Perception Triumph 13
2016 Review Update
The designers kept it simple but easy to customise. The Triumph is now the leading 13 footer by a country mile made from the best HDPE plastic available – simply brilliant.
Perception Triumph 13 Canoe Shops Group - Review by Duffer and the Erk
Why do we do these reviews when it’s freezing? It’s the 9th December and we are feeling the tail end of the storm that has just bashed Scotland and the North. It’s cold, squally and I have a nice centrally heated home nearby. Anyway Siblyback Lake on Bodmin Moor then down to Looe on the South Cornish coast for a day’s test paddle.
The Triumph is another 13 foot day touring sit on top that is also available in angler spec. Duffer liked the Perception Freedom (pre Triumph SOT) because it had great stability when fishing off the Cornish and Irish coast. First thing you notice is the seating position is higher and Triumph is a much dryer looking kayak. All the new gizmo’s are there, more hatches, bungees, adjustable footrest, moulded in handles etc etc.
The handles are in just the right place, the kayak feels balanced when lifted for a car-top onto a roofrack. Even ‘Old’ Duffer can comfortably car-top.
What is a 13 foot Sit on Top Kayak supposed to do?
"Without using leg straps, the Triumph felt like a sit in kayak and paddled like a sit in kayak"
First and foremost a kayak of these proportions should deliver paddling performance. It should be well balanced, easily paddled and paddle well. Triumph is slightly different from other kayaks in this 13 foot grouping as the seating position is slightly forward of the norm. How will this feel I wonder? Duffer can recall fibre glass kayaks (long before plastic was used) with similar configuration that paddled like pigs. Let’s get this thing wet and see what happens. Handles in the right place, seat and foot pegs adjusted – off we go. We are paddling the Angling spec, but are not fishing the boat. This is all about paddling the Triump
He appears confused and unusually lost for words. Muttering something about paddling as good as most 13 foot ‘Sit In’ kayaks. After a brandy Duffer finds some words which included “bu**er that paddled well”. What is more, Duffer (according to the Fridge Fairy) has a long body and short legs. Sat in the middle of the Triumph on the raised seat he looks too tall for the boat. It should feel tippy but it does not. It motors through the water and turns well with plenty of stability. Perception are renowned for making symmetrical kayaks that retain their shape. Triumph is millimetre perfect and the monster scupper drain holes will impart excellent mechanical strength that will maintain the hull symmetry.
Without using leg straps the Triumph felt like a sit in kayak and paddled like a sit in kayak – this is one very big tick in the box. Duffer said “The Triumph is the best 13 foot SOT I have paddled”. With the Erk paddling the Triumph whilst stood up you have to wonder what they taught him on his 1 star course.
Looe Harbour and Island
Conditions at Looe are better than those on Bodmin Moor (Siblyback Lake). The water temperature is higher and the wind has dropped. The swell is small and dropping away after yesterday’s gales. Paddling against a strong flood tide out through the harbour was easy. Triumph is fast through the water and using the back eddies we are clear of the current in no time. Paddling in and around the rocks in the small swell heading to Looe Island was easy. The balance of the boat is still unusually good and a pleasure to paddle. Triumph catches small following swells easily and is very manoeuvrable.
"Sleek lines and an efficient hull shape allows it to cut through the water with ease and it almost feels like your paddling a 13 foot ‘Sit-in’ kayak"
Sat there looking at and thinking about the angling configuration I think the Triumph would suit a “well organised kayak angler” best. With Duffers bulk (13 stone plus at least 2 more = 15+) and no fishing gear on board the centre hatch is very close to the water level. Rod holder and Scotty mounts are very accessible but there is less room for tackle and bait boxes in front of the paddler. The seating position being slightly forward has gobbled up some of that space, the price that has to be paid for the paddling performance. The Triumph is not a weather cocking angling SOT with acres of deck space; it is primarily a paddling machine. The seat supplied with the Triumph is adequate but when we take the boat fishing the seat will be replaced with something more luxurious – “you’re worth it”! Adjustable foot pegs are excellent, the hatch fit is robust and the build quality exceptional. The Triumph is very good value for money.
The Erk's thoughts...
It’s always good to get more than one opinion on something, particularly from a different age generation and paddler size.....Whenever a supplier launches a new fishing kayak I try to look at it from a couple of angles....
