P&H Sirius idiosyncrasies

First…I really appreciate many of the posting recently in response to my current search for a new (=demo/used/blemished if possible) boat.

I plan to demo a Sirius L and a Bahiya tomorrow. Regarding the Sirius, I have been researching the boat sizes and have discovered that the P&H size designations have changed a few times in recent years. A number of years ago one could purchase a Sirius S, M, or L. Apparently the difference was an additional 1" in freeboard with each size. More recently (I believe), the Sirius is sold as either an S or M. There was a time when the boat was sold as HF (high freeboard) which I have heard a few interpretations of…one being the same size as the Sirius M…another as ‘somewhere between the M & L’. I assume there is no Sirius ‘MF’ …an acronym that might not be exactly consistent with positive sales?

The questions I have include the following. I am looking at a Sirius L. Has anyone paddled the L size as well as other sizes? Is anyone aware of any additional idiosyncratic problems with the Sirius L related to a few additional inches of freeboard (windage?). I have paddled a bunch of boats as of late. Thus far my favorite is the Aquanaut. Will let you know about my Sirius (and not so serious)…and Bahiya experiences.

Have a great paddling weekend…


I’ve paddled the sirius in the not too distant past. Don’t know how it was sized, but it wasn’t too high on my list. I like a quick boat, and aren’t put off by a lack of initial stability. It just seems to me that there are boats that are faster, and at the same time more manuverable; and more pleasing to look at. I’ll mention the Azul Sultan for example.

If looking for another boat with identical paddling characteristics but different looks, check out the Current Designs “Andromeda”.

It’s a Sirius with a different deck so may fit differently as well. A pretty boat, but as I said, not my cup of tea.



I just got a P&H Sirius and i dont think P&H make the yak in difrent seiz any more.

Take a look at the Qest also from P&H. Its a little bigger.

Im very pleased whit my Sirius

Sultan seconding
The Sultan is faster and more manueverable than a Sirius or Andromeda.

The Andomeda is Hutchinson’s adaptation/variation of the Sirius for Current Designs.

The Sultan is closest in feel and speed to Nigel Foster boats. It is faster than a Legend.

It maybe the fastest of any ‘Brit’ style touring boat.

The Sirius still comes in sizes, my local paddling shop has all of the sizes in stock. The L or HF came in two different sizes, one had a higher deck than the M, the other had a higher deck but a slightly different hull, the hull carried a bit more volume in the bow. You can see the difference if you put an M and an HF side by side look at the hulls.

The Nigel Foster boats, the Sultan (Azul, Riot?), the CD Andromeda, The NDK Greenlander, and the Kajak Sport Artisan Millenium are all fast touring boats, you might want to try them out if you don’t like the Sirius.

Sirius S
I paddled one a short amount on flat water…it feels like a design that started out as a wider hull then was squeezed. Maybe if I had it out in rough water I’d have appreciated it more but I don’t find the characteristic of leaning to one side or the other particularly necessary.

One Sirius caveat
If you buy one, check carefully under the seat. I’ve seen a couple where the seat chafed the hull to the point that it wore through the fiberglass, leaving two “cheek” depressions in the hull. If the seat is touching the hull, flow some epoxy into the joint to stabilize it and prevent chafing.

Sirius, Sultan

Is this the boat that Fern paddles? I assume by now you’ve referenced her, maybe even received this recommendation directly. Paddled a Sultan Azul at the picnic for a short time. Nice boat-low initial stability, but fairly strong secondary; it wanted to rock from edge to edge but tracked very strongly. Felt like a Legend in this respect, which I personally like-has ‘personality.’ It’s reasonably fast also-you do hit the wall, but it feels faster than the Explorer, etc. Several notches below the QCC or an Epic, however this is not the boat’s design intent. I would check out QC issues if you decide to give this one a whirl, as a number have noted problems with little assistance from Sultan. That Aquanaut’s a tough boat to beat… Happy hunting.

A Sirius decision indeed!!
I found a boat! I live in the Htf. area and headed up to New England Small Craft today to demo a Sirius L and a Bahiya. So I don’t forget to mention it…Alex (the store manager) was FANTASTIC to work with. She was willing to show up an hour before opening (because of a time crunch on my end)…and of we went to paddle the Sirius and Bahiya. She is very knowledgeable and insightful regarding fit and options.

