Overall seems to deliver about what you'd expect. For its 16-foot…
Overall seems to deliver about what you'd expect. For its 16-foot length, though, it does not seem as efficient as some other hulls. For example, with my Wilderness Systems Pungo 14-footer, I can either match or exceed the speed I could w/ the 16-foot Captiva with the same paddling effort; in fact when pushing it hard, I get about 10% more speed from the Pungo.
I recently purchased this kayak used off of craigslist so i could…
I recently purchased this kayak used off of craigslist so i could experience some sea kayaking that my 10 foot recreational kayak would not allow. This boat tracks more true than gravity.
I believe i saw on perceptions website that this kayak can hold a maximum of 425 pounds. That being said, last weekend on an overnight camping trip, with 70 lbs of gear in the bulkheads, and my 180 lb friend at the helm, i and another friend (each 150lbs) proceeded to sit on the bow and stern while he paddles it across a small lake. 550 lbs of weight and the yak was still sitting 2 inches above waterline. Obviously the vessel gets difficult to maneuver at that draft, but that just goes to show the buoyancy capacity of this boat. My boat did not come with the rudder installed, however, with proper technique it is maneuverable enough to navigate a fast current with lots of obstruction. I must say that the weight is on the heavy side at 68 pounds, and i notice a great deal of sagging under the cockpit when i load it on my roof rack, but in the water she paddles like a champ. This boat is 13 years old yet is still very durable.
I'd recommend this kayak to anyone who wants to get into sea kayaking, but does not want to shell out over a thousand dollars for a polyethylene, or a few thousand for a composite. Make sure if you get one to reseal the bulkheads, its an inexpensive repair but it will need to be done especially if the boat is as old as mine was.
My Captiva has been my main boat for more than 12 years…
My Captiva has been my main boat for more than 12 years (bought mine when it was first introduced). It is a very stable boat with enough storage space for my longest trip, 5 nights in the Apostle Islands. It is not particularly fast, keeping up with strong paddlers in sleeker composite boats is very challenging particularly over long distances. Love the boat for my overnight trips on the Wisconsin River.
I bought a used Captiva in the Spring of 2008. Took two…
I bought a used Captiva in the Spring of 2008. Took two kayak Safety classes using it, Basic Paddling as well as Self Rescue. Had it out maybe, 45 times last season, paddling in large and small lakes as well as the Detroit River.
Very stable boat, tacks beautifully even without the rudder down. And, with the rudder down it takes away the need to edge constantly to stay on track. Although I hardly ever use it, I'd rather have it and not need it than to need it and not have it, I've got the best of both worlds with this boat.
I would not mind if it was a few pounds lighter, however the weight is not a big concern, as I am able to carry and or lift it without any problem. This is my first kayak, and I don't see having to purchase another for 10 years or so. This may be my one and only boat, very happy with this choice.
This is an absolutely great YAK! It fits securely and safely in…
This is an absolutely great YAK! It fits securely and safely in the crawl space under the house in all seasons. The bright red color has not faded from sun exposure. The cockpit cover has kept nesting varmits and vermine out. why do I keep it if I don't use it? Because Perception has abandoned this fine ship that was perfect for me when I was healthy. Reccommended for the heavier wider paddler. It seems the heavier, the better it tracks.
I bought this Kayak based on my needs and have been paddling…
I bought this Kayak based on my needs and have been paddling it for over 1 year. I am 6’1, have long legs and I like to do tours from 2 days or up to a week or more. So basically I’m looking for a bigger, (especially longer) cockpit and lots of dry storage. I have no trouble getting in and out of my yak and having a higher deck line means I can move my legs around to avoid circulation problems. My legs used to "go to sleep" in some other yaks, but not anymore. I use an inflatable camp cushion to really make it plush.
With no sprayskirt on my 6yo daughter can sit comfortably between my legs and we have a great time together on short paddles.
