-- Last Updated: May-02-13 3:43 PM EST --
So I took a trip to the kayak shop the other day and had the opportunity to sit in a few boats, one of them being the Manitou 14. I had initially had my heart set on a Looksa 14 but as a smaller paddler (5'8" 165lb male) I felt more comfortable in the Manitou with the lower foredeck and thinner widith. I like the lower rear deck also and I would probably change out the high seat back at some point for a back band so I can learn different types of rolls.
However, one thing I didn't like was the softer chines compared to the multi hard chined Looksha. Now, I don't know how to put a kayak on edge yet but it is on the list of things to learn this summer. Based on looks alone the Manitou doesn't look like it would edge as well as the Looksha.
This now brings me to my question. What out there is similar to the Manitou that has a more agressive hull design? Perhaps the Dagger Alchemy 14S? I have read that the Alchemy 14S handles really well but it isn't what you'd consider quick within this class of boats and isn't great as far as gear capacity is concerned. It does have a back band as opposed to a high seat back so that is one less thing to buy in the future.
Rudder vs. skeg isn't important as long as it has one or the other along with front and rear bulkheads. Most of my paddling will be day paddles but I am going to do a few one or two night trips so I will need to be able to carry things from time to time. The shops near me sell all of the major brands.
I have set aside a day this week to go do test paddles. So, that being said I haven't had the Manitou out on the water yet.
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Posted by: Celia on Apr-27-13 12:44 PM (EST)
More rocker turns easier, and may turn so well it isn't a great tracker. Chines don't matter as much as rocker.
Rocker effects vs edging|
Posted by: mdwaters on Apr-27-13 1:32 PM (EST)
It looks like the Alchemy has more rocker than the Manitou so it will surely turn better but be slower and not track as well (at least with the skeg up). Does rocker affect edging ability/stability or does it only have to do with flat or semi-flat turns? I was under the impression that edging was all about the chines as opposed to the rocker. I'm sure you have noticed by this point that I am still new at this!
I have a variety of ww boats, lake |
Posted by: ezwater on Apr-27-13 1:45 PM (EST)
canoes, and one lonely Necky Looksha Sport.
Posted by: mdwaters on Apr-27-13 2:42 PM (EST)
14ft options |
Posted by: pbpaddler on Apr-27-13 6:40 PM (EST)
I'm a bit smaller than you and looking at the Venture Islay LV and Eddyline Samba as options (haven't found anywhere to test paddle or even try on for size yet)
You're well studied|
Posted by: edzep on Apr-27-13 6:48 PM (EST)
I have both Dagger and Necky |
Posted by: trvlrerik on Apr-28-13 1:02 AM (EST)
In my opinion the Manatou is a great beginner/intermediate boat that should not be dismissed as a rec boat only. For a wider boat it has pretty decent speed and glide, and it can turn pretty quickly if really rolled up on its side aggressively. The outfitting is decent, and a back band is an easy upgrade. Two things about the Manatou that keep it in my fleet is that they are very light for a wide poly boat, and the hatches are great, easy to operate and dry.
For a growing skill set...|
Posted by: t.george on Apr-28-13 10:59 AM (EST)
The Alchemy is a higher performance boat that is beginer friendly. I use mine to take folks out for their first time, use it in some WW & rock gardening as well as surf. Great all around boat with plenty of storage if you know how to back pack. The quick responsiveness works for corrective strokes as well as turning. It's cruising speed is plenty fast for the type of paddling you're describing, it's suprisingly effecient. I'd recommend putting some time in both the Alchemy S & L as well as the Manitou before purchasing if you've any doubts.
Posted by: manitou14 on Apr-28-13 9:15 PM (EST)
The wife and i bought manitou 14's as our first boats. I am 5 11 and 175 lbs and found the boat to be a good fit. At around 24 inches wide its not going to be a rocket but it isnt slow either.
I went and sat|
Posted by: mdwaters on May-01-13 6:49 AM (EST)
in the Alchemy 14s and 14l at the shop yesterday. I was surprised how low the foredeck on the 14S was! I couldn't really fit my feet in and I wasn't wearing bulky shoes. Even with booties it would be a tight fit. The 14L, however, fit great. It was good to see it sitting next to a Wilderness Systems Zephyr 155 and Tsunami 145. The Zephyr is a sweet boat but at $1500 it is a little much on the price side of things. The Tsunami looked like a barge compared to both the Alchemy and Zephyr. I may still go with the Manitou being I hear that the shop which carries it is having a mother's day sale and I can snag it for under $1k whereas the Alchemy would still be over 1k. I can use the extra money to buy a nicer paddle. However, I still need to paddle both boats and see which one feels better on the water.
have you considered used?|
Posted by: sapien on May-01-13 6:05 PM (EST)
I am open to used boats|
Posted by: mdwaters on May-02-13 7:30 AM (EST)
but nothing has come across lately that I have recognized. There was an ad for two Necky Looksa's at a great price. However, after sitting in one I decided to go another route. I'll have to read up on that Easky and contact the seller.
I can't find a ton|
Posted by: mdwaters on May-06-13 10:38 PM (EST)
on the Easky in the way of reviews. Why would you take it over the Manitou? The seller unloaded it to a local paddling shop before I got to him and they want $750 for the kayak, paddle, and cockpit cover.
quick 2 cents|
Posted by: tetonjohn on May-02-13 9:59 AM (EST)
FWIW, my first kayak was a Manitou 14; loved it as a first; good for a wide range of uses here (lakes, Snake River -- not the class III section, I ducky that). However after a couple of years I bought a dedicated lake boat (16.5 x 22) and then in another couple of years a dedicated river boat (XP10). I now rarely use the Manitou but keep it around for visitors who are comfortable in it. Personally, I have no regrets about getting the Manitou as my first kayak. I hope my experience helps a little in your thinking -- it may or may not apply to you.