I’ve been looking for a step up kayak to replace my Necky Manitou Sport. I didn’t want a full out sea kayak but rather something inbetween. Today I had an opportunity to buy a Manitou 13 and because I’ve read such good things about them I decided to buy it. No problem with returning it if it doesn’t work out. So, I tried it out and soon discovered 2 possible issues either with me or the boat ( probably me). First off the paddle shaft on my left side kept hitting the deck as I was paddling. Not with every stroke but I think that’s only because I was trying to figure out why it was happening and kept altering my motions. Then, I noticed that my knees ( which were slightly bent)were making contact with the attachments for the seat, especially when I was trying to make contact with the thigh braces, which by the way was not happening either. Close, but not quite anyway. This knee contact with seat attachments would be rather painful if I were to paddle for several hours.
Any suggestions? There was also a Manitou 14 that was available as well if that would help things any. I don’t know though. I had all I could do to manage the 13 in terms of length and weight. That really felt like enough boat to lug around on the ground.
I’m 5’6, 140 and female.
All suggestions appreciated. Thanks.
The Manitou 13
is a great boat, and as you know well regarded here. But the bottom line is that it sounds like it just doesn’t fit you well. Other people have complained about the seat adjustment cam buckles getting in the way.
I’d suggest you look at several other boats while you can still return the one you just bought to see if something out there fits you better.
I’d like to recommend you consider a Tsunami 120…not just bc I have one and think it is a great boat, but bc based on what you are saying it may fit you very well.
It has smaller tighter cockpit the Manitou 13, and outfitting that is just as comfortable. The seat is adjusted by simple straps and buckles that don’t interfere at all. And the thigh braces are adjustable on their mounts to slide forward or back for a more individual fit. It is a boat made to fit “smaller paddlers”. I find it fits me pretty well at 5’10" 165lbs, but I’m probably at the upper range of its fit. It would definitely be a “step up” in performance from the Manitou Sport - I actually was very closet to purchasing the Sport when I decided on my Tsunami. Also the Tsunami 120 comes in a Duralite version that is about 10 lbs lighter then the regular - might help you with handling it off the water.
Another fairly new and so far very well reviewed boat that is similar to what you are looking for is the OT Cayuga line. For you the 130 sounds like a good fit, you should look at the 146 as well.
Like I said though best advice is to try a bunch of boats that look good to you until you find one that fits you right.
Good luck and let us know how you make out.
Try something different!
I think you need to start looking at a totally different kind of kayak. I’m not a fan of short and wide recreational boats. If you’ve been paddling for three years and you want to “move up,” you should consider a sea kayak. Going from a Manitou Sport to a Manitou 13 is hardly moving up. If you’ve never paddled a sea kayak, try one out, you’ll immediately notice how much more glide you get for your effort.
There are several kayaks out there that would fit you nicely. Try looking at P&H, Impex, VCP, and other similar boats. If you go to the buyer’s guide here on P-net and do a search for those brands, you’ll get an idea of the kayaks I’m suggesting. For your size, I’d recommend something between 15 and 16.5 feet and no wider than 22 inches. Just make sure it’s designed for your size and weight. A narrower kayak should also help you get a better forward stroke while keeping your hands and paddle from smacking the deck.
Try paddling these two boats …
Valley Avocet (plastic) and Necky Eliza
You won’t bang your knuckles anymore.
I had a Manitou 14. I sometimes rapped my knuckles on the deck and I think it may have because of the deck height. I’ve just bought another boat, narrower with a lower deck, and don’t feel like I’m going to hit the deck. I’ve never been in a Manitou 13 or sport, so I don’t know how different they are in regards to cockpit size. But in my Manitou 14 I could not get good contact with my knees - to high and wide to really lock in to place. I’m only 5.2, so a bit shorter.
I’ve used my husband’s tsunami 120 and it has a smaller cockpit area, with good braces for a recreational/day touring kayak. It’s a duralite and much lighter to heft onto the racks than our other kayaks. It might fit your needs pretty well.
Others here have mentioned the Eliza. I’ve demoed one, and it’s a nice fitting kayak as well. I concur with what others have posted about narrower kayaks. I went to a narrower, better fitting kayak, and love it. But that’s just me.
Thanks for the feedback.
I tried sitting in an Eliza at the store but found it a little too tight for my preference. I also tried the Manitou 13 at the store as well and it seemed ok, but seems like I couldn’t really determine how it fit until I got the boat on the water. I think you all are right- the boat just doesn’t fit me adequately. Those little seat attachments were digging into my knees no matter what I did. Ouch!
I will keep looking although I’m supposed to be preparing to move not kayak shopping.
I’m going to return the Manitou 13.