Freeboard issues with Manitou 14?

As I was watching the DVD “Sea Kayaking-The Ultimate Guide”, it seemed to me that the Chatham 16 used in the movie pretty much requires a spray skirt if any edge at all is put on the boat. Will that be the same issue with the Manitou 14? How about handling small waves in the 14 w/o skirt?

My only experience is with Eddyline Merlin XT/Nighthawk. I don’t recall that being an issue when we took our lesson.

How would the Tsunami 14 compare?


“The Sub”

– Last Updated: Aug-17-07 3:37 PM EST –

I've got a Tsunami 145, and let's just say that it doesn't lack for ample freeboard.

I paddle regularly with a guy in a poly Chatham 17 that we affectionately call "The Sub." It's an amazing boat, and he's become a master of rough water, rock gardens and rolls. The back deck is awash at least half the time. With any significant load in the compartments the deck sits nearly level with the water. So, yeah, you could say that a watertight spray skirt is an essential accessory.

Not so with the Manitou, though. The ones I've seen sit as high as my Tsunami.

A spray skirt is always a good idea in any sort of open water condition, IMHO.

I’ve got a new Manitou 14 that I’m just getting comfortable with starting to edge and make harder turns. At 24" wide (the Chatham is only 22") I don’t see it being a problem unless you’re in really choppy water. The back deck is lower than a lot of similar boats in the same class (Tsunami for example) but as long as the hatch covers are secure that shouldn’t be an issue either. To be on the safe side, always use the skirt in questionable conditions.