Being a keen freshwater angler I jumped at the chance to try out the Navigator 13’6” Pelican canoe. Being the littlest brother in the massive Pelican range, the Navigator had a big reputation to hold up.
The Navigator comes in red or red so the choice is simple. Its hull is made from the well known, tried and tested Ram X, which is exclusive to the Pelican range.
What sets this canoe out from the rest is its size. The Navigator is 13’6” (411cm) and weighs a mere 26kg, and has a capacity weight of 295kg, so two anglers and some fishing gear is not out of the question. Due to its size and weight this would also be suitable for the solo angler.
Having spent some time in canoes it had been drummed into me that you should never touch a canoe under 15’ as they are unstable. I was told you would spend more time in the water than above it, so testing out a 13’6” canoe intrigued me to find out if this theory was fact or fiction.
I decided I would not venture too far from home and, being the middle of winter, I packed some spare clothes in the event of capsizing. My son, Hayden, was ordered to come along and he was not overly keen. We grabbed our bass outfits, some bass lures and plastics and headed to the upper reaches of the Logan River.
The first thing that impressed me about the Navigator was the ease of transport. I found it easy to load and unload off the Patrol by myself. This feature alone would make the Navigator the perfect option to chase jacks in summer without the hassle of needing another angler to get the kayak in the water and back onto the roof racks.
We arrived at our launching spot and the water was as brown as the Milo my wife had made us before we set off for that morning, but we where testing the canoe not fishing right?
We loaded the rig up with what I would normally take on a fishing trip: a couple of rods, some drinks, tackle box, a camera case and an Environet. It took just a couple of hundred meters for me to be impressed with the Navigator’s manoeuvrability and stability. Paddling was easy and it tracked well with minimal paddling in most cases. Hayden did not have to paddle; he just kept fishing hoping that a bass would take a surface lure in the muddy water.
Hayden decided that he wanted to face me, so he turned around without much thought to the craft’s stability and to my amazement we were still dry.
Being made out of Ram X (polyethylene) the Navigator is very quiet in the water and has great impact resistance, so when dragged along rocks or logs the hull will receive some minor cosmetic scratches but this will not affect the performance of the canoe and it would be highly unlikely to ever fully pierce through the hull.
The Navigator turns on a dime and is very easy to paddle against current, but remember this is not as stable as its bigger brothers (the Excursion 166, 146, Dare Devil, Colorado and the Touring), but it’s not far behind.
Fishing is quite easy from the Navigator, but if you are a first-time canoe fisher it may take some getting used to. You have to sit on an angle and be careful not to move your weight around too much as you cast and when you land a fish. I think it’s easy as the fish is right beside you so most of the time you can let the fish go without having to take it out of the water.
Pelican suggests, “this canoe is for experienced paddlers”, but I am sure that with a little care on the water this would be a great option for any fisher in fresh - or saltwater applications.
The canoe consists of two moulded seats with a drink and rod holder in each seat. There is a centre thwart bar and sturdy aluminium gunwales with protective plastic sleeves.
To the bow and stern there are two carry handles that sit comfortably in your hands for transporting on and off the water.
From experience a transducer is capable of reading through the hull so a sounder would be a beneficial investment for finding suspended fish if you were taking the Navigator on a lake. Pelican also manufacture an electric motor bracket that will handle a transom mount electric motor and this will help when paddling in high flow rivers as well as making the fishing trip a lot easier on the arms.
The main thing that came to my mind is when transporting a 15 foot-plus canoe the standard family car is often too small and a 4WD is a pre-requisite. Unfortunately because of the fuel prices, most families are taking advantage of fuel efficient, smaller cars so being 13’ 6” and only weighing 26kg makes the Navigator a great option for most anglers. Bear in mind no registration or insurance is required, though life jackets are essential for safety.
For more details and accessories check out www.pelicansport.com or call Pelican on (07) 3375 9966.
|Max Capacity||295kg (650)|