This kayak holds a ton of gear, I usually end up carrying friends gear...(mmm maybe not a plus point). It’s a "floating backpack" that can carry enough gear, food and water to be self contained for a weeks trip as recently completed in the Seto inland sea here in Japan.
Empty or laden the boat handles and tracks well. I have a rudder which is a must, especially laden.
This yak is so stable that you can relax when paddling even in waves or chop. Other boats I have had/used in the past were more "nervous" feeling adding to your fatigue level.
Past reviewers have said that the boat is slow. I have not found this to be the case. Compared to my friends sea kayaks it is NOT any slower. Once moving, it’s quite easy to maintain speed. Empty, I won both the informal point to point races we had between friends recently. They were paddling a WS Tempest 165, a Cobra Expedition SOT and an Adventure 445. I’m not saying that this is a raceboat or anything but for the job of extended or day touring it is a very comfortable, stable yak and would recommend to the bigger/taller kayaker.
I traded a carolina for the captiva to get the bigger rear…
I traded a carolina for the captiva to get the bigger rear hatch I love it for both open water and inland rivers here in FL. I have never used it for anything more than a day or weekend trip but think it would be good for touring. I'm 6 Foot 185 and have no trouble paddling 15 miles in a day its no race boat but it moves along pretty well.
I wrote a previous review in 99...and thought I'd add my updated…
I wrote a previous review in 99...and thought I'd add my updated comments. I've had my Captiva on quiet lakes, class I rivers (some with nasty and fast turns around gravel bars), and in the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. I also have a canoe, the Perception Acadia and a new boat...the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 160 to compare the Captiva to. I understand the Carolina 16 is its new name.
First off, the Captiva is a good boat. It's not a great boat. It looks snazzy and such. I've gotten comments on how sharp it looked, setting on my truck rack. The paddling is where differences of opinion occur...even with me. I frequently paddle it with friends who borrow my Acadia. If you paddle a strong and relatively fast stroke, the Captiva is the faster of the two, simply put. But, if you paddle slow and easy, I've had canoes run off and leave me. That said, if you are going down a river on a weekend camping trip, and you want to be able to take most of the fridge, kitchen, bedroom, etc. with you, this is the boat to do it in. The boat is pretty darned stable, holds a lot of gear, and then holds a lot more gear. I've had both hatches full, gear crammed between my knees, behind the seat, and under both bungees, and the boat was still as stable as a barge. It was slow and took effort in calm water, but in a creek with any current, it's reasonable. A good paddle and good technique will make some difference. The lighter the boat is, the less draft, i.e. the faster boat as it will have more freeboard. As I don't do any demanding water, I took off the thigh braces to give me more room to wiggle into the cockpit. I kept skinning my knees and even capsized a couple of times trying to get in the boat on slippery banks and boat ramps.
I'm a big guy, and admittedly, paddling the Captiva gets me tired after a bit. But then, don't we all get tired after a day of paddling?
I just bought a W/S Tarpon 160 and WOW! I had been concerned if it would be fast and how it would handle. It's wider than the Captiva and the same hull length, but it could outrun the Captiva with half a paddle, and turn twice as quick. Do I still like my Captiva? Yes, I do. The boat has its merits, which other paddlers have noted in previous reviews. However, if you don't mind a sit on top, look at the Tarpon. There's no skinny cockpit to wiggle into, and you can move around freely. For bigger paddlers, the Captiva is a pretty good boat. You feel safe and all, with the cockpit around you, sprayskirt fastened. However, even with my 250# butt, I felt very good paddling a Current Designs boat at a paddle day last year. So...look around before you buy. If I had it to do over, I probably would try and get something other than the Captiva.
