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Jan 23rd, 2013
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kayak not tracking straight #13203278 07/03/19 11:16 AM
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patriot07 Online Content OP
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As many of you know, we just got a fleet of kayaks for the family. Have a pair of perception pescador 12.0 kayaks that work well as long as we stay below 250 lbs (375 lb capacity). Otherwise, they're a bit unstable.

However, this post is about one of the smaller ones. My 70-lb, 9 year-old daughter uses a Pelican Apex 80XE, and it just won't stay straight when she tops paddling and it frustrates her a good bit because when I stop paddling in my pescador, it just keeps on gliding. Do you guys have any idea what could be going on? And when I say "won't stay straight", I'm saying it takes a hard turn right and she'll eventually be facing the other direction.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Last edited by patriot07; 07/03/19 11:16 AM.

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Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: patriot07] #13203297 07/03/19 11:58 AM
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Shorter kayaks tend to not track very well. It's in the design.

Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: patriot07] #13203300 07/03/19 12:02 PM
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Kayak could have a slight warp causing it to turn 180 degrees to the right, but more than likely its just due to the shorter length.

Regarding the Pescador. I always say you should stay around 70% of the stated kayak's max capacity. Partly because there isn't a standardized method in the industry to determine it and because as anglers we tend to put 90% of our weight (person, gear, etc) above the waterline and in the back half of the kayak. This throws the stability out of whack some since the weight isn't evenly distributed.

Last edited by Neumie; 07/03/19 12:06 PM.

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Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: patriot07] #13203309 07/03/19 12:15 PM
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Thanks for the input.

Neumie, I had heard the 70% rule. Seems to be about right.

As for the length, how probable is it that a 9' would be any better? A 10' kayak would be difficult to haul the way I need to be able to transport them, so if a 9' model isn't going to be better, then I'll probably just stick with what we've got.


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Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: patriot07] #13203346 07/03/19 12:49 PM
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This may sound a little silly, but the kayak is rated for 175# and she only weights 70# so the kayak is pretty much floating on the top of the water somewhat like a leaf.
I would add a little weight in the rear tank well and see if it helps.....Won't hurt to try!
Let her haul a small Ice chest with drinks maybe?


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Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: patriot07] #13203362 07/03/19 12:57 PM
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I'd make a DIY skeg/rudder.



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Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: patriot07] #13203394 07/03/19 01:23 PM
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Another DIY skeg method
DIYskeg
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Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: patriot07] #13203500 07/03/19 02:35 PM
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I think Jimbo is on to something, maybe a little bit of weight and teach her to drag the paddle on the left side ever so slightly when she stops. Over time, she will figure out the correct amount of drag and it will become muscle memory.

If this doesn't correct the issue, you will need to install a skeg as Collincounty suggested.

Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: patriot07] #13203552 07/03/19 03:18 PM
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Sitting a little towards the side turning away from would also help.

Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: patriot07] #13203687 07/03/19 05:13 PM
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Man that's stinks. I know she's gotta be frustrated. Some kayaks just don't track well. I think the length has a lot to do with it. You're likely to get similar results with a 9 footer. A skeg/rudder may help some but if it's turning hard I don't think it'll completely solve the problem.


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Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: patriot07] #13203838 07/03/19 07:03 PM
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I'll look into the skeg, but that particular model comes to a pretty pointy edge on the back and I could see something like that being difficult to mount.

I'll give the weight a shot before we move onto anything else. I fully agree that she is floating on the water like a leaf - there is so little of that kayak in the water when she's going that maybe some weight would help.

Appreciate the input! I'll update once we've had another shot at it. Probably won't be on the water again for 2 and a half weeks til we're at tyler state park.


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Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: patriot07] #13208418 07/08/19 11:56 PM
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Have you tried it with a heavier person to help trouble shoot the lack of weight theory . Maybe you could give it a test drive ?

Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: DarrellSimpson] #13215521 07/15/19 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by DarrellSimpson
Have you tried it with a heavier person to help trouble shoot the lack of weight theory . Maybe you could give it a test drive ?

It's rated at 175 and I'm 215...so probably not. Maybe my wife. But it's my daughters kayak and having to haul a weight around to make it track straight kind of stinks...

My daughter ran my wife's perception pescador 12.0 at broken bow a couple months ago with no tracking issues at all, so I tend to think it's a length problem.


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Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: patriot07] #13215542 07/15/19 07:08 PM
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The easiest and cheapest solution may be a slight left side paddle drag when she stops. It won't take much of a drag to correct an 8' yak and it will become a habit over time.

Re: kayak not tracking straight [Re: Mike@972] #13215593 07/15/19 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike@972
The easiest and cheapest solution may be a slight left side paddle drag when she stops. It won't take much of a drag to correct an 8' yak and it will become a habit over time.


Agree thumb

Last edited by Jerry713; 07/15/19 07:50 PM.

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