We make many boats each year between our rotomoulding facility and head office in Cheshire, and our composite workshop in Derby; both have very skilled teams using some sophisticated equipment, and sometimes quite basic skills in a sophisticated way.
In my 52 years in this industry, I have seen some exceptional skill and craftsmanship from our team, from our suppliers, and from some competitors, much of which most of our customers would never see or understand.
I am so used to it that I wrongly take it for granted, but occasionally, something I see makes me realise just how far we have travelled and just what a skilled, talented, and wonderful team of people we’re lucky to have building our kayaks.
Recently, I saw a Lightweight Kevlar/Carbon Infusion Cetus with Clear Carbon all-round that was utterly exquisite. From 3 metres away, it looked like any full-carbon kayak, but when I got close, I was “gobstruck” (for our international friends, this means ‘overwhelmed with wonder, surprise, or shock’), speechless, and rendered immobile. I poured over the deck, stroking its form and looking for a blemish that was never found.
For some time, I have been proud of our team’s skill in laying down a full layer of carbon in the hull without weave distortion and folding. The painting of bows and sterns in a solid colour to disguise the cutting of fabric necessary for low-skill manufacture are not the P&H way. To see the deck laid down without such painted segments around its many complex features is an entirely different order of difficulty! There was no fabric weave distortion or any cuts around the RDFs (Recessed Deck Fittings, which hold the decklines, elastics, and handles) or hatches. Around the heavily contoured compass, sail mast foot, and split-paddle shaft recesses there was one little cut which had to be pointed out to me, but I still couldn’t see it. It was invisible.
Steven Pericleous, you are a master craftsman, but so are many more in our team whose skills aren’t so easy to see.
It’s been a busy year, with lots of new products and lots of new paddlers taking to the water!
To ensure they had the right product to suit each and every one of those new paddlers, our network of specialist dealers stocked up more than ever – now that we’re heading into the traditionally quieter winter season, though, this means they have a little more remaining stock than they might usually have had, including some of our kayaks that we know will be yearning for the water!
If you want to pick up one of those kayaks at an outstanding price, then just give one of the dealers below a call, drop them an email, or, better still, pay them a visit:
In the mid-’90s, the Capella was introduced not only as one of the first serious plastic sea kayaks but also at a short-for-the-time, 16’ length for the increase in manoeuvrability that offers.
Plastic sea kayaks soon took off, and with good reason, being a more affordable and highly durable option for individual users and fleet owners who enjoyed their budget-friendly and lower-maintenance appeal. The 17’ Scorpio, and later the 15’ Delphin entered the P&H range, leaving little room between them in the market for the Capella, which was rehomed in a lower spec amongst the Venture Kayaks range, and eventually retired just a few years ago.
This is the sad result of a niche market like kayaking; it’s often difficult to justify having a wide plethora of options in boat design and length (although we generally give it a good try!) We’re delighted to say paddlesports is booming right now, though, and that widening of the market enables us the space to offer shorter boats like the Virgo, as well as a new, mid-length boat; the 16’ Leo, available now in MV and HV sizes!
The Leo will appeal to fans of the Capella but is brought bang up to date with a much more stable hull profile and a whole heap of modern features like the Skudder system, split paddle recesses, inserts to take a kayak sail mast foot, smarter deck styling, and the renowned comfort of our Connect outfitting system.
If you’re looking for a highly versatile sea kayak which allows the paddler to explore all avenues of sea kayaking comfortably, this is it.
Although the initial shock of the situation in Ukraine has subsided and the media’s interest has largely moved on, it is clear that much has transpired that money or humanitarian aid cannot fix; loved ones lost, atrocities suffered, and lives forever changed. The war in Ukraine has also, sadly, not yet come to an end.
We are proud to have been able to offer what little support we can, though, and thank each and every person who has supported us in our fundraising efforts thus far, but we’re not done yet!
