Sun Dolphin Bali 12 SS
The Sun Dolphin Bali 12 SS is a recreational sit-on-top kayak that will suit a casual paddler that wants to get out on flatwater for a few hours a session. It isn’t the speediest or the most trackable kayak but it will get you where you want to go in relative comfort. At an affordable $300 to $400 price point, you could hardly go wrong with this casual boat that can handle rough use in mild conditions. Sturdy and durable, the Bali 12 SS will last many years to come and will make a great companion for many hours on the water.
Sun Dolphin Bali 12 SS Prices
- Can accommodate larger kayakers
- Seat isn’t comfortable for long sessions
- Not the best tracking
Size and Weight
The Sun Dolphin Bali 12 SS measures 12 feet / 364 cm in length, 30.75 inches / 78 cm in width, and stands at 12.75 inches / 32 cm in height. It weighs 48 lbs / 22 kg, which makes it fairly average for a recreational kayak of this length and is easily handled by one person.
It is comparable to other similar kayaks like the Eddyline Caribbean 12 FS which weighs 45 lbs / 20.4 kg. However, it is significantly lighter than the shorter Liquidlogic Venture 11.5 which weighs 62 lbs / 28 kg.
The Bali 12 SS has a maximum payload of 395 lbs / 179 kg. This is significantly more than the Eddyline Caribbean or Liquidlogic Venture, both of which can only take 275 lbs / 124.7 kg.
Made out of sturdy UV-resistant Fortiflex high-density polyethylene (HDPE), this kayak is designed with durability in mind and will last many years. However, if you frequently drag the kayak over rough terrain, you might want to invest in a hull guard.
At the tip of the bow is a t-handle for easy transportation, and right behind that is a small, open storage compartment that can be secured with a bungee. You can only stash items like a dry bag that you don’t mind getting wet.
Right behind the area is a small circular hatch and while it has a rubber seal, it has been known to take in water so only stow things that you don’t mind getting wet.
Further down the kayak, there are two adjustable foot braces in the open cockpit to suit paddlers of most heights. Along the gunnels are two thigh pads to cushion your legs from the sides, as well as a paddle park system for you to secure your paddle with a bungee when not in use.
Right in front of the seat is a cup holder where you can have a small cup or water bottle. The adjustable seat is fully padded, unlike the Bali 10 SS which only has a padded backrest and no padded bottom. However, the pad is thin and you might want to upgrade it if you want more cushioning.
The adjustable backrest allows you to control the angle of your lean so you can have more back support or you can lean back more if you are relaxing.
Just behind the seat are two rod holders that have no covers, which will allow the water to get in. However, these holders are not through-hull, which means the water will stay in the holders. Although you’ll have to tip the kayak out at the end of the day, the water will not get into the hull.
Towards the stern after the rod holders is a large storage compartment with one small, circular hatch. This entire compartment is secured by a bungee tie-down system and can be removed by simply lifting the rubber-lined handle.
Once you’ve removed the compartment, you can tow it behind you or store it somewhere else in the kayak. The tankwell can then be used as additional storage and secured with the bungee.
Towards the stern is the second t-handle for carrying and the drain plug for you to get rid of excess water.
Whether you want to fish, cruise in a lake or simply go out for a relaxing paddle and explore the surroundings, the Bali 12 SS is a reliable, sturdy boat that can get you there.
This kayak does best in calm waters like lakes and slow rivers. It rides fairly high and will not suit choppy waters or high winds.
In addition, your butt is at the kayak’s lowest point, and if the water comes in, you’re going to be sitting in water as there are no scuppers!
It isn’t the best at tracking, but it is maneuverable and can handle tight turns well. It isn’t the speediest kayak on the market but it will get you where you want to go. Just be prepared to paddle delicately and give yourself some time to get used to the sensitivity.
Overall, the Bali 12 SS makes a good choice for someone looking for a super affordable kayak to get out on calm waters for a couple of hours and catch a fish or three. However, if you are looking for all-day comfort and adventure or overnight trips, you’d do better with a more feature-rich craft.
Sun Dolphin Bali 12 SS
Sun Dolphin 51715 Bali SS Kayak, 12-Feet - Kayaking in Cape Breton
Specification: Sun Dolphin Bali 12 SS