Delphin 155 As Day Boat

I have been kayaking for one 3 month season last year, and have been out a dozen or so times this year. I mostly go in small lakes, large lakes and slow rivers. I do a lot of paddling with my wife, but when When Im not paddling with her, I like to go out and play a little more or go on on large lakes when its windy, wavy and somewhat rough, mostly destination paddling, but maybe with the right boats play a bit more.

Im 5’10" and 195 pounds.

I have test paddled many different boats over the last while and this week I sat in two boats that fit just right, everything was perfect, the overall fit (not too tight not too loose), the placement of the thigh braces, the seat comfort, wiggle room, and so on.

These were the P&H Scorpio and the P&H Delphin.

The Scorpio was a wonderful boat to paddle, was fairly fast and nimble. This boat, however, after being on the water for a while really bothered my lower back, I tried making adjuastmnebts, but just didnt do it.

The second boat, the Delphin was just as, if not more comfortable than the Scorpio. It was very nimble and was very easy and confident to edge ( and Ive never really edged b4 ). Super comfortable and “just right” fit. It was not as fast as the Scorpio, but my back was fine in it. I love the thigh braces in the P&H boats, its like they were custom made for you. I also like the ratchet backband adjustment. Easier to adjust “on the fly”. It did seem to take some effort to keep straight, though ( very windy day)

I f I could have the Delphin seat and seat position in the Scorpio ( and moved up about 6 inches), then the Scorpio would be my #1 choice.

I love the fit and feel of the Delphin, but I would be using it alot for day tripping, out with my wife ( who paddles at a pre3tty relaxed pace ), some of the time with a friend in a light touring kayak, and some of the time by myself just goofing around.

Is it too much of a “play boat” to use for a lot of day tripping, and would it be alot of work? For now, I dont have to keep up with bigger, faster boats, as most of my partners will be in boats of similar speed or less.

My second choice would be a Zephyr, not quite the nice fit of the Delphin, but still a very, very comfortable seat and nice cockpit feel. I found the Zephyr was nice to paddle and also seemed easier than the Delphin to go straight without using a skeg, (although the D did seem more nimble). In the WS boats, I realize the Tempest is faster than the Z, but just doesnt have that “special” fit like the Z.

I think om rambling on…Ill stop now.

SO basically a lot of day trips, short weeknight jaunts, exploring along shore;ines, and when on my own, some excursions on rough, wavy water on a lake. The Delphin and Zephyr are the best fitting and most comfortable boats i have tried so far, so thats why i like them. I read everywhere that these wont be enjoyable if you do a lot of point a to b stuff, but if the comfort is there and im not looking to go extraordinarily fast are they suitable for this type of paddling. I also want to learn and develop, through lessons, more skills.

Not at all
The Alchemy is often considered a play boat, and I use mine for just about all of my paddling. Only if I need to carry more than a day’s worth of gear or if I was paddling with others on a long paddle where I needed speed would I switch to my longer/faster boat (a Valley Aquanaut). That said, I haven’t paddled the Valley since a trip I did last fall.

I have also paddled the Delphin a decent amount and would use it just the same as I do the Alchemy, if I had chosen the Delphin over the Alchemy.

I think you
already know you want the Delphin and I see no reason not to use a boat like that for all your described day paddling. I have a Zephyr for the same sort of paddling. I love it.

Does it show
that I want it ?

And like I said, if Im paddling mostly with even or slower paddlers, it might be a good choice.

I borrowed a friends kayak a few times
it went straight and fast. Even when i paddled at a snails pace i was getting far ahead of the group. It was painful, sometimes having to stop and go back, or just sit and wait, or explore around the shore line (which was haRD with a boat that didnt turn well).

Comfort and OK paddling is key
For your use I think comfort is key. Enough speed and tracking is what you need, not more. More speed and stiffer tracking will make it a bit easier on you if you decide to cover a long distance faster. But in all other cases maneuverability and playfulness I think are more valuable, IMO.

Either of these boats is a great choice for the paddling you describe and will let you learn advanced skills in them for years to come. The only real negative on the Delphin is the weight - at around 60lb it is not light for a 15.5 foot plastic kayak (the Zephir is closer to 50lb, just over).