A large part of what has been raised so far was via the raffle held for a ‘Flag of Ukraine’ Volan. Congratulations to the winner, Christopher Chan, and thank you to everyone who entered! Here is Chris’ reaction to when we gave him the good news, and what he had to say about his motivation for getting involved:
“When I received word that I had won the Flag of Ukraine Volan, I wasn’t sure whether to believe it and I’m still surprised even now. I’m excited to paddle it soon on the East Coast of the US! I am extremely grateful to P&H, their suppliers, and the staff who donated their time to make this happen.
I supported the raffle because I wanted to be part of a larger community contribution to the Disasters Emergency Committee with the paddling community to the people of Ukraine. It’s heartening that so much was raised so quickly and that the funds will support Ukrainians immediately.”
If you pre-ordered a ‘Launch Kayaks, Not Missiles’ T-Shirt, these were shipped out from the 12th of April in the UK/EU and have just landed and begun to be despatched this week in North America. We really appreciate your support and patience with these!
Once all orders have been fulfilled, we will list any remaining t-shirts on our webstores and the sales of these will also go towards the fund.
After pivoting their business in 2019, the UK’s premier kayak manufacturer, Pyranha and P&H Sea Kayaks are now available again in the Greater Vancouver area after securing partnerships with the area’s best paddlesports retailers, Coast Outdoors (North Vancouver, BC) and Western Canoeing & Kayaking (Abbotsford, BC).
Established in 1971 and 1968 respectively, Pyranha Kayaks and P&H Sea Kayaks unified in 2004 and together have grown to be the UK’s leading supplier of cutting edge whitewater kayaks and industry-leading sea kayaks. These innovative designs have taken adventurers to the remotest corners of the globe and received numerous industry awards and accolades. Pyranha/P&H pivoted its Canadian business in 2019 to focus solely on independently owned, speciality retailers and has been reestablishing its Canadian dealer network since then.
“We’re just thrilled to bring the two premier British Columbia paddlesports retailers into the Pyranha / P&H family. Western Canoeing and Coast Outdoors represent the very best paddlesports selection and service and align perfectly with the values of Pyranha’s family-owned business. Bringing the industry’s best kayaks to the best retailers positions us perfectly for a new beginning in the British Columbia paddlesports community.” says Chris Hipgrave, Pyranha’s North American Sales Director. “Western Canoeing will focus on the Pyranha whitewater kayak brand while Coast Outdoors will be focused on the P&H Sea Kayaks brand. Both of these outstanding retailers promise to expand our opportunities to the huge paddlesports community in British Columbia and well beyond.”
Coast Outdoors is North Vancouver’s foremost paddlesports speciality store. Their knowledgeable and enthusiastic retail staff are dedicated paddlers who know their stuff so can give you great advice if you need some direction, arrange demos, or help you out with any parts you might need.
Western Canoe Kayak prides itself on having the largest and most diverse selection of canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle-boards, and accessories, with easy access through their online store. Their staff don’t just talk about paddling, they live for it! Whether you’re just getting into paddling or have been paddling your whole life, their staff have the expertise to answer any questions you may have. Good service and sharing of knowledge are their most important products, and they’re free!
We have ceased all shipments to Russia and have heard from both of our Ukrainian dealers who are preparing to defend their homeland in any way they can. When peace returns, we’ll do everything we can to help them rebuild their businesses, but sadly that time is likely a long way off.
These are our dealers in Ukraine:
These are wonderful people.
We are lucky to live in a stable and peaceful democracy, whilst many live with the harsh reality of the many dreadful wars around the world. This war in Europe, in an area where some of our staff come from, where our customers are being bombed, brings that reality far too close to home. We have no doubt, like us, you are watching the human tragedy in Ukraine unfold nightly, and perhaps feeling powerless to help.