First let me premise all of this by saying I am a solid novice learning GP…so my impressions/recommendations need to be taken within this context. I have demoed a bunch of boats: Aquanaut, Explorer, Nordkapp, Greenlander Pro, Tempest 170, Chatham 18, Currituck, Nick Schade’s Strip and S&G Night Heron, and Eric Schade’s Merganser 17 and his new Bluefin (8 panel S&G). The boats I liked the most were the Bluefin, Night Heron and the Aquanaut. (At 5’10" and 215 lbs. I couldn’t fit into a Romany or Caribou S). I also heard from a reliable source that the Sultan (now Riot Azul) has a rather high aft deck…problem for laybacks…and…it has been REALLY tough to find one to demo (even after asking the manufac. for help).

I liked the Bahiya…plus a really beautiful design. However, I decided I really didn’t want to go with a harder chined boat and the thigh hooks were really too tight. Plus…in addition to all of the paddling criteria, cost was a practical issue and there are not any used/demo Bahiya’s around.

Interestingly, I went up to test out the Sirius L figuring I would need the largest size. I sat in an L in the store…felt a tad larger. I demoed the Sirius HF (smaller than the L, though larger than the M), it clearly was the best fit.

I REALLY liked the feel of the boat immediately upon paddling…felt playful…or a tad loose…but not ‘twitchy’ as I have read so frequently. I realize all of these adjectives are remarkably subjective…though I have read more than a few uses of ‘twitchy’ re: the Sirius.

Loved the way it tracked without the use of the skeg. Where the Bahiya weathercocked (corrected with skeg) due to the wind (was a RAINY & VERY WINDY day)…the Sirius paddled with ease. THIS I liked a lot! I found the initial stability to be adequate enough to take the pics I plan to take…and to surely put the paddle down and lay back to rest. The layback was easy given the height of the aft deck. The cockpit was longer and a tad higher than the Aquanaut…which for me is a major criteria as I am 10 months post-total knee replacement and want to be able to easily bend my knee when out on the boat for awhile. Plus…it was easier to exit for me. I began to test out the secondary (to my ability)…and was satisfied. J-lean turns provided the manueverability I was looking for. I know that I can truly grow into this boat for a long…long time…AND…it appears to have what I am looking for at this time.

PLUS…the price was absolutely right! I purchased a used HF in very good condition (excellent to me=nearly store condition) for $1400. All along, I wanted to find a demo or blemished or used boat in very good condition…and found one.

I would HIGHLY recommend going to the store to work with Alex…she was great! BTW…there are numerous Sirius M’s and an L that are SERIOUSLY discounted if looking for a Sirius.

I will take a look near the seat Bryan. I didn’t notice any issues when I looked…am contemplating taking the seat out this winter and building up my own. First I want to put some time in the boat before making any drastic changes as the seat is adequate for now. Will take a look at your website…as I do plan to pad out my bulkhead and thigh hooks a tad more and definitely re-rig the deck lines.

Mark…yup…have run all of this by Fern…and yes…she paddles a Sirius S…though she didn’t necesarily recommend it for me. Just seemed to be the best fit/performance for me.

Sorry about the lengthy message…I am psyched!

Thanks to everyone for all of the tips/suggestions in recent weeks.

Happy paddling to all…


Well you did mucho research, demoed plenty of boats and chose the one you can grow into and felt best paddling – Excellent!

Enjoy… and by the way keep posting your observations and questions. You are an asset.

Much appreciated!

Glad to hear you found the right boat.

Alex is a real peach, isn’t she? It’s a good thing she’s honest, 'cause it’s hard to say “no” to that smile of hers!

As for the seat, if there’s at least 1/8" of space between it and the hull, you’ll probably be OK as long as you keep sand out from under there. Since you’re in the Boston area, keep an eye out on the NSPN site for outfitting workshops for members this winter. I plan to hold at least one dealing primarily with foam work and deck rigging and possibly one on fiberglass and gelcoat repair. In the meantime, if you have any questions, either post them here or drop me a line.

Sounds great Brian…
Yup…Alex was fantastic! I will travel (2 1/2 hours) to her shop anytime(live near Htf.)

I need to familiarize myself more with NSPN membership…will check out the workshops. I have a bunch of questions about rigging/foamwork.

First I do have a few questions about ‘cleaning up’ my ‘new/old’ Sirius.

