I made the mistake of demo'ing a carbon fiber paddle and it was amazing how much of a difference it was to a fiberglass paddle. Money well spent.

    I live in Oak Harbor, so I fish Pass/Cranberry/Lone lakes a lot. Anyone let me know if you'd like to check out the boat and I'll try to meet up with you at one of the lakes. This weekend it's going to Cushman though! As far as I know I have the only one in WA state. There's a kayak shop in Anacortes that's working on becoming a dealer, but it hasn't happened yet. Great guy though, and has a lot of kayak stuff in his shop worth checking out.
     
  6. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Wow! thanks Chad for the lengthy and informative post. I'll have to check out that Lakeline forum.
    Bummer to hear negatory things about a store I was going to check out. I'll be on my guard and get everything in writing! No deal without all the right stuff!:cool:
    I'll have to look at the14.5, but I'm looking for something light and easy to car top.
     
  7. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Drove to Alder Creek on Hayden Island and sprung for the Native 12 in Olive. Bought a lightweight 240 cm 2-piece Carbon shaft, glass blade (nice amber color blades) paddle made by Werner in Sultan WA. It was the only 240 cm paddle under $300 in the store!!! When you're paddling, by the end of the day its important to have a nice lightweight paddle.
    Got the spray skirts, but they were fresh out of anchor trollies and just ordered some more. I got an '07 boat at a sale price, and all the accessories for 15% off, and no stinkin WA sales tax. The sales person was good enough and rally did his best. I got the last skirts in the store for a Native 12, and like I said, they were out of anchor trollies. They weren't stocked up on all the accessories for this boat, but I got the essentials. $60 worth of gas r.t. and a Subway sandwich and a Rockstar....freakin hot in Portland...glad to get back to the cool, cloudy coast!

    Going "exploring" in it tomorrow.:D
     
  8. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    They are coming out with a pedal-powered prop drive for some '08 models. Different than the Hobie flapping wings. This new contraption has a gearbox/transmission duhicky and hangs over the side near the bow like a bow-mount trolling motor, except you pedal. The new boats have a slight dent in the hull to accommodate the prop, and this thing won't fit on the '07 boats. Whew! :rolleyes:I'm safe!
     
  9. Uncle Albert

    Uncle Albert New Member

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    Hope this will be of some interest to those considering a Native U12:

    I've had a U12 for a couple of months now, and can highly recommend it--at least for inland lakes-- from smooth water to up to 3 foot wakes from big boats. This is in the main channels on busy Tennessee freshwater lakes. Will try a river fishing trip next week.

    The occasional big waves (wind chop mixed with big boat wakes from all directions) will wash over the bow no matter what I do, so I'm ordering a bow skirt this week to see if I can cut down on the amount of water I'm taking in (yep, I keep an air horn handy in my PFD pocket to keep the power beasts away; also fly a hi-vis orange flag on 4 ft mast).

    I can ignore smaller chop/wakes--either angled into bow or broadside or from stern. So, it's a dry ride, except for those big ones. (I don't know about surf. I'd want all the skirts at a minimum...)

    For me, boat speed is good--comparable to the Tarpon120 that I was renting previously. Tracking is fine with the skeg down. Turning is great with the skeg up. I'm 61 years old, and getting all over the lakes with no problem.

    Have stood up a few times in the boat, but not good at it yet. Gotta work on that.

    I put in a Humminbird 525 (transducer in hull), 3 rodholders, anchor trolley, a plastic milk crate in stern with a simple PVC support frame so it sits level on the sloping hull--and made the U12 into an angler version. Great bass setup, but am planning to try fly fishing soon.
     
  10. Uncle Albert

    Uncle Albert New Member

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    Native Ultimate 12--forgot one thing

    Oh---forgot to add:

    Forget the accessories that fit on the rail. It's a great idea, but a really poor design. The paddle and cup holders will all fall off and sink at the slightest touch of a moving paddle or just about anything that touches them. I'm hoping the bow skirt will work well on the rail...
     