However, we are morally compelled to help Ukraine, and perhaps with your help, we can do so significantly…
Staff across P&H have committed to donating their time, and several of our suppliers have agreed to donate materials so that we can make 20 custom MZ3 Virgos, split proportionally across the size range, in the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
Our dealer network has responded with overwhelming support for this initiative, and so we are also preparing to make an additional 20 kayaks at cost, with any profit from these also going to the DEC.
Furthermore, to enable those who are not in the market for a boat at this time to also support the cause, we have designed a ‘Launch Kayaks, Not Missiles’ t-shirt which is available to pre-order through our webstores, and we will also be raffling a ‘Flag of Ukraine’ Volan 160 in our Lightweight Kevlar/Carbon Infusion layup.
How you can contribute:
Purchase a ‘Flag of Ukraine’ kayak (delivered via a participating dealer), a raffle ticket, or a ‘Launch Kayaks, Not Missiles’ t-shirt through our UK/EU webstore.
Purchase a raffle ticket or a ‘Launch Kayaks, Not Missiles’ t-shirt through our UK/EU webstore, or a ‘Flag of Ukraine’ kayak directly from one of the participating dealers below:
It is with considerable sadness that we announce the passing of P&H Founder, David Frank Patrick on the 7th of January 2022 at the age of 83.
Dave started canoeing in the late 50s and joined Midland Canoe Club in the early 60s, where he competed in Slalom in the top division in both K1 & C1. He was later the goalie for Midland CC’s Canoe Polo team in the 80s, with the team winning the infamous East Midlands Canoe Polo League.
He helped run many slalom competitions for Midland CC at Darley Abbey, Tryweryn, & Holme Pierrepont, becoming chairman and then president at Midland CC.
In his working life, Dave started out as a chemist at Rolls Royce, until in May 1967 he founded P&H Fibre Glass Products with a builder called Mr. Harrison.
Throughout the remainder of 1967 and the beginning of 1968, they created and began to produce the first P&H Fibreglass products including the ‘Soar Valley Special’ canoe (1968), the ‘Bat MK 2’ (1968) and the Hahn ‘Speed’ kayak (1969). The partnership of Patrick & Harrison came to an end in 1968, but Dave continued to run the company by himself.
As the seventies began, Dave worked with the top designers of the time and expanded the range to produce the ‘Swift’ and added four new models to the Hahn range – the ‘Quick’, the ‘New’, the ‘Dart’, and the ‘Swing’.
In late 1970 P&H began to sell dry suits and added two more Hahn canoes to the range, as well as the ‘Munich 72’, which was chosen by the then current world champion for his next year’s debut at the world championships. This now extensive range was shown at Crystal Palace.
In 1975, under Dave’s leadership, P&H became a founding member of the British Canoe Manufacturers Association.
P&H and Dave Patrick’s relationship with Pyranha began in 1978 when P&H began to produce Pyranha designs including the ‘Orinoco’ & ‘Elite 80SS’.
1979 saw Dave partner with Derek Hutchinson to introduce a whole new range of sea kayaks, starting with the ‘Umnak’ and ‘Icefloe’. This was also the same year Dave hired current Production Manager, Perran Shreeve, who remembers him as a hard but fair boss.
The 80s saw a flurry of successful sea kayaks, wildwater racers, surf kayaks, slalom kayaks, and polo kayaks from P&H, with the popularity of the company’s products going through the roof and in 1988, Dave bought the ground-breaking shop, No Limits at Holme Pierrepont after the success of the slalom course constructed there in 1986.
Things didn’t slow down in the 90s, with Dave sponsoring five of the GB Olympic Slalom Team at the Barcelona Olympics in ‘92, launching one of the first serious plastic sea kayaks, the Capella, and developing the world’s first pre-preg carbon slalom kayak using F1 technology in 1995. This boat went on to win the Slalom World Championships in ‘95 and to this day is still on show at the London Science Museum.
Dave retired in 1998 and took up flying model planes, although at the start he wasn’t particularly good, and had a bench in the corner of the P&H workshop to fix them at.
