Submitted: 01-28-2008 by thomaslb
I have had my Manitou 14 for a year now and have paddled it in a variety of conditions both on the Indian and Banana Rivers here in Florida and also on the open Atlantic (always within sight of shore).
This is a very good boat. I am very happy with it. It's a great boat and you wouldn't regret having it in your fleet. I picked it up after RAPIDLY outgrowing a VERY cheap and VERY beginner's rec kayak. See, that's the thing about kayaks when you are starting out (I'm in my second year)--if you are addicted to the sport (like me) and you go out a lot (again, like myself), you can outgrow your boat. Well I had my Manitou out for almost a year twice a week and loved every minute of it. It's a poly boat so it is tough as nails. The cockpit is wonderfully comfortable and spacious so it's great on hot Florida days when you want to put your legs out on the fore deck and sunbathe or paddle it like a sit-on-top (!). I've also had it out in 2 foot storm chop and 3 foot ocean swells (I admit it-- I got rolled/dumped -- BUT I LEARNED HOW TO WET ENTRY AND PUMP HER OUT!).
It is a very stable boat with excellent handling characteristics. Good for cruising and hard core paddling alike. Then I got my 17 foot sea kayak and left the poor thing in the garage for almost 8 months. THEN my sea kayak developed a leak around the skeg box (very typical and no biggie). So after my re-sealing and repair I needed to let it cure. Long story shorter: I paddled my Necky Manitou 14 for a while again while the sea yak was healing. I missed the Manitou. When you look in the aft hatch and see the simple but nearly-impossible to go wrong skeg box (molded as part of the hull) you can see that it is doubtful IT will leak.
Bottom line, it is always good to have more than one kayak and I would never sell my Manitou 14. A good solid stable friend that always provides a nice paddle.