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NuCanoe "Frontier 12" Hot

 
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Ratings (the higher the better)
Speed
Stability
Durability
Features
Value
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Pros & Cons
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14 results - showing 1 - 5  
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Ordering 
 
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
5.0

Frontier 12 Fan!

I also have a BGII that is a fabulous small water 'yak but the Frontier crushes it on big water due to the stunning stability.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stable, Roomy, Easy to move around in. Comfortable all day, Superb Fishing Platform
Cons:
Heavy with all accessories, cart recommended
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Overall rating 
 
2.8
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
1.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
1.0

Disappointing Fitting Quality

I bought a Nucanoe Frontier in 2012 - it was sold by a dealer that was new to the area, and I believe we were one of the earlier customers in the St. Petersburg Florida area to buy one.

We loved the boat, and it served as a fantastic tender to our Sailboat – also so stable that our large dog got almost daily rides in it. Why the low rating? After several years we noticed stains around some of the fittings. Then about three years ago, the fittings started crumbling and the hull splitting - because amazingly the fittings were not stainless. They were obviously plain nickel steel and all crumbled into rust. We have now taken the boat to the dealer we bought it from and they are contacting the manufacturer to see what they might be able to do, but told us today that they didn’t think that they would be able to repair it. I was pretty disconcerted to hear the retail rep explain that this is bound to happen in saltwater - but I never received any warnings when I bought the boat that I could expect all the fittings to crumble apart after 4-5 years of use in saltwater. It would be different if you could just replace the fittings, but when they rust, they expand and the hull has now split in about 8 different spots. So, while I loved the boat - unless you plan to only use it in freshwater (or they now use stainless fittings) I would plan a five-year life for the boat before having to scrap it.

If the manufacturer comes back and offers some type of fix, I will be the first person to come back on and let you know.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stable
Cons:
Poor quality fittings
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Overall rating 
 
3.6
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
3.0
Value 
 
3.0

After 2 Years of Use

Reviews of kayaks when newly introduced are one thing - reviews of kayaks post-introduction after significant use may be something else.

I purchased a 2012 NuCanoe Frontier 12 in 2013. This kayak has been fished frequently in an inshore saltwater environment. It has been carefully maintained, transported and stored (thoroughly cleaned and treated with 303 Aerospace Protectant immediately after each use).

The NuCanoe Frontier 12 is VERY stable. The hull has withstood well oysters and rocks. The 360 degree revolving seat is an excellent feature.

Its stability is attributed to its width and relatively high gunnels. Hence, there is a significant trade off: what the Frontier 12 offers in stability it surrenders in "paddle-ability": when confronted with resistance from anything more than minor currents, tidal flows and winds paddling becomes laborious. In more challenging conditions it becomes a "large barge". The relatively higher seating position (which accommodates 360 degree seat swiveling) adds to greater wind resistance.

My greatest disappointment with the Frontier 12 has been its warped deck. Shortly after purchase I learned NuCanoe was having some "issues" with cracking and warping decks. Some Frontier 12 owners were complaining the deck was too "flexy". NuCanoe's solution was to provide owners with a Styrofoam block insert (a major PITA to put into the hull via the bow hatch). With the foam block in place the deck was more firmly supported eliminating flex. However, the installed block also altered the deck's flatness, defeating the purpose of the deck's molded design, causing casual water on the deck to flow to the sides impeding the flow of casual water to the scupper holes in the stern. Also, a "well" where casual water would collect and not drain was created toward the bow. The foam block insert virtually eliminated all of the hull's interior storage space (ugh). When contacted, NuCanoe told me the warranty would be voided if the Frontier 12 was used without the foam block insert.

Another disappointment is how badly the kayak's color has faded. After each use it has been well-cleaned. Treatment with 303 makes it look better but as soon as it gets wet and the 303 washes off it returns to a dingy and lack-luster appearance.

