I recently bought an Old Town Dirigo 140 that I still can return. It’s a heavy boat and I’ve been thinking of getting a Necky Manitou 13 instead. Usage is small to medium lakes and slow rivers, and possible coastal ocean once a year. I don’t fish. What would I lose and gain by making this swap? My budget doesn’t allow for anything much more expensive.
Thanks so much.
No question…NONE… Manitou 13 is a superb little boat. I try not to get absolutist about boats, but this is an easy call.
Totally Agree NM
you save 14 lbs
Dirigo 14 listed at 59 lbs water ready (and I think they fib LOL) vs. Manitou 13 at 45 lbs.
Your back & shoulders will thank you! And why not use that “extra” 14 lbs of weight for gear you might actually want to take along sometimes, instead of extra weight you always have to take along.
Old Town style of kayak is big and sturdy, heavy weight for length w. oversized cockpits. Built like tanks, so very stable. Nice for fishing and a livery - that’s where I paddled a Dirigo 12 the second time I ever kayaked… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
You did better
is a cool little boat, but the Manitou offers more growth potential. You may look at the new Manitou 13 composite. Very very stiff, and light. I think its about 35 lbs.
Sat in a Manitou 13 today
I looked at (and sat in) a Manitou 13 today. It seemed very confining. I’m 6’0" and 165 lbs and the cockpit seemed very narrow and short. I realize the Dirigo’s cockpit is HUGE, but the Manitou felt too small. It’s almost like the Goldilocks syndrome … this one is too big, this one is too small… Is there another choice or is this the price one must pay?
Did the foot/leg room feel too small, or just the cockpit opening?
The cockpit opening on the Manitou 13 is listed as 34.5" x 16.25". For comparison, a Manitou 14 is 35.5" x 16.5", a Tempest 165 is 34" x 18", a Chatham 17 is 32" x 16", and a Carolina 14.5 is 38" x 21". The Dirigo 140 is listed as 48" x 18.5"
Where was it too small?
The foot/leg room seemed OK - I was at the furthest possible location with the foot pegs and they really should have been one notch closer. It was the cockpit that seemed small, both in width and length. It just felt very confining, almost claustrophobic.
I also missed some of the “nice” features of the Dirigo – namely a drain plug and a hatch cover that worked easily.
Manitou Foot Room
I sat in a Manitou 13 and the footroom definitely seemed a little tight for my size 11s. It was a bit bigger than my Carolina 13.5, but smaller than my old Blackwater 11.5. I wish the Caroline had more foot room as it really feels cramped now…no room to wear sandals or water shoes.
Drain plugs are cheap and not difficult
to install. The dealer may do it for free as part of the deal, ask. They are a good idea too. The weight of the Dirigo is less an issue of paddling, it tracks well and does fine, but when loading and unloading, it comes into play. But, the room for your footsies is important. The size of the cockpit less so once you get used to it.
I also tried a Tsunami 120/125 when I was at my local dealer. It felt very nice – snug but not constricting. You guys are going to conclude that I must be some kind of undecided wacko (that’s OK, maybe I am ), but would this boat be a realistic candidate for my type of intended use?
Sounds normal to me…
When you’re starting out it’s hard to know what you want – it’s all new.
The Tsunami line was intended for the kind of paddling you describe. I haven’t paddled any of them so I can’t offer specific advice.
I understand the Manitou cockpit feeling small to you. I’m equally uncomfortable in a big cockpit like the Dirigo – it feels big and sloppy and I can’t brace myself anywhere to help control the boat.
Many paddlers prefer a smaller cockpit opening because it’s easier to brace against the underside of the deck. My personal preference is for one that’s fairly narrow and just long enough to bring my legs in once I’m seated.
Try the Tsunami 140. It has a bit more
capacity and maybe a bit more speed.
My decision is made!
Well, I visited yet another dealer today (in southern Maine). I went over my budget (thanks primarily to my loving and understanding wife), and am now the proud owner of a 39 pound Eddyline Skylark. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it (very much like the time I got a Klein mountain bike to replace my heavy entry-level bike many years ago). I can’t believe that it’s 20 pounds lighter than the Dirigo. My only problem is that it’s 37 degrees and drizzling today.
Thanks to you all for your comments and suggestions. And, in particular to 10^-10 meters (“Angstrom”), I’m only 4 miles south of the NH/MA line so maybe I’ll see you out on the water some time (do you ever do the Nashua River?).
I wouldn’t be looking at either. Neither interest me for reasons of their other dimensions (beam, cockpit length and breadth, and cockpit height. All greater than what I paddle now)
Perhaps you did not mean your response as a specific reply to me but inadvertently parked your post under mine.
The poster who started the thread as a way to decide between the two will appreciate the additional info about the option for a lighter Manitou.
Good choice, excellent company.
i know prices vary, but for one store that sells both: skylark: $1499, dirigo 140: $919
that is one understanding wife!!!