Submitted: 07-11-2008 by evan
So I picked up my newest boat last weekend, and it's the recycled Manitou which is the same as the new for 2008 Manitou select except comes in an awesome shade of "eco" green.
I test paddled a Manitou a few years ago and the added thigh and knee braces, more complete deck rigging, paddle float recess and improved foot braces make the recycled/select a major improvement over the more recreational oriented original. It's still by no means a touring boat, but boy is it fun. I've taken it out twice so far, once in some rough conditions in Jamaica bay, nyc right after I got it, just to try it out. Couldn't help myself! handled the 5 footers and major boat wakes no problem, I'd wear a skirt in those conditions though.
It's one of the fastest boats for its length I've ever paddled, the other day went out with my friend in his 14+ footer and I kept up with him no problem. Even in a 20 knot headwind it cruised. This thing literally dances on the water. light as a feather compared to my Tsunami, I can carry it one handed and car top it solo no problem (I'm 5'5" and drive a Cherokee).
Incredibly stable, and tracks excellent, though for novice or beginner paddlers it may take a little more time to perfect your stroke. for a more experienced paddler lookin to fill out the stable with a fast fun day touring boat that has all the features of a full sized touring yak this is definitely a good choice, haven't tried rolling it yet but seems like it wouldn't be a problem, paddle float re-entries are really easy too. I wanted to wait to post a review until I'd tried it out a bit more, but I know there's plenty of other people like me who want to know the difference between the select/recycled and the basic Manitou, so hope this is helpful.
Only complaint I have that keeps it from being a 10 is the hatch, and cover, if it was a dual density plastic one I would be much happier because those are rock solid, and this neoprene with plastic strap-on cover is hardly sufficient for keepin all your gear dry if going on an overnight. simple solution obviously, use dry bags, but i'm picky :)
Great boat, after I've had it in some more diverse conditions (ie rivers, tidal streams and a campin trip or two), I'll put an update if my thoughts have changed. if anything, the rating will go up! Happy paddlin, Necky nailed it with this one.