Necky Manitou Comments

For those of you looking for a nice all around boat at a reasonable price, I can’t recommend the Necky Manitou more highly.

I’ve had the Manitou for a year now and used it primarily in lakes (touring, fishing, photography). Last week, for the first time, I had it in open water in Tampa Bay and on the Gulf. It performed great. I could make excellent headway in two-foot seas, against the current and a stiff breeze. Rolled over the seas and boat wakes like a cork. Never felt out of control. Tracking was excellent.

If you’re thinking of getting a boat in this price range, I suggest you give the Manitou a try.

I’ll second that
I’ve had mine for a year, too. I’ve used it on slow-moving rivers and lakes and have been very happy with it. My only criticism is that I don’t like the hatch cover. I can’t get the neoprene on without having another pair of hands helping me, or I can use my foot to hold one edge, but then the hatch cover gets muddy. That’s a small criticism, though. I do like it a lot.

Santa Cruz
I almost got the Mantiou but chose the Necky Santa Cruz because of the larger cockpit. I is a wonderful boat and handles the rough water quite well. FishHawk

This is a great little boat
for beginners and also very capable with some cockpit mods for seriuous paddlers. (backband and thigh hooks). The neo cover for the hatch can be a bear at first, and works well when you hold your knee over one end as you spread it around the coaming. A bit of surf wax may also help. As I understand it the shallow lip on the hatch coaming allows for a top/bottom roto tool, which makes for a nicer, more “true” boat. I’ve paddled the boat in high wind and relatively big water and was very impressed. Reminds me in some ways of a Mariner Coaster.

Love it
Love my Manitou too. It’s a replacement for the CD Kestrel I lost last fall in Hurricane Ivan. It’s really a toss-up which I like better–the Kestrel or the Manitou, but the Manitou has a slight edge in moving smoothly through the water, though I miss the nice paddle parks on the Kestrel.

Here’s a question that one of you might know the answer to: why can’t someone make a small boat like this with a forward bulkhead and hatch? That would make the 'Tou a ten, IMHO.

Agree here, too
I bought a Kestrel to (possibly) replace my Manitou but I’ll be keeping them both. See the current review (which compares the two) in the Product Reviews section under Current Designs - Kestrel. The Manitou and I are major pals.

Hatch Covers?
I’ve discovered when using 303 Protectant, apply some on the inside of the hatch covers. Makes removing and replacing them much easier!

Haven’t tried it yet!
Noob here! I have purchased a Manitou, but I don’t have it in my possession yet. I have not tried it on water, but based on all the reviews I’ve read and the fact that the cockpit was the only one that fit me like a glove, I’m optimistic that this boat will be a good choice for me.

Try this…
One of the first things you should try is the following: get in shallow water warm enough to swim in (just in case). Sit in the Manitou and lean to one side until it “catches.” By that I mean that it will tip very easily and then “catch” at a place where it’s leaning at about a 25-30 degree angle but won’t lean any further unless you really try to dump the boat over.

Why do this? I didn’t do this for the first six outings or so and I always thought the doggone thing was going to fall over. Once I learned of that secondary stability point, I was comfortable and confident and wish I had tried that many many hours earlier!

Is this behavior true for most kayaks?



Not sure
I’ve only had three, and the Manitou is the narrowest. The wider bodied ones don’t seem to wobble at all. The downside of that is they paddle like bathtubs.

I haven’t found the limit yet to how far I can lean the Manitou w/o going over, but I have found out that it responds readily to just a little bit of a brace. I’ll do the suggested experiment once the water warms up a bit more. :slight_smile:

Manitou & Santa Cruz
My other half bought a Santa Cruz so I bought a Skye so we could paddle together. She had a pleasant paddle and I had a workout. Bought a Manitou the next year (last)and what a difference. Quite efficient, very stable, comfy, excellent tracking and not a great turner; the Santa Cruz is much more manoeuverable and tracks as well with the skeg down, a touch slower though. I prefer the Manitou as I find it more comfortable; my knees kept hitting the cockpit rim in the Santa Cruz. We swap often, kayaks that is.