Apparently Island Kayak is out of business. I bought my boat, sight unseen 3 years ago. I am older than dirt and have been kayaking over 50 years. My boat is fiberglass and appears to be heavily built. don't look closely and you'll think it's an Anas Acuta. Comparing the two the Anas has slightly higher sides. /rocker is about the same. The builder took pains to build a fine boat. All bolts are capped. An interesting design is that there is no bulkhead behind the seat. The seat itself serves that purpose, is sealed well and does not leak. The front and rear are adequatly thick, sealed well and do not leak The hatches are well bedded and do not leak. Covers are Kayak Sport. Original, I do not know. All deck fittings are recessed. Toggles are at both ends. The gell coat is thick and glossy. The seat is all day comfortable. Performance wise: an easy boat to roll. There is no wind cocking. The boat is stable, not a fast kayak. All in all just like my Anas Acuta. Would I buy it again. Definatly yes. Robin
I finally was able to get away and try it out. Conditions were: wind 10-15MPH, waves 1-2 feet. The boat did not weather cock at all. It tracks dead straight with a nice glide. Turning is not a strong point. Some lean is necessary and turns are slow. The boat rolls quickly with little effort. What little water came over the bow was quickly shed, the recessed hatches did not spray any upward.
Stability would not be a strong point for a beginner, being slightly tippy All in all a really fine kayak. I am 71 (older than the water I paddled on), 6Ft;, 175lbs., and have paddled for 45 years.
Quality is as good or better than any other manufacturer. Gel coat is mirror smooth. Fittings are capped or glassed over. Although light the hull or deck deflects only slightly with weight. The seat is all-day comfortable, the backband not so. I have replaced it. Hatch covers are top quality and do not leak. The small day in front of the cockpit is a plus. Just remember to spread your knees upon entering or exiting. Pedal adjustment is easy. Just spend some time setting up the rudder cables. Shoulder carries are uncomfortable because the balance point is at the thigh braces. Because of the light weight car- topping is easy
The boat is not overly narrow and is more stable than I expected, equal to my Knordcapp and much better than my vyneck. Rolling is is fine but it does not just pop up. The hatches do not leak. In 2-3 foot waves the plumb bow slices into the face but the deck sheds water before it gets to the cockpit. The Pace weathercocks moderately; use the rudder or sweep strokes. With that in mind turning is not quick, no rocker, but lean turns with a sweep stroke are fine.
I am pleased with this kayak in all ways. I am 6', 170lbs. 69years old and have paddled most of my life.
The boat appears very made. Although not heavily built the deck does not deflect when sat on. All bolt heads are capped so will not damage cargo or flesh. Finish, inside and out is superlative. Most of the deck is finished in a slightly rough method. Not enough to be truly non-skid. The seat, all-day comfortable, has a thin, removable pad. An aftermarket back pad maybe welcomed by some. The only fault in build or equipment noted is the thinness of the toggle cords. I have all ready replaced them with a heavier cord. The cockpit is easy to enter, either feet or butt first. Exit, wet or dry is equally easy. Knee braces are perfect for me. I will add some thin padding.
I find initial stability to much better than expected. Secondary is rock steady. Slight edging and the boat turns beautifully. Glide seems to go on forever. The skeg, which operates easily, seems superfluous. The boat does not weathercock. (paddled in winds gusting to 30 knots with waves to 18") Shoulder carries require no special effort. The boat is light and balances well. Car top loading is greatly facilitated due to lightness. Design is beautiful, classic and attracting paddlers and commentary. I am looking forward to getting out in some large seas. I shall use a larger boat with more capacity for camping. Way to go, Tahe Marine.
Construction, fiberglass is excellent. Slightly lighter than Valley or Nigel Foster boats - the light weight facilitates lifting and an easy shoulder carry. Bolts are glassed over or capped. Hatch covers are Kajak, last much longer than Valley's. The skeg deploys and retracts easily. The cockpit is comfortable, some personal padding has been installed.
The cockpit rim allows spray skirt attachment with ease. I had been warned about excessive tippiness by several owners and dealers. Slightly more so than my Legend, but no problem. Light initially, firms up with leaning. Tracking is quite straight with the barest trace of weathercocking. A light edging or using the skeg remedies that. In 2-3 foot chop no spray makes it to the cockpit.
The boat: rolls easily, catches waves quickly, and holds good speed with little exertion. The hatches do not leak. Although I do not consider the Bahiya too tippy, it is not a beginner's kayak.
I am happy with my choice
Quality is first class. Finish and all components are as good as any, better than most. The seat and backband are quite comfortable. Quite light of course it is well-balanced for a shoulder carry.
Conditions for the evaluation were: South wind at 15-20mph, confused chop and clapotis apx.2-3ft., current at 1.5 knots. The Capella 163 has only moderate speed. It seems ideal for sightseeing, fishing, and photography. By far more stable than a Legend or Outer Island; thought slower.
The skeg worked well, convenient actuator, but was unnecessary. No weather-cocking. I had to work hard to catch wind waves to surf. Slight broaching was slow and easily controlled by lean and paddle stroke. The boat turned easily with only slight lean.
All together a great kayak for a beginner or intermediate paddler. Only its lack of speed kept me from rating it more highly.