Submitted: 04-27-2004 by alderban
I agree with all comments made in the review by FVH. I was looking for a kayak as a back-up to my QCC-500. I wanted a shorter boat to paddle in tight winding creeks with fairly strong currents (a 16'10" boat is a bit much for this), but I also wanted a second boat for family/freinds to use, that could allow them to cruise at a comparable pace and in comfort, with me in my QCC. The Manitou fits the bill admirably. When I demo'ed the boat, I was carving figure "8s" with ease, yet in the stiff cross-breeze, it tracked arrow straight for several hundred yards back and forth, I don't know the winds speed (maybe 8-12mph), but If I had traveled the same distance in my QCC (empty and rudder up), I'm sure I would have had to lift a knee on edge for several strokes to compensate for the wind. The Manitou has very good initial stability, I was actually a little surprised to get it up and hold it on edged turns so easily. The speed I get from the Manitou is also good. Since I can't accurately factor for wind, current and waves, all I can do is give my honest opinion/comparison which is that at my average cruising/daypaddling speed of 3.2-3.8 mph, the effort is no different between the Manitou and the QCC. The manitou starts to need a bit more effort at my workout pace which is around 3.8-4.5. After around 4.5 mph the bow seems to plunge a bit. I never could quite get 5 mph to show on the GPS, but then I don't plan to race it, I just wanted to see if the manitou could keep up, and I think it does. For day paddling purposes, the Manitou performance, stability, and comfort is a 10. Now I'll be as critical as I can. The seat back does stick up a bit to high for a comfortable (watch you package fellas)paddle float rescue. The seat will bend fwd a little to allow to slide over it, but it's not ment too. The padded knee contact points under the cockpit/deck are comfortable, but I can already see that I will have to re-glue the left side padding in a few months. Lastly, there is not a whole lot of storage in the "water resistant" (not water tight) hatch but it is adeqate for a day-tour or a spartan over-nighter. I think that they could have managed space a little better by installing bow floatation that is shaped to "form fit" in the nose, and allowed for better stowage in the bow, beyond the foot pegs. The rectangle of styrofoam in the bow does provide good floatation though. Like I've stated, I'm trying to be picky, but (without repeating observations already made by FVH)I am extremely pleased with the value.