P&H Cappella 169 vs. Point 65 N X-Ray

Need opinions on these two kayaks. The P&H 169 is an older model that they don’t make anymore and this site doesn’t have any reviews listed for the particular model. Many thanks!

Cappella vs point 65
Are you talking about the older Cappella with the 2 square hatches? If so then I’ve got one and it’s a fantastic boat. A pretty good all-rounder, not the best, not the worst. Handles ruff water pretty well, able to go in creeks, though mine tends to be slow in that situation. Will roll nicely. Being an older boat, check out the skeg to make sure the cable is in working order. Make sure it moves the skeg smoothly. Check the rubber hatch covers, especially around the inside corners. This is where mine first started ripping apart. Had to replace them this year and yes they’re still made so there’s no problem doing that. I’ve had no other issues with my boat. With any older plastic boat, make sure it’s not been stored outside in sun. Check for depressions on underside.

Hopefully someone else has info on the Point65, I’ve not paddled one.

The 169
is a very different boat from the other Capellas. I believe it has more rocker for one. It was replaced by the 167 which has a similar hull to the other Capellas in current production. I was once told that the Hurricane Tracer was based on a Capella 169. If so, that might be a similar handling boat that you could check for reviews.

I have the 169
in Carbon/Kevlar layup. Mine’s relatively new. I think maybe around two years ago it went to the 167. I’m not sure of differences beyond volume and a bit of length between the Capellas. I figured it was just a response to volume demands? (People seem to be seeking out low volume to the point of discomfort. Lower volume has its benefits - but discomfort is just plain bad.) I have an old square hatch Capella and this one, but I’m not sure of the others. While the original poly Capella I considered a slow sea kayak, the 169 I do not consider slow. I don’t consider it fast either. (Keep in mind, I’ve been paddling my KajakSport Vivianne for the past couple weeks, and my personal preferences, taking everything into account, seem to place a higher than average value on speed. - Actually, the Vivianne may likely be an excellent example of a kayak that would prove more work at normal speed than the Capella for many/most?) So here are my thoughts given a couple years paddling it.

If you learn how to maneuver better tracking kayaks, maneouvering this boat feels effortless. Edge it, give it a little push in your desired direction with an appropriate stroke, and control it with edging. I haven’t tried a boat yet that maneouvered more easily for me that didn’t feel somewhat sluggish in comparison. (This is different from proclaiming there aren’t any out there.) It edges easily - no real strong primary stability trying to hold it flat - I like this characteristic. It does have nice secondary stability that will keep you up if you’re feeling a bit wobbly (say after a roll or brace or coming up from an agressively edged turn in some conditions). It’s very nice in bigger water. I like to use mine to surf waves at the beach. The speed is plenty for any group outing I’ve encountered. It rolls just fine.

Tracking has a couple personal preference issues intertwined. I don’t use my skegs and rudders. I always want to work on mastering directional control without it. I do so much more forward paddling than turning, that I have a preference for less effort controlling tracking, meaning more effort controlling turning. Given these preferences (and don’t think for a second that people agree universally with my personal preferences in this department) my all-purpose kayak I prefer to track a bit better. The Capella is my playboat, and I think an excellent one. The other point. In my experience almost all skeg boat owners I’ve paddled with deploy thier skegs quickly (and for perfectly legitmate reasons) the moment directional control comes into play. If you deploy the skeg, you have a whole new vehicle. So if you’re going to use the skeg anyway, you can just erase the directional control issue with the Capella.

In my opinion, the Capella 169 is a performance oriented boat, meaning it’s designed for someone with, or wanting to develop some paddling skills. I don’t think it was designed simply in an attempt to create the most forgiving, stable platform on the water, it’s built with handling characteristics for someone who wants to perform in some waves.

after reading again
I should mention that I don’t believe there is a “directional control issue” with the Capella. The issue would be referring to my own personal preferences. It tracks as I would expect for a kayak with its maneouverability characteristics.

Agree, & not for beginner
I owned a Capella 169 for awhile. I agree with everything said by CapeFear about the boat. I also had an issue with the tracking and weathercocking on the boat. I did think that it was a beautiful boat, and a lot of fun. However, I much prefer the newer design found in the other Capellas.

I see that the OP is listed as a beginner in his profile. I do not think that the 169 is a good beginner boat at all.

I have not paddled any of the Point-65 boats, but if they are designed by Nigel Foster, I think he designs great boats. They are not meant for beginners either, but are more approachable for an athletic or motivated beginner.

One more thing
I looked at some of your recent posts. You describe yourself as 6’4" tall and 225 pounds and a rugby build. You also call yourself thrifty, cheap, looking for good deals etc.

Forget about the Capella 169 - you are too heavy and too tall. Especially since you want to load this boat for camping. Also, you won’t like the lack of stability with all that weight up top.

You probably have bigger feet than my size 10’s and the narrow 169 bow was too tight for my feet and at only 6’0". I am guessing that you have a prospective good deal on this boat, which is appealing to your thrifty nature.

Repeat this a few time - a boat that does not fit is always a bad deal. There are plenty of threads here on boats designed for big guys, and that is where you should look.

In P&H, the Capella 173 would be great. There are many good boats available for you, as you will see when you search these threads.

There are lot’s of Capella reviews. The ones under Capella are what you are looking for. There used to be just one fiberglass Capella and that’s the 169. The reviews under Capella include the fiberglass and the RM.

The newer versions have less rocker and a flatter bottom. They are nice but I prefer the 169.