Submitted: 07-06-2007 by jazmarc
I purchased my Manitou about three months ago for paddling rivers, flat lakes and the sound. This is my first boat. I'd test paddled 12' WS Pamlico, Pungo, and a 13' Tsunami. As well as a Perception Carolina 14.
I preferred the Manitou over all the others due to it's speed, stability and wave cutting design. Initially I expected to be camping overnight, but haven't had the opportunity to use the compartment storage except to test the boat under load. I noticed no difference in maneuverability while paddling the yak filled with camping gear. I initially had a little trouble peeling on the neoprene covers, but after a few tries I got the feel of it. My first opportunities to test paddle were in the sound off of the North Carolina coast. The days were breezy and 1 to 2 foot chop wasn't uncommon as well as a noticeable current. Initially I was nervous starting off in moving water but due to the Mantou's superior design I was able to quickly develop confidence in my paddling skills and tackle wake conditions found on the Intercoastal waterway. After experiencing flat narrow rivers and choppy coastal waters I have to say the Manitou is up to the challenge in all conditions. But it really shines when cutting through the waves. I can't get out in the moving water enough! The drop skeg is a nice feature when in the windy sound, aids in tracking. Otherwise tracking is never an issue. I'm 6' 0" 175lbs and I appreciate the roominess of the Manitou. I'd expect someone taller with fifty pounds more weight would feel similarly.
Highly recommended craft for someone who wants a rec boat with true sea kayak design features.