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Submitted: 06-02-2010 by neilwm
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I picked up my Cetus MV in Charleston, SC at the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival. As it was being unwrapped all I could think of was Christmas in April! The quality of the boat is impeccable.

My Specs: I am 5'10", 170lbs, size 10 shoe, 31.5" inseam and 32 waist. I have been paddling for 3 years and consider myself an advanced beginner.

Mfg. Information:
Length 17'7"; Max. Width 21.5" (Swede form behind the cockpit); Max Deck Height 13" (at front of coaming); Volume 87.7 gal.; Cockpit 31.5"x16.25" Inside Opening; Weight 54.7lbs; Material Carbon Kevlar; Skeg spring released Foil P&H blade.

Outfitting and Ergonomics
The kayak comes with the classic P&H seat/backband. The backband is adjustable by way of strap secured with locking D-Rings and the base of the band sits in a slot in the seat (no more pinches!) The seat comes with a removable pad. It is comfortable, but I removed it for that little bit more hip and torso rotation. The coaming is a classic keyhole design with excellent thigh contact. Foot pegs are the standard P&H equipment on control rods that can be adjusted from the seated position. They are comfortable with a large area for the ball of the foot, and they stay where you set them. The boat comes with 4 hatches: a round front hatch, a rear oval hatch, the standard day hatch offset to the right and lastly a deck pod for whatever you want right at hand. I stow a VHF radio, some snack bars and a camera with room to spare.

My first paddle was at the festival and only my second paddle of the year. As I shook off the rust of a winter in New York, my first impression was this boat just glides so nicely. I wasn’t beating any surf skis but I was moving at a nice pace for me. After warming up, I started trying some turns. First was a bow rudder, edge to the right, initiate with a sweep and plant the blade. By the time I stopped edging I had completed about 100º turn. The stern released with a 30º to 40º edge and made a neat gurgling sound as it skidded across the water. Same effect with bow rudder to the other side! I tried some carving turns, the results were not just good carved turns, they were the best I have ever done. This boat loves to be edged, and it rewards you with solid secondary stability and the responsiveness of a much shorter boat. My second paddle of the day was in a class at the festival. I was already feeling right at home in the MV.

Initial stability is great, maybe slightly less than its big brother the Cetus. Secondary stability ranks as the best I have ever experienced, probably because the boat fits me so well! The class started with edged turns, both carving and skidding, to see what each individuals boat did best and why. Well, the MV loves to skid, place it on edge and off it turns. It must be the Swede form (wider aft of the cockpit) that allows the stern to be released so easily from the water. Next an experiment with tracking. We picked a point to aim at, closed our eyes and take 5 stroke on each side. When I opened my eyes I was just slightly left of my target (stronger on the right side) and at least 30 yards beyond the next nearest boat; did I say fast earlier? We then started some blade awareness exercises, usually this is where I go for a swim, not today though. Every thing I tried was made easier by the MV. It is definitely a confidence inspiring boat!

Back home on the Hudson River I paddled south from Hyde Park. There was a 15 to 20 mph wind from the WSW with a flooding tide of 2 mph. I notice a slight amount of weather cocking which is easily controlled with a slight edge. Heading back north, now with a quartering wind from behind again have slight weather cocking, which again was easily handled with some edge. I also tried the skeg. It worked flawlessly with very easy adjustment. My wifes Cetus LV has a bit of a stiffer skeg slider, but this is an earlier version. P&H seems to have made the right adjustments to a great idea, a kink free spring loaded skeg!

Summary:
While I still only have a hand full of paddles in the MV. I have nothing but accolades for the job P&H has done in adding the newest member of the Cetus family, the MV. The Cetus MV is a fast confidence inspiring boat that will be at home on expedition or as the coaches boat of choice. Anyone looking for the do everything boat that is not a compromise doing everything should look no further than the P&H Cetus MV.

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