P&H Cetus LV compared with Scorpio LV

Has anyone paddled both of these boats? The local P&H dealer (who may or may not still be in business) lists the Scorpio on their website, but not the Cetus. It appears these two kayaks have the same hull. If true, then in theory I could demo a Scorpio LV and know if I want the Cetus LV. Is this correct?

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I owned a Cetus MV and paddled a Scorpio MV for several days. Really like the Cetus & would be happy to own again…did not enjoy the Scorpio as it seemed to be affected by winds. However, more importantly, I could not find a secondary stability sweat spot which I can usually find within a half hour of paddling a kayak.

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Thank you! This is very helpful. It’s interesting that they paddle so differently. I wonder, did you paddle the original Scorpio or the II? They say the II has the same hull as the Cetus. Would RM vs composite make a huge difference? I don’t even know if this local dealer has anything to demo, but I thought it might be a good first step. I also would really like to not have to have a new kayak (Rockpool) shipped from the dealer - heard too many horror stories about shipping kayaks in general. So, assuming I could get it locally, it seems like a Cetus LV would be good for me all around.

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The Scorpio was paddled was the original. Agree with you, I would prefer to pick up the kayak rather than having one shipped. RM vs composite will make some difference. I suspect if you like the RM, you would love the composite, however on the other spectrum, if you find the RM not to your liking, the composite may still be one you would like. That would be a coin toss situation.

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The Power of Water in Lansing Michigan shows a couple of LV Scorpios in stock. If I read your posts correctly Lansing is within a day’s drive from you. Call or e-mail to see what they have & when they might be around. Shop hours are a bit iffy as Scott & Trey prefer to be on the water. There are at least three Cetus kayaks around but only one might be a LV.


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Thanks! I always think of Michigan as far away, but it’s only about a 6 hour drive. There are closer other dealers, but more options are always good.

My Tiderace was a ~7 hour one-way trip and I’d happily do it again in a heartbeat. 10 would probably be my max just because of schedule difficulties.

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Because of the differences in how composite and rotomolded kayaks are made two versions of the same boat won’t be identical. A composite kayak will be exactly the shape of the mold, while a poly kayak shrinks a bit while cooling, so the final shape is a bit of a guess when building the tooling. They take their best guess but it is more art while composites are more science. Consequently fit will always vary between the composite and poly version of a kayak. I have paddled a Scorpio LV but don’t have enough time in a Cetus LV to truly compare, but the fit difference between a Valley Avocet or Gemini in composite or poly is pretty dramatic - in one case I fit better in the composite (Avocet) and the other better in the poly version (Gemini).

Long story short, no I would not generalize fit between the two kayaks.


This makes perfect sense, but is not something I would have guessed. Thank you! And drat. :smile:

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MV’s absolutely not the same boat even if they follow the same floor plan. Very different volume distributions between the two. Cetus MV volume is more evenly distributed throughout the length of the kayak compared to the Scorpio where it has a larger percentage of its volume concentrated between the front bulkead and center of aft hatch. Gives the Scorpio a more forgiving secondary stability when heeled over and quite maneuverable, at the cost of some top end speed.

The LVs are a closer comparison with the exceptions of length and deck height.

I paddle the MVs extensively and my other half the LVs in addition to carry them in The Store and Fleet.

See you on the water,
Marshall Seddon
The River Connection, Inc.
9 W. Market St.
Hyde Park, NY. 12538
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Thank you, Marshall. This is helpful.

I have a Scorpio MV and a Cetus MV. The boats are similar except for the obvious difference of rotomolded vs. composite but it is incorrect to say the the Scorpio is the plastic version of the Cetus / the Cetus is the glass version of the Scorpio.

The main difference dimension-wise is the the Cetus isn’t as wide. So, the Scorpio has a bit more initial stability on flat water. A bigger difference is the feel when edging and turning. Since the sides of the Scorpio is a tad rounder, it comes on edge a little easier. The Cetus edges well when intentionally edged; because it doesn’t have quite as much initial stability, edging is more gradual; you don’t have a lot of stability that then drops off. On handling, you definitely have to intententially edge more in the Cetus. If you want to do more than a gentle turn, you have to make it turn. But if you use the correct technique it is still maneuverable. Where the Cetus really shines is in low resistance. Being a tad narrower but also having less skin friction, it pieces the water like an arrow. And once you learn to edge turns, it’s a delight to paddle.

I’m glad I have both. The Scorpio is my knock around boat when I just want to go out for an hour or two for fitness and also my rock/play boat. The Cetus is my boat when I’m going any distance and not going to be in rocks/surf.


Thank you for the great info.

I finally made progress on the kayak front! Sort of. I was able to get a hold of the local P&H dealer today, which has changed hands and merged and changed numbers and etc, but is still happily in business. The owner is super helpful and is going to find out what he’s got coming in on his next order so I can potentially demo a kayak or two. While I’m at it, I will probably demo a surfski.

I know y’all were on the edges of your seats for my boatlessness. Stay tuned for the next (non)update.

I had a Cetus, preceding the partitioning into the LV, MV, and HV. It was a fine kayak except … the wee hatch in front of the cockpit encroached on my foot room. It was OK except when I wanted/needed to stretch out my short little legs. The hatch was in my way.

I now have an Etain 17.3 with the removable front hatch (no longer available). That doesn’t encroach on my foot room in that same way. It is much shallower.

The front hatches seem like a marketing ploy, but otherwise offer no great benefits.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I think the Scorpio II LV might be a great fit for me, if it fits me. It’s a heavy boat, but I like the idea of being able to beat it up. I’m anxious to hear what the dealer has coming - I should hear back Tuesday. I got blown all over the place on my SUP today and was really wishing I was in a kayak.

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Two years ago Andrea Knepper paddled a Scorpio LV the length of the US Pacific coast.

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There is a P&H page on FB good info there from owners.

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That’s amazing!

@PaddleDog52 thanks but I am not on FB. I’ve read loads of reviews. This one is the one I most trust:

He also did a thorough review of the Cetus, and either boat seems like a great choice for me. Having something I can beat up is definitely where I am leaning, because of where I will most frequently paddle it.

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