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Reviews for Catalina Kayak by Perception


Rated: 9.67/10 Based On: 9 Reviews

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05-03-2013
Submitted by: HeatherSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is my first kayak and I love it! I have tried a number of other newer and more expensive kayaks and it compares well to them. I like that it does not have a cloth seat or knee pads, because it doesn't absorb water. It tracks great and is a lovely boat on flat water, but still does great on small rapids and riffles. I am 5'7" and 170lbs and I fit perfectly in the kayak. I obviously bought this boat used and although it isn't made anymore I feel like I got a great deal at $300.
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07-19-2011
Submitted by: PaddlebumSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I reviewed this boat in 2000 not long after I bought it (see my 2000 review below) and just sold it after 11 years. Hated to see it go but I have moved up to a 17.5 P&H Scorpio and needed the room. I still think its a great boat and my previous comments still apply. It's especially a great boat for someone that wants more than a rec boat but wants a smaller package. Its seen everything from 15 mile trips to ocean surf and 4 foot swells and never let me down. It's too bad Perception discontinued it. The buyer said he couldn't find the specs so I thought I would include them: beam 23.5", weight 49 pounds, paddler weight range 90-180 pounds; paddler height 5'10" maximum. The boat has double bulkheads which leak some but still provide excellent safety and enough space for 3-4 day overnight trips. It definitely deserves a look if you want a capable sea kayak in a small package.
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08-09-2010
Submitted by: EdwardSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought a used Catalina as my first Kayak. I am 5'10" and weigh 190 lbs. Despite it being designed for smaller paddlers, the Catalina fits me excellently. The thigh braces contact at exactly the right point. I have the foot braces in their furthest back position, but I would not move them further back if I could. My 35 lb dog can sit between my legs in the cockpit. With her there, it's verging on cramped. The Catalina is quite narrow, which might make it feel a bit tipsy to newer paddlers. The kayak tracks very well, but is a bit hard to turn. It is also quite fast. Both of the cargo spaces are separated from the cockpit by full bulkheads. They are very spacious. There is enough room for a compact tent, a sleeping bag, and food and water for at least a couple of days. I may have been lucky, but I got my Catalina, a skirt, and a mid-range paddle for $400. It was well worth the money.
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02-13-2009
Submitted by: A.T.Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Catalina is a great kayak. It only weighs 51 pounds and is easy to transport. It also has a lot of storage space.
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09-04-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     For about three years, I kayaked with my dad in Perception's Keowee II. For my birthday this year, I got the Catalina, and it was great! It was so much thinner and sportier than the tandem Keowee, and I love it! I would definitely recommend it to any smaller paddler. A real keeper!
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05-06-2002
Submitted by: AndreaSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Catalina is the first kayak I've purchased and I am a beginner, but today when I took it out on the water for the first time, it was stable enough that I didn't tip over. I will admit that it was shaky to begin with, but after getting the hang of maneuvering it, it was fine. Overall I have no complaints, it was so much fun to paddle!! It tracked well and it went faster than my mom's brand new Dagger Cypress which I was pleased with! It has lots of dry storage and I found the cockpit comfortable. I should mention that if you get the L.L. Bean catalog, this and other perception kayaks are priced lower there than here on the website (for example I got mine $60 cheaper from L.L. Bean). Anyway, I would definitely recommend this kayak (as long as you're not too tall).
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05-03-2002
Submitted by: das
Rating: 10 of 10

     I am so surprised that there aren't more reviews of this kayak. I tried it out at a recent manufacturer's paddle day. After trying similar size and weight yaks from other manufacturers, I got in the Catalina. It was like driving a sports car after a bunch of station wagons. It was a really windy day and it handled exceptionally well. I have only been kayaking for a year and this will be my first purchase, but I am sure this one is a keeper. I'm hoping it is small enough for Ohio streams, but intend to use it mostly on lakes for day trips or evening paddles. It is really rocky in its initial stability but that is what makes it so manueverable and it is very stable. Its tracking and speed were great. I am 5'4", 130 lbs and it is a great size and weight for women.
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02-11-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Took my new Catalina out for her maiden voyage and literally fell in love. I have to admit this is my first purchase of a kayak. Although a little shaky at first I quickly began to move up and down the shoreline of Chickamauga Lake. The water was still so I had no chance to see what it would do in choppy water. But the speed of her impressed me. After awhile I put my minature dauchhound in with me and she even liked it. Overall, I am proud and glad I chose the Catalina over the other boats I looked at.
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11-13-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is my first kayak and I am definitely a beginner. I was looking for a boat for a smaller adult (I'm 5'8" and 140 lbs). Everthing I tried seemed unnecessarily hard to manage especially loading, seemed too slow, or not up to handling some of the rougher condiitons I would encounter on the water body in my neighborhood. I was about to settle on a Santa Cruz when I saw that Perception would be introducing the Catalina in the Fall. Soon as my local dealer got one in stock I checked the boat out and was so impressed I bought one. I have not been dissappointed. The boat is much faster than the recreational boats I was considering. I had it out in 2 foot waves, and although I am very inexperienced, I had no fear of going over although the ride was quite wet going into the wind. The boat took numerous waves over the bow for 2 hours but the bulkheads stayed dry inside. I even took a couple of waves on the side and still felt stable. The only time things felt somewhat dicey was going down wind. The boat would accellerate, and surf the waves in a fish tailing manner. I understand that this is a natural tendency of most kayaks, especially shorter ones, and with experience, I imagine I will be able to control the boat better and gain more confidence. The boat did have a tendency to weathercock in winds of 12-15 mph, but it responded well to a lean and to a sweeping stroke every other stroke. A rudder or a skeg may be in order but I will wait until next spring to decide. When time came to load the boat, I found it easy to car top by myself. However, it probably weighs about 5-6 pounds more than the claimed 44 pounds on Perception's web site. Perception did a great job for the smaller paddler wanting a boat they can grow with and use in conditons too rough for a recreational kayak. I will definitiey have this boat a long time, possibly handing it down to my daughter should I want to trade up or keeping it for myself or guests.
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