  11. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Uncle Albert, I have been using mine all over in protected waters, and I kind of like it. This would be about as minimal a craft as i would want to use, other than maybe an ultra-light pack-in raft for a hike-in lake, or a river-worthy pontoon. Not as easy to fish from as a pram, skiff, or driftboat, but can't be beat for a car-topper.

    I would classify it as a "low profile fishing canoe." It is more of a canoe than a kayak, although with the double bladed paddle, and the spray shields on, it looks like a ragtop SIK style yak.

    Definitely get both of the front spray shields. With only the smaller front bow skirt on, you will still take in water if the conditions are getting marginal. Not as much with both of them installed. I have headed into 15+ knot gusts with the tide running out counter to the wind creating river waves over 1 foot, and I definitely was glad to have both spray shields on, as I plowed into a couple of the bigger waves, paddling like crazy.

    I agree with your assessment of the track system, as far as the "paddle holder" is concerned. That little thing is too short to have any real grip in the track, but I use mine to run my anchor trolly system through, to make it easier to grab the lines. I shove my paddle into the webbing on top of the foreward bow skirt, which I just leave on all the time.
    I keep a dry bag with emergency gear stashed up under there. Stays dry.

    The track system works great with the skirts. I just "pop' in one end of the skirt "runner" on one side, and squeeze it in, working my way down the track. Then do the other side. This is much better than trying to slide them in.

    I haven't gotten any rod holders for trolling, yet, as I just lay my flyrod down between my legs with it sticking out behind me. I'll have to get one for trolling spinners for tidewater Kings, though, as they can hit with the ferocity of a speeding bus.

    The pop-down skeg works great when running into the wind, or at an angle to it...helps keep you tracking well. I pull it up when heading downstream in a river, for maneuverability. It is really great for keeping the Ultimate 12 pointed upstream in a river. You can stop paddling, ship your paddle, grab your flyrod, strip out line and cast before you start slowly drifting backward. Time it just right and you can drift with your flyline and get a drag-free drift! I have done this! With the skeg down, you stay pointed into the current.

    I have practiced standing and casting, and also paddling while standing. You need to have the seat slid all the way back in its tracks, so your feet will be nearer the center of the boat (standing in the tunnels, of course). Play around with this in the shallows until you get used to it. I am comfortable standing in calm water...up in the tidal creeks, small lakes, etc, as long as there aren't waves or chop to upset my balance. I paddled while standing a couple hundred yards upstream in some slow moving flat water, just to get the feel of it, and my 240cm paddle is too short...had to develop a "reach down stroke" for this, which is kind of awkward, but doable. Lots of grip-shifting.

    And now, a related comment for all kayak fishers:

    Here in the pacific Northwest, you must dress for the water temp, NOT the air temp. If I wanted to "kayak fish" in the open ocean or open strait, I would get a good SOT yak, and wear a full wetsuit. The temps range from mid 40's to upper 50"s, with some inland bays on the Sound and Canal getting into the 60's in the summer.
    At a very minimum, you would want a good 3mm farmer john and spray jacket. You would not want to be in the ocean wearing waders and a belt plus spray jacket. That simply is "wrong already," as you can't pull yourself back onto a SOT or any other boat very easily if your waders are full of water. A wetsuit allows any water taken in (which won't be much, as they are form-fitting) to run out your ankle cuffs, even though they feel tight. A wetsuit should be mandatory for any open water saltwater excursions on SOTs here in the Northwest. Its what I call big water. Much different than protected waters.
    Hell, in protected waters, I'd rather (and do) wear rainpants over shorts (over longjohns on cold days) and feel safer than if I were wearing waders. For a couple of spots where I am paddling to so that i can wade, I'll sometimes wear my breathables. But if I don't plan on wading, just fishing from my boat, i don't like wearing waders. Breathable waders are too expensive to use them when they are not needed...why subject them to extra wear and tear? I might bring them along in a duffle, in case i need to wade, if the water is cold.

