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.