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Submitted: 06-08-2010 by jdrkayaker
I have owned a Cetus for 3 years. I've paddled it in 20 knot winds, 5-6 ft surf, day trips in variable conditions, and on several trips, including an 8 day trip where it was loaded to the gills.
All in all this is a very good expedition boat. It is very fast (I have held 5 mph for a 10 mile paddle), and very maneuverable (which I really like in an 18' boat). It does tend to weathercock a bit unloaded, but is much better behaved loaded. The skeg easily handles the weathercocking. The boat fits me well (6'1", 180 lbs) and rolls easily. The low foredeck makes allows me to use a greenland paddle without rapping my knuckles every stroke. The fourth hatch is a fabulously useful feature. Loaded, the boat has phenomenal stability, while being pretty dang maneuverable. I paddled through some pretty rough chop like I was cutting butter with a hot knife. The boat has excellent capacity for long trips.
It's a bit heavy, but then I'm not particularly kind to my boats, so they need to be able to take the abuse I dish out. I have landed it on large rocks, sand, gravel, trees, and the Cetus handled it all while only collecting the requisite scratches. The back band was a bit high for rolling when I received it, but I cut it down and it works fine now. I like to "wear" my boats, so I installed much more aggressive thigh braces for better control. Others may not like to be so tightly wedged into their boat.
I rate the boat a 9 because of it's weight, it's tendency to weathercock (not a fatal flaw by any means), and that fact that I don't believe in perfect boats. There are always compromises, so decide what your priorities are and choose your boat accordingly.
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