We added a second SeaBird Kayak to the household yesterday and ‘field’ tested it this afternoon in the spring sunshine. The FisherMan 12 looks pretty similar in shape and size to the Ranchero 12 we have but that’s where the similarities end.
The FisherMan 12 has a large box section running from front to back (do you say bow to stern on a kayak?), effectively making it a twin hulled catamaran. You certainly feel the difference on the water as it turns on a dime and needs a very light touch with the paddle to keep in a straight line. I found it also caught the wind more than the much taller Ranchero 12 which was interesting. I figured this is because the twin hull design displaces less water than a conventional hull, making the FisherMan 12 quite a bit lighter in the water (although it actually weighs virtually the same as the Ranchero 12 at 25kgs or thereabouts).
Because of the box section you’re sitting quite a bit higher in the kayak which makes it great for those a long way North of 40 to sit down and stand up in. It also makes a more comfortable seat which is important if you’re going fishing for several hours. The box takes a bit of getting used to as you would normally stand in the middle on any small boat. The open design means you can push the kayak out and then just walk into from the front or rear, like a canoe, either on top of the box section or straddling it.
There is a huge amount of storage space in the open design of the FisherMan 12, front and rear, making it ideal for other recreational trips like camping etc. It even has two long equipment rails either side to take optional stuff like fishfinders etc. Oh, and two nice padded areas just under where your arms naturally rest on the kayak side which I thought was a particularly nice detail. Especially since you’re likely to be holding a rod in this kayak.
Hope that gives you a little more info about the FisherMan 12 from SeaBird Designs in Norway. Incidentally, their products are designed in Norway and then built in their own factory in China, giving them total control over quality.