Submitted: 10-02-2000 by Bob
Both the Capella RM and P&H are a wonderful pair. After much research, paddling boats and returning two new American-made plastic boats due to integral rudder malfunctioning in one and significant hatch leakage in another, I have found the perfect boat for me. The Capella is as beautiful to look at from afar as it is up close. The workmanship is impeccable. The boat has welded poly bulkheads, a below the waterline smooth surface that matches a glass boat, and an incredibly rigid hull that cannot be buckled when performing rescues(as I have found on prior plastic boats). The new 'triple laminate' design provides a very stiff and responsive hull. There is a tad less initial stability than some of the American boats that are marketed in the same class. However, one adjusts quickly and benefits from the increase in responsiveness, manueverability and speed and comfort. It has good primary stability and great secondary stability.I think it tracks wonderully, especially with the skeg engaged. One of the reasons I was attracted to the boat initially was the availaility of a skeg in a plastic boat. The hatches are absolutely watertight. (Interestingly, I was told by a major U.S. company representative that one could not expect to have totally dry hatches.) This boat is more responsive, rigid, faster, dryer(hatches), attractive(a tad subjective I know), lighter(5-10 lbs), and has far superior workmanship than any plastic boat I have yet looked at. Interestingly, it costs about the same as comparable class boats, and a few hundred dollars less than comparable English boats. To top it all....the only dislike I had was my own reaction to the red rigging on the yellow boat I purchased. I sent an email to P&H asking them to send/bill me for some of their black rigging rope/bungi. Within five days, a package arrived from the U.K. with a note indicating that the rigging I had requested was mine with no charge whatsoever. What can I say....other than that the Capella RM and P&H are both a ten as far as I am concerned! BTW, regarding the fit. I am 5"10" and weigh 225lbs. The boat is remarkably comfortable and somewhat roomy. A 6'6" guy got into my boat when I was ready to buy it...his legs fit in with no problem whatsoever. Also, with some additional cockpit padding, I have met/talked to a number of small woman and average size men(5'10" 140lbs) who also fit this boat with great comfort. If you are looking for a wonderful and affordable plastic boat....do yourself a favor and at least demo the Capella. You will get a great boat... and a company to back it up!