P&H Sirius

Comments on the P&H Sirius. There is one on eBay that ain’t too far for me to pick up. I am 170lbs and inexperienced but want a kayak that I will be able to explore the Texas coast with.


– Last Updated: Aug-21-07 10:04 AM EST –

Well, some folk love the Sirius.

Be certain to demo the boat before buying.

If you are comfortable in the boat and it is reasonably priced it is worth having.

IMHO, the Sirius has the vaguest stability curve of just about any boat I've paddled. At GOMSKS a few years ago, about a half dozen of us were sitting out on the water pausing while demoing boats. People were in an array of Valley, Foster, and NDK boats. Everyone present agreed that the Sirius stability profile was indistinct at best.

3 volume versions available

– Last Updated: Aug-21-07 1:42 PM EST –

I had the middle size Sirius for a few years.

There's a low volume and med which share the same hull and a large volume which I believe had a slightly larger (wider hull).

A bit low in initial stability, very strong tracker and for me I found it a bit sluggish and weather cocked quite a bit. Nicely built boat, great seat, thigh braces and fit and good attention to details. It was considered the high end boat of it's period.

Try it out and if it feels good for you, that's the bottom line. But you should try other boats so you have something to compare to before jumping on it. It was highly popular years back and got overtaken by many newer boats that are out now with more friendly hulls.

High personality
As above, it is really important to try out this boat and check your comnfort level. The Sirius has lots of personality. One I tried several years ago probably had the sweetest feeling of any boat I had demo’d to that point. It was also clearly going to put me into the water more often than most boats would have at that stage in my paddling. (the primary stability thing)

On another day I might have decided to grab it and get used to the stability, and there are afficionados out there who have done exactly that and were very glad of it. Then there are those like me who decided to leave that challenge to a later date.

In sum, people who love this boat really love it. It’s just not a boat to take unless you’ve gotten into it yourself to see if you get that warm fuzzy feeling.

it’s odd

– Last Updated: Aug-21-07 9:12 AM EST –

my take on it is that it's an extrapolation from some other core design like the Capella. "hey, the X is popular, what about a narrower kayak based on X?"
That's my limited impression paddling the Sirus in flat water then paddling a CD Andromeda and Gulfstream. The Andromeda appears to be related to the Sirus.
So you get a narrower kayak that sits deep in the water, isn't particularly fast and would just as soon lean 15 degrees to the left or right on flat water as vertical. In other words if you aren't in rough water you might be irritated with it's lack of stability. For low stability I'd prefer something positive for it,,like greater speed/efficiency. If a kayak sits low in the water I'd like something for it,,like less weathercocking. The Sirus gives you low stability without speed and low freeboard with weathercocking. I don't see the positives in the lack of tradeoff. I guess the positives are a firm tracking kayak for rough water.

"high personality" is a good description. For a beginner there are other boats with personality I'd recommend, a CD Caribou or Mariner Coaster (off the wall suggestion).

If you are a beginner looking to fast forward skills development with a tippy boat a QCC600 would be a good choice. If the issue is price get a glass 600 without a rudder and learn to paddle it without a tracking aid. If you want a kayak for high winds and skills developement the Chatham 17(stable) or Tempest 165(efficient) would be a better choice than the Sirus.

If an old Dagger Meridian showed up that would be a better beginners boat with potential for comfort/skills development. I was on a club paddle with an inexperienced paddler who just bought a new Meridian, his lack of skills held the group up,,and pissed me off that he survived stuff he shouldn't have. I blame that boat for getting him through surf he shouldn't have survived in other boats.

cockpit is very, very nice

– Last Updated: Aug-21-07 9:27 AM EST –

I was impressed with my friends boat how comfortable the fiberglass seat was. That said she dropped it on the curb and a 3/8" chunk of gel coat popped off the the entry. "wow" Sharp concave ends don't make sense to me. Aesthetically striking but don't see the use on the water.


those shaded areas near the ends don't make sense,,basically looks like a 14' kayak with extensions in the keel, not as odd as the ends in an Arluk but close.

