PH Sirius

I am going to look at a Sirius kayak up for sale . The owner didn’t sound like they knew if it was a small , medium or large .

Does anyone know how to determine if it is a S, M or L ?

Any other things to look for on the Sirius ? It is about 5 years old



– Last Updated: Dec-20-09 8:17 AM EST –

I paddled one for about 3 years and really enjoyed it, especially for camping trips. I'd say it's medium but you need to sit in it. Just check for structural integrity and dry hatches. If you want to know its age check out the serial number.


to the cockpit size is different.

I have an about 5 year old PH (Vela) and it is very well made - top quality. It has the old laminated seat.

What size are you?

– Last Updated: Dec-21-09 9:16 AM EST –

I had a med Serius for a few years. I'm 6'2" 185 and the sm is much too tight to say the least. The med is the same hull but a higher deck and the Lg is a larger hull. The large Serius is obviously large and the small is really for smaller people. I doubt it's a large - not many of those went out.

L & HF
They made too different large versions. One was the same hull as the medium with a higher deck, the other had a higher deck and a different hull. They were named the L and/or the HF and I don’t think the naming was consistent so the HF can have different hulls depending on the year it was made.

The S and the M have different deck heights and different cockpit sizes.

If it fits you and it feels right don’t worry about what model/version it is.

friend had one
it’ll be obvious if anything is wrong, ie. soft hull at cracks from being strapped down too hard on roof racks. I wouldn’t take gel coat chipping as any indication something is wrong. My friends had a 1/2" chunk of gel coat fall off the stern when it was dropped on the sidewalk. I wasn’t a fan of it’s handling.

According to P&H
This is what P&H told me:

Sirius S = Sirius (the original size)

Sirius M = Sirius hf (high freeboard)

Sirius L = Sirius hf large (even higher freeboard)

The first model was simply called Sirius. Demands for more room led to the Sirius hf (meaning high freeboard), which was followed by the roomier Sirius hf large. Eventually the three rather confusing model names were changed to simply Sirius S, M and L.

A couple of years after changing the name to S, M & L the recessed spare paddle was replaced with a day hatch.

The only size still in production is the Sirius M. Hence, I believe it’s only called Sirius once again.

I have no doubt that’s what they told you but a friend had a Sirius HF that had the larger hull foot print.

I thought Derek Hutchinson helped design the Sirius, and that the M was the original size. No way Derek would have ever fit into a Sirius S. No offense Derek, I would never fit either.

Don’t take my word for it
This is what J. Patrick (director of the P&H Company) wrote in 1996:

“The Sirius was designed by P&H and Derek Hutchinson together. The reason for designing the kayak was to replace the Baidarka. Over the years we had learnt everything there was to know about the Baidarka, its good points and also areas we felt could be improved. We first took the mid section of the Baidarka hull and designed a new bow and stern, the reason to reduce the kayak’s chance of being affected by wind/weathercocking. At the same time the hull was widened very slightly and the flat areas of the hull slightly rounded to improve stability. A complete new deck was then added as well as the recessed paddle and new adjustable seat.

The Sirius is now available in three sizes, Sirius, Sirius hf and Sirius hf large. This has actually now changed to Sirius small, medium or large.

All three models have progressively larger cockpits with the small having a slightly smaller seat pan. The volume of the Sirius large (Sirius hf large) is approx. 345 litres.

The Sirius is now by far our top selling kayak and we are extremely pleased with it.”

In the words of Peter Orton, 2006:

“The Sirius, done in 1992 was P&H’s first in house project and my first sea kayak project. This came about because we felt the market was moving on and Derek wasn’t showing a desire to do anything new. After consultations with our dealers and a survey of UK paddlers we decided we needed a new 17ft performance sea kayak around 20-21inches wide, a Nordkapp competitor if you like! Following discussions with Derek it was decided to use the Baidarka hull as a basis although this was changed extensively to improve the stability characteristics, windage and balance, in the end no profile was left unchanged. Profile wise we adopted a more classic Greenland style than the Hutchinson kayaks. Other improvements were made to ergonomic of seating and layout and aesthetics of the deck. Therefore most would consider this the first true P&H design although P&H classify it as designed in conjunction with Derek, an agreement that was reached prior to it going in to production. All future kayaks were designed in house, to eliminate any future copyright arguments over the kayaks that followed the Sirius, all were designed with no reference to the Sirius or other Hutchinson designs.”

Peter Orton continues:

“There was at various times, different versions. After the original version was launched. a high free board version was released (having approx 3/4 inch extra in the gunnel in the cockpit area, Then a large cockpit HF (more volume again around the cockpit plus a larger cockpit)

After a while these were re-named small medium and large to avoid confusion.

Additionally for a short period of time ocean cockpit versions were available for the two smaller sizes

Medium is the only one currently in production, best of the lot was the original (later called small) version”

About the 17 feet length

– Last Updated: Dec-23-09 10:14 AM EST –

I once asked Derek why he never designed anything over 17 ft long and he told me that it's the longest he could fit in his garage.