P&H Cetus - Valley Etain?

I’m familiar with the original (classic) Cetus, but haven’t tried the Etain. Anyone have experience in both boats and willing to contribute thoughts on them?

Good question
I’m interested to hear other’s responses.

I test paddled an Etain and loved it, but didn’t paddle it long enough to make a detailed assessment.

I would add to the question other kayaks that seems to be designed along the same lines: Rockpool, Tiderace, Atlantis Spartan.

good review of Etain

– Last Updated: Sep-20-11 7:27 PM EST –

Here is a good review of the Etain by a guy over in Scotland.

Same guy also has a few reviews of other boats, including Cetus. Go to this link and scroll own the left column until you see Kayak reviews.

Being a blog, he has much more space than magazines do, so is able to do very thorough reviews.

forgot to put the link for the reviews in. Sorry about that. Here are two that take yyou right to Cetus reviews:

I can fit regular cetus but not etain. Apt comparison would be etain vs.cetus mv

Sizes of Etain

– Last Updated: Sep-19-11 5:07 PM EST –

There are presently two sizes of the Etain, which is confusing:

The first one, which is 17'6" -- I think.

The one presently called LV which is actually medium volumn and may well correspond to the CetusMV. I think the length is 17'3"

A true LV -- meaning one for small people -- is supposedly coming out this fall, or so the review in Ocean Paddler magazine said. I have no idea what the specs are except that I hope it fits me, and I paddle an AvocetLV.

Perhaps Valley will read this thread and enlighten.

Paddle the Cetus sizes extensively and have played with the Etain sizes and poly on calm water. The Cetus MV is more tailored fit to my frame (see my review) whereas the smaller Etain felt quite roomy. Not overly so, but I’d need to be a tad larger than my current 6’ 188# frame to fill out more betterer.


See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY


I demoed the HV Etain
and it felt very roomy for my 6’1" 210lb frame. Felt like it had too much buoyancy unloaded. I’d get the smaller one for day paddling.

how does the Etain RM compare to the fiberglass version?

HV, MV, LV Comparisons?
I believe it would be interesting to see comparisons of the three, or is it four versions of the Cetus and of the different sized Etains. I have heard the Cetus’s have different personalities which doesn’t surprise me if the paddler is the same, but maybe they are different regardless.

Douglas Wilcox

– Last Updated: Sep-20-11 4:54 PM EST –

Wilcox's are among the most informative reviews. You should also read the comments following the review.

I suggest you also consider a Valley Aquanaut. It is a livelier boat than the Cetus (and I probably than the Etain). I seem to be in the minority not greatly impressed with the Cetus. I don't think it's a bad boat I just don't like its personality as much as the Valley boats I've paddled.

BTW: Adventure Kayak's review of the Etain: "With good carrying capacity, tracking, and initial stability this boat is a great choice for paddlers who want a dependable and more user-friendly expedition kayak." Sea Kayaker's summary regarding Valley's previous attempt at a more user friendly expedition length boat, the Aquanaut: "Fast yet maneuverable...a top choice for adventuresome intermediate-to-advanced paddlers."

If at all possible, demo the boats in the conditions you might paddle. How the boat behaves for you in challenging conditions can be quite different than on flat calm water.

i must have demoed the lv etain
Cetus and aquanaut hv are almost too big for me. Nordkapp h20 is just about perfect. When I sat in Etain i had no room under the top deck. I felt I would need to lower the seat to squeeze in.

Btw the.front minihatch felt so loose and unsecured i would be afraid to lose it while surfing.

I, at 150x5.9 find ergonomics of full size Cetus OK

Etain ergonomics felt OK, but both are way too big ( not a huge surprise, really). And, for the full disclosure, I am a fan of loose cockpits, and knees up posture.

The deck pod on Etain - I accidentally bumped against something lightly while carrying the boat on my shoulder. The pod fell out. Maybe it was not installed properly, who knows.

I find 4th hatches something that I did not miss while they were not available.

At the moment there is no Etain LV …
per the Valley website.

The current Etain models are: 17-7 and 17-5.

Based on the specs of the 17-5 it really IS NOT a low volume boat.

Length: 17’5” (532cm)

Width: 21.5” (55cm)

Depth: 13.25” (34cm)

Weight: 51lbs (23.5kg)

Median suggested weight capacity of the 17-5 is 180 lbs. (over a range of approx 120 - 240). I don’t consider that an LV boat.

just an observation
on how it fit my body. I just find it curious that I fit Cetus or Nordkapp H20 or Aquanaut HV just fine but I do not fit the Etain.

…as I said above. The TRULY LV Etain is due out this fall, according to Ocean Paddler Magazine.

There are only two Etains and using LV for the smaller of the two on the market is a misnomer.

a different way of using LV…I’ve been told that it doesn’t mean LOW Volume…it means LOWER Volume

It’s a Brit thing…like pants/trousers

Best Wishes


…but Valley IS NOT applying the 'LV’
moniker to this boat, as it has done with the Aquanaut, Avocet, Nordkapp, etc. It is pnet participants that are using the “Etain LV” label.

At the moment there is not such kayak made by Valley.

As DCM notes a smaller Etain is apparently on the way, but I would not be surprised if Valley calls it, let’s say, the “Etain 17-3”.

Yes, “LV” is a relative term and user specific. Personally I consider Valley’s Aquanaut LV (which I previously owned) and the Avocet LV to be lower volume kayaks. However, I didn’t find the Nordy LV a terrible small volume kayak. I swim in its cockpit.

FWIW I don’t think “LV” means small

– Last Updated: Sep-21-11 10:02 AM EST –

cockpit. I think it means lower volume throughout. I didn't find the Aquanaut LV at all "LV" except perhaps for larger people; I could travel for a week plus in that boat.

But this is what happens when meaningful terms are used primarily as marketing tools. People start substituting them carelessly.

As you correctly stated, there is no etain LV. Or etain HV for that matter.

At 6’, 185 lbs
The original full size Cetus felt enormous (too big) for me. I paddle a standard Aquanaut and it seems about right. I also regularly paddle a Nordkapp LV and a Romany as my day boats.

please please please
…make a true low volume sea kayak available in poly. The majority of people I see on the water are paddling unloaded expedition kayaks, some too large for them.

If you do I’ll buy two of them.