Necky Manitou 13 sea worthiness?

Check out video of Manitou 13 in pretty rough condition. Is the apparent stability due to paddler skill or boat design? I would prefer that the boat had two bulkheads. Would a bow flotation bag alleviate safety concerns?

That didn’t look too bad, actually.

– Last Updated: May-22-11 2:06 PM EST –

It would have been easier to tell how rough it was if the camera hadn't been aimed down at the front deck the whole time. I couldn't keep myself from tilting my head UP, more and more, as I kept trying to see what was in front of the boat rather than what was tied to the deck. Anyway, based on paddling with my friend Rena who has that same kayak, I'd guess the waves there were mostly about 1.5 feet, because that's about what it takes for them to start washing over the front of the boat when going straight into them like that, and that's about when big curling whitecaps start showing up. A couple of the biggest ones might have been 2.5 feet, since it looked like they were almost big enough to hide the head of the paddler out front. Going straight into waves of that size does not challenge a boat's stability much, but that boat is pretty hard to tip over anyway, since your weight is applied just a few inches off the floor and the boat is moderately wide, as touring kayaks go. I'd call the Manitou 13 pretty seaworthy, because it moves pretty efficiently and it will handle that kind of stuff and worse just fine. Still, it IS a very good idea to put float bags in the front, as that makes it easy to do self- or assisted rescues (something that is good to practice if you'll be far from shore). If the front end fills up and sinks, getting back in the boat after a capsize will be terribly difficult or impossible, depending on whether you have good helpers with you.

Pretty rough conditions?
Rough conditions are relative. Small wind waves here in your video, couple of passing larger swells. No breaking waves.

I had my Manitou 13" out in Tampa Bay a couple of years ago when the waves were about 2-3". Very choppy and windy that day. Handled beautifully. However, it was very difficult to get back in the boat after beaching on a small island for a rest break. The waves were breaking continuously so I had to drag the boat out past the breakers and then have my paddling buddy help steady it while I got back in. All in all, love the boat.

Where do you want to take it?
Your profile lists whitewater and slow rivers, lakes - no ocean. So where are you thinking of taking this boat? If whitewater, this is an entirely different conversation.

mini sea kayak
I’ve owned several sea kayaks, but started out in a manitou 13. It’s really a shrunken version of a classic british sea kayak and if I had to take a 13’ rec boat out in rougher seas I’d take the manitou over other flatter bottomed rec boats. Yeah, the foam in the bow isn’t really enough, but you could add more, or a float bag, or just pay a bit more for the manitou 14, which does have 2 bulkheads and a drop skeg. Over all it’s a better value and you wouldn’t outgrow it nearly as fast as the 13’.

varying opinions

– Last Updated: May-23-11 9:45 AM EST –

Juat so you know that there are varying opinions, Atlantic Kayaks says the 13 is not appropriate for the Hudson River and the 14 is not appropriate for "open water."

Mainou intended use
I am 200-210 lbs and am 5’10" tall.I intend to use what ever kayak I purchase as a day touring boat on smaller lakes with limited exposure 90 percent of the time.No white water or rivers of any size.(I use an inflatable ducky or oar powered raft for these trips.)At times I may occasionally use the Kayak on a very large lake but intend to stay close to the shore and in side canyons due to the rough conditions that can blow up on the several mile wide bays.Also very large and fast running power boats are a real hazard. So I am looking for a light weight ,very capable rec boat that is seaworthy enough to get off the water if the conditions do get stormy.I am also seriously considering a WS Tsumami 125 but it weighs 7 lbs more that the Manitou and is more expensive.It does have the advantage of having two bulkheads/hatches.

I have the Manitou 14
and love it for the kind of paddling you are talking about – which is not to say that a 13 or Tsunami 125 might not also work – I have no experience with those. Regarding weight, I can say that I have no trouble loading the 14 onto my J-racks on a Subaru Forester – I’m not an especially strong person. I do it sort of 2 steps. I get the boat by the coaming and lift the bow portion onto the front J rack, the stern is not on the ground; then I shift a bit toward the stern and lift the stern portion onto the rear J rack this time lifting some from the edge of the boat. Just my 2 cents in case it is helpful.

You might find the Manitou 13 a bit small for your size. I have a M13 and replaced it with a P&H Capella 16 after one season because it felt too small for me. (I’m 5’11" and weigh about 180, down from 195 when I got it.) The M13 handles rough water very well, tracks well and is reasonably fast for a kayak its size. However, it seemed to “push” through the water when paddling at faster speeds. It also lacks a front bulkhead, which is pretty important if paddling in rougher water. A better choice would be the Manitou 14. It would be a better fit for someone your size and it also has a front bulkhead and skeg.

Manitou 14
I would choose the Manitou 14. As some others have said, it’s more like a compact sea kayak and will perform well in moderate conditions. You may eventually outgrow it but it’s still better than buying a lower end rec boat.


