Delta's Kayak Catamaran the “Catfish 12.5” E-mail
Saturday, 03 July 2010 00:00
Delta's Kayak Catamaran the “Catfish 12.5”
by: Chris Parson
Kayak Fishing Magazine

Delta_Catfish_Review_html_28d497a4
Kayak:         Delta Catfish
LOA:           12.5
Beam:          28”
Weight:        48 lbs
Capacity:     300 lbs
Price:           1400.00 – 1500.00
Rudder Kit:   200.00   (approx).


We were anxious to get our first look at Delta's “Catfish 12.5” SOT. Delta, based in British Columbia has shipped just 5 of these kayaks to the United States and all of them are located at Root Beer Barrel in Brigantine, NJ. I would expect that this model will become more available in the near future as word of this kayaks performance spreads throughout the community. My friend, Charlie Hackman (Seaflea) and I spent a full day putting this puppy through it's paces. Thank you John at Barrel for the demo and your time.

Delta kayaks are built from thermoformed, high impact, lightweight plastics. Delta claims that their boats offer superior weather and UV resistance while maintaining excellent abration resistance and a high gloss finish.

The Catfish is sleek and looks great. It has a ton of space for even the biggest pack-rat. The bow hatch has a full bulkhead and is sealed off from the pontoons. The second hatch is located behind the seat. It has a wide opening and gives you access to both pontoons for storage. Mounting a shoot-through hull transducer also looks to be a snap. The rear tank well is HUGE. We brought along a double size milk crate to get an idea on size and it was lost in there.

Ford_Bulkhead2

There are plenty of locations for mounting after market goodies like rod holders and electronics. The Catfish has a polycarbonate window molded into the cockpit area for viewing whatever sea life you should paddle over provided your region offers that level of visibility. The foot rests are solid and adjustable to satisfy a wide range of body sizes and comfort levels. The fixed location seat was very comfortable and has a cinch cleat feature for reclining or leaning the seat back forward. The seat back is attached to the hull by a stainless hinge and the height is also adjustable via a screw knob system.

The first thing I noticed when entering the Catfish for the first time was it's stability. Anytime I enter a kayak model for the first time, I do so half expecting to dump. That feeling quickly passed as I carefully added my full 220lbs to the port gunwale and the Catfish listed to port and held firm. Throughout the day, I learned that both the primary and secondary stability were exactly what you would expect from a catamaran. Excellent! We launched our kayaks and by the time I turned around to check on Seaflea, he was standing. I asked him to stay put while I fumbled for my camera and all he said with a laugh was, “no problem”.

I was impressed at how easy it was to paddle the Catfish. After just a few paddle strokes, the Catfish was cruising along at a 5mph pace. I also noted that this kayak glides exceptionally well as the two pontoons cut through the water. For me, I found that turning the kayak without the rudder kit was a bit difficult. I look forward to a retest with the rudder kit installed.

Our day began both calm and glassy and as the wind shifted, so did the conditions. With headwinds of 15-20mph I had the opportunity to test this new design in some “other than favorable” conditions. The overall performance was impressive. Paddling into the wind was not as much a factor as in some other models although the Catfish does seem to be prone to weather-cocking. I would guess that this is attributed to the design and is inherent to all catamaran's. The overall ride was dry, even as the whitecaps slapped up under the hull. The pontoons cut through the slop really well and any water making it into the kayak was quickly eliminated through the scuppers.

Delta catfish hull

Delta catfish tankwell

Back at the ramp, I was relieved when I remembered that the Catfish was a true 48lbs. After a long day on the water, this in itself is a huge selling point. The 2010 Catfish is currently available in Yellow over White (shown here) and white on white.

So, to sum up; I feel that Delta is definitely on to something here with the Catfish. The stability, ergonomics, speed, and comfort far exceeded my expectations. The overall performance was good as the sluggish steering left me feeling like a rudder kit might be a must have upgrade. If you are in the market for an incredibly stable and fast kayak, check this one out!

 

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