Looking for some info on P&H Cetus & Que

I have looked on the P&H site and the net. & cant find anything explaining the differences between the two kayaks??? (P&H seem to be pushing the the Cetus) I would like some info on the Quest.

  1. are the hull design the same???
  2. Speed ???
  3. Stability???
  4. Kayak Efficiency & Manoeuvrability )
  5. Kayak Roll & Rescue

    Plesae help


The two boats are very different from

– Last Updated: May-16-10 11:01 PM EST –

each other. The Quest has a shorter waterline and much lower initial and secondary stability. In rough water the Quest may be faster, but overall the Cetus is known for its speed. The Cetus has tremendous load carrying and so does the Quest, but the Cetus offers more and it is more convenient in my mind as it has the knee tube and good size day hatch. I have never really understood the bow profile of the Quest as it is so sharp in angle that the waterline is probably a foot less just because of the bow design. I found my Cetus to be difficult to keep on course in rear quartering winds over 10 mph and it also has a tendency to auger into the back of the next wave when surfing(The Quest bow may help this). Minus these two quirks, it does everything else very ,very well. If I were doing open ocean expeditions I would give the Quest consideration. I just sold my Cetus. I need to trust my boat, and as far as that is concerned I have never found anything I trust more than my Aquanaut. I love my Nordkapp and Romany S; but I trust my Aquanaut more. What are your needs from these boats? Bill

ps- The Quest has more rocker and is narrower, it may roll with slightly less effort, but both roll just fine (so do most boats for that matter). With the Cetus think long and flat in a swede form, the Quest is more of a banana in fish form.

Thanks for the input
I currently have a Necky Chatam 17 RM, and I picked up a P&H Bahiya this year. (What a hand full)

I guess I’m looking for the Kayak???

Here …

– Last Updated: May-17-10 9:03 AM EST –


Keep in mind that the three sizes Cetus being offered handle noticeably differently. I had a chance to paddle all three of them a week or so ago on a demo day. Not much of a chop to try for the "following seas issue" but there was 10-15 mph wind.

All three are extremely lively in terms of responding to leans. The hulls on all three are different, not just the deck height. Although I need to mention that the MV I paddled had a custom cockpit rim that was probably as much as 1/2 inch lower profile than "normal" ones.

If you got long legs, you may feel the need to chop off the front center hatch - it's just not in the right place for a 36" inseam if you like to keep your knees together. But shorter legs would be no problem

For me at 185 lb the MV was the best match. The "regular" would weathercock while the MV and the LV went pretty much wehre I wanted them with minimum fuss. The LV, while not tippy, did not offer the nice lean support I could feel with the MV. So you need to pick the "right" size for you + load or you will be unhappy.

The rear decks are fairly low and therefore even slow layback rolls felt pretty much effortless.

I thought they all paddled fast and seem to have good top speed too. They were relatively quiet going against the small chop waves. The the front deck is not humongous as to interfere with paddle stroke.

They are not squirly like some other maneuverable boats and track decently without skeg and (as any other boat would - better with it). At the same time they offer exceptionally responsive turning when edged and extreme leaned turns are very quick too (the ends release from the water).

The initial stability to me felt very reassuring and actually better than some of the more recreational type boats like the Esky (sp?) 15 which was more wobly though with spmewhat stronger secondary.

Overall a very nice kayak that deserves a test paddle in various conditions.

My boat was the original HV version.
I wonder if the boats exceptional turning ability has something to do with tracking and broaching issues. Everything has it’s a trade offs. The article above makes specific reference to these issues and there have been other posts on pnet regarding it. I am glad to hear the MV and LV are not similarly afflicted. I know alot of people really love these boats, hell I did too, but could not put up with this because of the conditions I paddle in. Bill

May be …
I need to make it clear that the conditions were somewhat windy but the area was protected and the waves were considerably less than a foot. With may be the occasional boat wake approaching a foot in height. So I really could not tell how they behave in following seas. All I could notice was the weathercocking when going at various angles to the wind. It was not too bad on the “full size” Cetus either, just there and pretty much not there on the others for my weight.

I’m sure maneuverability has something to do with being easier to broach if one lets it go past the angle where it would rather broach than go straight. Also, steeper waves will probably cause this more readily for this boat than for something with flatter fuller bottom with less of a V in the front. But on smoother waves or swells I think that behavior should be an advantage as one would be able to steer better with edging. I’d love to try the MV in some more appropriate downwind conditions -:wink:

P&H Rigid back rest.
Did you not find the back rest to rigid for lay back rolls??? (My Chatham the back band moves with you)

No, not really. The Cetus is great for
layback rolls. The backband should be off of your back and thus behind the seat pan where it will be pushed down behind it on layabcks. The P&H seats are the only seats I have not felt compelled to cut out or remove. Take the bottom pad out and you get nice rotation on the hard plastic, even for bigger guys. :slight_smile: Bill

Recall “Path of the Paddle” that you mentioned some time ago.

Consider how handling of boat is affected by changing trim.

