During the 2014 season, the crew of New England Boating got to field-test the Cayman 11.5 fishing kayak from West Marine, and can report that it’s a well-built kayak with a lot of thoughtful features.
First off, the Cayman’s rugged rotomolded polyethylene hull is ideal for fishing around rocks and other structure. It’s also easy to repair, should the need arise. The hull weighs in at 65 pounds, which is bit heavy for one person to handle, yet we were still able to carry it short distances and slide it onto a roof rack without additional help.
The Cayman measures 11 ½’ long and sports a beamy, tri-hull design, making it super stable. In fact, you can even fish from it while standing. The handy cockpit strap helps with getting to a standing position and for sitting back down.
The Cayman isn’t sold with a padded seat, but it features convenient attachment points that make it easy to install one. And speaking of seats, the Cayman has a “double-decker” design that allows the angler to sit higher above the water while casting and lower while paddling.
Behind the seat are 4 molded-in rod holders, but additional holders and other accessories, including paddle holders, can be easily added.
The Cayman’s beamy design gives it tons of cockpit space, and we really liked the molded-in foot braces that make it a good fit for anglers of all sizes.
Other nifty features include a large storage compartment in the bow; a small storage pouch with a watertight cover for protecting wallets, keys and cell phones; an anchor trolley and a molded-in ruler for measuring your catch.
Overall, the Cayman was a big hit with the New England Boating crew this season, and we highly recommend it as a rugged, stable fishing platform for both fresh and salt water. Oh, and it’s a bargain too; MSRP is just $550!
For more information go to the West Marine website HERE.