Any P&H Cetus LV Owners Out There?

The Cetus LV has been highly recommended for someone of my stature (5'4", 115 lbs).

It's a new model, so the only paddler reviews I could find are by people who've demoed it. Would be interested to hear from anyone who's actually paddled a Cetus LV for a while (e.g. multiple trips in varying conditions).

Please note this info request is for the Cetus LV, not the regular Cetus. They are totally different boats.


The River Connection…

– Last Updated: Nov-07-09 10:22 AM EST –

Try giving Dorothy Seddon a call at The River Connection in Hyde Park, NY. I believe she is currently paddling one.

Another option would be getting in touch with paddling instructor Karen Knight who I believe received the the very first Cetus LV delivered to U.S. shores.
FWIW, I doubt either Dorothy or Karen hang out on this board.

The Cetus LV was just released by P&H this year, so I do not know if you are going to find a lot of new owners.

Not owner but time in
They had a Cetus LV at the Downeast Symposium, and Russell Farrow spent some decent time in it for the tidal races. You may want to touch base with him.

John Carmody, out of Booth Bay ME and Sea Cliff Kayakers, has one that he’s been putting people into under a variety of conditions. It may be worth touching base with him.

Hangs out

– Last Updated: Nov-07-09 11:04 AM EST –

TVCs suggestion for reviewers was most apt as both Dorothy & Karen would fall in the petite to mid-petite size range so they would have the best first hand feedback as to how the Cetus LV performs for that size range.

Now bias will weigh in as to who would be the best to give Trillium info as I'm married to one and friends with the other so I think I'll just quit while I'm ahead.

I know that Dorothy doesn't hang out on this board much but obviously Marshall does. ;)

See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY

thanks for all the suggestions!

Intended Use?
While the cockpit sizing, etc. is, I have been told by a paddler of your size, is great, keep in mind its intended use is as an extended touring boat. It makes a nice day/play/weekend boat for someone my size which is 5’ 10" and 175#. I know some paddlers of your size who have and like the Cetus LV very much, but for routine day paddles they tend to use lower volume boats such as NDK Pilgrim and Avocet LV.

There are some innovative boats coming next year from P&H (Aries)designed for day/play/weekend use and in two sizes. If most of your paddling is of that type, you might want to consider waiting to check it out. While I really like my big touring boat when out for more than a long weekend, the benefits of a low volume boat for most day paddles are considerable in my opinion.

This be a point…
While it has a couple of annoying attributes, like not having RDF’s up front in a location that would greatly facilitate storage of a GP and a darned sticky day hatch cover, my slightly-sub 16’ Vela has been wet a lot more than the 17’9" Explorer LV over the last year or two. It’s just an easier boat to haul around for most trips, when capacity is not an issue.

The Quest LV is a long boat.

Right Size - LV vs. MV
Cetus LV sounds like the right size for you.

We’ll have the MV (mid volume) coming out this spring as well - for paddlers 160-220

MV (mid volume) Cetus
Good idea. The regular Cetus felt awfully big to me - 6’, 185 lbs.

MV is gonna be just right for you.

we’ve also got a “X” boat - which we’ve been playing around with -some of the team will be using this season. it initially, was the basis for the MV - but it evolved into something else. X won’t be for the market … but a really cool boat.

MV - showing up this spring.

So is the current Cetus going to be the HV?

Funny to see you call it project X since project X & Y happened years ago and became the P&H Quest.


– Last Updated: Nov-11-09 4:46 PM EST –

no kayak 17'5" (the Cetus LV) is going to be 'just right' for a woman 5'3" and 115 lbs. Especially if she wants a playful day boat. Or something that won't make her chiropractor's boat payment.

Didn't we get past this old dogma about putting small paddlers (esp. female ones) in big long boats?

Yes, I have sat in and paddled a Cetus LV and it is a fine LV kayak alright -for an average to large sized male or an average sized woman with some heft to her.
It is not a small paddler's boat.

If I bought a Cetus LV, Five pounds of minicell later I might have something suitable for my next once in a lifetime expedition to the Falklands or wherever.

I will remember those trips fondly on my many day paddles, as I bob like a cork and wrestle the wind in my magnificiently oversized seagoing kayak.

it is if
you are wanting a longer boat.

but if your not - by all means go with something shorter if that is what you want/need/desire.

Capellas/Romanys both shorter boats which offer a lot. Capella 161 is another good fit at that size.

equally we’ll have the Airies 15 and 15.5 coming out in 2010 - the 15 will be the smaller - and a solid boat based on the cetus/scorpio - but shortened up for rock garden/surf/coasteering - etc.

Karen Knight - Cetus LV
She’s a pip and she seems to be pleased as punch making her Cetus LV do ballet on the water.

Boils down to a shorter length kayak might be the right but why not get into a variety of them on the water and go with what makes you smile the most.

