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Reviews for Sirius Kayak by P&H Sea Kayaks


Rated: 9.19/10 Based On: 16 Reviews

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04-07-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have owned my once previously owned Sirius for two years. It was built in 2001 but aside from normal hull wear it looks new and has stood years of paddling both from previous owner and myself.

Most reviews I've read have commented on the "twitchy" initial feeling which is somewhat true but doesn't last long with some practice. I got this boat to challenge my ability to become a better paddler which I think it has. This boat will pretty much perform whatever you want it too if you have the confidence to challenge yourself.

I also like to push my distance paddling and this boat will eat up miles. It has a skeg but truthfully, I've never used it. It tracks great and I'd prefer to use whatever skills I've developed to negotiate changes in weather. Finally, yes, it's a small paddler's fit but it has the most comfortable seat of any boat I've had. I've been in this boat for up to 4 hours without having to get out.

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12-24-2013
Submitted by: dbSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Great kayak...it does exactly what it is designed to do, haul expedition loads and track well in all kinds of weather and seas. It is extremely fast loaded and a joy to paddle. It is not a play boat, but handles well if you have the skills.

It is not a beginners boat and is designed for expedition use. I do paddle it on day excursions and for surfing, but it is best loaded (like a Nordkapp). I think it is fairly stable for it's configuration. Although I don't like a deep-V hull because it's harder to do seal-launches, it tracks beautifully with or without rudder control.

The fit and finish are very good...my only negative comment is on extra light carbon, kevlar layups...especially clear hull versions. I don't think they hold-up like most people expect them to...not the fault of P&H, it's just what ultra-light lay-ups will give you. This choice is not a good one for an expedition boat (but hey, the customers think they want them....until they actually own one and smack into a rock...we are victims of marketing and our own limited understanding of design/function).

Why not a 10? Well, no kayak is perfect...but this one (in a reasonable lay-up) is darn close and will deliver what it promises if you have the knowledge and skill to use it. Overall an outstanding piece of equipment.

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03-05-2013
Submitted by: Eric SimpsonSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I were lucky enough to have a Sirius handed down to us. Our first major sea kayaking trip was the Maine Island Trail in October. I had very little paddling experience at this point, and paddling the Sirius, with its lower initial stability, was a bit of a baptism by fire. I found the boat required careful edging to turn, and to be somewhat of a handful in tailwinds (especially after the skeg fell off sometime in week two).

That said I loved the surfing ability and especially the glide of this boat. The miles went by effortlessly, and I felt the boat handled some less than ideal conditions quite well, especially given my inexperience. I have since moved to a larger boat that fits me better, and my wife and I have moved to Alaska but my wife still paddles and loves the Sirius, which now sports a shiny new paint job. We wouldn't trade it for anything.

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11-11-2009
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Stats: 53 YO intermediate paddler, 6'0", 180#, size 11 dogs. Daytripper, typically paddling in sheltered waters with others.
I've had my Sirius 'S' for 3 years now. It was well used but OK. I bought it because I wanted a boat that would 'challenge' me to sharpen my skills and move me to the next level. This boat has DEFINITELY achieved that goal. My other boat is a 15' Necky Kyook, so the Sirius was a huge change.

Even after 3 years the Sirius continues to make me hone my edging and stroke skills. The cockpit was so tight that I decided to lower the seatpan all the way to the floor and add an adjustable backband. Wet re-entries are now much easier. Quality is, of course, excellent. No day hatch, but the other 2 are perfectly tight after replacing the covers with new VCP's. I thought the deck rigging wasn't correct behind the cockpit, so I changed the lines around a bit to work for me. Love those recessed line hold-downs. No problem with the skeg, but it doesn't help with directional stability in a stiff tailwind.

This is my first composite boat. It's definitely more fragile than a plastic boat but has excellent rigidity. In the end, I think this boat was a good choice for me. I just gotta find more time to use it.....

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05-27-2008
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     My credentials - ACA OWI, BCU 4* Sea, 5.9 @ 150 & gear, 30 inseam.
I took this boat surfing on 30-35kt winds and 8ft seas, 5 day long guided trip, teaching, various paddles.

First, I need to make a disclaimer: Each boat has a designed purpose, and without talking over features with the designer, I can not criticize them. I will try to express my displeasure with certain aspects without imposing paddling preferences; my rating is based on subtracting single point for the dislikes.

