P+H Bahiya

Am looking for feedback on the P+H Bahiya kayak, I may trade my CETUS for one.

No experience, but
just reading P&H’s own description it seems like a bit of an advanced niche boat, especially compared to the Cetus. A Quest would probably be a better alternative if you have to stay with P&H.

I read your updated review and a comment or two here recently about the loose stern of the Cetus with some interest. I bought a Capella 167 last year, and it was said in a thread several months ago that the Cetus is of the same hull lineage. For most paddling it’s a delightful boat, other than not having much speed potential. The stern does seem to have a mind of its own in following seas, though, you can sweep stroke all you want and it won’t fall back into line. More drastic ruddering or edging more advanced than I’m comfortable with is required. Fortunately for the Capella the skeg is large enough to control this so I’ve taken to dropping it whenever I’m expecting boat wakes from astern.

It appears these boats are of “rear steer” design, with the Capella this is especially apparent in profile from the large area of deep vertical bow surface forward. Makes for quick response to minor paddling tracking corrections on flat water anyway.

With the Cetus they say they have added bow rocker, presumably to try to balance this a bit, but it appears there are still some issues with it in downwind conditions.

I may try moving the seat to its rearward setting to see what affect that may have.


the bahiya seemed like
a hard chines version of the quest to me. I thought it was fast and fairly maneuverable. But it seemed a bit big. I was after a lower volume boat when I paddled it.

I like the bahiya, but I don’t think it is different enough from the quest.


sweep stroke while moving forward
Moving forward creates higher pressure against the bow, and lower pressure against the stern of any sea kayak. The faster you’re moving, the higher the differential. While moving forward, it’s almost always easier to steer the stern. You’ll notice this demonstrated a lot with weathercocking. You may be paddling at 3 knots with a crosswind, and your boat is tracking perfectly. You up the pace to 4 knots, and you begin weathercocking. The pressure increased at the bow, the pressure decreased at the stern, and now the stern is blowing downwind, steering the bow into the wind. If you’re cruising along in a following sea, the sweep stroke is a difficult way to control direction, and the faster you’re moving, the more difficult it becomes.

Sorry OP, never paddled the Bahiya. Hopefully I’ll get a chance in a couple weeks. From what I’ve heard, the Bahiya is an entirely different animal vs the Cetus or Capella. As I understand, they’re designed to dance, the Bahiya is designed to cruise (more in line with the Sirius), but I could be wrong about that.

I just wanted to suggest to the follow-up poster that the sweep is not a very effective turning stroke at forward paddling speed in any sea kayak. Get out in some nice, calm flatwater and practice following up your forward stroke or forward sweep with a stern draw while at paddling speed. Or easier yet, just practice using a stern pry. And remember, the pressure on the blade is transferred through the shaft, through your arms, through your torso, and the pressure applies to the kayak somewhere that is actually in contact with the boat. Focus on the lower extremeties is equally important. If you can find a way to transfer that blade pressure all the way to your foot against the foot peg, things will begin to become much easier. This is quite different than pressing your back against the backrest with pressure from your foot. Much as in pumping your legs during a forward stroke, you want your legs pushing the kayak forward, with the opposing pressure applied against your hand on the paddle shaft, not against your back on the backrest (that’s wasted energy). I don’t know where you’re at in paddling skills, so I’m not trying to be critical, just hoping to give a helpful suggestion.

I probably didn’t give enough info
but my point was how the Capella did in the following waves compared to my last two boats, a Caribou and a Force 4. It felt like strange behavior because in straight-ahead flat-water paddling it’s easier to turn than either of those had been, which didn’t seem surprising considering it’s shorter.

So the first time an angled wake from astern sent it off-course like it did it was a bit of a surprise that it wasn’t easily gotten back on-course.

Most all boats have surprises, of course. By far the best boat I’ve yet owned for handling waves from any direction was the Caribou.


If you’re trading, the Cetus is worth more $ than the Bahiya. The Cetus is currently the boat of the moment, the Bahiya never really caught on.

The Bahiya is a fast go straight sea kayak, more like a Sirius. I has thought the Bahiya was going to replace the Sirius, maybe it was a replacement for the Sirius HF/L? You should be able to find a Bahiya used for not too much $. Too bad you’re not in NE, thier are a few of them for sale up here.