Manitou 13 vs. 14

I’m thinking about buying a manitou 13, which I have been able to demo, however I can also buy (but not demo) a Manitou 14. I was hoping people with experience in BOTH kayaks, might give their comments to help with my decision. I understand that this is somewhat personal preference, but without a demo I can’t make that call. I also demo’ed the sport (not for me) and the Zoar Sport (too affected by windage without the rudder for my tastes). I’m 6’ 1", 185 lbs. The manitou 13 fits fine. I kayak by San Fran bay, Sierra lakes, and very occasionally Monterey Bay on a calm day. All Day trips.

Thanks for any input

Just bought a Manitou 14…

– Last Updated: Jul-12-07 2:22 PM EST –

I just bought a Manitou 14 and am pretty happy with it. If you are paddling open water with the potential for boat wakes or waves, I'd suggest the 14 as it has both a front and a rear bulkhead for dry storage (and improved flotation in the event of a capsize). It also has a skeg which comes standard that greatly improves tracking in adverse conditions.

Thanks for the reply
I thought about the second hatch, although I could add flotation bags to the 13, since it has a foam block up front, it would have room for flotation bags on each side… How do you find it in the wind without the skeg?

I’m just curious how it tracks compared to the 13.

Never tried a 13…
I’ve never tried the 13 so I can’t offer a true comparison of the two. I’ve paddled a whole host of rec boats and SOTs and my 14 beats them all hands down. My 14 tracks pretty well with the skeg up (hardly any corrective strokes needed) unless the wind or currents really pick up from one side or the other (in excess of 10-15 mph or better). Going straight into the wind didn’t phase it a bit…I couldn’t tell where I lost a bit of speed. The last outing I took was almost 10 miles on flatwater. By the end of the trip, I was getting pretty tired and my bad shoulder was starting to bother me. I dropped the skeg a couple of inches and it more than compensated for a tired and sloppy stroke and let me push on to finish. I guess it’s all in how you plan to use the boat the most. I bought mine as a sort of “all around” boat that I could throw on the rack and go almost anywhere -freshwater, saltwater, flatwater, rivers, camping. The extra sealed compartment was an important factor to me as I do spend the night on the river from time to time.