Boat loves going straight. It is quite narrow, provides enough deck height for reasonably efficient torso rotation. It edges quite easily, and paddler needs to edge it to unlock both bow and stern. This latest feature becomes liability when paddling heavily loaded boat in conditions requiring constant directional correction - tandem/contact tow in following seas being one example.

Surfs smallest swells, easy to correct direction with edging/rudders, etc.
Very maneuverable on flat water, a lot of edging is required. On heavier seas situation is trickier but quite similar.
Stability - you have to get used to it, I seal launched it off 1 ft. height PWC docks without much aggravation.

Now, my biggest peeve is the hatches. They are all different - bow round KayakSport, day round PH, stern - oval VCP. In my boat, the bow was dryish, the others leaked. VCP hatch is double sealed on VCP boats, not on this copy. As someone mentioned, you need to acquire specialized packing skills for longer trips

Cockpit was 1-2 inches too short - as an instructor or guide I want to be able to get in and out quickly and easily.

If you want to cover distance and don't care about playfulness, this might be a boat for you.

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05-04-2007
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     First a little background on the reviewer for your comparison: I’m 5’7”(30” inseam more importantly), 160 lbs., size 10˝W feet, and have been paddling for 4 years. I should also mention that my preference has been for point A-B type of paddling including large open water crossings on the Great Lakes and Greenland rolling skills.

Now the boat: The finish is as impeccable as every P&H I’ve ever seen has been, excepting their newer line of rotomolds (’04 on). The seat pan, cockpit and thigh braces are very appropriate for smaller paddlers and contact where they’re supposed to. In fact, of all the kayaks I’ve ever been in, the Sirius is the most comfortable especially over long hauls. For reference, other kayaks that I felt had comparable fits are the P&H Vela, Impex Outer Island, and the Impex Force Cat3. What the Sirius has though that the others lack for me is foot room. I’ve got to be barefoot in all the others, but in the Sirius, I can wear anything from water socks to stiff, thick soled mukluks comfortably, and that’s saying something. This could be a real boon on a rocky surf landing. Storage is actually quite ample for being a low volume boat at 305 litres. I think this is due to the increased “usable” space created by the deep V hull. Many other kayaks lose usable volume because of their lower deck height and fine, needle ends. The Sirius manages to maintain enough cargo room for a week or two’s worth of supplies without becoming a barge or losing efficiency (great glide too). Back to that deep V hull feature, along with the low rocker, this makes for a very hard tracking kayak…harder than the Outer Island which is longer and notoriously stiff. It must be edged or it will not turn, period. Edging is not a big effort though as it really wants to be on its side; secondary stability is really good. This also makes for a “twitchy” ride if not up to speed. Once up to speed though, the low initial stability firms right up. A little ballast weight will also help with this. Also, even though the boat is officially 14” deep, it does not have a high deck relative to the paddler; it is deeper than most kayaks below the seat pan due once again to the V hull. For the hatches, I have two complaints: The 9.5” fore hatch is way too small for “expedition” paddling. Can you camp out of it? Definitely. You can buy a bunch of smaller drybags or put the drybags in and load them through the hatch, reversing this process to unload. The question is would you want to do this every day for weeks? Not me. The other hatch complaint is that the day hatch seems too far back. Compounded by the low initial stability when not moving, and it becomes a bit precarious fishing around in there for any amount of time. Having a Greenland paddle helps as I can just outrigger it like a paddle float, but it takes extra time and attention.

After reading all of this, one may think that I don’t actually like the Sirius, but I actually believe this may be the best compromise craft I’ve paddled. It’s hard to find a small person’s boat made to accept bigger feet as well. I’m sure I could learn to adapt to the hatch issues that I’d have for the 1-1˝ weeks a year that I’d be camping out of it. As for the rest of the year? Good fit yet ample room for winter wear here in Michigan, hard tracking, fair turning, fast, efficient…I still want to try a Foster Silhouette, but the Sirius remains at the top of a very short list for me.