When Julian Patrick (Dave’s eldest son) left P&H to pursue his interest in the internet gaming industry in 2000, Dave came back out of retirement for a short time to help Peter Orton & Perran Shreeve run the company, but in 2001, Carole finally got Dave to retire ‘properly’ and move down to Cornwall where they travelled around in their camper van, with Dave enjoying playing golf and flying his model aircraft.
After a long and enjoyable working relationship, and out of a desire to continue the legacy of the company Dave had built, Pyranha purchased the P&H Company from Dave in 2003.
Dave will be sadly missed, and our thoughts go out to his wife, Carole, daughter, Jane, and sons, Julian & Paul, as well as the rest of the family.
We’ve been making canoes & kayaks for over 50 years, and every year, sales begin to slow as the winter approaches. That is, until last year.
We saw the necessary re-arrangement of workstations to ensure a Covid-secure environment for our staff as an opportunity to also improve the efficiency of our factory layout and processes – a good job, as following the easing of the first national lockdown in June of 2020, we saw a surge in demand of more than double that additional manufacturing output we’d unlocked!
We worked hard to meet demand, anticipating the usual slow-down of winter, except… it never came. We were delighted to be able to retain full staffing levels throughout the winter of 2020, and yet our lead times were still growing, even with these sustained production levels.
Now approaching the winter of 2021, demand for our canoes and kayaks remains phenomenal; we’ve never seen so many newcomers to the sport, and we couldn’t be happier about that!
The problem we face is certainly not one we’re going to complain about, but we want to be open with you and help ensure you’re fully aware and able to avoid disappointment when purchasing a canoe or kayak in the coming year, whether it’s your first or your next.
A month or so ago, we invited our network of specialist dealers to place pre-orders for 2022 production; the response was overwhelming, and we’re now deep into planning our production schedule for the coming year. What is abundantly clear, however, is that we cannot possibly make as many canoes and kayaks as have been ordered.
It’s important to note that these boats have all been sold into our dealer network, and the vast majority are still available to purchase by you once they arrive with those dealers.
Global shipping is wrought with delays, and the reason dealers have pre-ordered so much stock is that demand has been exceptional and sustained, so it is still important to place your order early to ensure you have your boat in plenty of time for the adventures you have in mind, but there’s no need to panic.
We have received numerous emails from paddlers lately asking when particular models and colours will be in stock with dealers, and the truth is, we don’t know. Our small team is focused on producing and shipping orders to arrive with dealers as close to their requested delivery date as possible, but the difficulties with shipping add a generous helping of uncertainty to this schedule, and only the dealer will know which boats are available or have been pre-sold.
For maximum success in securing ownership of a new canoe or kayak in 2022, our advice is to contact your favourite dealer early, be aware that it may not be possible to get your first choice of colour, and be prepared to wait a little longer than usual.
We really, truly, sincerely appreciate your interest in our canoes and kayaks, and we cannot wait to make a LOAD more friends on the water in 2022!
We recently became aware of a number of polyethylene P&H Sea Kayaks which had insufficient thickness towards the rear of the cockpit rim and were therefore more prone to splitting in this area.
Affected batches were produced in late 2019/early 2020; you can ascertain the production date of your kayak by looking at the last 4 digits of the serial number, with the letter denoting the month (‘A’ being January, ‘B’ being February, and so on) the first number being the last digit of the calendar year, and the final two numbers being the last two digits of the US model year (changing in August).
If you believe your boat to be affected, please email email@example.com with your address, the serial number, model, size, and colour of your kayak, and which dealer it was purchased from.
No other batches are affected, although it is possible that other boats may split in this region for different reasons, such as:
Frequently sitting directly on the back of the cockpit rim.
Transporting the boat with the cockpit rim against an unpadded roof rack.
Storing the boat with the cockpit rim against an unpadded rack.
Extreme or high-frequency usage.
A Cockpit Rim Repair & Reinforcement Kit is available for instances where a cockpit rim split has occurred outside of the warranty duration or conditions.