    You could get a drysuit, but they cost way too much, and if you really work out, you will sweat in one and be wet, anyway. Always dress for the water temp, not the air temp. If the air were 80+ F, and the water only 59 F, I would probably be in a 3mm full-length farmer john if going out into big water. But that's just me. I'm cold blooded, and surfed the WA coast for over 22 years, all winter, every winter, and wore a 5/4mm full suit with attached hood, gloves, and 5mm booties, with a "thermal rasher" underneath, and sometimes that wasn't enough for more than 1 hour of surfing and paddling, before hypothermia drove me in.

    Get some rain gear to wear as a windbreaker over the top of your wetsuit, as a wet wetsuit chills by evaporation in the wind.

    One more item. These boats aren't known for speed, but they paddle OK. I paddled my Ultimate 12 in the 13th annual Elk River Challenge last Saturday. I had paddled all day the day before, hunting for searun cutts, and was feeling a litttle burnt out already, so I entered the "mini" race, only 2 miles. The main race was 7 miles, and there were some fast looking boats entered.
    They put me in the same division with the "poke boats" which are 9 or 10 feet long, as there were only two of 'em entered, and nobody else with a boat similar to mine. Poor guys, I'll bet they though they had 1st and 2nd sewn up until I arrived late and became the "dark horse" spoiler.:clown: Wasn't at all fair...my hull is faster, and I had a lighter, better paddle. (but I was older). I paddled for all I was worth, and did the shorter 2-mile course in 42 minutes (just under 3 mph). The guys in the poke boats (father and teenage son) really paddle hard, and might have smoked me had we been in similar boats. They were good sports about it, too.
     
  12. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    Wow - I've never heard that. As a matter of fact, I can wear light weight Capilene in my boat, on the coldest day, be done with paddling, pop the skirt and be bone dry, except for maybe wet from sweat.
     
  13. Tom Bowden

    Tom Bowden Active Member

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    Jim's advice on dressing for the water is good. Of course you want to avoid capsizing, but sooner or later you will, so plan on it every time you go out.

    ALWAYS WEAR A PFD. Take your kayak out on a local lake in the summer and PRACTICE capsizing and climbing back in. Tie down everything that you aren't willing to lose.


    Tom
     
  14. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Martyg, What you wear might depend on what kind of water you are heading out into. On warm days in protected, warmer waters, I'll wear either a capilene top, or a silk top under a lightweight fleece top, and shorts. (silk is great in warmer weather...feels lighter than capilene).
    Cooler weather, I'll wear the capilene longjohns under the shorts, and wear rainpants over the top of those, to keep errant splashes from soaking my lap. I need to get some fast-drying nylon shorts or new nylon trunks. I've been wearing some cotton hiking shorts...the only cotton I've been wearing on the water. Gotta lose the cotton, as its heavy and worthless when wet.

    I haven't capsized yet, and don't plan on having any accidents...but the reason they are called accidents is that they are not planned for. I'll admit that standing in a 12' canoe or kayak is a bit risky. I just dug out my old 4/3 full length surfing wetsuit and washed it out good. Its still in good shape, as it was nearly new when I quit surfing. I needed to get it ready for surf fishing. It still fits. I don't like wearing waders in the surf, either. Being a white guy, I can't jump high enough to keep the top of my waders above the crests of the sneaker waves. This way, I can just stand there like Brad Pitt with my head underwater.:clown:

    I might install some old vinyl flotation bags I have under the skirts on my U-12 and play with it in some very small surf. Its not a surfing hull, though, but I want to see how it handles waves...paddling out from a beach and doing beach landings in the surf. I need to practice capsizing and crawling back in. Wetsuit.

    I was thinking of wearing the wetsuit in my Native 12 when it starts getting cold again, or if I head out into the more open waters of the Canal or Strait, or even fish along the Jetty at the Harbor entrance. The tidal creeks and estuary backwaters are pretty warm right now. I've been wet wading.
     
  15. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    Its a different game in a decked kayak. As long as you don't come out of your boat you can wear surf trucks in winter.

    If you have chest waders - particularly if they are breathable - consider getting a dry top. You will then be wearing a two piece dry suit - much better than stinky neoprene.