I have had my Captiva for three years now, and while it…
I have had my Captiva for three years now, and while it is a roomy boat and I have taken it on several long expeditions I had a real concern lately. I was playing around in the surf(4 to 6 ft. waves) and since this boat surfs about like an old log I eventually went over and when I pulled up on the beach I was distressed to discover I could not even roll the boat over to empty the water. Come to find out the bulkhead seals had failed and both front and rear compartments filled with water. I had notice that in practicing wet exit in past a little water was always present and fiqured the hatch covers must have leaked some. This is a disturbing development for anyone on a long expedition that might (probably)run in to some foul weather and roll with a kayak full of survival gear and food. This kayak will sink below the suface if all the "sealed" compartments get flooded you will be in trouble fast. I would suggest any with a Captiva (or any perception with foam bulkheads) check these seals periodically.
Well i see the general concenus is good for this kayak…
Well i see the general concenus is good for this kayak, but I'm here to tell you this a great kayak for the large paddler. I'm 6'2" 285 and it is just perfect for me. It is designed for the larger paddler and still proforms well in all conditions. I have plenty of room to store supplies,great stabilty, tracks well, and is very comfortable. You have to get a yak pad for your tush because "it is all about comfort." This is my motto anyway.
I purchased my Captiva in July last year and I've never regretted…
I purchased my Captiva in July last year and I've never regretted it, I am 5'10" and weigh 225 and this was the boat for me. As far as it being a slow barge, it is faster than some other boats I've paddles with and it has good manners in the wind. I like to carry about 3 gallosn of water in the rear hatch for ballast and that helps make it stable as a rock in choppy water.
My single complaint has been the seat which seemed to be related to my feet and legs going numb. I found gel seats were good for this but inflatable seats were even better. I just took this boat for nearly 300 miles down a river in the heat. it caried all my junk, and performed perfectly. Mine is yellow and red, i would have prefered less loud colors.
I bought my first Captiva last spring and instantly started having fun…
I bought my first Captiva last spring and instantly started having fun with it. Boat tracks well. Seems very durable. I have even learned to carve a turn in it, well sort of. Boat is great for larger people (I am 6'1" and 220 lbs). The boat has as much carrying capacity as any other one person kayak I have run across. I have heard it refered to as a muletrain. It is not a fast boat and getting the thing turned around requires some effort. Now the real endorsement: I bought another one last month. This model of boat is now called the Carolina 16, but it is exactly the same design, with some equipment upgrades. Now my son, who is about my size, is paddling the original. We will be taking a 7 day selfsupported wilderness trip this June. The jury is still out on the new plastic rudder. I do like the ratchet adjusting backband although I do have some concern about it's longterm durability. Overall, this is a great boat and I'd recommend it to any larger paddler who understands the design limitations.
This is a fantastic kayak. I'd say I am a larger paddler…
This is a fantastic kayak. I'd say I am a larger paddler at 250# and 6'3", but it fits really well and has all the performance you need from a poly. One day I will get a glass boat, but for now I have everything I need. With good technique it will track well, turn quickly when edged and good speed - I dont have any trouble keeping up with anyone else out there! I had a little trouble with the bulkheads and so resealed them, no problem. I added my own seat to give a nicer ride, the back support is really comfortable. The storage is good, I havent filled it up yet.
Trips have been anything from 5 - 25 miles, in mild conditions and 4-5ft swell with winds up to 20mph or so, it handles them all really well. In real heavy aft/quartering winds over a long crossing I put the rudder down, technique can cut it, but after a few miles it gets a little annoying! All in all, this is one of the best kayaks out there, particularly if you cant fit that easily into some smaller kayaks.
A great, versatile boat, especially for a first time kayacker. Very…
A great, versatile boat, especially for a first time kayacker. Very stable and easy to learn on, tracks well, great for bigger folks. I don't buy the slow, lumbering knock by one of the reviews I just read (the only negative one) - I have been learning about kayacking in both protected and unprotected waters around New Orleans, and it's a great boat - I find the boat easy to paddle on lenghty trips, and not at all tiring to paddle, ven in relatively windy conditions in unprotected waters. A good choice for larger paddters, and a great first boat.