What would you recommend using to clean off black rub marks and to clean off the surface of the boat? I figure some good old elbow grease witht the correct solvent (?) or car polish (?) might be the way to start? I would like to get it off to a nice clean look…don’t need nor want a bunch of polish…just cleaned off…tabula rasa if you know what I mean.

Then off to deck rigging. Want to take into account rigging for my GP (have more than perused your website). And…will plan to pad out the bulkhead and decide over time what to do about the seat. Will check out the clearance.

Thanks much Brian…your advice/support and website are fantastic.


West Marine
Do you have a West Marine or the equivalent near by?

West Marine Black Streak Remover is fabulous. It is safe for gel coats and does a very good job. There is also a 3M product which I believe is the same, but costs much more.

Marine/boat supply stores have an amount of the stuff you will be looking for with your new boat.

I frequent my local outfitter(s), but am regularly pleasantly surprised with the useful stuff I find at West Marine.

Will check it out…
Thanks Jim…

Will check out their website…no store nearby. Looking forward to rubbing off the crud…


Jim or Brian…or others?
After using the black streak remover…can you suggest a good sequence of steps/products to use to bring the boat back to ‘good as new’?

I suspect a light polishing compound might make sense? What might you suggest? Any other 'tricks of the trade you can suggest?

I figure I will work on the exterior…then clean out the interior…then begin to get into deckrigging options…then look at the seat…all in time.

First however…just want to clean it up. In reality…many folks would likely be fine with the way it looks, as it is really in great shape…but…I’d feel better giving it a cleaning/compounding/polish as needed.

I may be a tad nuts…but after paddling the Sirius the other day…I just like looking at the lines of the boat…cannot wait for the weekend to ‘get out there’…


Yeeehah! good old Sirius Hf!

Sure is a beauty!

Excerpts from your email questions
I thought I’d post them here in case anyone else has similar questions.

Surface Restoration:

First I plan to clean off the surface with some cleaning and/or solvent agent. There are some black marks that I know should come off.

I figure that a light polishing coupound would probably be the next step.

Then…perhaps a UV wax?

It will depend on how badly scratched and/or oxidized the surface is. If it’s severe, wet sanding with 400, 800 and 1500 grit, then polishing would restore the factory luster. If it’s in good shape, there are fiberglass polishing compounds that will remove light oxidation and hide fine scratches. Waxing can’t hurt, but I wouldn’t get too obsessive about it. After all, it’s a boat that’s going to get used and it WILL get scratched in use.


I plan to take a look at the rigging setups…and want to customize for my GP. Your site has been real helpful here.

Deck cords with sliders are really handy with a GP. They allow you to set up an outrigger instantly, plus they hold gear far more securely than bungee cords.


Will give it time…but may consider making my own seat…and also lowering the CG a tad…careful not to lower too much below the deck considering laybacks. Want to spend a bunch of hours in the boat before considering this.

That sounds like a sensible approach.

Pad Out:

Plan to pad out the front bulkhead…and then take a look at the thigh hooks and cheek plates. Will figure out some good spots for the pump…float…and given no dayhatch may think about a compartment under the front deck.

Again, that sounds good. If you can fit the pump beside one of the cheekplates, it will leave the underdeck region available for installing an underdeck bag (Mark Pack makes one) or knee tube. A knee tube can literally be a thin PVC tube, or you can make a custom fiberglass knee tube using PVC or something else for a mold. Kajak Sport makes a 4" hatch that is often used for such applications. They also make knee tubes for their own boats, but it’s likely that one could be modified to fit the Sirius. Check with P&H, as they may offer one as an option.

Compass Installation:

This boat did not come with a compass insert…so…I am toying with the idea of making one. Have you done this?

No, I haven’t.

Do you have any suggestions here?

I’ve seen them added to wood boats and there’s no reason one couldn’t be made for a glass boat. One could start from scratch and make one out of wood or make a mold from another boat, using Mold Builder latex solution (available at Michaels Crafts stores) or something similar.

Keel Strip:

Am thinking about a keel strip as well.

The method in the latest Sea Kayaker looks good. I plan to try it myself.


The boat came without a dayhatch. Am toying with the idea at some time in the future…of putting in a dayhatch…will see.

Depending on the shape of the aft deck, it might be possible to install a day hatch, plus a third bulkhead. A flat aft deck makes this really easy, though it could be done on any boat if you were willing to make a recess for the hatch. Another option is a hatch in the bulkhead behind the seat. If it’s a flat panel, it would be easy to do.

Great idea!
Many thanks again Brian…