A major concern has been rusting of the heads of the screws that secure the Freedom Tracks to the hull. Thankfully to date nothing catastrophic has occurred, however, I'm not looking forward to if/when 1 or more of these screws fail. Evidently, NuCanoe used hardware not suitable for exposure to saltwater corrosiveness. Be advised: the Freedom Tracks are nice for mounting a number of accessories but not nearly sturdy enough for trolling or for passively fishing a rod in a rod holder.

Of lesser concern but no less aggravating has been poor quality/poor quality control. The lift handles have had to be replaced because grommets have torn out. The hatch seal has had to be repaired and replaced because it simply fell apart.

One strongly recommended improvement NuCanoe should make to the Frontier 12 would be a hatch in the midsection and/or stern allowing interior access to the hull particularly for wiring, securing add-ons from the inside, etc.

Over time I've learned that many accessories offered by NuCanoe, especially many of their seats and seat swivels, can be purchased at significantly lower prices from sources other than NuCanoe. Had I known then what I know now I would have bought a "bare bone" Frontier 12 hull then outfitted it with seats, etc. sourced elsewhere to save money.

In summary I think the NuCanoe Frontier 12 may be best suited for those who desire or need a kayak that is very stable and/or offers more weight capacity. Perhaps NuCanoe has since 2012 addressed the "flexing" deck issue in some manner other than the foam block insert, i.e, thicker deck plastic, so that it's interior hull space is available for storage. The NuCanoe Frontier 12 is adequate for mild water/weather conditions but is less than ideal when faced with water/weather conditions beyond mild. To help maintain a competitive position in the market place while increasing sales and market share NuCanoe should strive for the highest quality of materials and quality control possible.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
stability
Cons:
warped deck-faded color-lack of access to interior of hull midsection and stern-poor materials (faulty hatch seal, grommets torn free from lift handles, rusting screws that secure Freedom Track to hull)
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0

NuCanoe Frontier 12

This model is excellent for the coastal waters and very addordable as well.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Very stable and durable
Cons:
Not very fast
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
5.0

Nucanoe Frontier 12

Having had this boat for almost 4 years now, i have had it through the wringer. I have paddled and fished creeks, rivers, lakes, ponds, and fished the open gulf of Mexico through the surf. extremely stable, I feel perfectly comfortable standing up offshore, in 1-3 foot swells. The built in track system, allows for the mounting of all types of add-ons. but the best feature of the track system, is for the seats, i can quickly add a second seat base, and now i have a tandem, I have even taken my 3 year old grand daughter out in it (gotta startem young!) if I am fishing solo, i slide my seat towards midships, to a better paddling position, then as i am drifting across my fishing area..i slide the seat back, to free up more room to move around and stand, or throw my cast-net to catch live bait. and with the 600 lb capacity, safety is never compromised...well if you tandem two 300lb persons..then you may want to reconsider, and use 2 boats :) Only drawback, is it is not as fast as the narrower boats, but that is the trade off...stability for speed, i would rather have the stability, carrying capacity, and comfort, than 2-3 miles more per hour. I have loaded a treestand, backpack, and rifle, and took it to the swamps deer hunting, did not harvest anything, but my plan included being able to strap a dead deer in the boat, along with the treestand/and gear, and not give it a second thought. (well, alligators wanting a dead deer in a small boat did come to mind) I also purchased a set of beach wheels/kayak cart, by balancing the boat properly, i have dragged this set up hundreds of yards through soft sand, the wheels that come with the boat are good for short trips around the yard, but for long drags...get some wheels. all in all, I have no complaints with this boat. customer service is top notch, only issue I have had was a torn hatch seal, which was replaced in a few days once i let the company know. would I buy another Frontier? you can bet on it.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stability, versatility, gear capacity. dry. tracks like an arrow, ready for electric or gas motor, no modifications required for using a motor if you choose.
Cons:
slower than most due to the wide beam.
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14 results - showing 1 - 5  
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