P & H Cetus Review After much searching online for details about this boat, I can only say
that what limited info I found was dead on. This boat is sweet! General description of this boat: White Hull, White Deck, Lime (light
green?) stripe, black rigging. Carbon Kevlar build. As far as I know, this
boat is stock.
P & H Cetus Review
After much searching online for details about this boat, I can only say that what limited info I found was dead on. This boat is sweet!
General description of this boat: White Hull, White Deck, Lime (light green?) stripe, black rigging. Carbon Kevlar build. As far as I know, this boat is stock.
The descriptions (dimensions) that I was able to find online
were a little vague:
The P & H website states the following statistics:
Length: 17' 10"
Width: 21 ½ "
Max Deck Height: 12.2"
Total Volume: 100 U.S. Gal
Cockpit length Internal: 34 ¼"
Cockpit width internal: 20"
Weight: 57 Lbs
Optimum Load Range: 143-297 lbs.
I have no way to know exactly what they were measuring so I did
some measuring of my own. In order to help someone else out that might be
hesitant to spend 3K plus on spec, here are the dimensions I took on the boat
that I have.
The dimensions of my Cetus:
1. Length: Not Yet Measured Then I found the Appomattox River
Company located down by Richmond Virginia in Farmville and sent them
an email, they did some checking and said that they might have a boat for
me to demo. So I waited, Tom Detrick contacted me and said that they
had a boat for sale and perhaps another one coming soon. The boat that
they had for sale was already being looked at by someone else but that did
not work out, and I managed to get my hands on it.. : )
2. Width: 23" I measured this at the back band, what looked to me to be the widest part of the boat.
3. Max Deck Height: 12" from the bottom of the cockpit at the keel to the underside lower lip of the cockpit rim, at the farthest forward part of the cockpit opening.
4. Total Volume: Not Yet Measured – Probably not ever..
5. Cockpit opening length: 31 ½" from the rear inside lip of the cockpit to the forward inside lip of the cockpit. I have a 32" inseam, no problem sitting in the seat and then getting my legs in.
6. Backband to rear inside lip of the cockpit: 3 ¼" adjustable via back band buckle.
7. Backband to front bulkhead: 52"
8. Leading edge of seat to inside lip of cockpit (furthest point toward the bow): 13”
9. Seat width:
10. Seat length:
11. Cockpit width internal: 16 ¾" Inside lip to Inside lip at the middle of the seat.
12. Cockpit width at the keyhole: 10"
13. Weight: 57 Lbs (Not Yet Measured)
14. Optimum Load Range: 143-297 lbs. I weigh 250 Lbs, and am 6'1", and have mountain biker legs.. I find that I have plenty of room in almost all dimensions, the only tight place is at the middle of my thigh, at the thickest part of the muscle top to bottom, fitting under the brace, well, it is exactly my size, so I measured from the top of the seat right where the middle of your leg would be to the lowest part of the high brace and got a 7" measurement. It actually fits fine once you get tucked up into the brace, but for me squeezing under the brace would be difficult with dry suit pants on. Having been on the water in this boat for a total of about 3 hours, I’m guessing by the way it sat in the water that I could put another 100lbs of gear in it and it would have behaved well, maybe not in really rough water, but for typical flat water camping, no problem..
15. Rear oval hatch: 16 ½" x 11 ¾" inside rim dimension.
16. Round day hatch: 7 ¾" inside rim dimension.
17. Forward day hatch: 5 ¾" inside rim dimension.
18. Forward round hatch: 9 ¾" inside rim dimension.
More (Better) Pictures..
I was talking to a dealer near Baltimore Maryland (Starrk Moon) , and was almost ready to place my order, Brad at Starrk Moon was great and actually hooked me up with (P&H Rep) Ben Lowry, whom I called and talked to and was real nice. He had lots of info, and was one of the main reasons that I decided to purchase without actually taking the boat out for a spin. I had done a lot of researching online and read some reviews that were available on the web and I was fairly convinced that this was the boat for me, but then after talking to many dealers I found that it was in high demand with limited production availability. This was disappointing but as there was not anything available to demo, I was all set to go ahead and order.
So Oct. 2007, I went down there with my wife and kids, and the people at Appomattox were very helpful (Brian, thanks for your help!!), and let me paddle it around a local lake. That was all it took, the boat fit, and felt awesome on the water. They even helped me get it properly setup on my rack, for the long drive home. So I bought it, and drove 192 miles home, and brought it inside and took some pictures, and measured some things because even though my story worked out, I’d like to help someone else out that might be in my situation. So here is what I have experienced so far.