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02-12-2007
Submitted by: LanceSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I owned one of these for about a week and i am being very generous giving it a seven.I found the secondary stability to be very limited and as for speed, not that impressive. I think it is probably a typical pommy boat that is not designed for serious waters or heavy surf landings. But i am sure that like the "Emperors new clothes" many would rate it very highly. Imagine how much more they would enjoy kayakking if they paddled a kiwi made boat. E.G Sea Bear or a Challenge 5.
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02-10-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Incredible, I have been using the Sirius for 2 years, and before that a poly Capella. Working as a sea kayak guide on the north Atlantic, and using the Sirius as my guide boat, allows me to be where I need to be when I need to be there. Its ability to tolerate big seas and turn it into a 'relaxing' paddle in bigger conditions than you have before experiences...hooked me instantly. Purchasing the Sirius has changed my view of my own personal paddling, instead of capping off a fun paddle at 40 - 50km/h winds, I search for up to gusts of 70km/h and put it in the water.... Thank God for the Sirius :) 10 out of 10, and solid.
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10-17-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Ok I love my Sirius, great all around sea kayak. This is the best kayak in the wind I have tried to date. I've been out in some very windy conditions without using the skeg and this boat is great. It carves turns well with a lean but will track like an arrow with out the lean. When the water starts to get rough the Sirius really shines waves seem to roll off the sides of this kayak with very little impact. Also very nice in following seas very little broaching. This kayak is fast not race fast but very fast for touring with no time lost trying to stay on track. The stability is very good for a 20" beam and the secondary is as good as i've been in. I have the HF model which is the same as the M though mine has the cut out for the spare paddle instead of the day hatch. Wish I had the hatch and the cut out. The Sirius is made very well as all P&H kayaks are. P&H is second to none when it come to well made kayaks. If you want a fast sea worthy kayak that is fun to paddle get your self a Sirius you will be glad you did.
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05-31-2002
Submitted by: RICH BSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I tried a number of kayaks before deciding on the Sirius M. To the uninitiated it can seem a little unstable at first, but by investing a little time and effort the wonders of this boat becomes apparent. It excels in nigh on every department - build quality + finish, speed, handling in rough water, rollability. This boat will take you anywhere and bring you back home safe to mama every time. Managing it unladen in a heavy sea can be a little exciting but I've paddled throughout the Western Isles on Scotland's Atlantic coast and as a result that P and H have produced yet another winner - there isn't a better manufacturer of this class of boat either side of 'The Pond' - FACT!
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11-19-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Have had two of these. One early HF and now one M. This is my "sports car" boat. Takes a while to relax into, but handles just about anything. Have owned more than 30 boats - and this is in the top 3-5 for rough-water handling. Rolls very easily. Great directional stability. Not for everyone - but wonderful for those willing to take the time to learn the boat's characteristics.
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07-17-2001
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had the Sirius for just about two years. It is a great boat. but again, it takes a bit to get familiar with the boat. Not a boat for a beginner or occasional kayaker. Handles well unloaded. Handles great in the Atlantic Ocean both loaded and unloaded. There are few boats manufactured in the US that can compete. Fast with decent secondary stability. Enough space for a weeklong expedition. Thanks P&H.
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12-28-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I own both a Sirius M and a S. This boat took me a year before I became comfortable with it, but now is so wonderful to paddle. The Sirius is very fast - meaning I can keep up with my friends - and handles well in rough water, always predictable, tracks well and is easy to maintain a course in wind and waves. It is a performance boat with a sporty feel and energy efficient, even into the wind - because it has a low profile. The narrow beam makes paddling easier. Yet I feel comfortable in it while standing still. It's beautifully and strongly built - I have no problems whatsoever - even the hatches are completely watertight. I also like the skeg control, recessed deck fittings, spare paddle recess, carry handle placement, and glassed-in bulkheads. There's enough room for gear for trips, but it also paddles well when unloaded - for rolling, edging, turning, etc. A great boat for serious paddlers.
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03-06-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Sirius is an incredible rough water touring boat.There is so many good things about this design you have to test paddle one in rough water for yourself to truely appreciate it.have fun, and safe paddling!
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04-05-1999
Submitted by: SSSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great boat! Nice on calm water, but really shines when the wind and waves kick up. Tracks well in wind, can use the skeg as needed to trim away any weather cocking. Need to keep the cable lubed; I use high pressure auto grease. Fast and narrow, yet has decent primary stability. Turns well with a little lean. The front VCP hatch does kick up spray into my face in choppy conditions. Built in spare paddle is nice cause you allways have a the spare with you. It does handle better with 40 to 50lbs of gear than empty.
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03-13-1999
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This British designed west greenland style seakayak is 17'long 20.5'' wide 53lbs. Our kayak has a third day hatch, compass recess, perimeter lines, and carrying handles. It holds a moderate amount of gear. It is fast but stable and paddles great in flat water but where it really excels is when the wind and waves pick up. An excellent all around open water seakayak.
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