Demoing a KC Kayaks K12 is a lot like test driving a mini van, it's not about speed, but rather an investigation of load carrying capacity, stability and overall comfort. I got my hands on a demo K12 recently and decided to try it out. It surprised me in the speed department and shocked me with it's stability. But first.....
Where are the side handles? Here at Appomattox River Company we do not use fork lifts. When 150+ kayaks and canoes roll in on a truck, we roll up our sleeves and carry them into one of our two warehouses. Some boats get toted 60+ yards in the process. We like good side handles, because 90% of the time, one man carries one boat, and side handles help.
So, loading and unloading the KC K12 kayak from my roof rack was awkward, though at only 60lbs. it is quite light. Once in the water, this thing is a load humping machine with a carrying capacity of 450lbs. This is by far the most stable platform I have experienced. Standing up and casting was very easy. The tunnel hull is pretty amazing. And while it is not fast, I never felt like I was going to flip while walking bow to stern.
The K12 kayak hails from Louisiana and is obviously designed to crush in the flats. We have lakes and rivers in Central Va. So, Monday morning I took the KC out to Sandy River Reservoir. The water was a little choppy at 6am and I experienced significant hull slap, but the kayak paddled better than I expected and moved pretty efficiently. The open bow and stern give ample room to carry everything you would desire on the water.
The kayak is thermoformed and holds a shine that belies it's toughness. It comes standard with track systems, flush mounts and a motor mount. Mounting an electric motor would be a cinch. The seat is a bit weak. It is just a hard plastic, and not very comfortable, but it connects to the track and can be moved fore or aft. It also can be flipped into a high position, allowing for excellent sight casting.
My brother-in-law and I fished the family lake one evening. I caught three largemouth out of the KC K12 and loved the high walls and stability of the kayak when wrestling feisty fish. Your not going to lose anything overboard. My brother-in-law paddled a Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11, but he became very interested in taking his son out in the KC. He was impressed with the stability just watching me on the water. I left it at the lake for him to use the next day.
He was psyched, loudly exclaiming, " We caught two cwappie and two bass!!"
I believe the above picture fully encapsulates what makes the KC Kayak K12 such a good kayak fishing option. Look how comfortable my 4 yr. old nephew looks as he rides in style. This thing is built for easy fishability and superior stability. The seat is rough, but it comes with pre-drilled holes for attaching more elaborate seat options like the GCI Seatbacker, which would be a perfect solution to the hard plastic seat. The lack of side handles is a bummer, but the boat is light enough to manage if you have to car top it. The KC Kayak K12 is a good all around fishing vessel and worth some consideration if you favor standing and casting. Fly fisherman should really take a look at this supremely stable rig. It comes with a dry storage hatch, scupper plugs and is ready for customization along the track system. I ultimately forgave the lack of side handles the moment I stood up for the first time. Solid.