Submitted: 04-23-2008 by Ken
I have had the Manta Ray 14 for about 3 months and I paddle it about 3X a week in coastal and estuarine conditions. The Manta Ray is a very solid boat.
I have had her out in conditions ranging from glass flat to 2 foot whitecaps. She is a very stable and predictable boat in all conditions. In calm water she is not the fastest or most responsive boat out there but has no trouble cruising at 3+ mph. In light to medium chop she tracks well and has a lot of inertia. In large chop the handling will loosen up a little when she surfs but nothing that some small corrections can't handle. When heading into larger chop she tracks well but has a tendency to pound the waves a bit, so it can be a wet ride.
The primary stability is excellent but loose enough to allow the boat to react to the water. The secondary stability is also excellent. Even without knee straps I can heel her over enough to dip the gunnels in the water.
I bought this boat because I wanted a boat that would accommodate my dog. She is a 60 lb border collie and she rides in the stern tank well. Her presence in the boat barely changes the handling or trim and I am convinced you could load this boat with all the gear you can think of and hardly notice it... I hardly notice 60 lbs of MOVING weight in the stern.
Overall the Manta Ray 14 is an excellent boat for someone looking for a large capacity versatile craft. Due to the size and weight of the boat it may be a bit too much for a smaller lighter paddler both on and off the water.