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A performance touring boat, the Islay 14 SOT bridges the gap between recreational sit-on-tops and closed cockpit touring kayaks.
Storage – The Islay has a day hatch at the bow of the boat and a large well at the stern of the boat. This will take plenty of kit and allow you to distribute it evenly across the boat ensuring it still paddles well. I could comfortably carry enough kit to camp from this boat.
Built in handles – this is a big plus for me. This allows for easy handling off the water and much sturdier than rubber or webbing handles. I am tough on kit, dragging them, stacking them and generally using them. Built in handles are much better for me. Another advantage of these wide built in handles is that they are really easy to locate and grab when turning the boat back upright in case of a capsize.
Comfort and connection – The Islay features adjustable foot pegs (rather than moulded ridges) this allows you to connect to the boat better. Applying pressure on the pedal whilst pulling on the paddle also allows you to transfer power much more efficiently. Firm footrests helps you brace to the boat and keep good posture also. This is especially important when controlling the boat and to handle the boat when the weather gets rough.
Performance - this is what matters and the Islay Sit on top doesn’t let you down! The Islay is 14 foot long and sleek and narrow at the front. This equates to the boat being fast and smooth through the water. However the boat widens up underneath the deep sitting position. This lower centre of gravity and extra width gives great stability. Great secondary stability too, as you can see in the photos.
Manoeuvrability - Now we are talking! This boat has something to offer which is quite rare in Sit On Top kayaks; A skeg, common in all of Ventures touring kayaks they have seen sense and introduced a skeg into their touring Sit on Tops. The Skeg enhances tracking and is particularly useful in windy conditions but also for general cruising.
However, bring that skeg up and apply edge and this boat can manoeuvre too. Great for rock hopping or taking it down mellow white water (If a canoe can do it, this boat can do it)
Skeg and Skudder® option:
Venture’s new revolutionary steerable skeg system. The Skudder® combines the simplicity of a skeg with the efficiency of an understern rudder. Bombproof durability and versatility make the Skudder® the best choice for controlling your kayak in all conditions. Available only on Venture kayaks.