I saw that on Ebay yesterday.
I reviewed this boat back in the spring. I’m one of the few that really like the stock fit and don’t mind the low initial stability. It would be nice to have the day hatch a bit closer with that twitchiness though. Learn to outrigger your paddle when fishing around in there. Personally, I’d jump for the current price if it was closer.


ebay boat
the seat doesn’t look like the stock glass seat,it looks like a minicell seat used in some production British boats or CLCs “happy bottom” seat.

Nice boat
that is doing real well for P&H. For every comment here that’s negative, you’ll find others very positive! Kinda like every boat…


– Last Updated: Aug-21-07 9:32 AM EST –

saying it has low initial stability, weathercocks, is stiff tracking, good outfitting and well suited to rough water isn't negative.
That a product sells well speaks well for for the company but doesn't say much about the boat.

Sirius S
I had the lower volume version of this boat and it is an excellent boat. I am a very small paddler and for me it was fast, comfy, and a very strong tracking boat. Try before you buy, however. Your weight and higher center of gravity greatly influence the boat’s performance.

good point
one of the negatives for smaller paddlers is that the average kayak is too big or will get blown down wind easily. The Sirius is anchored in the water well and has excellent cockpit fit. My friend liked it for that reason, in high winds the strong tracking gave her time to respond to the waves whereas a more maneuverable kayak would get blown by the wind as well as tossed by the waves.

Older than Capella, Andromeda, etc…
The Sirius is a relatively early Derek Hutchinson design - well before he designed any boats for Current Designs. The Andromeda is, in a way, Hutchinson’s version of the Sirius for CD.

but for the inexperienced
This boat could be a handful in rough water for an inexperienced kayaker.

Poster mentioned inexperienced & texas coast.

And if doing solo trips a more foregiving

boat might be appreciated. This was one of my first boats, flat water felt great rough water

took some getting used to.


– Last Updated: Aug-21-07 11:14 AM EST –

Sirius predates Andromeda.

My point is that the Capella, Vela, Quest are more well rounded designs and the Sirius off in a niche. My impression is that Derek prefers well rounded designs. If he liked a niche design I think he'd profile it in his videos as his personal craft. That's why I am speculating on it's development as an extrapolation of an existing design like the Capella. It's distinctly v'd bottom and very hollow ends results in a hull shape that is not as efficient for moving through the water as a design with a higher prismatic coefficient and more rounded hull.

Do you have any info about the history of Sirius development and other P&H kayaks?

It's gestation may be seperate from the Capella and it developed on it's own but I find a hard tracking rough water kayak a kind of an anomaly. Most rough water kayaks I like are maneuverable and aren't so v'd in the hull.

ebay description
"The unique hull shape gives it an extraordinary amount of stability for a boat of this beam."

I wonder how many other kayaks this person has owned.

Hutchinson, Orton, and P&H
My understanding is that Hutchinson designed the Orion and Sirius for P&H. The Gulfstream is his version of the Orion for Current Designs.

Peter Orton (now running Valley) designed the Vela. I think the Quest and Capella are post Hutchison designs. Orton likely was involved with these designs.

Couldn’t be many
Or they are used to racing kayaks. The one thing that just about everyone I have encountered agrees with is that the Sirius has “interesting” initial stability.

the reason I ask is that the one time I went paddling with Derek I got the impression that the Gulfstream is his prefered hull shape and he wasn’t a fan of tippy boats. I could be misinterpreting his comments but I wonder how much the Sirius was a learning experience in design that worked for a short person but less so for taller people.


– Last Updated: Aug-21-07 1:09 PM EST –

it felt happy on one side of the centerline or the other. I saw someone paddling a round bottomed baidarka that way once. A 20" wide FuturaII surfski has what I'd describe as surprising stability for it's beam.