Feel Free Moken Review E-mail
Friday, 16 October 2009 10:36

moken

My name is Alan Stillman, I have been kayaking for almost 20 years and over the last 7 years have combined it with my passion for fishing. My life has changed, over the last few years, and I now have 2 young kayak anglers that are growing up fast and love to be on the water also, great. So lot’s of the reviews I will be doing will be family focused and will include the ability for me to include my kids and wife on my fishing trips..

My first impression of MOKEN was that it was very interesting. The molded in handles on the sides and in the front of the kayak, the large front hatch and the fishing console between your legs. When I first saw pictures of the boat it looked like a fun boat to paddle and it was. FEEL FREE is relatively new in the kayak fishing market and has come out with a very well thought out fishing kayak, in the very competitive 13’ Class of boats or the mid sized kayak.

plenty of room
MOKEN by FEEL FREE 13.5’ comes in at 40lbs, it has great lines in the water

MOKEN General Info

The FEEL FREE kayak was very easy to manage; it went easily on my roof and was quite easy to hold in one hand by the molded in handle. I should also note that I was very impressed with how the boat was balanced while holding the boat from the handle, it was perfect. The boat also had molded handles in the front and the back, although a great idea I think a T-Handle would have been better. The front molded handle wants to force you to carry the yak on its side, I know most us have gear in our boats when we go to the water so this wouldn’t work. The molded handle in the back the same thing, but if you were carrying 2 kayaks down to the water for a paddle, with 2 people and kayaks to the side that would work great. I think it couldn’t hurt just to add the T-Handle with the molded handles.

The boat performed like a longer boat, at 13’ it tracked incredible well and really held its course. The demo boat I have didn’t have a rudder, which was a little disappointing, because the system it uses to pull the rudder up and down looked impressive and I was interested in checking it out. But even without the rudder I really had to make the boat turn, it wasn’t hard to move the bow; it just held its course and was a little sticky. I like that!

The boat had some real nice stability and even when I leaned over to the side the boat didn’t feel like it was going over or tippy. I really pushed it over and there is some flare on the sides the grip and push you back. Look at the full length picture above and you can see a little what I am talking about. It actually runs the length of the boat; I bet it creates a little lift also in the waves.

moken

It was a very dry ride, the drainage and some the engineering that went into the how the open areas of the boat drain should be noted. Take a look at the pictures and see how they have molded grooves/valleys in the boat to move the water into the scuppers and out of the boat, all open areas area also angled for max boat drainage. Did I say very dry ride, I did have it on a lake for this review, but with 2 kids splashing and jumping off, it was still dry. Although the boat has a seat there is also the same drainage under seat to give you a dry ride. I like that.

tons of storage
As you can see from this picture, there is plenty of room in the cockpit, it was really nice to be stretched out and very comfortable, look at my shoes in front of the foot pegs and my daughter sitting between my feet.

There is a very generous area in front of were you sit to setup electronics or rod holders and hold gear. The 2 rod holders behind the seat are easily accessed and were plenty for me on the few trips I have done.

I was also very impressed with how in only inches of water, with my 2 kids did the boat not hit the bottom. Take a look at this picture, 2 kids in the boat and myself at 190lbs was still able to move the bow. So this was really impressive and a great choice for people who fish skinny water often.
Front Hatch – a perfect spot for the big catch!

mokenI am in only inches of water and the boat is not hitting the bottom

The demo model I have does not include the hard cover for the MOKEN, I would have liked to try it and have it around for when I am out hunting the cow stripers. The front hatch with a fish bag and some ice would really solve the problem with holding large fish. It is very easily accessible from the cockpit with little to get in the way

moken kayak

It also came with a mesh net that attached to the black bolts that you see here. Here is another picture of my daughter up there to give you an idea of the space. Even with my daughter hanging over the bow it never went under and never took water in over the sides.

Not sure how the open front will work in the bay or in ocean but I won’t try that until I get a front hatch cover, the front hatch cover will certainly make that area more useful and open many options to the kayaker and kayak angler.

Rear Rod Holders

Like I said for a young company in the kayak fishing industry this boat comes very well though out and ready to fish.

The rear rod holders worked great they even included a in the rod holder safety cord to keep your rods in the holders. The angle of the rod holders was perfect and they were enough for me. I actually prefer the rod holder to keep the rods over the boat instead of going out the sides. If I was going to do anything I would add a ram tube in the front somewhere and a fish finder/ GPS.

mokenHere is close up of the back hatch, once again very dry and it also included the drainage system. Although I didn’t put a crate back there the few times I used the boat, it would certainly hold a small crate, small YAKPAK or Crate Mate.

 

 

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