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Reviews for Manatee Kayak by Perception

Rated: 9.08/10 Based On: 13 Reviews

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Submitted by: E. DupratSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I've had a Manatee from LL Bean for a couple of years. I use it in a lake, ponds and occasionally the river. It is great for fishing in it, rides beautifully and it is very stable for a kayak.

The reason I have given it a 7 is because it has developed a couple of leaks below the seat area and have tried multiple things to patch it without result. I just learned the kayak is made of Polypropylene and this plastic is known for not bonding to anything. The bottom of the boat is too thin and have read elsewhere of other people with this problem around the seat area.

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Submitted by: Diana BananaSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had the LL Bean Manatee for 5 years and use it about 2-3 hours a week exploring our nearby marshes. I love it, but I now have a stress leak beneath the seat that is difficult to repair- two of my patches have failed. Are there any ideas out there? I am still Kayaking but bailing too.
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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     Our Manatee DLX was acquired last spring and has been in the water three times. It handles satisfactorily but is less stable and less stiff than our Old Town Vapor acquired at the same time. In addition, it has developed a bulge in the hull under the seat. We stored and transported the boat on Malone cradles as highly recommended by the experts. Only explanation I can think of is the material from which it was formed is less stiff than it should be.
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Submitted by: MJSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased a Manatee kayak from LL Bean in March 2010 for my 60th birthday. I read many reviews and did some research and decided on this boat. I am a female and needed one I could carry by myself. It arrived in about 2 weeks to my doorstep all wrapped up in bubble wrap.

I have been out in it 4 times now and am totally happy with it. The seat and foot rests are very comfortable. I haul it in the back of my Ford Explorer with just a few inches of it sticking out the back. I am able to get into and out of it well and find it to be extremely stable. I have been out in calm and slightly windy conditions and the kayak had no trouble at all.

I am a beginner kayaker and am still gaining experience. I think it tracks well and does what I want it to. I give it a 10 for my overall expectations.

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Submitted by: SherriSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My LL Bean Manatee Deluxe arrived this week, just one week after being ordered. It came with a paddle and hatch cover for the low low price of $399 and $35 shipping. I am a 56 year old female and I can easily lift the 38 lb. yak. It fits into the back of my 1999 Honda CRV (I plan to invest in a roof mount, but this is great for short trips to Coffee Pot Bayou in St. Petersburg, FL where I live.) My new yak handled well and tracked fairly easily. I am a beginner and I had no trouble. What a great way to explore the Florida waterways... and maybe a few other states as my skill and confidence increase. I researched and looked at a lot of boats before I decided on this recreational boat and I am very happy with my decision.
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Submitted by: marj
Rating: 10 of 10

     What a sweet little boat. We purchased the robin's egg blue solo one from LL Bean and took her on the water today. It was my first time in a kayak. My son, who is eight, also played in it for the first time, and was handling it well within minutes. My husband, who has experience in kayaks, was gone with it for an hour.

We could easily spot the light blue color on the lake. Even when the wind picked up and the lake waves got a little choppy I had no trouble getting it back to shore. My husband and I thought it tracked a bit to the right, but that may have been just our particular boat. We all have big smiles on our faces and plans to buy a tandem kayak, probably another Manatee.

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Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased a Manatee from LLBean, for our camp on a quiet Maine lake. Perception informed me, via email, that the Manatee is the same as the Swifty 9.5. The Manatee is a good example of fitting the boat to the purpose. I would not want to take it out on a large lake with high waves in strong winds - it is not a sea kayak, nor does it pretend to be. For quiet waters, though, it is near-perfect. The craft is easy to handle at 38 lbs. and well-balanced. It moves nicely through the water (despite my beginner technique). Moderate winds and small chop did not bother it at all. I give it a "9" rather than "10," only because of the elusiveness of perfection. The Manatee is a fun boat, which I highly recommend for any recreational kayaking.
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Submitted by: KD
Rating: 10 of 10

     My husband and I also just hit the water yesterday for the first time with our new Manatee's from LL BEAN and couldn't be happier with both price and performance. Neither one of us has ever kayaked before and with he being 58 and myself at 48 we had no trouble at all picking it up. Thank you Perception for making an easy to learn and handle little kayak, it was just what we needed to finally get out and enjoy the outdoors here in Vt.
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Submitted by: JeffSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I purchased this boat a couple of weeks ago, and finally got it out on the water yesterday. I purchased it from LL Bean, and what a great little boat. This is the first Kayak I have ever been in, and had no problems, in just a few minutes, I was flying past the canoes on the lake. Great boat especially for the cost!!!
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Submitted by: Phil SingletonSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just bought three kayaks for family use. My son wanted a fancy color, so I vent to LL Bean and bought a Manatee. The other two, slightly cheaper kayaks, I purchased from REI. They are Perception Swiftys. Apart from color, all three kayaks are identical so far as I can see. They perform the same way and have no obvious structural differences. For your Manatee, read the Swifty reviews too! Great, fun, recreational kayaks!
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Submitted by: CDSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought this boat a couple of months ago, with my selection based on the best intersect of low cost, durability, size (I need it light for one-man car-topping and short for garage storage), and reasonable expectations of decent performance. I took it out for the first time today, and spent a great 4 hours on a local lake with it. This little boat tracked well, paddled easily and remained stable on still water or heavy chop, heading into the wind, away from it or sideways to it. I'm not a hardcore paddler (my only previous experience has been a Sea Eagle 330 inflatable and a few rental aluminum canoes), and I can tell that a longer kayak would be even better, but for my purposes this is a great boat. It's not a speed demon but nor is it a slug, and the tracking is excellent even with my amateurish paddling technique. I would highly recommend the Manatee (or its apparent twin the Keowee) for any beginners or occasional paddlers who want something easy to own and enjoy.
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Submitted by: JFSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Nice boat at a good price, I'm a rather large fellow and its 350 pound capacity is fine for me and my dog skippy.
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Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Are you having trouble finding the old Keowee? Mine still have Aquaterra written on them. It is being sold through LL Bean under the name Manatee. I don't know if it is anywhere else. This is the same boat, from the same molds. The seat back has not improved comfort even though there is a small design change. There is no snap-in child seat with this. It is also sold for less than when I bought the originals in '89. This is a great boat if you don't expect it to do everything that other classes of kayak do. It is the safest and toughest little boat that I have owned. I've had more than a dozen people who have never been in a kayak before take these out and instantly feel in control. The kids can bang them around without damage. It is also a great fishing platform. If you want speed or all day comfort, this isn't it. If you want a no maintenance, safe, and stable boat, this is it.
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