manitou sport vs. manitou 13

Ok, I need some input on choosing between the 2 kayaks. Will the Sport work nearly as well as the 13 in most situations? I really like the size of the Sport (10’.11"). It seems more managable for me. I am 5’8" 155 lbs. I plan to kayak lakes and rivers in NJ. The Delaware would probably be the most adventurous river.

Thanks in advance.

Personally, I’d go for the longer, narrower boat since there’s no weight penalty. You can do a lot to improve turning with technique, and it’ll be much nicer on the lakes.

Manitou sport
I have a Manitou sport and like it very much. I can get up a good speed, turn easily and the boat is very steady. I can also get it on top of my car by myself. That is a major factor since I am on the small side, 5’4", 125 pounds, and not so young, 50 and I do go alone sometimes. My prior boat was a Pungo 100, which is a few pounds more than the Manitou but had a comfier seat.

I sometimes wish I had gone for the 13 foot version since I think it is only a pound more but it would be a tighter fit on my deck (during warmer months) and in my basement (winter storage).

Whatever boat you buy, maybe we could kayak together sometime. I’m in Essex and haven’t been on the Delaware yet but know some good spots on the Hudson and Hackensack.

Thanks for your input. I am actually new to the sport and plan to do kayaking with the Outdoor Club of SJ–they do many kayak trips. You should check them out. I am not that young either, 46, and I need to handle the kayak by myself as well.

Thanks again. Check out the


Just an educated guess:

– Last Updated: May-03-07 5:14 PM EST –

Based on your intended use, I think you'd be better off with the 13-footer. Sure, it's a little heavier, but the extra length will give it the potential to go a tad faster, yet it's not so much longer that paddling effort will be much worse. In fact, since the 13-footer is also a bit narrower, it may balance out that paddling effort is pretty similar at normal cruising speed.

So much for guesswork. Here's what I have actually seen. Short fat boats are better suited to poking along on small winding creeks, and mid-length boats (something near 14 feet, plus or minus) are usually pretty good for efficient travel when there's no need to take the step up to a full-bore touring or sea kayak. People I know who have short fat kayaks are unable to keep up with mid-length kayaks or solo canoes unless it's on a very small creek or the pace is very relaxed.

A good friend of mine paddles a Manitou 14. She's in her late 50s, is about 5'3" and probably about 115 pounds. She carries the boat and loads it on her car with no real trouble (she lays a carpet on the rear window and trunk and slides it up onto the rack), and in a strong headwind she can leave me behind pretty easily if I'm paddling one of my solo canoes, and she's working on her technique and seems to get stronger all the time. She seems to maneuver quite well on tiny, twisty creeks too, so the boat's not too long to be a good compromise in that situation as well.

If weight is your primary criterium, go with the short boat, but consider test-paddling some mid-length boats on club outings when you get the chance. You may decide to start shopping for a used composite boat someday (composite for weight savings, used for $ savings). This is your first boat, and getting "exactly" the right one probably ain't gonna happen just yet so don't sweat it too much.

Agree with Guideboatguy
I agree with Guideboatguy’s recommendation for similar reasons that he stated. I too have a female friend that paddles the Manitou 14 and she handles it well on lakes and small streams.

choosing a kayak
Thanks for the advice from my inquiry on 5/3-Manitous. I tried out the Manitou 13 and the Pungo 120. I chose the Manitou 13–thanks for the advice to go longer! I think my husband and son would love the Pungo120 for fishing. Thanks to all who took the time to reply.


Hope it works out.
I went paddling today with the friend I mentioned in my previous post, and noticed that her boat is actually a Manitou 13, not a 14 (perhaps there is no 14, but I thought I’d correct my mistake anyway). Hope you like your boat as much as she likes hers.

Just bought one today
I would suggest that the Manitou 14 does in fact exist as there’s one in my garage. There are quite a few Manitou models. The 14 has over the 13 a front bulkhead and hatch, as well as a skeg. Can’t wait to learn how to paddle this baby!