There were so many good reviews here that I thought I better…
There were so many good reviews here that I thought I better at least give you a word of warning if you are considering this boat. I have been kayaking for 3 years now and that means almost every other day that the water is not frozen here in Wisconsin. I get a lot of use out of my Kayak. I bought the captiva early last spring as an upgrade from my first boat a CD breeze. It was recommended to me because I am 5'8' 220lbs. Apparently this was the perfect barge to hold my "big" behind. Because it was so early in the year I could not test paddle it and to some extent had to trust the salesman. Big mistake.
In my experience the Captiva is like paddling a concrete block through honey. I was tired and sore after each paddle. (yes, I will blame a % of that on technique) But even so this is a slow, lumbering boat. I dragged that thing through the water for about 2 months before I could not take it anymore and traded it back in.
If you are bigger don't get talked into a barge. Test paddle a bunch of boats. Personally I found the Cape Horns by Wilderness Systems to be perfect for me. We have a 15 & 17. Remember if you are new to the sport, don't buy a boat you can't test paddle!
For big boys (or girls) only!!! It was one of the only…
For big boys (or girls) only!!! It was one of the only poly kayaks that fit my 295#'s on my 6'-1" frame (I'm BIG, OK....) and still kept a decent amount of deck above the water line. Oh, how I would have liked a narrower kayak but it just wasn't happening. The sit-on-top's were OK but it would fill up the seat area with water every time I leaned to take a sharp turn, leaving me with a constant wetness (gets old fast!!!). Therefore, thank God for the Captiva!!!
I may be big but I love to kayak!!! The Captiva gets me out there (even in wild weather). I definitely recommend the expedition version with rudder as it does whip around in medium to high winds (why fight it with "technique" when you can just flip down the rudder?) The seat is very comfy even if I can't use the "cup holder" as it is under me... somewhere (who thought of that idea?). The stick-on "seat pad" comes loose when wet (duh?) and can move around (no big deal). The quality and finish is typical Perception: top-notch. The bulkheads are huge and holds lots of stuff (all the big stuff was put into my kayak during our Florida Keys trip).
The bad? Heavy and slow!!! At +70 pounds, it is work to get it up into a cradle by yourself without denting your vehicle or what-not. I strong as well as big so it was not too bad. Anyone less strong... better have two people.
Slow? Yes, it is slow.... like a ferry, barge or Queen Mary. (What do you expect when a kayak is big enough to carry a guy like me and not sink?) My wife (4'-11" and 115#) in her little Wilderness Systems Piccolo "needle" is like a bullet compared to me. I have to work the paddles pretty hard to keep up (did I mention I was strong....) This is the price I pay for being as big as I am (I am losing weight though...).
Believe it or not, the two-person Wilderness Systems Pamlico Excel I owned before the Captiva was faster. It was also as easy as falling when I wanted out (the Captive requires I lift myself out...). However, the Excel is an open cockpit design and I was doing Intercoastal & Ocean at the time and got tired of fearing every big wave or chop would swamp me (try pumping out a Pamlico a 1/2 mile from shore some time.... no thanks!!!) Now I live in North-Central Florida and we mainly do Springs and Rivers now days so I wish I had my Pamlico back...
All in all, it is just what the Doctor ordered for a big person! Get out there.... paddle hard and lose some weight!!!! Then, trade into a sleeker kayak...
Purchased last week. Very stable. Easy to learn in, but advanced enough…
Purchased last week. Very stable. Easy to learn in, but advanced enough that if you know what you are doing, you still won't be let down. The price was right too, at 750. I'm 6' 220, and I have no problems getting into and out of this boat.
I bought my Captiva last fall to meat the need for the…
I bought my Captiva last fall to meat the need for the diverse paddling my wife and I do. We live in southern NJ, so there are bays, estuaries, lakes and of course, the ocean. So far, the Captiva performs very well. I have had it out in waves, wind and currents, and it has handled quite well. If you are looking for a stable, roomy boat that is at home on lakes, rivers and large bodies of water, the Captiva will do nicely. Since it is stable, it is the ideal platform for fishing, photography and birding. My reasoning for the "8" is two-fold. First, the forward bulkhead needed additional sealant on both sides. Second, the hatch covers are quite flimsy. I am going to get a second pair of covers, just in case. A friend of mine has a Carolina - he has had no problems. I wish Perception would go with the tried-and-true VCP design (the hatch covers are almost the same dimensions). Other than that, I am truly happy with the Captiva. I plan to add a "Yak Pads" seat to enhance comfort, as my legs have a tendancy to fall asleep after one hour in any kayak.
