Submitted: 06-07-2001 by johns913
I've been out in my new f/g Capella now about a dozen times, on a quiet inland lake near my house. One of my favorite times to paddle is in bad weather with wind. Living in Michigan, it seems that most days now are overcast and windy. So, having a hobby that I can do on "bad" days is a really good thing. The wind adds a dimension to the kayak experience that is absent on a sunny, calm day. The Capella is totally controllable in the winds that I have been in (less than 20 mph) by setting the skeg to various depths. The skeg control is very nicely done on the Capella. It moves smoothly and has a quality feel. I can adjust the skeg with minimal impact on my paddle cadence. The Capella strongly wants to point into the wind with the skeg up. Without the skeg I don't seem to be able to turn it away from the wind (but I am a newbie). Small adjustments on the skeg allow me to easily change and hold my course in the wind. The Capella tracks really well with or without the skeg (but weathercocks w/o).
I'm guessing here, but I think that the strong tendency for this boat to point into the wind adds a lot of safety and predictability. I no longer see weathercocking as a bad thing. I should add that my daughter was out in my boat in light winds and did not feel that the boat weathercocked at all. So, the paddler's weight may have some effect on the boats performance, I weigh 225 lbs, she weighs 125 lbs. Regardless, the skeg is really nice. I usually will only have to touch the skeg control 3-5 times in a two hour paddle, so it's not intrusive.
I'm just starting to seriously experiment with putting the kayak up on it's edge. Way before you feel you are going to tip over, the cockpit is in the water. So, buy a neoprene spary skirt at the same time you buy the kayak.
I am impressed with the quality of this boat, the fit and finish are excellent. If there are any sharp points or places to get scraped up, I have not found them yet. P&H has really put some time into the craftsmanship of this kayak. The seat and backrest are comfortable. At first I thought that the cockpit was smaller in the 2001 model vs. the 2000 model, but P&H assured me that it was not.
My second choice kayak was over one thousand dollars less, but I am really glad I choose the Capella. It is worth the extra money.