Trying to achieve a better fit

Greetings. This is my first post here. I recently purchased a used P&H Capella 160 RM, a somewhat grail for me. It’s me third sea kayak; first being a WS Tsunami 140, then a WS Cape Horn 155. So far everything I’ve researched about it has held true. It’s my fastest kayak, plenty maneuverable, stiff hull and terrific outfitting. Where I’m running into problems is that I cannot seem to “lock in”. Is it me or do the thigh braces sit farther apart than other kayaks of similar beam. It’s my narrowest boat yet I feel I do not have control. I’m sitting as if I’m in a GYN stirrup. Am I missing something? Thanks.

Two suggestions for you. Are the foot braces a comfortable and correct position? Perhaps slide closer and/or remounting them lower on hull to be closer to center-line with less feet splay. Have you tried foam block for feet against cockpit forward bulkhead to allow feet and knees to be closer together?

Thanks! I positioned the foot braces similar to what I’m used to bending; any closer and I experience a similar splay of the legs. It’s not very comfortable that way. I’ll snap some comparison pictures to illustrate on Wednesday. As far as remounting, that would be my next endeavor. I’ll try and make some shims to place them laterally closer together. I’d have to use longer bolts and I don’t know if the greater force leverage at the point of contact would fatigue the plastic of the hull. Also I’d have to mill a concave hull contact surface and convex brace contact surface for it not to wobble. I wish they just made a thicker mount for the braces.

I understand concern of leverage of longer hardware. If you go that route, suggest your shims be simple and cheap wood blocks for trial purposes. Then move to more fitted.

I find the foam block against bulkhead a wonderful solution for varied feet positioning. I typically have my heels together with toes slightly outward. This is comfortable for me and allows very good hip rotation conducive to paddling. When needed my feet can go outboard and still allow me to lock in butt, upper legs and feet. Another benefit is reducing cockpit volume for flooding.


I’ll try that. So you forego the foot pegs altogether or leave them in?

Also to be clear, it’s the thigh braces that are the issue for me.

Either foot pegs OR feet on bulkhead foam. Whichever gives you the best and most comfortable connection to thigh braces.

P&H has in its older boats pretty much skipped actual thigh braces, at least compared to NDK and some other boars like the Necky Elaho. I don’t call some of those models as having any. That means no inset in the coaming and yeah, could feel wider.

You can build the shape down with minicell foam glued in, can buy shaped foam from WW places.

1 Like

“I cannot seem to “lock in”.”
I’m wondering if some clarification may be useful here.
I bought a composite Capella 169 around 14 - 15 years ago. I’m not sure how much these 2 have in common, but I know mine has a reasonably roomy cockpit. Not for any reason you’ve described, but I installed a carbon Onno footplate in it, and it has proven to be a really nice addition.
I know mine would be considered considerably less stable than your Cape Horn or Tsunami.
You mention “I feel I do not have control”. I’m wondering specifically what you are experiencing.

+1 to foam footplate. +1 to adding foam to the thigh braces.

There is one more thing to consider: take out the stock seat and install a foam seat carved to fit your butt. Add high sides for hip pads. With custom footplate, thigh braces, and seat, you can absolutely lock yourself into that boat.

Vintage? I’m guessing the thigh braces are the old style thick dense foam rubber. The newer style are much more curved, aggressive and extend further down. They can be retrofitted to an older P&H.

See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
9 W. Market St.
Hyde Park, NY. 12538
845-229-0595 main
845-242-4731 mobile

No I think it’s a least a 2014. It has the Pyranha connect thigh braces. When the sun comes up I’m going to snap some comparison pics of the difference in ergos between my three boats.

Foam block on the front bulkhead is wonderful for me. Unless I’ m wrong, glue tons of foam in and carve out excess