Submitted: 01-21-1999 by Galen Hekhuis
Being as how I am a gimp, I can't tell you everything you may have wanted to know about the Manteo. I'm also fairly new to paddling, so I can't really say I've paddled a bunch of stuff.
Anyhow, the Manteo weighs only about 50 pounds, and meets all my requirements. It has a rear hatch and bulkhead, which is large enough for me to get stuff into (tent, sleeping bag, etc.) for an overnighter, although (as with any hatch compartment) one should not rely on the watertightness of the cover -- always use dry bags too, if you want to be sure stuff stays dry. It's stable, fast (I do about 3 knots average, 5 if I sprint), and seems to track pretty well. There's room behind the seat and in front of the rear bulkhead to stash plenty of stuff, I carry my bilge pump and paddle float there, and there's lots of room for more.
I was out on a lake in North Carolina when a powerboat decided to play "sink the kayak." The powerboat gave up after circling me for a bit, but I hardly got wet.
It has bungee cords on the deck fore and aft. I mounted a compass on the front set, and there is still lots of room.
So why a 9 instead of a 10? Simply because there is some "sculpting" on the front deck that gets wet. Not real wet, but just enough to irritate me. That's why.
I like the boat a lot, it's light, tough, and cheap. I can attest to its toughness. I've thrown it off the top of my truck lots of times, although I don't recommend that sort of way to get it off a car.