I recently purchased a Captiva and have had it out about 5…
I recently purchased a Captiva and have had it out about 5 times now. I am 6' 3" and 220 lbs. This is definitely a big person kayak, although my wife has paddled it and likes it too. We live in Montana and have had it on the Missouri river and upper Holter Lake at the Gates of the Mountains wilderness area a couple of times. Recently we encountered some heavy rain, winds and rough water conditions that we had never experienced before. The boat was really solid and handled it with ease. It punches through wind and waves without any trouble and in fact it is quite fun. I am very pleased with it and would recommend it to any large size paddler. While it's not the fastest boat on the water, it's no slouch either. Its capacity and stability make this a great multi day touring boat. I also added some rear hatch cover straps and would recommend that Perception make these standard for all large hatches. For the cost they are well worth it.
The Captiva is a sixteen feet long, polyethylene touring kayak. It…
The Captiva is a sixteen feet long, polyethylene touring kayak. It was developed by Perception and can be purchased in a variety of colors and as expedition or expedition w/rudder model. The expedition/with rudder model includes a gel-back pad (which is very comfortable), foam thigh braces and a Perception stick-on seat pad. Included with the expedition model is a rudder with pedal controls. Included also are typical "bunji" deck cords in front and behind the cockpit for holding items and performing self-rescues. Grab-handles and two bulkheads for storage are also included. The front bulkhead is a solid polyethylene bulkhead, while the rear one is a mixed plastic-foam bulkhead. I'm personally adding a perimeter line, bow- line, paddle holder and paddle brace (for self-rescues) to this kayak to compliment Perception's design.
I've paddled the Captiva on the ocean, large lakes and bays, in small marsh areas and in a variety of weather conditions (including heavy wind gusts) and found the Captiva to be a reliable and efficient kayak. While I amusingly refer to the Captiva as the "fat ass" version of Perception's Carolina, I mean this with all due respect. I'm 6'1, 255lbs, and find myself extremely comfortable in this kayak (even after 8 hour endurance paddles). I've noticed some people complain about control, handling, speed and tracking with the Captiva. If you have this problem, you're probably too small for the boat, or your paddling inefficiently. Any complaints about room for feet can be handled with a little outfitting and adjustment of the foot pedals coupled with a good pair of ergonomic river shoes.
While I had some problems early on paddling the very large Captiva, I found using a 260cm paddle did the trick. With a 260cm paddle, my control, handling, speed, and tracking dramatically improved. It's a big boat for a big guy or gal, so it requires a little more paddle to maintain control. Another plus to using the longer paddle is speed.
While I've read a lot of complaints about the Captiva being slow, I do not have this problem. With a longer paddle and a good technique you can really move in the kayak. I have never had a problem "keeping up with the crowd" with this kayak!
On large ocean swells (10-feet or above) the Captiva has surprising secondary stability for its size. The Captiva punches through waves effectively as well. If you utilize proper technique and handling, the Captiva has little or no problem with wakes and turbulent water. I've been out in some heavy wind and chop on large bays and still maintained good stability. But I wouldn't recommend it for surfing; unless you're an expert at touring kayak surfing, it requires good skill and nerves for surfing. Even more surprising is the Captiva's endurance in windy conditions. While subject to substantial weather-cocking without the rudder, with the rudder the Captiva slices through wind like a hot knife through butter and maintains its tracking even in an aggressive cross wind.
