|Captiva 16' kayak with rudder|
The Captiva is the big brother to the Carolina. Like the Carolina, the Captiva is extremely stable which is good for beginners. This boat is designed to handle a bigger paddler and more gear, so at 5’7”, I wasn’t expecting much when I paddled it. I figured it would be a bit of a barge, but I was pleasantly surprised. I had a lot of extra room in the cockpit, but was still able to use the very comfortable thigh braces which are built right into the design. The seat is simple but comfortable and although the kayak is a bit on the wide side (25.25”) it handled very nimbly for a 16’ boat. Perception carried over the dual-channel hull design so the kayak tracks like it is on rails even without the standard rudder. At 58 lbs., the Captiva is lighter than I expected too. It cruises nicely and turns easily.
The only thing I found wanting was a complete lack of deck lines (only bungees on deck), but this is an easy fix. For about $25 you can install your own deck lines. While I wouldn’t recommend it for an advanced paddler, I think the Captiva is a good all-around kayak. It is a better fit for someone over 6ft. This boat is no longer in production, but you can find them on the used market pretty cheap. The plastic that they used to make these is the old-school, heavy-duty, bullet-proof plastic that Perception was known for until they started thinning it out a few years ago, so these boats will last a long time.