Posted Monday, October, 25, 2010 by Vincent S. Rinando Jr.
At first glance you can tell, this isn't your Dad's sit on top. The new Vector 13 from Necky Kayaks blends performance, stability, and style into a stable sit-on-top platform that tours and performs like a sit inside kayak.
From the front and top the new Vector is sleek and sharp, but retains volume and wave punching ability. You will also notice the rounded style of the top deck of the bow. Rather than the stock flat top on top of a "v" shaped bottom. The new Vector creates a rounder shaped top and retains little water keeping your bow dry. The front grab handle has a molded area that accommodates your hand while carrying the kayak. Personally I prefer a hard plastic grab handle built into the kayak. Kayak fisherman live by Murphy's Law, "If you can hang a hook in it, You will".
The Vector 13 maintains a sharp keel and makes constant contact even in rough water. I took the Vector out this past weekend in a moderate 15mph wind and side chop to two feet. I was impressed at how dry the paddle was back to the truck. Even with the strong side chop, I didn't take any waves over the bow or side rail. The Vector maintains contact with the water and doesn't create hull slap under a strong paddle and moderate chop.
The bottom of the Vector is as impressive as the top. The Vector has a well defined keel, The bottom molding has a slight edge that creates additional volume and stability, as well as, help channel the water along the keep for straight tracking. The bottom of the kayak has a removable rubber keel guard that prevents damage to the kayak's keel while dragging. The rudder lay-up has a receiver that catches the rudder eliminating loud noises when the rudder is retracted. A drain plug is located just to the right of the rudder assembly on top. I found the rudder easy to deploy and retract and made a very maneuverable kayak very nimble.
The front hatch is ample in size, and uses a Cross Lock buckle for easy one handed opening. What I really liked about this hatch was the lid. You can really "Feel the Seal" when you push on this hatch. The combination of the Cross Lock buckle and tight seal on the lid, this hatch stayed dry through rough waves and pressurized car wash blasts.
The deck layout consists of a mesh bag, device holder, and water bottle or drink holder. The mesh bag is held in place with molded in nuts and the machine bolts seat into areas in the mold. The device holder is large enough to accommodate a hand held GPS or mobile phone case.
The foot wells are flat but have molding towards the cockpit which aids in drainage and footing while standing. With the scupper plugs out the footwells remained dry and removed any standing water once you started paddling. The drain was also quiet, no gurgling around the drain hole.
The seat is built in and the seat pad is recessed to maintain a low center of gravity. I found the seat cushion to be ample, comfortable and remained dry. There are two scupper plugs located below the seat, and with the scupper plugs in, the seat area remained very dry. The seat back is adjustable, padded and very comfortable. Side straps allow for adjustment and provide additional support/ The cockpit in the Vector 13 seems to sit a bit closer to the bow than most 13 foot kayaks. It makes reaching the bow hatch, or maneuvering a rod tip around the bow to avoid a hard charging redfish a breeze.
The tankwell is large, but maintains a low profile. The adjustable nylon cover provides secure storage and adds to the stylish appeal of the Vector 13. The tankwell has two scupper plugs for drainage and the floor is molded designed to channel the water towards the scupper holes. The ridges also elevation to keep gear dry when the plugs aren't in and traction to keep gear from sliding around. There is also a small hatch located in the rear of the tankwell that allows access to the rear of the hull's interior. This is very important if you ever need to make a repair on the keel or rudder assembly, access to this area of the interior of the kayak will make those type of jobs easier. This hatch also provides access to additional storage in the rear of the hull. There is also a molded carry handle located to the rear of the tankwell. All of the hardware used on the Vector 13 is first rate, brass and stainless. Stainless bars replace nylon pad eyes, again low profile, and flat. This prevents snags, and pad eyes breaking when carrying them upside down, stacking or storing them.
The new Vector 13 is quick and agile like a sit inside kayak, but is stable and tracks like a sit on top. This is one sexy kayak. I had no problem standing and fishing from this platform. Nor did I have any problem keeping up with anglers in Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 and 15s on it's maiden voyage. I found the Vector 13 to have great glide, good tracking, and optimal top speed with little effort to maintain that speed.