Viking kayaks are well known for bringing affordable and simple to use kayaks to the market and with this in mind, Greg Livingstone and I jumped at the opportunity to get into a Nemo 2plus1, especially as we were going on a road trip to Bundaberg and Rob Howell from Lake Monduran Charters had organised for us to take the Nemo 2plus1 for a spin in the Kolan River while we fished for barra!
The Viking Nemo 2plus1 has seating for 1 or 2 adults or 2 adults plus 1 child, hence the name. It’s roomy comfortable seating for all passengers is a big plus and Greg and I found that with 2 adults on board the craft was simple to use and there was plenty of room.
On pick up we were offered the chance to customise the craft a bit for fishing. This we did by adding a couple of rod holders and taking up the option on 2 delux seats. With great back support and a place to pop the rods in front of the angler, the 2plus1 became a bit of a fishing machine. Simple, stable and everything you needed without everything you didn’t need.
The Nemo 2plus1 also features four hatches and two hatch buckets. These hatches give access to dry storage, however the manufacturer does warn that these hatches should not be considered totally waterproof. Our in-field, very rudimentary test showed that there was no water intrusion, but if you were paddling around in the surf or taking constant spills the story may be different. We didn’t do this because it was simply too cold in the water to go for a swim!
The hatch buckets sit neatly inside the hatches and give you a shallow storage area for things like car keys, wallets and phones. Again, for ultimate safety your valuables should be stored in a dry bag inside these buckets, but we didn’t bother and everything still worked at day’s end.
The Nemo 2plus1 is only 3.9m long and with a hull weight of only 28kg even an old man like me could lift it up on top of my car, which is a Toyota Kluger. Mind you, the whole point in having a multi-person kayak is to have more than one person there to help you move the craft around, but it was good to know I could do it myself if I had to. It was even more fun watching Greg do it by himself as I made the excuse that I had to take photos for the mag. Guess I should have turned the camera on – maybe then he would have believed me.
Other features of interest were the two paddle holders that ran down the side. These were great to keep the paddles out of the way when someone was fishing and Greg’s paddle rarely made it out of the strap at his side as he was the one doing most of the fishing. Directly behind the rear angler are two inset rod holders. These are great for storage of two rods while travelling and are within easy reach and, importantly, out of the way of my paddling stroke. And lastly the webbing across the rear hatch was great for things like bags and larger tackle boxes. Easy to reach for the rear seated angler, this area is large but does get wet, so that needs to be kept in mind.
So overall the 2plus1 was set up very simply with few features to distract from the craft’s primary purpose, to get two anglers on the water at the same time in the one craft.
After rigging up the seats, preparing the paddles in their holders and getting our tackle sorted, we pushed off into the Kolan River with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Just how would a two person kayak handle a rampaging barra in the sticks? What would happen when two overly exciteable blokes both tried to get the best view of a barra beside the yak? And how good was I at swimming?
After a quick paddle to opposite bank, both Greg and I felt safe enough that knew we were not going to go over the side at any moment. The pool we were fishing was about 1km long so we stretched out the arms and both went to work to see how fast we could get to the other end. We were going surprisingly quickly so I stopped paddling to let Greg do a bit more of the work and took a relaxing lean back into the seat. From the front Greg said the yak paddled well and the steering was great. Sitting up back and watching him put the craft through some basic left and right hand turns I’d have to agree. Then it was my turn.
From the back this craft was great to paddle around. Having Greg up front didn’t seem to alter how fast we could go, and it also didn’t stop me from calling him the human drogue! Turning from the rear was simple and when it came time to have a cast, keeping Greg in the right spot for the perfect cast was pretty simple.
About half an hour into this test, Greg did what we came here to do and that was hook a barra. The little fish was hooked in the snags and as it cleared the water for the first time, Greg’s squeals of ‘Paddle back, paddle back!” turned in to fits of laughter as the we cleared the fish from the sticks and let it have its head out in the open. Not a big fish at 74cm, this fish did show the real beauty of this 2-person kayak. The hooked up angler did not have to worry about being dragged into the sticks because the other person on the kayak could keep you out of the sticks. That simple and that brilliant. There was no juggling of rods and paddles to maintain some tiny semblance of order with the craft and with the angry fish. It was brilliant. Greg fought the fish, I kept the boat under control. At 74cm we both thought that barra was a great tester.
As the name implies, the 2plus1 can accommodate three on board; 2 adults and 1 child. In the yak we took away you would need to remove the additional rod holders, but I can see my family and I having a great time paddling around the local waterways in the warmer weather. My daughter was itching to get on the yak, but the cooler weather and rain over the early part of winter has not seen us give it a crack yet, but it will not be far off now.
The child seating area does not have it’s own optional seat, however we tested the rig out in the garage and my daughter was more than happy to lean up against my legs relaxing! It’ll be interesting to see how we go paddling with that lazy attitude from her!
Keep in mind this is a recreational kayak and not a dedicated fishing kayak. The positives are it is super stable as I managed to stand up at the back and have a few casts without fearing a dip in the cool water, you can fish with a mate or take the family out so it has a diversity of uses other craft lack, the 2plus1 is light enough for one person to manage but there will always be two anyway, and set up with the extra rod holders it makes a great fishing craft.
On the down side it’s a kayak so it’s not totally dry. You do get wet from paddle drip so don’t go out expecting a perfectly dry ride. Also, we were advised that the 2plus1 is specifically set up for a minimum of 2 people, so going it alone is not ideal. I like sharing experiences with others so that is fine with me, but some people like doing it themselves. The answer for them is as simple as buying a 1 person yak.
Sitting around the $1000 mark, the Nemo 2plus1 is a fantastic buy in my opinion. It does a lot of things well and will help you have more fun on the water. A 10 year warranty is great peace of mind and the ability to kit the yak out with a few extras is fantastic.
Stable enough to stand, fish with a mate, take the family out and even catch a barra. What more could you ask or want from a yak? As the manufacturer says “This kayak is a must have for families who want to have fun”.
For more information contact Viking Kayaks on 07 5456 2366 or email --e-mail address hidden-- .
Two hatch buckets
Three roomy moulded seats and foot-wells
Optional deluxe seats
Linear polyethylene construction
10 year warranty
Colours: Sunset, Mango, Sky, Purple Haze, Reef, Troppo, Granite, Storm, Camo, Desert
|Price:||$1,095.00 (options extra)|