This kayak was definitely made for an expedition. The front and rear bulkheads maintain more than adequate space for camping and cooking in the outdoors for weeks if necessary. Because of the Captiva's size, the fully packed Captiva is actually more maneuverable. The large rear hatch allows you to pack everything but a kitchen sink (perhaps even a toilet for the porcelain- challenged outdoorsmen). Although, with all the other luxuries, I personally would have added a day hatch (like on the Vizcaya) to this kayak if I worked at Perception. Overall, if you're a big guy or gal, enjoy long camping and kayaking trips and need a kayak that can overcome obstacles, the Captiva's for you. I've owned mine for four months now and have no complaints. And I would definitely recommend the expedition w/rudder model; it's worth the extra money because of the comfort and maneuverability offered by the expedition/with rudder model.
Overall, this boat is an eight. One, because it's my first, so I don't have an extended frame of reference like some other long time 'yakers. Two, because of the size of the Captiva, it is a little difficult to perform J-leans and rolls. Although with a little more experience and outfitting I'm sure it is possible. Any large person, looking for an accommodating, yet maneuverable and stable kayak with good storage capacity will enjoy this kayak.
If you're a big (very big) person, this boat's for you.…
If you're a big (very big) person, this boat's for you. However, it's huge – so I only recommend it if you can't fit comfortably into another model, or if you want an extremely stable boat and not concerned about speed/efficiency. This thing is a barge, in roominess, stability and in efficiency. I only figured out how slow this boat is when I started attending a local paddling club's weekly outings. I cannot believe how hard I had to work to keep up with the group – and I'm a strong, fairly efficient paddler. The boats inefficiency is largely due to its extreme beam, combined with its moderate length and two reverse keels that are dubbed "tracking channels." It does track fairly well without the rudder, but weathercocking is considerable. Don't get me wrong, this is a very nice boat at a very reasonable price – and served me well as my first kayak. The materials, outfitting and overall quality are excellent. Definitely purchase the expedition model with the rudder, as it is invaluable in breezy to windy conditions, and helps combat the weathercocking. This boat is comfortable and has a lot of room to stretch out and to stow gear. When you try it on, keep in mind that the Captiva's huge cockpit is equipped with substantial thigh/knee braces, so trying another boat with a narrower beam, shallower depth and no braces may fit just as well. I found this out recently when I tried on a Dagger Atlantis that fit me like a glove and should be a lot more efficient on the water considering it is narrower, longer and has a smooth hull (no reverse keels/tracking channels). I traded in the Captiva and bought the Atlantis!
I've owned and paddled my Captiva for six months, and I'm very…
I've owned and paddled my Captiva for six months, and I'm very pleased with the boat. It tracks well, has reasonable speed and great stability. I have experienced no problems with the construction or finish. I did add a couple of straps to insure that the rubber hatches stay closed in the event of a capsize. No bungee popping at all! I am 5'11" and weigh 235#, so I appreciate the extra room in the cockpit. I recommend this kayak to anyone who needs superior carrying capacity in a stable, predictable craft.
I'm a big guy - 6'4", 275 lb. Had a chance to…
I'm a big guy - 6'4", 275 lb. Had a chance to try several boats side-by-side at a Paddlefest. I'm still a novice paddler. The Captiva was one of two boats I actually felt comfortable in. The other was the Necky Pinta. The cockpit on the Captiva isn't quite as cavernous as the Pinta, but it's still plenty big for me. Very comfortable. On the water, it felt very stable, both primary and secondary. Responded OK to edging. Tracked pretty well. My biggest complaint is it really felt slow compared to some of the other boats. The deck is lower than many boats, which can be good - it may not be effected as much by wind. There wasn't much wind when I tried it out, so I can't say for certain. If you're a big person looking for a comfortable boat, and if you want plastic rather than fiberglass, and if you don't mind a slightly slower boat, the Captiva is a good choice.
I made my maiden voyage on the Captiva. Loved it! Even in…
I made my maiden voyage on the Captiva. Loved it! Even in a windy condition she was easy to handle. I did not have a rudder on the demo I took out but ordered one with the one I'm getting.
