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7,911 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
(from Heritage website)

The Dolphin is the smallest and the most agile of our sit-on-top kayaks. Easy to transport, the Dolphin is great for short trips, for use as a swim platform, or just for lazing around on the water! In the hands of properly equipped and experienced paddlers, it is ideal for light ocean surfing and a real adrenaline booster in downriver whitewater runs in light to moderate rapids (Class I or Class II). Highly maneuverable, it also features a molded skeg for straight line tracking, a self bailing cockpit, individually adjustable foot braces, a stern drainage plug, and convenient end handles. A great value in a versatile, multi-use sit-on-top kayak.


Length: 9'4" (284cm)
Width: 29" (74cm)
Depth: 12” (30cm)
Kayak Weight: 43 lbs. (19kg)
Cockpit Length: 46” (117cm)
Cockpit Width: 18.5” (47cm)
Capacity: 250 lbs. (113kg)

Suggested Usage
Fishing: Good
Recreational: Excellent
Touring: Fair
Extended Touring: N/A
Small ponds: Excellent
Lakes: Excellent
Light Ocean: Excellent
River (1-2) : Excellent
Maneuverability: Excellent
Tracking: Good


7,911 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I give the Dolphin a "no", because it really wasn't a good choice for me & my family. Might work better for others (read on)...

I picked up the Dolphin pretty cheap at a truckload sale. Thought it would be fine for the kids with a capacity rating of 230-250lbs, depending on which literature you believe. It holds kids or wife safely, but loses stability as weight goes up. Its short, with little keel factored into the hull so tracking is an issue - lots of back and forth waggle action as it goes through the water.

The Dolphin is pretty stripped, yet pretty well made - molded seat bottom, lower back strap, 1 central scupper with plug. Few flat spots for mounting gear and no internal storage.

Might be a good choice for getting a younger one (less than 10yrs old so they'll have a few good years of use) into the sport or for pond play. I could see how it would be a lot of fun in a river or in the surf for a smaller person with low center of gravity and decent coordination.

Just for grins I tried it in the surf once (me=260lbs). It was no match. As soon as I put my weight on it, the boat squirted out from under me, did a sidways aerial summersault and gave me a full-body-slam. I was just smart enough to try it a 2nd time. Same exact result. Scared the kids from trying the surf but gave mom a real good laugh up on the beach.

As it turns out my kids are too close to being adults and a 10' or 12' yak with more capacity, stability & tracking would be a better choice for them and the water that I tend to kayak on (lakes and the ICW rather than rivers). Plus I could invite other adults along. I can't recommend the Dolphin for the use I had intended (teenagers & wife), but it might be a good deal under different circumstances. Luckily for me, the price was great so I won't have much to lose when I sell.
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