The very next day after bringing my Shiny New Carbon-Kevlar Cetus home, I took it to a local lake at Black Hill regional park and got it wet. For 3 hours I was paddling around and it was almost effortless. To begin, well, I did not want to ding up my boat so I walked out into the water so that it was about 2 feet deep, and straddled the boat, dropped my back end into the seat and then balanced while I pulled each leg in.
No problem, the boat has an initial tippy feeling, but as you lean 3-4 inches off center it REALLY starts to firm up. I’m not an expert, but after you relax and let the boat work, confidence levels are high. Takes about 10 minutes to get used to it, and then you should be fine..
I attached the skirt (because it was a chilly 46°) and started paddling. As I said it was 46° air temp but the water temperature was much warmer probably around 65° so I was dressed for the paddle not the swim, so I just had a regular pair of cargo pocket shorts on. After a little while I noticed that the flaps on the rear pockets of my shorts had pushed the back band down, and I noticed this quite by accident, as I was having no problems with the back support (which I need because of a long torso and other minor issues). So after pulling that up, I noticed that the back strap had even more support than I thought, instead of just some junk band, it actually has a wide part that reaches down into a slot on the seat, so as far as back bands go it is quite substantial (yet another bonus)..
This boat handles really well, and although it is 17’ 10” it turns on a dime even with my mediocre skills. The lake was full of minor chop because the wind was blowing at a good clip, but the Cetus had no troubles. On one part of the lake (man made in 1986) there is a bunch of trees that stick up out of the water, all dead, they just have not fallen over yet. Tight quarters, and I was able to maneuver without any problem. The entire way outbound I was going upwind, and in my other boat (a Chinook) I would have stayed close to shore to benefit from the lee of the trees, but with the Cetus I just paddled right up the wind.
On the way back going down wind, I played with the skeg a little bit, just pointed my bow a quarter off the wind direction and tried not to pay attention to direction, and just like it was on rails it held the line for at least a half mile, all the time having the wind blowing but the bow stayed straight on. I continued to play around in the chop and get to know my new boat, let it drift side on to the chop and wind, it felt very stable bobbing over the 8” – 10 “ wavelets and at no point did I feel that the boat was reacting harshly to the wind.
One of the features of this boat that gets a lot of play is the 4th hatch compartment, and that really did not matter to me, but now that I have seen how useful it is, I can’t imagine having a boat without one. I have never done any long distance paddling in a boat that had even a day hatch. The 4th hatch is going to be a big hit, so I congratulate P & H for their forward thinking. My last boat (a plastic Chinook that I bought used in 1993) has a bow hatch and a stern hatch. So I was thrilled that I would even have a typical day hatch behind the cockpit. Having said that, and after trying to use the hatch behind the cockpit, I will say that it is not as convenient as I would have thought. So that is where I stash all my rescue gear for now (paddle float, pump, etc).
I brought a Greenland style paddle that I had been working on (my first attempt), and used it for awhile, but then when I wanted to switch back to my European style paddle I could not get the wood paddle to go under the forward deck rigging, so I had to hold it up with the Euro paddle’s blade and slide the wood paddle under.. No big deal, probably my fault as I have not finished the paddle yet and it’s still too thick at the blade.
The foot braces are solid, and large, and I did not feel at all that they were fragile. I have no doubt that this is a very well constructed boat. There were a couple of area’s that looked strange, but not being an expert in Carbon Kevlar or fiberglass layups, I can’t really tell you for sure, but in some of the pictures of the interior of the hatches, the finish does not look even, some of the fibers are exposed.. I really don’t know if that is anything to be concerned about. Getting out of the boat was the same as getting in the boat: 2’ of water, balance, get the legs out and stand up. The boat weighs less than my plastic boat, but feels as heavy because I’m nervous getting it loaded on the rack on top of my truck without any scratches or dings.. I’ve got to figure a way to protect the ends when I’m standing it up against the rear of my truck..
For some reason my cell phone camera gets overwhelmed by a really bright sunny sky, plus the fact that my boat was blazing white, well, I’m not sure why but the images while afloat are GREEN! Strange, so I will be taking a better camera along once I get a feel for the new boat. So I’ll be paddling quite a bit for the next month or so until the water temperature drops, and I will be adding to this review from time to time.
If anybody has any questions I can be reached at CetusKayakATpenperkDOTcom (please switch to the proper @ and . in the email address.)
Then I found the Appomattox River Company located down by Richmond Virginia in Farmville and sent them an email, they did some checking and said that they might have a boat for me to demo. So I waited, Tom Detrick contacted me and said that they had a boat for sale and perhaps another one coming soon. The boat that they had for sale was already being looked at by someone else but that did not work out, and I managed to get my hands on it.. : )