Submitted: 09-09-2008 by tarwheel
This is a follow up to my earlier review of my Necky Manitou 13 (poly) that I posted a short while after buying it. I've had the Manitou now for about 3 months and have paddled about twice a week since then. I mostly paddle on local lakes, but have taken it to the coast one time. I am also relatively new to kayaking, just starting in May.
The Manitou is fast for a boat its size and tracks very well. I never have any trouble paddling it straight, and I'm a newbie. It is also very stable and I've never come close to tipping it over. The seat is very comfortable, although I sometime get a little sore on longer paddles, possibly due to bad positioning on my part. The Manitou has plenty of shock cords to lashing things down and a rear hatch, but a small hatch in the front would be really nice for storing day-use stuff. It's also a nice looking boat with graceful lines like a British sea kayak, and I love the Fire (yellow-orange-red) fade of mine. The Manitou is also very light (45 lbs.) for a poly boat of its size and easy to load on a rack.
I don't have any strong dislikes, but quickly regretted not buying the Manitou 14, which is slightly longer and has a front bulkhead and hatch. I have paddled the 14 and it performs almost identical to my 13, but the front hatch/bulkhead is an important feature for sea kayaking that I was ignorant about when I bought my 13. The 14 is also a little more buoyant and faster for someone my size, 5'11" and 190 lbs. However it is less maneuverable than the 13. The 14 also has a skeg, which frankly I don't think would be needed very often since the Manitou tracks so well without it.