Boat Review: Ocean Kayak Trident 13 | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
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Kayak Angler fishing out of an Ocean Kayak Trident 13. Photo: Kevin Whitley

Ocean Kayak updates a favorite open water boat with modern amenities

Ocean Kayak’s Trident series is the love child of the original sit-on-top kayak. Almost 45 years ago, Tim Niemier designed the first surfski and sea kayak hybrid that started the Ocean Kayak brand. Through the years, that boat has been tweaked, modernized and improved. For 2017, Ocean Kayak again updated their popular Trident series with modern amenities to stay relevant. 

The hull on the new Trident stays true to its predecessors. Its rocker, rounded chines and soft entry are just as seaworthy and stable as the original Trident. This makes it a great boat for carrying heavy loads and an all around fishing machine that is at home in open water and back water flats. The only change to the hull is the addition of a larger fishfinder transducer scupper to accommodate new side-scan sonar pucks. 

The changes in the updated Trident are on the topside. Starting in the bow, one of my favorite new features is a rubber flap in front of the bow hatch to hold a paddle blade and rod tips. The newest model features molded handles for years of dragging and carrying. 

Forward of the cockpit, a plastic plate provides access to the through-hull transducer scupper and a nine-inch gear track to hold a fishfinder display. The battery goes in a suspended hammock inside the hull. 

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The biggest improvement comes in an updated cover for the center hatch packed with cool features. The new Mod Pod cover includes two six-inch gear tracks, a covered compartment and electronics mount. I loved the addition of a high-powered magnet under the hatch that will hold tackle and tools in place. Don't worry, the magnet won't affect your compass so long as you don't rest it on the boat. The hatch cover folds open in the middle to expose two dry compartments. Remove the drop-ins for access to the hull. 

The star of the show is the Active Comfort System (ACS) seat. The Ocean Kayak guys stole the popular seat out of their sister company Necky's sit-insides to make a low- profile seat with an adjustable and elevated seat pan, 3D mesh padding and adjustable lower back support to rival a frame seat. By keeping the low-profile saddle, Ocean Kayak stays true to its roots as an open-water boat. These updates carry over to the long-range 15-foot model with the addition of a stern hatch and a compact 11-foot model. 

I put the boat to the test chasing big reds along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The hull performed as expected, taking choppy seas and paddling comfortably. The round, soft hull lines provide a nice ride and I was able to load the boat to its teeth. Thanks to a pronounced rocker and narrow beam, the boat remains nimble enough to dart in and out of the bridge pilings. 

FISH FRIENDLY FEATURES: 

  • Molded Bow and
    Stern Handle
  • Seven gear tracks
  • Two flush-mount rodholders
  • Mod Pod with gear magnet 
  • ACS low-profile seat
  • Paddle holder on bow
  • Through-hull transducer scupper
  • Battery bag in hull 

SPECS

Length: 13'6"

Width: 29"

Weight: 79 lbs

Capacity: 355 lbs

Price: $1,299.99

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