Galaxy Sturgeon 4.1 Review
Galaxy Sturgeon 4.1 Review by Kayak Fishing UK
Galaxy Sturgeon 4.1 Review
Do make sure you watch the video
Here’s our review of the new Galaxy Sturgeon 4.1 fishing kayak from Galaxy kayaks who have once again trusted us to give our honest and unbiased opinion of their latest offering to the kayaking world.
We reviewed the Galaxy Cruz after reading a lot of mixed reactions, hearsay and rumours around the net from “cheap Chinese imports” to “horror sinkings” and all sorts so hopefully you read that review and watched our videos so you can make up your own mind from it. We did the same with the Sturgeon (known as the Alboron in Spain) and have been right through it. Paddled her in all conditions and really given her the run around so read on for the best review you can find!
The kayak comes with a good seat, an excellent paddle which now replaces the one supplied with the Cruz and scupper bungs as well the cool 4 piece tray that fits in the 2 star ports on the dashboard at the front of the cockpit.
The kayak comes fitted with an aluminium rudder all set up ready to go but it comes with the rudder off for transport and all you do is fit it using the pin provided then fasten the loosened eyelet that helps to get the rudder off. You’ll need a 4.5mm Allen key for this and other fittings so do have one ready as it’s not provided.
When I took delivery of the kayak the driver asked me for a hand lifting it off the lorry as it was too heavy for him so I did my good deed and went along the road to give a hand. As we walked back with it I do remember thinking “wow this is heavy” but then realised there was all the extras in with it. I unwrapped it and took the pictures of all the important bits then turned it over to view the hull and it was then I realised just how heavy this kayak is. For a 4.1 kayak it seems to weigh the same as a Prowler Big Game but then when I thought about it, there’s no way I could ever have stood on the hull of my Big game without it caving in as it was so soft and thin.
The kayak is 5mm thick all round and as tough as I’ve ever seen on a kayak. This is ultra-tough as you can see in the picture. The only place (after walking up and down it) I could find any give was just behind the front hatch which is an obvious weak point and even then it wasn’t much at all.
I assembled all the bits and extras for a picture and to see just what you’re going to get for your hard earned cash…
I was immediately drawn to the new look paddle which is a two piece, two notch black paddle with good blades and a vast improvement on the older model we saw with the Cruz. It smacks of sturdiness and when used felt good and competent. I also like the two notches for adjustable length as we’re all different shapes and sizes so this covers us all more or less rather than somebody getting a paddle that’s too long or too short for them. A good thought on Galaxy’s behalf I reckon. Here’s a picture of the paddle joint close up.
Getting back to the kayak, looking around it I found it looked slender with nicely detailed lines as a finishing touch and could tell attention to detail had been paramount in designing it. The centre hatch is an awesome addition although it’s a tad thin and flimsy in my opinion (me being heavy handed and clumsy) I think its features are fantastic with the best one being the rounded sides. A lot of manufacturers overlook this and I remember my Ultra 4.3 having very squared off edges that dug into my inner legs/knees. I think that’s a great touch. The star ports on the lid of it are great too as they give you loads of scope for moving and adding equipment rather than stick a man-made plate over the top and drilling all over it as some of us have done in the past.
The inside of it is deep enough to hold your 2 given rod holders for launching/landing as well as VHF and other essentials too or whatever you may fancy if you’re rigging yours your own way which is what it’s all about. The two handles to open/close it fit snugly into their recesses so you don’t catch a loose fitting dry suit leg on them whilst manoeuvring around/over the yak.
The foot well has a pair rudder orientated foot plates that I found a tad stiff to use but the kayak is brand new so will need adjusting and setting up over a good few trips out so you can get your best position fixed in place. Do note that you have to tie your own knots to the rudder to secure it though so tie them loosely whilst tinkering otherwise you’ll struggle to untie them to adjust them as you play…
Amongst the goodies you get with the kayak are a pair of clips for the foot plates to stop them moving/falling off but I was unable to fit them and I also know of others who’ve had an issue so it’s been reported and Galaxy are already changing them!
Star Ports and track bar
Possibly the best feature of this new yak is the front two mountings on the dashboard of the cockpit. You get two star track mounts that fit onto these and on top of these fits a bar with 4 more fittings on it. These are currently only one type of fitting but I have it on good authority that they’ll soon incorporate Railblazer and Scotty too.
There’s a mesh pocket either side of your legs (see above) which I’m told has now been replaced by rubber in case a hook catches in it and it’d be a nightmare to get out of the mesh. Personally speaking I don’t think I’d use them for much other than a small cam for videoing and keeping it to hand but as said previously, we’re all different and some will find them very useful I’m sure.
The starports come with a sliding lock to lock your goodies in place in case you tip.
Looking at the hull is a dream! Just look at the tracks and finish coupled with the already mentioned solid hull. For me there’s nothing else to say as the picture says it all! You can see the keel very clearly here so you know it’s going to track well. The scupper holes don’t get in the way either.
