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Review | 2014 Fatyak Mahee Kayak

Launching

Weighing in at 30kgs the Mahee is by no means light for two people to carry (and one would certainly struggle due to its bulk) but it remains lighter than many of the other tandem kayaks on the market.

Whilst the moulded in carry handle at the back is excellent, the front is a little awkward to fit your hand through. We're planning to adapt that by fitting a looped carry strap to the front position, so it's an easy fix.

For two people, there is also the option of walking side-by-side and using the centre handles or placing the Mahee on a kayak trolley to transport from vehicle to shore.

The Mahee looks resplendent in bright orange with it's black fittings and accessories. On the beach, one passer-by commented on how good it looked and we discussed the merits of sit-on-top kayaks and the excellent build and competitive price of the Fatyak.

To the rear we fitted one of the basic seatbacks that Fatyak provided (note these have brass fittings which is excellent to see and a small storage pouch) and sat in this position, my colleague used one of the Fatyak two-piece paddles (manufactured by Ruk) that we received as part of our package. Up front I elected for my own sports seat back and paddle.

We immediately noticed how comfortable the two seating positions are and even with the basic seatback, they provide excellent lumber support, are spacious and offer very good leg positioning.

Paddling Out

Instantly the Mahee felt stable as we got underway, paddling down the North Devon coast from Hele Bay in Ilfracombe towards the coastal village of Lee.

It wasn't the calmest of days and there was a reasonable swell. The Mahee remained consistent as we traversed some choppier water around one of the headlands and it was noted how it installed us with confidence in its ability, despite this early stage of our trip.

With the spring tide pushing against us progress was a little slow and whilst the tide tried steering in one direction, it was easy to rectify natures persistence in taking charge; proving that the Mahee is responsive, agile and manoeuvrable.

We landed on a sandy beach and took a few minutes to further discuss our initial impressions. One thing which was evident was that we both felt extremely relaxed after our paddle. We've noted that with other sit-on-tops we would sometimes experience numb legs on arrival at our first stop-off-point. This simply wasn't the case today.

The Importance of Good Design

We had already commented on how the Mahee was doing a very good job of keeping us completely dry out at sea. With our experience of other brands and due to the nature of their designs, you usually find yourself sitting in a little water when you paddle. We're not sure whether this could be a factor in the numb-leg syndrome (which is well documented for many kayakers and canoeists) or whether it was down to the well-engineered seating and leg position; either way, something has rectified this issue which is a major plus point for Fatyak.

Certainly with the Mahee, the design has been extremely well thought out: with channels directing any water ingress back down to the scupper holes and the spacious, raised and staggered foot braces allowing our legs to stretch out; by keeping our feet a little higher we remained dry, despite having no scupper plugs fitted.

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