There are no absolutes. Poling first hand experience here on the internet is a great first step in deciding what should be on the test paddle list but that is just it; getting an assortment of kayaks on the water instead of test paddling electrons here on the internet will tell you worlds more than dryland disections and dissertations of kayak designs ever will.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

thanks for the commercial '-)

– Last Updated: Nov-12-09 1:52 PM EST –

(Edit: this is in response to uskayaks)

you seem pleasant. I don't intend my response as a personal attack.

Other people may benefit from that info, but I'm not shopping for a boat.

Happily I have what I want.

dry land dissertations?

– Last Updated: Nov-12-09 2:22 PM EST –

Hey Marshall...

my experience with the Cetus LV involved getting wet '-)

Do I have a lot of time in the, obviously, because the way it fit me most definitely impacted my enjoyment and so it came quickly off the list.

You as a dealer and your wife Karen have your pick of kayaks to demo whenever and as many times as you want. That would be sweet... the vast majority of us are not in that ideal situation.

Surely you are not implying I or anyone else must spend a lot of time (however one defines that) in a boat they have no interest in buying in order to justify their opinions. I don't believe you are. Just sayin'

We can agree that the proof is in each individual's demo. Thus it is silly when a rep for P&H tells the OP that the Cetus LV "sounds just right" for her. There's no basis for that comment other than either to make happy talk or to sell something.

At least my comments come from water time. I'm almost exactly her height and weight. And I don't make my bread in the paddling industry.

Actually, if it comes down to it we might just get more unbiased impressions - dry or wet- from other everyday paddlers than endorsements from people who rep and deal for P&H... or any other company.

It isn’t just thelength

– Last Updated: Nov-12-09 3:22 PM EST –

Friendlyfire, you keep coming back with very narrow definition of what size boat can handle well for for smaller paddlers, and it is often about a single dimension. Usually width, length now too.

I totally get that you prefer the dimensions of the Suka over other boats. It is wonderful that you have found a boat that works so well for you. But you keep issuing broad statements for others, and sorry but I can't agree with that.

The boat is an entire package - length, width, hull shape, rocker and for the more interesting ones a bit of personality that sometimes seems more than the sum of its physical features. Paddlers like Karen Knight make the Cetus LV really dance length and all - I know a couple of women who were in her class this fall and saw her work it. And I know Karen is on the light side, in fact she is very close to the dimensions stated by this OPer.

Happily, there are both boats and experience in them available for small paddlers who ask for advice on this board. The scene is leap years better than a decade ago, in the sea kayaking world. (WW folks have had this better all along.) And within that, there is room for people who have reasons for a range of how they fit the volume and dimensions of a kayak.

As to the place where a longer boat matters, our first glass sea kayaks were expedition length because of our use. If we were only going to have one, we did need one that would handle the camping trip and surprise change in conditions over bigger water, and give us some head room while our skills came up the curve. With that boat in hand we have day boats and use them more, but if I had to get just one I'd make the same decision.

No worries
Karen Knight. Not my wife. That’s way funny!

Karen’s a good friend and about Trill’s size so I couldn’t think of someone better to query as to how this specific boat padddles.

As to biased vs. unbiased perspectives; that’s an interersting argument. Reviews from people that paddle for a living, reviews from reps or company related personel and reviews from hobbiests are all going to come from a varying base of experience so the opinion offered might be best digested (must be lunch time or there’s got to be a better adjective) on understanding what the reviewer’s day to day involvement with the item (could apply to anything), experience set, environment of use, and a half dozen other parameters at least.

So where paddler A might consider X to be an Expedition Boat (or any other classification you wish to use) paddler B might consider it a fun play boat as personal skill and to a degree, personality would be the flip side of the Opionion Seeker/Reviewer coin.

As to making a living by founding and running a paddlesport business, certainly much more rewarding than a lot of other things I’ve done in the past.

Trill, let me know when you want to go play.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

sorry LV

Define Heft,
Gee, I’ve not thought of myself as having any heft, but I guess I’m a bit bigger in the beam than I (and the husband)thought as I paddle both a RomanyLV and an ExplorerLV and the AvocetLV fits me fine. The first boat that came close to fitting me was a P&H Vela, which replaced a CD Slipstream. The Slipstream had been defined as a smaller person’s kayak but, as a coach once said to both my husband and myself, “The Slipstream is too big for either of you…”(the husband is 5’9" and weighs 150.

While I’ve not paddled a CetusLV for any amount of time, I did find it fit me quite well. In fact, it fit me a whole lot better than a Capella161, which is considered to be within my height (5’5") and weight (120) parameters. While I don’t consider myself a candidate for modeling for Vogue Magazine (and I haven’t got the face for it, either), I don’t exactly fall into the category of having “heft”, either.

As we all well know – or should know before we go making broad statements – boat fit is in the butt of the sitter.

I never met Karen Knight nor have I seen her paddle as she never made it to the Downeast Symposium due to car trouble. However, given what she does do in a kayak, I’m sure fit it quite important.