I’m currently looking to buy my second kayak after my first one got damaged and I have been renting or borrowing from friends instead of just getting one of my own. I happened to get the opportunity to take the Necky Vector 14 kayak out on the water for a test ride a couple of Sundays ago and thought I would share my experience of it here.
First up, I tried it out on an inland reservoir and, although it is supposed to be summer, the water was pretty choppy. There was a fairly strong wind blowing, but I thought this would be ideal to test the Vector under more unforgiving conditions. Here is what I found.
This Necky kayak has a polymer hull making it very sturdy, but still light enough for easy maneuverability in and out of the water, especially when compared to other sea kayaks. The build quality is good and it has a nice finish to it. It has excellent hull rigidity and extra hull length with a nicely rounded top shape which was pretty good at shedding water. There are two main storage compartments at the bow and the stern which have a volume of around 160 litres in total.
These hatches are watertight and feature a cross-buckle access system which prevent the bulkhead being swamped, but make it a bit trickier to open quickly. That said, I value security over speed of access every time when it comes to storage.
Comfort & Seat Placement
The first thing I noticed when sitting on the this kayak was how comfortable the seat was. It has a nice foam base with a fairly high back which gave excellent support and I imagine would be a real boon for longer all day touring trips. The seat position is fairly low which can lead to you getting a bit wet, but this is counteracted by the feeling of control you get from the low centre of gravity when on the water, which is especially useful for taller people. In this respect it felt more like a sit-in than a sit on top. It has fully adjustable foot pedals in the cockpit which slide to suit your height or leg length. There is plenty of space in the cock-pit which is especially handy if you have a larger frame.
Handling & Performance
On to the most important aspect; how does this Sit on Top kayak handle the waters compared to others? First of all, it feels very quick across the water. I was impressed by the paddling effort required to get this kayak going (I am very skilled but you can always learn a few tips from the manufacturer). Even with little effort it felt quick although I did feel that tracking was interrupted a tiny bit by longer stroke lengths.
This may just have been caused by me getting carried away though! When you stop paddling it has excellent drift which I feel is lacking in many of the other sit-ons I have tried. As mentioned previously, the low centre of gravity provides great stability and the secondary stability makes it easy to tilt, turn and edge. The extra hull length allows for great tracking. I found it was very easy to keep it on the straight and narrow even on a blustery day.
In addition to this there is an optional foot rudder should you feel the need for one.
I had great fun trying out the Necky Vector 14. On a fairly windy day it tracked well and provided very good drift. Hull length is good with plenty of storage and space for larger kayakers. Stability is very good for a sit-on which adds to the feeling of control. It is a well build and good looking touring sea kayak, one which I would like to try again.