My wife & I gave up smoking 2-1/2 years ago and no…
My wife & I gave up smoking 2-1/2 years ago and no matter what we did, blew up by about 25 pounds apiece! We literally outgrew our 16'1" Prijon SeaYaks 18"x32" cockpits. We thought to our dismay, we were done with touring kayaks due to our brand new size! Recreational kayaks were out of the question. When you're used to rocket ships you cannot take the bus! Lo and behold Perception came up with the Captiva and the cockpit size of 21-1/2"x34". What a boat! We sold the SeaYaks and bought a pair of Captivas. They are fast, straight tracking boats without the need for a rudder. They do not tend to weathercock as bad as the SeaYaks - which I put rudders on to minimize. The leg and knee room are very adequate + getting in and out is a breeze. Kayaking has now taken on a whole new meaning for us! Thank you Perception for thinking of lots of people in our predicament! The other manufacturers need to wake up and accomodate the heavy set as we are probably the majority in the U.S. right now. Definitely try a Captiva - you'll be very happy you did!
Exceptionally good yak for tall/big individuals. I'm 6'3 - 190 and find…
Exceptionally good yak for tall/big individuals. I'm 6'3 - 190 and find it really easy to get in and out of and, even more important, it is actually comfortable for long tours. Tracks fairly well w/o rudder, outstanding w/rudder. Definitely recommend the expenditure for rudder - especially for tidal creeks, bays, etc. just makes maneuvering so much easier. Carrying capacity is also excellent for weekend touring/camping. You do have to have some strength to put on and take off rack and carry any distance.
I would recommend this boat to anyone looking to get into kayaking…
I would recommend this boat to anyone looking to get into kayaking, but doesn't want to be "squashed" if you're a bigger guy. I'm 6'3 and 260 pounds, and of all the boats I paddled at a demo day (and I paddled about 8) this one fit the best. I tried some larger "rec" models like the Perception America, Dagger Delta, and some Loons, but knew right away that this was a much better boat. Better tracking, and feel. At 16' it should be able to handle some big water, and (hopefully) some of the smaller rivers around home. I really like the storage space, design, and comfort. The only negative (and it's probably just my lack of experience) is the tracking w/out rudder. I just couldn't bear to spend another $175 on that flimsy looking thing. It did track much better than any of the rec boats I tried, and at $800, wasn't much more expensive.
The Captiva is a longer version of the Carolina. At 16'…
The Captiva is a longer version of the Carolina. At 16', it can handle open water conditions but turns surprisingly fast on small rivers and creeks. The boat has the ability to lean to almost where the side and deck meet before you feel like the boat is losing secondary stability. I'm a larger paddler and appreciate the 2" higher deck than the Carolina, although I could have used a little extra room for my 40 y/o knees. This is the main reason I chose the Captiva. For paddlers who are tall or stocky built, many sea kayaks are too narrow or have too low a deck to be comfortable. With a gel seatback and a soft foam butt pad the Captiva is comfortable. I ordered mine with a rudder but the boat turns easily with a lean. Unlike its shorter relative, the Acadia, the Captiva allows you to lean the boat considerably to the side and still feel very stable. With 11,000 c.i. of dry storage, it can haul a lot of gear. This is the first year for this model and the rear hatch is a full 11" oblong, which allows tent poles and other larger items to fit in. With a price tag of $849 ($1025 w/ rudder) it is a great boat for paddlers who want to have a larger boat but not spend a bunch of money. And for the many like me who have a tummy and don't bend like we once did, I really like it. The only areas where it doesn't meet all of my expectations are that even with a cockpit of 25", my legs could have used a bit more side room under the thigh braces to flex out and with shoes on, the deck hits my toes. The solution: Wear neosocks, booties or go barefoot and there is plenty of room. Regarding the tight knees...stretching out and getting used to it seems to work for me. Overall, I'm very pleased with this boat. It is fast, maneuverable and still very stable.