Welcome to PAKAYAK BLUEFIN 14 REVIEW!
The Pakayak Bluefin 14 is a kickstarter project that started back in June, 2016. The PRAYAK bran were completely funded with more than a million dollars raised. They’re finally… finally…. Finally shipping their flagship product – the Bluefin 14.
What is it? The Bluefin 14 is a fourteen foot long hard-shell performance kayak. Unlike traditional kayaks I’ve seen and owned, it splits up into 6 pieces. Those pieces clamp shut together inside the boat with a patented, water-tight clamping mechanism.
When not in use, the 6 pieces really nest into each other like a Russian doll, and fit into an included zipper bag complete with handle, luggage wheels, and carrying strap.
But if you’re reading this Pakayak Bluefin 14 review, you probably know all of that… You want to know what it’s like to own one, and if YOU SHOULD GET ONE. Here’s my personal story as an angler who’s had a fly-on-the-wall view of PAKAYAK since its inception.
Hey – welcome to IOUTDOORYOU. We’ve been following the PAKAYAK company since the owners, Doug and Zinelle, came up with the idea many years ago.
This was my first time paddling one of the prototype boats in Yarmouth, Maine and I decided to share my experience with you.
Pakayak Bluefin 14 Review
How The Kayak Packs
The Kayak is split into 6 roto-molded sections, with each one resting inside the other until the unit is completely packed won.
Packed dimension are 3.5 feet tall, 2 feet wide, and 16 inches deep, perfect for tossing in the back seat of a car.
To put the unit together, the brand recommends laying down a blanket over the dirt or sand to avoid getting some in the rubber seals. With the pieces set out, you assemble the rear and front halves of the kayak separately, clamping each section with latches that form a watertight seal. Once the 2 halves are assembled, fit them together and clamp the unit up.
Insert the seat, complete with a comfortable back and bum cushion, and clip on the knee pads, which keeps your leg from bumping up against the inside of the boat in tough waters. Other accessories, like rear and front bungee deck rigging, storage hatches with silicone covers, and carrying handles, are already installed.
Before buying mine, I time the Pakayak as they put together 4 different Bluefin 14 models, and the average assembly time was 5.5 minutes. Disassembly is just as fast and simple. In fact, it took the crew about 8 minutes to strap an old 16-foot kayak on top of their car, and about 6 minutes to disassemble the Pakayak and toss it in the back seat of a four-door Honda.
The crew fit a second Pakayak in the car’s trunk without stress, successfully transporting 2 14-foot boats in a compact sedan.
Packable Kayak: On Water Test
During my 6+ hour test on a river in Connecticut and on the choppy Long Island Sound, I kept experiencing 2 shocking disbeliefs: When I saw the kayak all packed up, I could hardly believe the unit becomes an efficient, floating boat. Conversely, when I was on the water; I couldn’t believe I was paddling in a sectional kayak.
The boat is sleek, at two feet wide, and it is amazingly fast. It glided through calm river waters with ease and accelerated on a dime. Though narrow, it’s also stable. Amid waves on the open Atlantic Ocean, the kayak showed no sign of unstableness, even for a recreational kayaker like myself.
All through the test, neither my kayak nor the other 3 Pakayak’s showed any sign of a leak. The only water inside the boat that day was one the wave toppled over the kayak’s opening, an incident that can be easily prevented with the optional spray skirt.
The seating area is pretty roomy, with foot rests to improve paddling stabilization and power, and the plastic seat with accompanying cushion was plenty comfortable for hours on the water.
The only gripes I had were minor, and according to the team, were expected to be fixed with the first round of production-ready boats. For some reason, my fingernails kept catching the connecting section of the cockpit when I paddled.
After a fast and minor change of paddling form, though, the issue was resolved. Plus, my seat back, made of a thinner plastic than production boats will be, would significantly bend and slip behind the back opening. A simple fix with the expected harder plastic .
Pakayak: Packable, Easy To Store Kayak
The Pakayak team of 4, Day Moore, Phil Miller, Doug and Zinelle Mackro, have been together for 2 and a half years now. The dram began when Day’s kayak broke in two and Zinelle’s husband, Doug volunteered to repair it, basically clamping the two sections together.
Today, the Pakayak Kickstarter campaign has begun uand has raised more than $130,000 of its $427,325 goal. Its cost breakdown is provided on the campaign page, along with several options for funding.
The Bluefin 14, which comes in four colors and will retail at $1,695, is currently available at an early adopter price of $1,495, cheaper than the 12-foot Oru Bay+ collapsible kayak and a good deal for this new invention. It weighs only 55 pounds, comparable to other hardshell touring kayaks, and it comes with a bag to roll the collapsed unit or hike with it on your back.
So here’s the thing that sold me as a customer… I wanted to kayak more.
I longed to go on more adventures. I wanted more exploration.
I’m an online person, a dad-to-be, a business owner, etc. Life has been busy. PAKAYAK is a product offering me the “freedom” to adventure more.
Yes, you can purchase a cheap kayak on Amazon and you’ll end up with a piece of plastic that floats. But when you buy a PAKAYAK, you’re getting so much more.
- You are going for a kayak that fits anywhere… which means you won’t keep it in the basement collecting dust. You’ll use it…in whaever place…experiencing freedom.
- You’re paying for true premium performance kayak. It’s built well, totally made in the USA, and is carefully designed for improved performance and speed. It’s probably the only kayak you’ll ever need for the love of the sport.
- You’d be getting a kayak that makes saying “yes” to adventures easier. Because you can fit one or two of these things inside your vehicle without any hassle, you’ll be much more likely to take that impromptu paddle with your spouse or a friend on a whim… freedom.