But there is the thing - you can paddle a fast boat slow, but you can’t paddle a slow boat fast. So if one day you get the need for speed, get a surf ski -:wink: Was out over the weekend in my Epic V10 Sport in some wind chop and the ski just flies… It rewards you for your effort with speed and goes as fast as you can drive it (unlike slower shorter wider kayaks that just bog down and create a huge wake as you speed-up). And at under 30lb, it is almost a pleasure to carry in or out of the water (as opposed to a serious workout with the Delphin)…

Delphin FTW

– Last Updated: Jun-04-12 11:44 AM EST –

I am 1" taller than you and about 30lbs lighter, so I got a Delphin 150. The Delphin is a fabulous daytripper; it's meant primarily for playing and surfing, so that's kind of it's raison d'etre. I do think that its flat hull beneath the cockpit really contributes to a huge amount of primary stability for novices, and although you need to lean farther than on a soft-chine boat to get to the hard chines, it locks in nice and solid for secondary stability. It's also pretty nice for rolling, in my opinion. There are some subtleties you need to realize, though, if you've not spent a lot of time with it.

First, the outfitting is killer. I agree that I'd love the WW-style Connect30 outfitting in my other boats! Second, the low-volume stern that allows for such great tracking despite its high-volume, high-rocker bow can make packing for camping trips tricky...doable, but takes a lot more science than with other P&H boats like the Capella, Scorpio, and Cetus. Finally, that high-rocker bow that lets it surf so brilliantly and pop over waves is highly susceptible to windage, so you need to really pay more attention to trimming the boat's weight front to back than in other kayaks. If you don't, the boat might leecock (turn AWAY from the wind) and make for a frustrating day of paddling. Finally, it has the same characteristics as other plastic boats: Heavy, can oilcan if not stored properly, can take massive abuse, harder to repair if cracked or punctured, no gelcoat to fret over.

If you're looking to get your skills to the next level, the Delphin is fabulous. If you're looking just for a better boat and aren't interested in building a lot of new technique (not a judgement call, everyone's got their own goals!), then some of the Delphin's features might not get utilized.

I bought the Delphin as a daytripper play boat, and it's actually taken over as my primary ride for pretty much every use, so far. So I'm definitely a fan.

Both are incredibly well built and designed boats. You can't go wrong either way.

Hey, you are not trying to get to a fire
Or even thinking about racing. Nor do you need the ultimate play boat. So I’d get the most comfortable one so you’ll feel like paddling longer each day and your skills will improve faster.

With all that said the more playful boat may also help you learn the skills faster because it is more responsive. A lot of instructors teach from Romany’s, Delphins, and short 14 foot boats because they want students to get a dramatic demonstration of how the turns and skills are performed.

All of this point to the Delphin for you!

Tough question
Now that the votes have been cast for your choice, here’s the tough part;

What color to get? Decisions, decisions… :slight_smile:

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Lava #1

Sunburst #2

Have to ask. 3 Month season?
The original post mentioned a three month season. I’d guess the season is short because the weather gets too cold.

Where is it that you can only paddle for three months?

Northern Ontario
Could probably get 4 month or more months

June, July, August is when I paddled last year …water is warm

Ice finally melted and off lakes in mid May

Gets cool September, cold in October and snow by November or December

Spent last May, September, October, part of November lanscaping around yard, building a 140’ long retaining wall made of Allen Block, putting in front and rear walkways…and lets see, what else is on her list…

Ok, I’ll play the other side.
For what you describe, I’d get the Scorpio. You can replace the back band with a whitewater back band for $40.

For playing in windy lake chop, that boat will be super fun and capable.

For point to point paddling, the Scorpio will be less frustrating.

For developing your skills, edging, maneuvering, the Scorpio will be a far better teacher in my opinion. Everything happens so easily in the Delpin that you can be really sloppy, and still get a sharp turn, etc.

I’m a big fan of learning kayaking skills in a middle-of-the road kayak, like the Scorpio, rather than some fringe boat, at one end or another of the spectrum.

Bought a Zephyr
Came across a used Zephyr for a great deal…lots of light scratches on hull but otherwise in great shape. I took it on a 3 day trip with about 5 other boats. We paddled calm and rough rivers and lakes. It is definitely more fun in rough water then calm. It seems to hit a wall rather quickly, as far as speed goes, but most of the people I paddle with are not in a race so thats OK, plus its super comfortable, even for hours, and is great in rough conditions, which I like to go out on.

Which size Zephyr?

i got the

Great choice!

– Last Updated: Jun-25-12 1:01 PM EST –

Yes, it does hit a wall over 4.5mph or so pretty quickly, but below that it is easy to paddle and definitely a lot of fun and very comfy. Price is also a factor and few hundred bucks in spare change compared to a Delphin is not to be underestimated. I'd still go for the Delphin for fast moving water/currents or surf use as it has a bit of an edge there, but otherwise the Z is probably just as good if not better. Congrats!