How does it ‘paddle as a kayak’?.......& How will it perform ‘as a fishing platform’?
I agree with duffer on this one, it is simply great to paddle. Sleek lines and an efficient hull shape allows it to cut through the water with ease and it almost feels like your paddling a 13 foot ‘Sit-in’ kayak. A narrow v-shape bow and defined keel line towards the stern help the Triumph to track easily in a straight line, although it also has bags of manoeuvrability when you need it.
Stability is relative to paddler size and ability. I’m 12 stone, and duffer is 15 stone, and we both felt it had enough stability to comfortably fish from and to play/land more powerful and larger fish. When comparing the Triumph to its predecessor ‘the Freedom’, they both offer different hull shapes. The Freedom has always been popular for offering allot of stability. It has a wide flat hull shape that offer lots of ‘initial stability’. The Triumph has a more rounded and slightly narrower hull shape that allows it to cut through the water slightly sleeker but also offers more ‘Secondary’ stability (on edge).
This allows you to be confident when edging the kayak and perhaps will handle rougher conditions that the flat bottomed hulled kayaks like the Freedom. One of my only grumbles with the Freedom was the moulded hatch area behind your seat that you struggled to reach over into your rear tank well. I am pleased to say that the Triumph does not have the same issue..........
I feel this is a great fishing kayak for those who enjoy ‘paddling’ and perhaps don’t take huge amounts of kit. If you’re the kind of kayak angler who takes a lot of kit and wants hatch/deck space in front of you then this might not be the kayak for you and you may be better looking at something like an Ocean Kayak Trident.....
I could see myself off the Cornish coast-line manoeuvring this kayak in tight to the rocks and gulleys for Bass. Travelling light with my spinning rods and a box of plugs/lures.
I’d also be happy sat at anchor fishing the bottom, but it’s a sleek low-profile kayak so I wouldn’t take the Kitchen-sink with me.
The Perception Triumph 13 is available in two specifications, the 'Angler' Spec and the 'Comfort' Spec.
The Angler Spec comes rich in features to suit kayak anglers.
Three hatches - Including a Large Oval rubber reinforced Bow Hatch, and two small round hatches. All rubber hatches make a good seal and after paddling and capsizing the kayak there was minimal water inside the hull.
Side Handles - Moulded solid side handles make lifting the kayak much easier than flexible/textile handles. The Handles are in the right position in terms of balance for lifting and car-topping the kayak.
Bow/Stern Handles - Easy grab handles that fit nicely in the palm. The carry handles are retained on bungee so that the handle sits flush to the kayak until lifted.
Rod Holders - The Triumph comes well equipped with two rear facing flush mount rod holders and one forward facing flush mount holder between the legs. All the flush mounted rod holders are sealed with neoprene and rubber gaskets and come with rubber caps for when not in use. The Angler Spec also comes with a Scotty baitcaster rod/reel holder and two forward Scotty flush bases to mount the rod holder.
Keel Strip - The rear of the keel line of the kayak comes with a plastic rubber strip that is designed to take the brunt of any wear and tear. The Strip can be detached and replaced if needed.
Keeper footrests come as standard on the Angler spec - easily adjustable for additional foot purchase and control. Comfort Seat comes as standard and we think is adequate. If more support / Comfort is needed a seat upgrade can easily be done.
The Comfort Specoffer exceptional value for those looking for a sleek and performing touring Sit on Top. Also an excellent option for those looking to spec-up to a custom designed/rigged fishing kayak. Comfort Spec comes with the Comfort seat, Oval front hatch, round centre hatch, side handles and deck-elastics as standard.
Perception Triumph Review by:
Duffer and the Erk
for the Canoe Shops (Group) Ltd. (December)
Perception Triumph 13:
- Moulded In Side Handles
- Skid Plate
- Large Oval Bow Hatch
- Moulded In Child Seat
- Paddle/Rod Park
- Easy Reach Centre Hatch with Bag
- Moulded In Footrests
- Superlinear Polyethylene Shell
- Rear Stowage Recess
- Self Bailing System
- Tracking Hull
- Accessory Attachment Points
- Retractable Carry Handles
- Comfort Seat and Backrest
Length 409 cm / 13'5"
Width 75 cm / 30"
Weight 27 kg / 60 lbs (Comfort Model)
Capacity 160 kg / 352 lbs