Kayaks are fast becoming many of Australia’s boating enthusiast’s vessels of choice, simply because of their ease of use, transportability and optional exercising while still enjoying the outdoors.
I recently had the opportunity to take one of Ocean Kayak’s new Prowler Series Torque for a fish. It is a great boat that offers two forms of direct propulsion to its users; paddle power as well as electric power. This boat really appealed to many of the people that I met on the water while testing it, because of its electric motor option as well as its stability.
Ocean Kayak is a renowned leader in paddle sports industry and has been making boats for 35 years, a fact that was quite evident in the build of the test boat. The Torque is a 4.2m kayak that is crafted around the successful Prowler Series of kayaks; the new Torque seamlessly blends all the features that kayak angler’s need on the water.
I transported the Torque on the roof racks of my Toyota dual cab and at 32.2kg without the motor, I was able to load and offload it by myself. The moulded carry handle on the kayak’s sides are spot on at the boats centre of balance so it makes lifting and lowering a lot easier, although I will admit that a slightly lower vehicle would have made the transporting process a bit easier.
The Torque includes a Minn Kota Maximizer trolling motor with infinite variable speed control in both forward and reverse. The Torque’s motor system is engineered for convenience and provides anglers with a true hands-free trolling option. Unlike the competition, the Torque motor has variable speed control, which operates along a spectrum rather than a fixed dial system to help anglers find their perfect trolling speed.
The drive system provides up to 33lb of thrust that is controlled through a drive speed control knob in the cockpit and an extra large rudder that provides superior handling and control. I was quite surprised at just how the Torque got going under the electric power and I actually had to slow it down considerably when having a troll with hardbodies. This was made easy with the dial control and enabled me to travel at the exact speed that I wanted to.
An added feature that really appealed to me was the kill switch on the electric propulsion side. If for example you did end up off your kayak and in the water the kill switch will immediately stop the electric motor exactly the same as that of a conventional motor.
The Minn Kota electric is a drop-in motor that is mounted through the rear tank well directly in front of the rudder. It is easily accessible and can be assembled and disassembled without tools. It is basically a plug and play motor set up. Once I had placed the Torque in the water I simply put the deep cycle battery in the battery holder up front, connected the wires, dropped the motor in and after plugging in the power cable I was ready to go.
The test boat also came with a Humminbird 385CXi GPS sounder combo unit and once on the water it felt just like I was fishing out of a boat that had all the necessary modifications that make fishing a pleasure. Steering is by way of a rear-mounted rudder that is controlled by foot pedals in the cockpit.
The Torque is a 13’ 10” kayak that offers a dry ride and is extremely stable. It has foot pegs for all day comfort and proved to track extremely well while both paddling or under electric power. The Torque included a removable skeg for improved tracking when the motor was not in use.
Other key features included a large bow hatch for easy storage, areas to mount fishing accessories, transducer compatible scupper hole, paddle keeper and a comfortable seat back. The test boat I used had a couple of Cannon rod holders mounted in front of me allowing me to troll with two rods that were visible while fishing or use one and store the other in one of the stand up rod holders that were flush mounted behind me.
The Ocean Kayak Torque has a carrying capacity of 212kg, which was quite ample for my 95kg, and features drain holes to help with fishing in the rough. The boat also features a generous ‘V’ in its bow that will definitely help while negotiating the bit of chop experienced on our busy waterways.
The Torque is available in two colours; sunrise and sand. For more information about the Ocean Kayak™ brand check out the BLA website – www.ocean-kayak.com.au or consult your local dealer regarding these great boats.Reads: 2627