- There’s nothing else on the market that does what PAKAYAK does. It’s uniquely the only hard-shell performance kayak that is also easily assembled and portable.
- You’ll get real, caring, supporting, helpful, direct support from the company that designs and builds the boats. Need a replacement part — they’re ever there for you and ready to grant your requests. Need a question answered–it’s handled. Trust me. I personally have had an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G experience with these people, and they truly care about their customers.
- You’ll get a community. Every owner becomes part of The PAK — a community of all the PAKAYAK owners who share experiences, photos, stories, and their journey.
At the end of the day, a PAKAYAK presents to you the freedom to have and enjoy more experiences, and the confidence of knowing that a solid company is standing behind your purchase.
According to their website — every one of their boats is fully made and assembled in the USA.
- It solves the big problems with traditional kayaks
While doing this Pakayak Bluefin 14 review, we noticed that PAKAYAK name their Bluefin 14 the “ultimate kayak”. I think there are a couple of reasons as to why it stands head and shoulders over traditional models.
- People hate roof racks & not everyone has a big car. This is a big one. Traditional kayaks are limited to use by those with trucks or cars that are large enough to hold them — and you have to buy a costly roof rack. Roof racks fall within the range of $225 and $600 for just one kayak. Don’t want to kayak alone? You’ll need to spend more. Plus with a traditional kayak you have to be strong enough to get that kayak up on top of your car. PAKAYAK solves these problems. They fit in small cars and backpacks, and you need not get a roof rack.
- For plenty people, kayaks are too bulky and heavy to carry solo. PAKAYAK boats fit in a bag about 3.5′ tall (think rolling luggage size). You can carry it on your back (feeling no pain) with the included strap. You can roll it down the sidewalk with the wheels. It’s super simple to assemble solo – at 5’2″ my little cousins can easily assemble it.
- If you have a small home or apartment — you can’t store a traditional kayak. I live in the country, so this wasn’t a huge point for me… but it is for millions who live in city apartments, flats, or even those who travel in RVs and struggle to fit a kayak. The PAKAYAK fits in your life.
Ordering and Delivery
We thought we should include another cool feature of this unit in our Pakayak Bluefin 14 review.
One of the coolest things about purchasing your PAKAYAK is that they ship in a relatively small box – many by standard UPS shipping. In the past you’d need to drive to the sporting goods store, splurge on the $400 roof rack you forgot you needed, and hope that they had the color you liked in stock.
With PAKAYAK, it’s as simple as this:
- Go to Amazon.com
- Pick your color
- Buy it
- Wait for the UPS guy to deliver it to your door step
Other FAQ’s of the PAKAYAK Bluefin 14 Ft Kayak
Is it easy to put it together and take it apart?
Yes, assembling and disassembling is easy as ABC.
It’s a “tongues and groove” design with a sealed foam core inside the groove (which can be easily replaced if need ever arise). The 4-6 clamps in each section lock the sections together.
This one is a bit subjective. For me, as a young man, it’s super simple to handle. You take te pieces out of the bag, clamp each section together, and you’re done in about 3-5 minutes. It takes maybe 10 pounds of force to close each latch. The first time you put it together it takes about 15 minutes, but once you “get it”, subsequent assemblies take under 3 minutes.
Does it leak?
No, it does not leak in any way.
The industrial patented clamps and seals are fully water tight. In fact, the boat’s strongest points are at the joints. Plus, the stern and bow sections are sealed. If water ever gets in there for any reason, it stays there.
PAKAYAK has a 2-year guarantee on their products and like I mentioned earlier, they really stick by their word.
What does it feel like to paddle?
The Bluefin 14 is really, super fun to paddle. If you are a fan of fast kayaks that track straight and give you the feeling of gliding through the water…. You’ll love it.
Which brings us to the name, why “Bluefin”?
Easy! The Bluefin Tuna! The PAKAYAK’s hull design is modeled after those surprisingly fast fishes.
Turns out Bluefin references the Bluefin tuna, one of the fastest fishes in the world. The PAKAYAK utilizes biomimicry by forming the hull of the boat, in part, after the design of the Bluefin tuna.
Cons of the Pakayak Bluefin 14
I love this kayak. It’s super fly, and well worth the price tag. Here are a couple of drawbacks I’ve experienced so far:
- It’s bears similar weight to traditional kayak. Sure, there are some costly boats out there (in the $3000–$4000 range) that are in the 35 pound range, but typical 14 foot kayaks weigh about 50–60 pounds. PAKAYAK is 59 pounds.
- The bag is just OK. The custom zippered bag that the PAKAYAK comes in is not at all bad, but it could be better. I wish it had thicker, padded straps and a waist strap like a camping backpack. I also wish the wheels were a bit larger to more easily maneuver sand and rocks. They’re currently the type that you’d find on a rolling suitcase.
- PAKAYAK includes a towel with each of their boats so no need for extra towel for setup and disassembly. Getting sand in the seals between the sections shouldn’t cause any leaks according to the company, but I’ve had minor concerns about the durability of the seals if I always set up the boat on the sand. The seals are easily replaceable if anything were to happen, but having to be careful while setting up the kayak in the sand takes a little adjustment. [Update: PAKAYAK include a towel with each of their boats.]
Is it the “ULTIMATE” kayak?
That’s a decision for you to make, but in my experience — you bet it is!
Conclusion on the PAKAYAK Bluefin 14 Review
The Pakayak team has big ideas for the future too, like special inserts for the Bluefin 14 to create a dual kayak, accommodations for fishing gear, a place for your dog, and more, and the brand wants to create a longer touring kayak as well. For now, their hope is to get the needed funding to get these boats out to the market so anglers like you can experience it firsthand, both packed up and out on the water.