Get a bigger boat
Now that you’ve stated your weight, I’d say the Manitou 13 is too small for you. It’ll sit mighty low in the water for you. Basically, the “moves like a slug” factor kicks in a lot quicker as the load gets bigger with small boats than with bigger boats. A boat that’s loaded pretty close to its “reasonable” maximum load isn’t much fun if paddled in that condition all the time. If you are new at this, you’ll soon be amazed at how much difference as little as one or two feet of extra length will make, and just how “small” a 13-footer will be for a person your size. If you wanted a boat for quiet, twisty little creeks, 13 feet might be fine, but on bigger water, you’ll appreciate the performance of something bigger.

14 ft for a 200 pounder
well there are several recommendations that for my weight a 14 ft boat would be better.This includes a recommendation from a friend who has a 14 ft Tsunami.I guess I will change my focus and go in the hunt for a 14 ft day tour boat.Still will try out the WS 12.5 as a demo simply because there are no longer boats available for me to demo.the Necky 14 seems like a good value.I am just concerned about maneuverability and responsiveness.I would like a boat with a little get up and go.I assume that a 12 to 13 foot boat is fine for a 150 lb person.(my wife)

You and your wife
A 14 ft boat is plenty easy to turn. You just have to do some edging to make it spiffier. People regularly take 17 ft sea kayaks and spin them around tight once they know how to paddle.

Re your wife, width is more important than length. If she is average size for a woman, around 5’4", in a boast that was intended for a guy of 5’10" or so which describes most of them, she’ll have an unduly hard time getting the paddle into the water for a comfortable stroke. At 150 pounds she could have a harder time getting a good waterline than the 180 pounds that usually goes with the guy’s height in designing a kayak, but she is closer than some.

If she is that kind of height and you want her to desire to paddle with you, get a boat that was designed with women and smaller paddlers in mind. One is the Tsunami 135, if you are looking in that line.

…and the Manitou 13… ,
…since that was originally brought up here, is a fine boat for women and smaller paddlers.

Check out the Dagger Alchemy…
Fun little boats, 14 feet and only in the low 50 pound range for weight. The S would work well for probably both of you, but there is the larger L for the bigger paddler. Very fun, responsive boats with plenty of features for the price, and they can move along fairly well. Much more responsive boat than a Tsunami IMO. Also surf stupid well.

Have fun out there.


– Last Updated: May-26-11 1:31 PM EST –

also suggest a longer/bigger kayak for your size. I paddled a friends Manitou and found it to be agile, quick to turn, and very's short comings for someone my/your size (I'm 6-2/215) will quickly be apparent when you load it with any weight (camping, water jugs, etc.) as it paddled like a slug when loaded riding too low in the water. Make sure you do a test paddle with your cold weather gear like size 12 feet barely fit. I ended up with a Easky 15 as it was love at first paddle.
Check out the specs:
A very well made kayak (company is a arm of P&H) that will allow you to take on most any water and give you substantially more room and weight capacity. PM me if you want photos. I suggest finding a "paddle event day" near you and try as many as possible. Lots of choices and happy with mine. Good luck!
Found this:
Seller appears solid and is willing to take an offer too.

Some other sugestions
Look into a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 and the Native Watercraft Inuit 14.5. I am 6’ 3" @ 230lbs and fit in both with room. I ended up with the Inuit.

paddler weight considerations
OK, I think I’m convinced the Manitou 13 is not recommended for my 210 lbs.(I could drop to as light as 190lbs-195lbs if I had a big enough reason to.)I don’t understand how the 14 ft Manitou would be a better performing boat for my weight since both the 13 and 14 are rated on the web site to have the same capacity of 275lbs-325lbs.The same is true for the WS 125 and the 140.Both are rated at max capacity of 300 lbs.The presumption seems to be the longer boats would ride higher in the water and push less water. How are the longer boats more buoyant/efficient with a large paddler if rated for the same weight capacity as the shorter boats?

Something to think about.
This is what I can tell you about my experiance wet testing a Necky 14 Manitou. I really really really wanted to get into a Manitou 14 because I liked the the way it looked and liked all the positive reviews it had. Now I went to my local kayak outfitter to test it out. now remember I am 6’3" @ 230ish. I also do alot of long didtance Cycling so my leggs are a bit bigger than normal. When I sat in the Necky M14 I could not get my upper thighs under the low thigh braces and secondly my feet went past the foot peg stops and the seat was all the way back and lowered.

So the Guide helping me out told me to try the WS14 & 145 as well as the Native Inuit 145 as they were a bit longer and had a higher capacity rating. All 3 where great. I fit in them with no problems had pleanty of legg room and the decks were higher allowing my thighs to fit under the braces very comfortably. Like I said in the above post I went with the Inuit 145 because it felt great and I was most comfortable in it.

As for why a bigger boat can float better and hold up more weight. Now I am no scientist but I do believe that it has to do with more surface area and volume.

One last item. My outfitter also told me that you cannot really go by the weight advertised by the Kayak companies as its just a number they use as a rating/class and not hold it as canon. The Necky M14 says 300lbs well I can tell you I am 230 lbs and I was already at the water line with just me in the Kayak. I would most likley be under water had I loaded it up with camping gear.

I would highly suggest to find a outfitter in your area, even if you have to drive a bit and wet test several Kayaks. out of all 5 Kayacks I wanted to test I eventually bought one that I didn’t even have on my list.