The story about how we came to purchase this kayak still makes us chuckle, though perhaps Stella a bit more than myself. It was the summer of 2015, we purchased our first RV and parked it on a permanent camping site at Egg Harbor Campground in Door County, WI. Occasionally, we would rent a kayak from one of the beaches in Door County, and thus began the discussion of possibly purchasing one.
We both love being on the water, being able to explore things by water and the exercise involved with kayaking. I was 100% gung-ho, but Stella was hung up on all of the costs associated with it. We went to look at one, and I said, “yes, let’s do it!” Stella, however, said, “no, let’s wait.” Well, two weeks had passed and Stella got sick of my non-stop pouting, so she finally relented. We were both so glad that we finally took the plunge!
The next hurtle was deciding if we should get a “sit – on” or “sit – in.” It took a bit of conversation but sales associate correctly convinced Stella that the “sit in” was actually more stable than it’s counterpart. We determined that we would be paddling on fairly long adventures, so we needed something with decent storage and would be comfortable. However, we also knew that we would not be paddling on vast open waters (i.e. the ocean), so we were able to immediately rule out a sea kayak. We easily decided upon the Perception Cove 14.5 Tandem Kayak. Since our purchase, we have paddled hundreds of miles, and named our kayak, the “Big Mango.”
Stability: The Cove 14.5 Tandem is a recreational class sit – in kayak that offers superior stability. Whether you are paddling along a lazy river or out on open water, you can feel confident that you will you remain upright and dry. On several occasions we have found ourselves in precarious conditions including a wash tub scenario in 3ft to 4ft waves while kayaking in Lake Michigan. The kayak kept us afloat, but not without a great deal of paddling and maneuvering effort.
Tracking: The Perception Cove 14.5 Tandem does not include a rudder system; however, the kayak tracks very well in a variety of conditions. The benefit of a rudder system is to maintain the course when the wind begins to blow. With that said, you will find yourself needing to correct your course as you paddle across the water on the days when the winds are blowing. This is simple to do with practice and the correct technique.
Adjustable Seating: Perception has included a pair of well designed ergonomic seats providing two points of adjustments supporting your lower back and upright position. The seats are padded; however, we add an additional cushion on the bottom of the seat. The forward seat can be moved to the mid point of the kayak to allow for a solo paddle if one were to choose such an adventure. Additionally, there are adjustable foot rests. Whether one is paddling from the front seat or the back seat, there is ample leg room for both. And, there is room for a smaller dog to sit/lie on the floor of the kayak, in between the front and back seats.
Storage: There is a rear dry storage compartment at the back of the kayak, which provides plenty of room for a few packs or small items. And depending upon how tall the front passenger is, there may also be room under the front of the kayak for a seal dry pack as well. Furthermore, there are bungee cords strapped across the front of the kayak, which can hold additional gear.
Overall Design: The length and width of this model accommodates our needs perfectly. The material of the kayak is extremely durable; however, it has incurred some shallow scratches from rocks that we’ve encountered. There are very slight indentations underneath the kayak from the rack that we use on the Tahoe to transport it. Those indentations are insignificant and have not/will not impact our kayaking experience in the “Big Mango”. This year, we purchased Suspenz Universal Boat Stands for the kayak when not in use at our campsite, instead of leaning it on it’s side.
Overall: Great Purchase
Price paid: $789
Place purchased: Outdoor Outlet (Appleton, WI – Store Closed)
Link to Perception website: Perception Kayaks
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