Looking for a second Kayak for the family, including 6' teenagers. We don't camp, but do cruise lakes, rivers, flatwater and some close to shore tidal areas. I've also fished off my current Tsunami 145. The question is whether we should get another Tsunami 140 (add a rudder later) or a Manitou 14'. Primary concerns for us are stability, speed, tracking. I've read the reviews but would love to hear other paddlers comparisons.
I have had both
I had a Necky Manitou 14 then got into longer kayaks and now just got a Tsunami 140 for running creeks in rocky conditions were my longer Fiberglass for other times. As fas as stability they seem pretty close. BUT iam going from memory on the Manitou as I dont have that anymore. I dont have the rudder on the Tsunami but I dont think it needs it for what I use it for. But I did have it out in lake Erie on a somewhat ruff day it did fine without rudder. I never used the drop down skeg on the manitou. I would get the one that I could get at the better price.
Also the Tsunami 140 has a day hatch which Manitou doesnt have. There is no seperate bulkhead for day hatch so through day hatch you gain access to the whole rear hatch compartment which is actually nice as I can put a small cooler in through main rear hatch but gain access to it while on water through day hatch. Cold water and lunch while never getting out. Cooler would never fit through day hatch other wise.
Both are good boats
In my opinion it is sort of compairing apples. I guess it depends on if you like skegs or rudders. The WS may be a little easier to do modifications on for fitting (backband, hip pads). The Necky is probably lighter.
Also in my opinion, the WS would be the better boat to grow skills in, the harder chines make it a little more responsive to edging.
If you can take them out side by side let everybody paddle and vote, neither boat will disappoint, they just have different nitches inside of a bigger nitch.
my wife says very little difference
We have both, but I never paddle her Tsunami, so I’m at loss myself. I asked her because she sometimes paddles my Manitou when she let’s friends paddle her Tsunami. She says they are really about the same. She does use the rudder on her Tsunami in the wind, so if you are comparing apples to apples on price, you probably should build the rudder into the price. She says the rudder makes that end of the boat heavier (than the Manitou) when loading on the car. She says if you have a preference for skeg or rudder, that could tip the scales.
Try Before You Buy
Since you will probably have several different paddlers, all with their unique paddling style – it’s difficult to recommend one over the other. They are both good boats for recreational paddling. I will say that with all things constant, loaded water line length (LWL); keel profile; and cumulative stability, a multi-chine hull will be more efficient due to less wetted surface. The hard-chine Manitou will be a little slower at cruising speeds but will have a tighter leaned turn and perhaps, less initial stability and more secondary stability. However, I would expect the small differences in handling characteristics would go unnoticed in this class. It could simply come down to aesthetic differences between the two hull designs.
My Tsunami has been paddled in the Gulf of Mexico, in Lake Michigan, across The Straits of Mackinac, and in just about every river & stream in Michigan… all without a rudder. Today, I use this boat primarily for extended, multi-day River tripping. The form, fit, and function of the Wildy’s cockpit fits me and my paddling style in every way. As you probably already know, the Phase 3 seat is a durable and comfortable chair that adjusts perfectly. So with that being said… it’s basically an ergonomics issue for me.
I would recommend working with an outfitter that offers demo days or a private demo where you can get a feel for each boat, then make your decision. Good luck and have fun!
I have paddled both, but I would
definately try before you buy.
I am 5’2, so deck height at the front of the cockpit is important to me. The Tsunami 14 is heigher at this point than the Manitou 14, which is why I chose to buy the Necky, which weighs 49# and I don’t mind using a skeg. My shorter legs fit much better in the Manitou and I do like the fit of their thigh braces.
Just my 2 cents.
WS heavy and comfortable
The WS boats are known for having very comfortable outfitting and adjustable seating so they fit a lot of different people well. They are also known for being a little heavier than other brands.
My vote would be for the Dagger Alchemy L