Working towards the stern you can see in the picture above the loose eyelet for the rudder. You need to fix this in place to fit the rudder properly as mentioned earlier. The tankwell is ample and there’s talk of Galaxy’s own tankwell box coming for 2015 so do keep a look out. There’s a recess in the centre for keeping an anchor in (or a skittle of you have one lol) but seriously, this has been seen as a bit of a ‘naff’ addition and is going to be removed for 2015 as it just holds unnecessary water. It’s good if you catch a fish small enough to take back alive though lol
The bungee cord across the tankwell is very versatile and is very handy for all shapes and sizes of box(es) and the fittings are very strong and robust although I found them a bit hard to lift up to use. Maybe they’ll wear loose in time though as it is brand new.
The rudder as mentioned is aluminium and is quite long and slender. I/we found that it wouldn’t stay down in the water when paddling and a cam cleat is needed for this which should maybe be included if your fitting a rudder as default.
The carry handles have been very well thought out. The rear one is out the way of the rudder system and the front one (see top pic) is strong and well placed to attach a bow line to without the bow line falling into the water.
The drain plug comes with a tiny breathe hole drilled in as standard and Galaxy are trying to stamp this out as it’s really not necessary for us anglers as we’re in the hull regularly giving it enough breath so it won’t implode or whatever. If yours comes with a hole in just seal it as it’s not necessary. If it was a sealed hull then the breathe hole would serve a purpose but with all the hatches etc. we don’t need it. Note the position of the drain plag too. Its on the side of the kayak where if you tip the kayak to drain it should it ever need it (we didn’t) it won’t interfere with the rudder system which you have to agree is very well thought out.
The rudder is held in place by a split pin which bends over beneath the yak. I like this as it’s nice and simple and easily replaced if need be but it also catches line if turning whilst trolling. I’m sure someone will come up with a cover for it though and it really isn’t a big issue.
Here’s a better view of the rudder fitting and sleek keel. It reminds me of the old Prowler 13 series.
One issue I/we had immediately when first paddling it was the two supplied star ports on the gunwales. They were simply too close to the paddler and got in the way straight away with the two supplied rod holders fitted so we removed them and reported it but once again Galaxy had already been onto the case and are moving them forward in the mould. I suggested the alternative of letting the paddler fit them but the fittings are brass and built into the kaya so as long as they come out of the way of the paddle stroke we should be fine.
Note the ruler on the centre hatch in the pic above too. A good addition for comp. fishing!
You can see the 2 foot plate clips in the picture above but they’re being redesigned for a better fit. Speaking of bungs, the ones supplied to us weren’t any better than the Cruz one’s as they did leak, although not as bad and I have lost a lot of weight since the Cruz review so maybe it’s a weight/pressure issue. Others say they’re okay for them so maybe it was the bungs I got? I prefer to form my own out of “pool noodle” which is fantastic for the job if you can get it?
As you can see, the seat fits in there just lovely and is very comfortable. I’ve had a couple of issues in 2015 where the seat restraints have loosened on me but they’re easily pulled back into position.
Live Bait Well
The new and exclusive “live bait well” which sits inside the 10” hatch in front of you. I personally cannot see me ever using it for the sea fishing I do but other than keeping fresh crab alive and healthy but its easily bunged and you get a scupper bung with 4 tiny holes drilled too that must let the water drain slowly and come back in. Ideal for fresh water baits…
The front hatch is made from rubber and is spot on! No fancy clips and new fangled clips that break or snap in use, just a really well fitting rubber, watertight hatch that is quite easy to get off and put back on. It has been redesigned though to get it like this so a lot of thought has and still is being put into this kayak which is great to see. How many kayaks have we seen over the years where they knock them up then push them out to us with no way of having our input on the design? The only one I can think of is the OK Trident series which was great BUT why was it great? Because it had end user input which is why this kayak is going to sell and sell well!
In summary, we tested the kayak out on the North Sea in some very differing conditions and also in the English Lake District on flat calm water. There’s not a lot to say really as the video tells it all but what we will say is that this is one hell of a kayak for the price! In all the trips out and being moored overnight on lake Ullswater in heavy rain, the kayak was regularly checked for water in the hull and was bone dry! However, as per usual the first thing I did when getting it was reseat the rod holders and seal the drain plug. Galaxy are now doing this themselves though so you shouldn’t need too.
Paddling her is like sitting on a Trident 13 or similar, she tracks really well and is really quick on the water too! The only down side we can think of are the bits and bobs you get with it which could cause end users to moan about like the poorly fitting foot pegs and poor scupper bungs but all is in hand and already being dealt with so by the time you get one all should be well and all the teething issues (very little) should be ironed out.
The only tiny gripe we had if you can call it that was the weight of it but if you’re going to put 5mm plastic on a kayak then there’s no way of getting that down and you know your safe out there on it too. Paddle over a rock or rocks as you land on this and I very much doubt you’d damage if scratch the hull it’s that solid.
Wayne & I will add and edit this in the near future and update you but for now enjoy the videos and make your own mind up. Thanks for taking the time to read 🙂
Andy & Wayne
Kayak Fishing UK