P&H capella 169

Anyone with experience with this boat to be able to comment on it? Thanks.

I had a brief test paddle the other week in one…I’m 6’3" 215 lbs. Found the cockpit very comfortable for me after about 2 hours ( size 10.5 foot).

Initial stability a bit on the tender side with my limited experience (past boats…looksha IV, Dagger Meridian, Prijon Kodiak, Necky Rip), after the first 15 or 20 minutes I was fairly relaxed while dead stopped. Secondary stability was decent, not as pronounced as I had hoped for. Speed was good for me, felt I could cruise 4-4.5 mph (by Garmin GPS) for most of the day.

Hull has more pronounced “v” than most P&H boats I have paddled…seems if you are not heavy enough for it, will have the feeling of wanting to rest on one side or the other.

The fore and aft deck were a bit higher than that of the new 167, and as I want to try out the GP thing, was afraid that migh become an issue.

My local shop has 2 for sale right now, Yellow/White, and Orange/White for 2 grand each…perfect build construction, and finish.

I did like the boat, and would have bought, had they not had a new 167 in Carbon/Kevlar, my favorite colors (Wht/Wht) in stock. The 167 ended up going home with me ( plus I very much like the new skeg design).

Hope my info is of some help to you


Love the 169
Purchased it 3 years ago in glass. It is a very capable boat and I have had it out in a variety of conditions, including an aborted crossing from S. Manitou Island Michigan to the mainland in 4 to 5 foot seas with a period of like 20 feet.

Mine has a rudder, not a skeg and I will say that this is not my choice boat for flat water paddling. The rocker does not allow a great hull speed (capable just not a star), but in texture I love it. It does have a high foredeck, but I paddle it exclusively with a greenland paddle. It rolls nicely and can be static braced with good form and practice.

BTW I am 5’ 11" and 200 lbs. Given a choice I’ll never get rid of it.


Capella 169
I checked your previous posts and see that you are a 130# female who is paddling a Walden Vista, which I think is a 12.5 foot entry level kayak. Your posts ask opinions on a variety of equipment, and I am guessing that you are not an expert paddler (neither am I.)

Check the P&H website. I don’t think that a 169 Capella is a good fit for you, it is designed for a heavier person. I had one of these for a while and was convinced to sell it by a P&H team member - at 220# and tall, I was too heavy and did not have enough stability.

This boat is a lot different than the other Capellas, and I suspect that there is a reason that it is not in the mainstream line any more. It has a very sharp bow and a loose stern. Expert paddlers do great with it. I had a lot of trouble with weathercocking. That sharp bow just sticks, and the rear breaks away very easily. I was always playing with the skeg. A boat that fit me better (my Valley Aquanaut HV) made a huge difference.

Fit is really important, and I would look for boats designed for your size and weight. A Valley Avocet or Capella 163 would be boats to try, among others. My wife is about your weight and loves her Avocet. If you are thinking of buying the 169, be first to demo in high winds before you decide.


169 v 161
I had one of the early Capellas before they came out with the current three - 161, 163 and 169. mine was just Capella, but like the 169. Apear to be similar hulls tuned in length and volume for 3 distinct weight ranges.

It is for large paddlers. My wife felt swallowed by it, but her 161 is just made for her 5-5 120ish frame. I am 6-1 and cannot fit into it as it has a custom bulkhead moved aft.

I liked my 169 at the time. Lively hull and very stable on edge. Did need skeg in beam winds.