Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Venture Islay 14 Sit on Top







Over the last week or so, I have been paddling  and working from the Venture Islay 14 Sit on Top, this is the final Prototype with a release date still to be set!

If you haven’t got much time and are just flicking through, let’s summarise at the beginning, this boat is a great touring sit on top, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and I’m ordering some for my tuition fleet!

If you would like more info carry on reading.




Venture is new to the Sit on Top scene but is certainly not new to kayaking.  Venture have been designing, innovating and moulding some of the best-selling touring boats made over the last decade.  
Venture is also the sister company of Pyranha kayaks, a UK brand that has pioneered kayak design. 

Rest assured these guys know what they are doing and you can definitely see that in their Sit on Tops, these are boats designed to perform.



This is just my first impressions and there will be a full review coming because this boat has some tricks up its sleeve. Those who like sailing and fishing watch this space!


Storage – The Islay has a day hatch at the bow of the boat and a large well at the stern of the boat. This will take plenty of kit and allow you to distribute it evenly across the boat ensuring it still paddles well. It could comfortably carry enough kit to camp from this boat.

Built in handles – this is a big plus for me. This Allows for easy handling off the water and much sturdier than rubber or webbing handles. I am tough on kit, dragging them, stacking them and generally using them.  Built in handles are much better for me. Another advantage of these wide built in handles is that they are really easy to locate and grab when turning the boat back upright in case of a capsize.


(Built in handles much easier for carrying)

Comfort and connection – The Islay features adjustable foot pegs (rather than moulded ridges) this allows you to connect to the boat better. Applying pressure on the pedal whilst pulling on the paddle also allows you too transfer power much more efficiently. Firm footrests helps you brace to the boat and keep good posture also. This is especially important when controlling the boat and to handle the boat when the weather gets rough. The final material seat hasn't been confirmed yet but the shape of the boat is well thought out and sculpted and the boat feels comfortable even without the seat.





Performance - this is what matters and the Islay Sit on top doesn’t let you down!  The Islay is 14 foot long and sleek and narrow at the front. This equates to the boat being fast and smooth through the water. However the boat widens up underneath the deep sitting position. This lower centre of gravity and extra width gives great stability. Great secondary stability too, as you can see in the photos.

Manoeuvrability - Now we are talking! This boat has something to offer which is quite rare in Sit On Top kayaks; A skeg, common in all of Ventures touring kayaks they have seen sense and introduced a skeg into their touring Sit on Tops.  The Skeg enhances tracking and is particularly useful in windy conditions but also for general cruising. 

(Built in handles and Drop down Skeg)




However, bring that skeg up and apply edge and this boat can manoeuvre too. Great for rock hopping or taking it down mellow white water (If a canoe can do it, this boat can do it)
I will have a demo as soon as full production is up and this boat will be available in our very popular Guided Trips and Sit on Top Skills and Safety courses.


Finally…..



Gone fishing?!

Venture kayaks have got some great plans to make this boat very easy to upgraded into a fully featured  fishing kayak….watch out for the full review.


 (Happy Instructor)