Boat Review: Vibe Sea Ghost 110 | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
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A man paddling a vibe seaghost kayak. Photos by Roberto Westbrook

Vibe kayaks isn’t reinventing the wheel, they’re reinventing how the wheel is sold.

As a life-long kayak angler, author of a book on kayak fishing and editor of Kayak Angler magazine, conversations with friends and strangers often start when I’m handed a cellphone and asked, “What do you think about this kayak?” Since I’ve paddled almost every boat and board, I can usually offer an intelligent answer. Recently, though, it seems more people are asking me about Vibe kayaks. Since I have never even seen a Vibe in the flesh, I didn’t have much to offer. So, I ordered one to learn more.

Vibe was born when two kayak fishing friends figured out a way to sell a rigged-out kayak at a rock-bottom price. Josh Thomas and John Ewald pooled their resources and developed the first boats. Lauren Nelson, Marketing manager at Vibe says, "The hulls are a proprietary design and come off custom molds." She adds, "Vibe boats are made by people who love kayak angling, so the goal was never to change everything you thought you knew about fishing kayaks. It’s about design tweaks and feature sets that provide a great fishing experience while offering a fair price to customers."

seaghost 1
A paddle holder and sealed bow hatch along with a Vibe paddle come standard on the Sea Ghost 110.

“Of course, rapidly growing demand does create a challenge: carrying enough inventory.” They had a hard time keeping kayaks on the shelf. The introduction of the second boat, the Sea Ghost 110 marks a turn in the company’s story, with a purpose-built model to compliment the all-around Sea Ghost 130 that has been so popular with anglers.

Less than a week after placing my order, a big truck arrived with a Sea Ghost 110. When I pulled back the heavy packing material, I found a camo-grey boat, rudder, high/low seat and paddle. After a few minutes rigging the rudder and setting up the seat, I was ready to go.

vibe 2
The stern is outfitted with flushmount rodholders and gear bungee. The high/low seat is bungeed to the deck. Lift and lower the seat by lifting and lowering into molded in supports.

At 11 feet, the Sea Ghost is best suited for sheltered backwaters where maneuverability and standup stability are most important. Since the boat only weighs 62-pounds it is easy to roll to the water. On the water, the modified tunnel hull tracks well enough, even in wind and waves, and still turns on a dime to work into tight places where fish love to hide. The rudder was a big help turning the boat, especially in heavy wind.

Sure, many of the features remind me of other boats on the market. But they are good ideas, even if they have been “borrowed” as goes the chatter on the message boards. The build quality and construction are solid. Gear tracks, bungees and tie-downs make it easy to customize with rod holders, accessories and electronics. The large center hatch can be used to store gear and mount a fishfinder and GPS unit. They even added a large scupper in front of the deck hatch to accommodate a transducer. With a large deck hatch, I was able to leave my gear crate at home and use the stern well for a drybag and a couple tackle boxes.

vibe 3
The standard rudder helps turn the Sea Ghost and keep it tracking straight in wind and swell.

The floor is solid for standup fishing with plenty of room to move about, especially for a short boat. The frame seat is comfortable, with cooling mesh to improve airflow and provide support. Four bungees hold the seat in place. To go from low to high position, just lift the chair from the deck supports to the high station. I could easily adjust the seat on the water.

The only issue was the paddle. The boat comes with an aluminum shaft, nylon blade eggbeater that weighs a ton and seems to suffer from balance problems. Vibe does offer a paddle upgrade, for an extra 100 bucks, but doesn’t offer the boat without a paddle. I would stow the standard stick in the forward hatch as a backup paddle and get an upgraded paddle as my main propulsion.

Vibe borrowed the best ideas from the best kayaks to deliver—to your door— a great boat at a great value.

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