Submitted: 08-31-2009 by David
I recently acquired a new Necky Manitou 14 (polyethylene plastic))for the lakes and coastal areas of the Northwest. After two months of using it in streams, rivers and lakes of central Oregon, I am enjoying this boat very much. I will compare it to the Cayuga 13 (Old Town) which my wife has and I have used for two years in every type of water environment.
The Necky 14 tracks very well, especially with the skeg in high winds (better than the Cayuga 13 which has no skeg). It turns well for a boat of this size, better without the skeg in use. The Cayuga at 13 feet turns faster and easier, which is what I would expect. The Necky cuts through the waves, especially when laden with extra gear in the bow and stern...fun on the large lakes when wind comes up.
I find it takes more effort to go from medium speed to higher speed with the Necky as compared to the Cayuga 13. The Cayuga is more stable with a wider cockpit but that's no big deal as both are very comfortable. Since I use my Necky for fishing as well as paddling (mostly), I have stayed in the boat up to four hours at a time. So, in summary, the Necky 14 is a great boat, especially for the money (sale with REI).
To be honest, if I had one kayak to buy for doing everything (streams, rivers, and coastal bays), I would choose the Old Town Cayuga 13 because it is sooooo easy to paddle, very stable, extremely comfortable, and moves out easily. In the future, I will demo the Tsunami 14 and make a comparison. I've heard many good things about that boat as well. We are on our way to the Oregon coast for the month (with RV) to try out the coastal bays and lakes there. What we are finding as long time canoers but recently converted kayakers, is that it would be nice to have two types of kayaks: one like the Cayuga 13 for smaller bodies of water (streams, rivers, and lakes) and another larger kayak about 17 feet that does well in the ocean bays, large lakes, and open ocean.