P&H Volan Impressions & Experience

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Biasion
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P&H Volan Impressions & Experience

Post by Biasion »

Hello. I am an American looking for experiences with the P&H Volan. Am very tall, thin and athletic but for me balance is an issue. I don't take well to tippy kayaks and am looking for something faster than my Stellar S12 or Wilderness Tsunami boats but I don't want something that is going to flip all the time. I have paddled boats that were somewhat less stable than that and while I can hack it if the wind or waves and chop comes up, I feel like not only can I not stop paddling but I have to expend a fair amount of concentration to stay upright and for me that takes the fun away.

Maybe I am Goldilocks, maybe I am in search for a unicorn but I want a boat that is faster than what I currently paddle but doesn't sacrifice a whole lot of stability. I would like a boat that I can stop, not paddle and be able to take a drink or a photo. I would also like a boat that fits this bill yet doesn't take significant effort and concentration to keep upright in some wind, waves or chop.

All the most knowledgeable paddlers out there recommend P&H as a solid and seaworthy offering but looking at most of their boats gives me pause as they are much narrower than I am used to paddling in the 20-22" range. The Volan doesn't seem too bad at 23". I have been able to deal, with some effort, with a boat at the 23-24" level. I know width isn't the only factor in stability as some has to do with hull design as well. Anyone have experience with the Volan?

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: P&H Volan Impressions & Experience

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Hi Biasion, I have been paddling a Volan MV since last October both on day paddles and camping trips. It has remarkable primary and secondary stability. If you go to the P&H Owners FB Group you will find several posts I have made on the Volan MV.

Obviously never buy a kayak you have not tried for yourself but if stability is important the Volan should be on your shortlist. Although it is shorter than a Cetus MV, it has slightly more volume and the cockpit is significantly bigger than that of the Cetus MV. I have arthritis and I can get both feet out of the cockpit before landing, which I can't do in the Cetus MV.

Biasion
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Re: P&H Volan Impressions & Experience

Post by Biasion »

Thank you for your answer. I am looking into the Volan because my skills are improving especially my strength and endurance. I can paddle a long while and have been enjoying reacreational style boats for many years but the last few now that the kids are older and I have been training, doing all sorts of weights I am strong enough that I feel like I am hitting a wall. You know when you are faster than the boat, and you are paddling hard enough that the boat feels "too heavy". I feel like I can go so much faster but I am not the steadiest person.

I have type 1 diabetes, need to be able to stop and check my sugar or grab a snack at times. I am extremely on top of it (which is why I exercise so much and love kayaking!) but bad things do happen and need a stable boat to give me that breathing room. 23" is not that wide, at least not for me but from what I understand most of the "long" or fast boats like the Cetus, Stellar S16/18 and what not that are 16+ feet in length are very skinny, very fast and VERY tippy. I just cannot handle a boat like that nor do I want to. I have paddled boats in the 23ish inch width and some are better than others in terms of stability. Looking at the Volan's hull the sides get wider as they go up which implies more secondary stability and I like/want that. From what I have been looking the Volan is one of the more stable boats that gives that length or speed and anything appreciably faster would be so unstable I would feel unsafe, not be able to do what I need to do to remain healthy/safe and never would want to paddle it. Anything shorter is what I have now and not interesting to me (any more).

I am relatively thin (BMI 21) but I like to reach in my pockets to access my insulin pump to change dose or alter settings on the go depending on my sugars. Bigger cockpit is nice as I can't do that in some boats. Most of the boats you can do that are not that fun to paddle.

Unfortunately trying one out is not easy. These days you can't find much and most of what you can find is rather lousy. I had the chance to buy one second hand for a really good price just before COVID but decided to wait. I wish I had at least test paddled it but it was winter.

How do you get into the FB group if you don't have FB? It says "private". Could you copy/paste your comments here?

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Re: P&H Volan Impressions & Experience

Post by ChrisJK »

An interesting post as I am building a Shrike which is in all likelihood longer,lighter and faster than my P&H Capella (square hatch) it's also likely to be more manouvreable and quite probably a tad tippy'r
What has also taken my attention is FB which I refuse to join. Obviously we all value privacy but somehow FB fails somewhere in allowing access to what plenty of us would like to learn from and the contributor would not hav a problem in a wider audience benefitting from it.
Sorry you got me started on FB

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