need kayak more stable than P&H Bahiya

I have a 2006 white P&H Bahiya in fantastic condition. It is super fast and incredibly easy to edge and stay on edge. However, since I mostly paddle on flat water with no gear in the boat, the Bahiya is more “tippy” than my beginner skills can handle. Experienced kayakers are not bothered by the quick edge to edge transitions of the Bahiya, so I am not faulting the boat. The boat is amazing.

Anyway, I am looking to get a more stable boat. From reading a bit, it seems like the fiberglass P&H Capella 163 is a more stable boat that gets good reviews. What do you think?

What other boats do you recommend I look into? Here are my details:

  • beginner to intermediate skills
  • 80% paddling time on lakes and slow rivers, 20% on open rough water
  • I am 5’8’’ and 170lbs

Think ballast instead
There is this company:

Or you can create your own. In own boat I owned I put soft diving weights under the seat. Worked great when the boat was empty. Google around a bit and you will find a wide variety of ballast solutions.

lotsa options
It’s not too hard to find a more stable sea kayak than the bahiya! That deep vee hull is pretty aggressive. Look for a more rounded hull(capella) or shallow vee (tempest) or the new school flat hull shapes that transition into vees at the bow and stern(aries, force).

Tippy is in your head.
I second the suggestion for putting some weight in it and learning to relax. Take some deep breaths, relax your hips, rock back and forth, learn to brace. Learn to tip over and brace back up. Go paddle a surf ski or a wave ski, and it will feel like an aircraft carrier.

loose hips

– Last Updated: Jun-18-12 9:07 AM EST –

save ships

Seat time will take care of tippiness
Of course, there are boats more stable than Bahiya, but spend some more time in this boat before moving on.

Loose hips allow to react to boat movements better. Additionally, too tight a boat fit might make reacting to the boat movements more difficult.
Keep in mind - these comments are very general, might apply or not apply in your case.

Edit - wrong word/typo

Capella 163 would be perfect for you NM

Thanks for the tips from everyone. I will try to get some more seat time in the Bahiya before I trade it for something else.

I think you’ve got something there
Trying out a ski is a great idea as a point of reference.

cheaper option

– Last Updated: Jul-03-12 12:27 PM EST –

Since you seem to be more looking for a boat to use as a transition until you feel more confident in the excellent high-end boat you already have, I wonder why you would want to spend $3000 to $4000 on the composite Cappella? Why not get a decent rotomold for now? Since you like Brit style P & H boats, look into other options in their "fleet". In fact, the RM Cappella 160 is less than $1,500 and is supposed to be replacing the soon-to-be-discontued Easky 17 in P & H's Venture line.

You are about the same size as my boyfriend, who loves my P & H Easky 15LV so much after borrowing it that he wants to buy one himself to replace his other boats (he's a strong intermediate paddler with a lot of whitewater background). That boat is under $1200 and is a great beginner to intermediate transition boat that I have found to be very versatile and enjoyable in a range of conditions. And, at 44 lbs, it is lighter than the Capellas or the Bahiya. Being 2" wider and not as vee hulled it is more stable. Even without a skeg or rudder, it tracks like an arrow.

There is also the rotomold Delphin 155, similar specs to the Easky 15LV but with more rocker for surfing and wave play and a slightly sturdier hull.

Even once you progress to being happier in the Bahiya, a rotomold kayak would be cheap enough to justify keeping for a friend loaner or to use in conditions where you might not want to scrape up the composite hull on the higher end boat. Sometimes it's nice to have a "beater".

Anyway, just a suggestion that would allow you to keep the Bahiya until you are more comfortable with it.

companion boat
willowleaf has an excellent idea.

why not a plastic boat of a different design that is more stable than the Bahiya:

Dagger Alchemy S

P&H Delphin 150

Wilderness Systems Zephyr -the smaller one

North Shore Aspect

Jackson Journey 13.5

or a crossover boat:

Pyranha Fusion S

Dagger Axis

Liquid Logic XP9

that kind of do all go anywhere length. You’ll have fun, feel more stable, still be able to pursue all the new skills you want.

then keep it as a companion to the Bahia. Keep it for those times you want to paddle a narrow bony river w. a lot of twists and turns where sacrificing gel coat is more likely than not to happen.

you can find a used Capella 160RM
for under $1000.