manitou 13 vs. sport

-- Last Updated: Jun-14-08 4:23 PM EST --

I recently bought a Necky Manitou Sport (11') to paddle with my wife, who has a Wilderness Systems Pungo (12'). We really like the Pungo, but wanted something a little lighter and more maneuverable for the second boat. We plan to paddle mostly on lakes and slow-moving rivers with occasional trips to the coast.

After using the Manitou Sport a couple of times, I'm wondering if I should exchange it for a Manitou 13, which is 2' longer, a little narrower but weighs about the same. I like the feel of the Sport because it is very stable, but it doesn't seem to track and glide as well as the Pungo. The Manitou 13 is supposed to be faster, a little less stable and more suitable for varied conditions. I am certain that I would get used to the lower stability of the 13, but I'm concerned that the cockpit feels so small and more closed-in to me even though the entire kayak is longer than the Sport. BTW, I weigh about 190-195 and I'm 5'11" tall. It seems like the 13 would be something I could grow into as a new kayaker, but the Sport might be limiting as I get more experience. Any opinions? Thanks.

13 all the way
put float bags up front and take it anywhere! Sport is not the same. 13 plenty stable.

Look at a Manitou 14 also.
I’ve got my eye on the recycled version.

I’m 6’2 and 210, a little larger than you. I have a 14’ LL Stingray, and I wouldn’t go any shorter than that for me. Mine’s a little wide at 28" for any kind of speed, thus, I’m looking for a little more efficient design, and the Mani 14 is where I think I’m headed.


Go for the 14
Manitou 14 is much more capable - has a front bulkhead and a skeg. Don’t be afraid to go this long - it’s still relatively small for your size.


I got both boats.

– Last Updated: Jun-15-08 12:03 AM EST –

The Sport will be more limiting.

I'm 6' and 190. I originally found the Sport plowed a little too much for me, so it quickly became my wife's boat. I then went out and got the 13.
It proved to glide way better and is quicker for my size. Neither boat is what I would call easy for learning to roll in (if you're interested). Since I originally started kayak paddling in whitewater boats some years ago, this was not an issue for me, as I've routinely rolled many small boats of similar beam to the Manitous. In retrospect, if I were buying all over again, I'd have went the extra bucks and got the 14 as someone suggested above. (But then again, my wife already complains I paddle too fast for her to keep up with.) If you get the 13/the 14, don't sweat the cockpit size-tippyness difference from the humble Sport. --You'll grow into it and grow to love it. I much prefer these boats with their up turned bows and swift designs to the bulkier(albeit nice)Pungos.
Get some extra flotation up-front inside the bow, should you decide to take on any semi serious wave/chop. (Although not recommended by many, I've paddled both the Sport and the 13 in Atlantic swells, the Hudson River, and up to Class III rapids.) Learn and practice self rescue. Good luck on whatever you decide.

Thanks for the input. You all seem to confirm what my gut is telling me – that the Sport will be too small and limiting after a while. I actually tried a 14 as well and liked it the best, but storage and handling would be an issue for a boat that big. We have room in our garage for one kayak hanging from the wall, the Pungo. The other kayak we have been storing on end in a corner of the garage. I am able to maneuver the Sport into that corner reasonably well, and I think the 13 would not be much more difficult since it weighs about the same. But I am afraid the 14 would be difficult to maneuver and too long as well. The end of the Sport is about 3’ from the ceiling, so the 14’ would be right up there.

The other reason I chose the Sport initially was because it IS slower. My wife is very concerned about me going to fast for her, so I thought a slower boat would even things out. So I’m afraid the 14 might make me too fast to paddle with her without gliding most of the time. Our store is having a demo day in a few weeks, so perhaps I need to go out and paddle all of these kayaks together again.

well, it’s the 13
Well I paddled the Sport for 3 hours with my wife and decided it is definitely too small for me. The front plowed in the water whenever I paddled faster and it made a lot more noise than my wife’s Pungo and didn’t track as well. I ended up going back to the store after we got home and traded the Sport for a Manitou 13. I took the 13 out for about 1 hour and it felt much better to me than the Sport. It was faster and tracked much better and the front didn’t plow. It also didn’t feel at all tippy or unstable to me, contrary to my initial impression when I first test rode it, so I guess I’m getting some paddling balance already. The final test was fitting it in my garage, and it fits on end in the corner with about 3-4" inches to spare, so I think the 14 would’ve been too big.