Made in the USA

As we approach the July 4th holiday, you can’t help but begin to experience a sense of patriotism with flags being strategically placed at the end caps of grocery store aisles and TV commercials beginning to advertise the inevitable. Seeing all this reminded me about something that Steve, ACK President, mentioned to me sometime back, the fact that we carry a huge selection of products that are either made or assembled in the USA.

Opinions may vary from person to person but from my personal perspective, I feel that our economy is on the road to recovery and can certainly see a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. That said, if you’ve ever met me, you know that I would rather talk about kayak fishing, camping or BBQ instead of getting into deep economic and (gasp) political discussions. However, I do want to focus on this topic because I know it is important to both ACK and for that matter, many of our customers. We can certainly appreciate selling low cost goods that contribute to a strong global economy but knowing that a significant percentage of the products we sell are either made or assembled in the USA is something we are extremely proud of. Aside from benefiting from quality craftsmanship, it makes us feel good knowing that by selling products made in this country we are helping contribute to the growth of our own economy, which ultimately helps create jobs locally.

So what are these products we speak of? Well there are over 500 of them but a  few examples that you may be familiar with are boat manufactures such as Hobie Kayaks, Native Watercraft, Ocean Kayak and Wilderness Systems amongst several others. Accessory manufactures are no exception with companies such as Seals SkirtsWerner Paddles, Bending Branches Paddles and Pelican Dry Boxes are also Made in the USA. As you shop at www.AustinKayak.com, you can easily identify those products by looking at the description where you will see “Made in: USA” followed by the American flag.

Now, it’s no secret that while these products are designed, assembled, owned and distributed in the USA, some of the parts that are required to build them may be manufactured in other countries. In some cases, depending on how much of it is made here, it may be labeled as an “Assembled in USA” product as opposed to “Made in USA” as required by law.  Regardless of the terminology, we are happy to continue supporting and promoting products that are benefiting our country’s economy in one way or another.

Roland
ACK HQ

I Found the Ultimate Offshore Fishing Kayak!

Offshore kayak fishing is my passion but the one aspect that can make this style of fishing difficult is kayak  selection. I have experimented with several kayaks over the years and I had yet to come across the perfect vessel. While I have paddled some decent models for this type of application I have also paddle a few that should never have left the beach.

The good news is that my quest to find the perfect offshore fishing kayak has finally come to an end. A couple of months ago, when Ocean Kayak announced that they were going to import the Ocean Kayak Ultra 4.7 all the way from Australia to American shores, I was one of the first to place my order.

If you are not yet familiar with this kayak , the Ocean Kayak Ultra 4.7 is collaboration between designers and an international group of dedicated professional kayak anglers. The Ultra is based on the Trident 15 and crafted around the original Prowler hull. The Ultra 4.7 incorporates more volume across the bow which creates a drier ride, moderate rocker to help performance in ocean swells and a more pronounced tail fin to aid in tracking. The kayak measures 15’5”, weighs in at around 77lbs and boasts a carrying capacity of 400lbs.

When my Ultra 4.7 arrived, I was anxious to put her to the test to see how well the offshore Aussie inspired design would suit my style of fishing. Seeing as this kayak was designed for offshore applications, I was particularly excited to get this one off the beach and into the water. Once underway, I was greeted with a 1-2’ chop and could see that the green blue water was within a mile of the beachfront.  I quickly got my Ultra up to speed and came up against the first wave which the kayak easily rode over with no problem. I was impressed because kayaks in excess of 14’ tend to punch through waves, instead of riding over them, requiring the paddler to work twice as hard to not let the surf push you back or possibly over. This was not the case with the Ultra. Instead, due to the flared bow, she easily rode over the waves. Once I made it through the surf I set off to paddle just under a mile to my destination.

Upon arriving at my fishing spot, I set the anchor and prepared my bait. The forward facing front-mounted flush rod holders made it very easy for me to keep my rods within close reach. Not having to reach behind  in choppy seas is something every offshore kayaker will appreciate. I noticed that the seas continued to build with some 4’ rollers mixed into the bunch. Still, the kayak held strong and never felt top heavy or gave me the feeling that I was going to tip. This set the stage for a great day of fishing. Before I knew it my bait was hit with such a force it lead me to believe that I had hooked something fairly large. The fish took off, out to sea, pulling me for quite a distance. After a 45-minute or so fight I finally landed the fish. It was a 5½-foot bull shark. I grabbed the leader to pull the shark over so that I would be able to take a picture and release it when the shark decided to take a massive dive causing a huge explosion of water and waves that violently rocked my kayak — no problem. This was my third major test of stability, and already I was convinced that the Ultra was a rock solid offshore fishing kayak.

I released the shark and the day went on with a few more catches. It was time for me to head back in. I stowed everything away and secured some items below the deck to protect them in case I tipped over during surf re-entry. As I reached the surf zone, I noticed that the waves were now 2-3’ with an occasional 4-footer mixed in, making my return a little trickier. I started to paddle in and suddenly, out of nowhere, a 4’ curling wave was right behind me. Hoping the bow of my Ultra wouldn’t dig into the water ahead of me and sling shot me out of the kayak, I stuck my right paddle blade into the water and braced myself against the oncoming wave. To my surprise, the kayak simply surfed the wave and I successfully rode it into shore.

At the end of this trip I fully expected the Ultra to have some water in the hull due to the conditions but upon inspection I found not one trace of water. The neoprene cover on the bow hatch kept water from entering while the new flip pod hatch in the cockpit kept everything watertight as well. Also, since the kayak has many brass inserts to facilitate installation of accessory items, there is no need to drill ensuring watertight installations.

I am really looking forward to my next trip. The Ultra 4.7 paddled better than I expected, it never showed any signs of instability and it seemed to greet waves with ease. I can honestly say that I think I have found the best-suited kayak for offshore fishing, ending my 3-year search.

For more information about the Ocean Kayak Ultra 4.7, click here.

Jerron
ACK-Houston

Ocean Kayak adds the Trident Ultra 4.7 to their lineup

Written by adam hayesYakAngler

Ocean Kayak adds the Trident Ultra 4.7 to their lineupA lot of us kayak fishing “gear heads” have seen the videos and the pictures of the Ocean Kayak Trident Ultra 4.7 placed on the web by our kayak fishing brethren in New Zealand and Australia.  Well, we will no longer need to settle for just seeing the boat on the web as Ocean Kayak has announced that it will now sell the Trident Ultra 4.7 here in the United States.

The Trident Ultra 4.7 was designed after the Trident 15 and crafted around the original Prowler Hull design.  This kayak incorporates more volume in the front of the boat for a drier ride, moderate rocker to help performance in ocean swells and a more pronounced tail find to aid in tracking.

The Trident Ultra 4.7 will also include Ocean Kayak’s proprietary reversible center hatch cover.  This hatch will include attachment points for fish finders and other accessories and has the unique ability to rotate 180 degrees along a pivot point to “flip” to shield and protect valuable electronics in rough surf conditions.

The tail of the Trident Ultra 4.7 features a replaceable wear strip that will add years of life to the kayak and will help to protect it against rough surface launches and a rudder will be standard.

A few other key features include a large bow hatch, four flush mounted rod holders, Deluxe Comfort seat, paddle keepers, deck bungee and new flush mounted carry handles.

There will also be  several aftermarket accessories available such as the Ice Box Fish Storage Pod, a small bait tank with cover and hand pump, and an internal rod storage tube that will be able to hold up to two fishing rods.

Click for Larger Close Up View

Specifics:

* Available October 2010
* Length: 15’5”
* Width: 29.1”
* Weight: 77lbs
* SRP: $1,599