Name: tarwheel

Most Recent Reviews

I recently posted a favorable review of our Seven2 paddles. However, since then, my wife's paddle broke while we were kayaking. The blade fell off on one side, and it sunk before we could recover it. Fortunately, our dealer gave us full credit toward another paddle (AquaBound Stingray this time). As noted by another reviewer, Seven2 recently went out of business, so I guess you are out of luck if you have a warranty issue unless you've got good dealer support.

I have owned my Capella 166 RM for about a month, and I've paddled it about 75 miles during 10 outings so far. My outfitter let me demo it over a weekend, and I decided to keep it since it paddled so nice.

Initial stability is less than my first kayak (Necky Manitou 13), and I tipped over the first time I climbed in the Capella. Fortunately I haven't repeated that gaffe, and the secondary stability is excellent. The Capella tracks very nice even with the skeg retracted, but the skeg is great when paddling in certain winds. It is easy to edge and turns well. It also handles very well in rough water and waves, and I actually seek out boat wakes when I'm paddling it because it's so fun.

The Capella has tons of storage space and would be suitable for touring. It has 3 separate hatches and bulkheads, which is a great safety feature as well as providing storage. The hatch covers are easy to use and seal great. The kayak also has plenty of riggings.

The P&H seat, for me, is it's strongest point. It provides plenty of support and is very comfortable. I paddled my Capella 16 miles over 5 hours the second day I had it, and my rear was never uncomfortable. In my Manitou, I would have been squirming after the first hour or so.

The Capella RM is not particularly fast, if that is important to you. My average speed in the 16'7" Capella is barely faster than my 13' Manitou, although it's easier to maintain a faster pace over long periods.

My Capella is the light blue color (sort of a Robin's egg blue) and it discolors easily. Mine quickly developed marks on the hull where it rests on my Yakima rack, and it also stains easily in dirty water. The marks are not easy to clean off. However, the top portion (above water) of the hull still looks like new.

The Corelite plastic used in the Capella's hull has relatively rough finish, which may slow its speed. The roughness also prevents suction devices (such as LED lights) from attaching well to the hull.

Overall I am very pleased with my Capella, despite the shortcomings. I also paddled the P&H Scorpio and liked it even more (felt much quicker) but couldn't justify the additional cost. My Capella was on sale for $1,000 new, and the Scorpio would have cost nearly twice as much ($800-900 more).

The quality of construction and attention to detail is great on my Capella. I have also heard very good reports on their customer service and warranty protection.

I've had my Seven2 Iso paddle for one year, so this review is not based on short-term use. I've paddled at least 50 times with it since I got the paddle, typically 5-8 miles at a time. I have no complaints whatsoever about my Iso paddle, and it still looks and works like new. It is reasonably light, easy to adjust the feathering, and easy to take apart and put back together. I just started kayaking last summer, and this is my first kayak paddle, so I don't have any basis for comparison other than the cheap paddles used at rental stores. However, I would not hesitate to buy another Seven2 paddle.

This is a follow up to my earlier review of my Necky Manitou 13 (poly) that I posted a short while after buying it. I've had the Manitou now for about 3 months and have paddled about twice a week since then. I mostly paddle on local lakes, but have taken it to the coast one time. I am also relatively new to kayaking, just starting in May.

The Manitou is fast for a boat its size and tracks very well. I never have any trouble paddling it straight, and I'm a newbie. It is also very stable and I've never come close to tipping it over. The seat is very comfortable, although I sometime get a little sore on longer paddles, possibly due to bad positioning on my part. The Manitou has plenty of shock cords to lashing things down and a rear hatch, but a small hatch in the front would be really nice for storing day-use stuff. It's also a nice looking boat with graceful lines like a British sea kayak, and I love the Fire (yellow-orange-red) fade of mine. The Manitou is also very light (45 lbs.) for a poly boat of its size and easy to load on a rack.

I don't have any strong dislikes, but quickly regretted not buying the Manitou 14, which is slightly longer and has a front bulkhead and hatch. I have paddled the 14 and it performs almost identical to my 13, but the front hatch/bulkhead is an important feature for sea kayaking that I was ignorant about when I bought my 13. The 14 is also a little more buoyant and faster for someone my size, 5'11" and 190 lbs. However it is less maneuverable than the 13. The 14 also has a skeg, which frankly I don't think would be needed very often since the Manitou tracks so well without it.

I paddled a P&H Scorpio and Capella RM 166 at a demo sponsored by a local paddling store. My intention actually was to test the Capella, which I liked a lot. However, the Scorpio really blew me away because it seemed so much quicker and maneuverable without sacrificing any stability. I tested about 5 boats that day -- in addition to the P&H models, a Necky Manitou 14, Hurricane Tracer 165 and Hurricane Santee Expedition. The Scorpio really blew me away compared to the other kayaks, although it was also the longest and most expensive. It also has 4 hatches including a small day hatch right in front of the cockpit.

I was initially considering the Capella for my next step up in a sea kayak (currently paddle a Necky Manitou 13), but I might have to save a little longer and get a Scorpio. The Capella was my clear second choice among the kayaks I paddled, but the Scorpio was tops. Oh yeah, both of the P&H kayaks were poly models not composite or fiberglass.

I recently bought a Necky Manitou Sport, my first kayak. I really like many features about the boat, namely its stability and maneuverability. However, I ended up exchanging the Sport for a Manitou 13 after using it a couple of times. I don't think the Sport was big enough for me (5'11" and 190 lbs.) because the nose plowed when I was paddling faster and it made a lot of splashing noises. I also wanted a kayak that tracked better. The Manitou is much better in these respects -- it glides nicely when paddling hard, tracks well and is still quite steady and maneuverable.

I recently bought a Manitou 13 after trying out a Manitou Sport for a couple of weeks. Although I liked the Sport's stability and maneuverability, I felt it was too small for me (5'11" and 190 lbs.). When paddling harder, the Sport's front would tend to plow and it made a lot of splashing noises. I exchanged it for a Manitou 13, which is faster, quieter and has no problems with the front plowing. The 13 is also quite stable and maneuverable. The only reason I didn't rate is higher is because I've only had the boat a short while and I'm pretty new to kayaking.