I bought this boat for my wife. She has been paddling a 10.5 Fusion for a couple of years and I wanted her to have something that would track well and be easier paddling. The 12' Manatee provides just what she needs. Because she has bad knees she needs a cockpit that makes entry and exit easy. The Manatee has plenty of space and is easy to get in and out of. The sealed compartment is nice too.
The boat tracks well and is nice on the lakes here in NH.
I had been using an old AuqaBound paddle that came with my first boat. It worked fine. Who needs one of those fancy carbon fiber paddles? Or so I thought. My new boat came with the Accent Lanai paddle. What a difference! I'm thankful that I did not have to pay full retail. That was a blessing. What a difference it makes when you are out of a couple of hours. Not having the extra weight is very helpful.
The paddle is easy to adjust / offset in either direction. It has a many degrees of offset, so you can find just the right setting for you. My old paddle was one and done.
And the thing floats! Nice.
What a pleasant change. I started kayaking in a 10.5 Fusion basic kayak. It was great for getting into the sport, especially after I added a fishing pole holder and a few other add ons. But it was limited, especially in wind and waves any higher than a foot. In addition, the deck was so low the only option for my feet was to be be turned out or put them up on top.
The Tsunami 14.5 fixed all of that. I got a great deal on a 2015 leftover, with a rudder. This baby handles the white caps on Lake Winnipesaukee very well and the rudder makes tracking in wind a joy. And the space! The design of the cockpit allows me to change the positioning of my feet so I'm comfortable over a longer period of time. The adjustable seat is really nice too.
What a pleasure to paddle. I'm really enjoying the thigh braces. I never knew they would make such a difference.
Having sealed bulkheads both fore and aft helps keep things dry and provides for extra flotation, not that I have tested that out yet.
At 56 pounds its a bit heavy for this old timer. It's amazing what a difference 6 pounds makes (compared to my Fusion). But I can man handle it on to the roof of the car on my own using Thule water slides.
Now if I can just find more time to use it.
We have taken it out on rivers, lakes and the ocean (on a very calm day) It is extremely stable, being 30" wide and 14 ft long. The bottom is flat. The down side is the hull is not stiff. It tends to sag in places which makes it want to go in circles when you set it up to use a as a solo kayak. Being wide and flat bottomed it is also a good bit of work to paddle. I don't mind the exercise, but we do envy those sleek v hulled boats that go effortlessly by us.
All that said my wife and I regularly enjoy getting out together in our Walden. This is the best boat for our circumstances.