What would weathercocking say about trim?

What would handling in moving water - waves are just one special example of moving water - suggest about the weight distribution?

Thanks again

P&H Cetus
If I was considering the Cetus, Witch size would fit me best LV-MV-??? (I will be paddling the kayak empty most of the time.

But will be getting away for a week or two once or twice this year.

I’m 5.9 190 to 195lbs

Or should I be looking at the Aquanaut and if so what size???

Boat decisions
There is NO way for you to decide between a Cetus and an Aquanaut (or any other boat for that matter) without going for a spin in them in the conditions you would like to paddle. What some people find as a problem, others do not. What some people need in a boat others do not. What some people enjoy in a boat, others do not. This resource is an excellent place to refine a short list where you will not really go wrong, but the rest is up to you.


What they^ said. You can however rule
out the HV versions of both boats at your size I believe, particularly since you do not plan on much tripping. If you can, paddle any boat purchase in the conditions you will likely be paddling in. Wind and waves can make an otherwise great boat not so great. Harbor and pool paddles are simply for boat fit, turning and rolling and do not reveal how the boat will actually paddle in conditions. What I love you might hate and vice versa. You are looking at some nice boats. Good luck. Bill

On my boat, I monkeyed with trim as
much as I was willing to do on a regular basis and could not seem to find a remedy for what ailed ME. I changed skegs, moved the seat fore and aft, and loaded the boat with day kit fore and aft. She wouldn’t love me, like no other boat I have ever paddled save a rec boat or two. Bill

Some more thoughts
I have paddled all of these boats and they are all great, as are P&H and Valley in general.

Quest - Check out Doug Wilcox’s review of the Quest LV at http://seakayakphoto.blogspot.com/2007/01/p-quest-lv-test.html

I agree with Douglas that the Quest LV is better than the Quest for just about everybody. At your size, and mostly doing day paddling, it would be better than the Quest for you. It is a wonderful boat. It’s stability is lighter than the other boats you mention, but it has a nice edge. It feels totally different than the standard size Quest. My son paddles this boat and loves it, as do I.

Cetus - I agree again with everything Douglas Wilcox says in his review of the Cetus above. In particular, it is really, really stable and easy to paddle in rough conditions. A back to back demo on a rough day in SF bay convinced me to buy this boat - the experience in the Cetus was really easy and smooth where I was having to work really hard and pay constant attention in other boats. I agree a Quest LV will trim to a following sea better, and that the skeg and more attention are required downwind. The broad beam behind the cockpit, and the larger cockpit, make rescues easy. All these boats roll fine with a good fit.

Aquanaut - also a very nice and stable boat from a super company. I love this boat, but the Valley seat and paddling position are different from P&H. You will likely like one better than the other. At 195# you will probably like the standard size Aquanaut (and the standard size Cetus, but you might be able to fit the smaller ones if you prefer smaller volume boats.

All of these boats have good speed. All are suitable for you size and stated purpose. I don’t think that a third person who has not paddled with you could help you choose. They all feel quite different, and a test paddle on a day with some wind and chop would show which you prefer.

P&H Quest LV
Would the Quest be more stable then the Bahiya??

You have to paddle them…
I’m echoing others in noting that all the boats you are considering are good boats and you have to paddle them to decide which you prefer. Each has a quite different personality.

At your size I think the MV Cetus would be the right size. I’ve paddled a regular Cetus and found it felt huge. The LV Quest and the standard Aquanaut would be the appropriate size. (The Aquanaut was originally marketed/intended as the low volume version of the Argonaut.)

I’m 6’ 185 and prefer an Aquanaut to a Quest LV or Cetus. However, there are many Quest fans and a growing Cetus contingent.

Cetus feedback
I have paddled the Cetus several time and would say that its very stroke sensitive, tracked poorly compared to other similar boats and doesn’t have the speed I would like. It does turn like a 16’ boat as its main quality.

I have not paddled the Bahiya because
I believe I am too large for it. Ok too fat for it. I paddled my friends Quest LV into which I was cramed and very uncomfortable and found it to have to lowest primary and secondary stability I have ever experienced. I would guess much of this has to do with my size, however he keeps 30lbs of ballast in the boat at all times to help with the stability. The standard Quest did not feel at all like this to me. In my opinion the Quest LV has very low initial stability and I will avoid any comment on the secondary as the boat is not proper for my size. Bill

Stability for these
I think that you would find the Quest LV significantly more stable than the Bahiya. As Doug Wilcox noted in his review, the Quest LV seat is generally mounted high, and the boat performs noticeably better with the seat lowered - quite a bit more stable and a better edge.

But the Quest LV is never going to be in the same stability ballpark as the Cetus or Aquanaut. For reference, I find the Quest LV noticeably more stable (with lowered seat) than the Valley Nordkapp LV, but in the same ballpark.

I think you just have to paddle a boat to see if the stability is right for you. I’d rather paddle a boat that is a bit too stable than one that is a bit too tippy.