P&H Cetus - "quick n dirty" overview^

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P&H Cetus - "quick n dirty" overview^

Post by MikeB » Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:17 pm

I had the opportunity to get into a pre-production / prototype Cetus on Sunday - some first impressions:

It's an interesting looking beast - it's certainly long, and with it's typical P&H "appearance" in the sense of not having an especially pronounced flare to the bow, it's certainly striking.

Given that the one I was in was a prototype, the build quality was superb with P&H having used the fashionable "glitter" effect on the deck. I believe the production versions probably won't come with the large oval front hatch - a pity.

It was fitted with the latest plastic seat, with that dreadful and rust prone back-strap adjuster. I gather that won't make it to the production versions thank goodness! I also gather that the option of a glass seat may not be available.

I only paddled it for a few minutes, unloaded, but it surprised me in that it responds effortlessly to edge despite what looks like a long keel line with inbuilt skeg rather like an old Nordkapp. Dropping the skeg produced instant tracking without spoiling the abilty to edge.

It's been taken to Mull, loaded for expedition by Jim (of Adventure North, whose boat this was) and he reckons it's great as an expedition boat and as fast, if not faster, than a Quest.

It certainly feels different to the Quest in that it's rather more lively and dynamic. The footrests in this one didn't give me enough forward adjustment to get totally sorted in the cockpit, but it certainly seems a very comfortable boat.

That fore-deck hatch offers decent and accessible storage without taking away useful cockpit space.

Overall, I liked it. Would I buy one? It's certainly on my "want list", subject to seeing what the production version is like in terms of footroom with a footrest adjusted for me, and the final design of the cockpit rim.

Nice boat.

Last edited by MikeB on Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Mike Marshall » Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:23 pm

Now I have to start searching again!!


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Post by jurgenk » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:59 pm

Here is a link to MEC's site in Canada where they show the oval front hatch on the (supposed) production model. They are also selling the Kevlar version for $4300 Can.

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Post by dave1760 » Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:48 pm

I had one of these for a while over Easter on a demo. Had a range of conditions beginning with three foot surf, then some oceanic swell, some wind driven chop and finally a fairly smooth estuary paddle. Spent about seven hours paddling in it one day. I live in Cornwall.

My observations are:

Its very long! Same as Nordkapp. When you edge it the bow and stern sections lift out which makes turning fairly easy. The radius of turn was less than a Skerray being paddled by my partner.

Its more stable than a Nordkapp but less than an Explorer. I was happy to take my hands off the paddle and look behind me to take photos whilst in swell so it isn't unstable.

This was a pre production model and the cockpit may not stay the same shape. I hope it does not becuause it was an egg shape and not keyhole which made bracing difficult.

The footrest was difficult to adjust and I found the seat uncomfortable. This may be my particular shape as it is a standard P&H seat.

The skeg on the production models has a new system of spring loaded kevlar rope adjustement. You need to see it to see what I mean! Its great - big improvement. This one had the original control. The skeg did its job but I didn't feel I needed it even in F4 cross winds. The boat has a moulded in skeg already (like the Alaw) and is straight running.

It had a glitter deck!!!! I am a child of the 1970's and I love glitter decks. If pushed I am prepared to admit that a glitter deck does not improve the boats practical qualities in any way - just thought I would mention it.

It cruised at 3.5-4 knots on my GPS. I am neither fast nor slow as a paddlerand I could probably keep this speed up all day so it was comfortably fast. My partner had a go in the Cetus too - I am 6 foot and 14 stone, she is much lighter and smaller- and she was able to keep up with me. This doesn't usually happen so I conclude that it is a fast boat. She looked small in the boat but was perfectly comfortable with it. I didnt feel the need to add any ballast when paddling - neither did she. Quite a tribute to its design.

In chop/waves the bow sheds water well but does not rise over waves like a Valley boat. Some water hits the fourth hatch and the sprays over your face. This is generally not a good thing to happen.

I did like the fourth hatch. Much better than a deckbag, waterproof and very easy to use. Great for cameras etc. It was lined with neoprene so things didnt slide around inside either.

It was a really nice boat. I liked it but probably won't buy one. There is a long waiting list as the Americans have ordered hundreds. I still prefer the Valley Aquanaut so far which was more comfortable - but again that to do with personal preferences. Many others may find this boat more cofortable. It will probably be more popular than the Quest as it is less bulky, easier to control, more exciting but still carries a big load.

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