The Scorpio Mk2 MV is a development of the successful Scorpio 170, which was itself modelled on the Cetus composite range. In size The Scorpio Mk2 MV is longer and wider than the old Scorpio 170 and shorter and wider than the Cetus MV. Its volume is midway between these other kayaks. However, on the beach it looks very similar to the Cetus MV. Its wide point is just behind the cockpit. It has moderate tail rocker and quite marked bow rocker. Under hull it has a shallow V from the keel line running into softly rounded chines. The Scorpio Mk2 MV is 525cm long and 58cm wide. It is 317l in volume. Apart from being longer and wider than the original Scorpio 170, the Scorpio Mk2 MV has a lowered rear deck and cockpit rim and the lips of the hatch rims have been modified to allow easier fitting of the covers. The foredeck has been modified with inserts for attaching a sailing rig mast foot and mouldings for split paddle handles lie on either side of the compass recess. These mouldings make the foredeck very stiff and unlike many PE kayaks it requires no further reinforcement for the fitting of a mast foot. The line of the deck from the side of the cockpit to the mast foot has been modified to allow the stowed sailing rig to lie neatly. Two of the deck lines' recessed deck fittings (RDFs) have been moved to allow fitting mast side stays at right angles to the mast. The skeg/skudder control has been moved from the side of the fore deck to the top.
Unwrapping the Scorpio Mk2 MV was a treat. It is a beautifully proportioned sleek kayak despite its maximum breadth and the attention to detail is superb e.g. the embossed P&H logo on the alloy security bar. The boat is constructed from three layer CoreLite polyethylene. It is stiff for a PE boat and at 28.7 kg is remarkably only 0.5kg heavier than a diolen composite Cetus MV in expedition layup with a keel strip. New for 2016, the roto-molded Scorpio Mk2 will be available in CoreLite X which will be even lighter and stiffer. The bulkheads are of 7.5cm thick black foam. This has considerably reduced the volume of the rear day hatch which is 15cm shorter compared with that in the composite Cetus MV. The test boat was supplied in a stunning marbled "Ikea" blue (it matched my bags!) The moulding was particularly well finished with some matt and glossy areas. Large glossy P&H logos appear on the fore deck and the under hull. Rather disappointingly either side of the hull at the bow is finished in matt. This means that you cannot mount a suction cup for a remote camera on an extension rod. (if you don't have a sail then the flat mast base area would be a good alternative camera mounting point.) There is an alloy security bar behind the cockpit which I use for attaching a tow line using a water ski quick release shackle.
The Scorpio Mk2 MV is remarkably stable for a touring sea kayak due both to its width and rear set wide point. It is an ideal platform for coaching, photography, bird watching or fishing. It is incredibly stable when on edge and is great fun when weaving through rock gardens. It rolls very smoothly but a little more slowly than the narrower Cetus MV. The lowered rear cockpit edge makes back deck rolling much more comfortable than the old Scorpio, without having to raise your backside off the seat.
The Scorpio Mk2 MV is easily able to maintain a normal all day touring pace of 6-7.5km/hour whether loaded or unloaded. Despite paddling regularly with three other paddlers in Cetus MVs at no time did I feel disadvantaged, even after a day where we covered 47km. The glide and tracking are both improved over the old Scorpio 170. Despite being more directional when paddling a course than its elder sibling it was noticeably faster to turn on edge. I found my maximum burst speed was about 10% down compared with the Cetus MV in the same conditions. When paddle sailing in waves in a good F4/5 day my top speed in the Scorpio Mk2 MV was 18km/hour on the best wave and 20.5km/hr in the Cetus MV on its best wave. A little skeg helps with tracking as the wind picks up but the adjustment range on the slider (when in skeg mode) is shorter than on a conventional skeg and so it is a bit more tricky to get just the right amount of skeg.
As the sun went down on my last night camping from the Scorpio Mk2 MV I reflected on what a great kayak I had enjoyed.
Three years ago I spent an hour and a half drifting in my kayak on the Solway. I was on the phone to Graham Mackereth of P&H. We were discussing what sort of features would make a new, all round sea kayak suitable for all abilities and be ideal for those interested in paddle sailing. I am delighted to discover that many of those ideas have now made it into production. I am glad that a manufacturer was prepared to listen to customer feedback and act on it. This may have led to some bias in this review so I suggest anyone thinking of purchasing such a kayak goes and test paddles the Scorpio Mk2 MV and makes their own mind up.
Specifications of Scorpio Mk2 range
Scorpio MK2 LV
Weight: 27.5 kgs (CoreLite) 25kg (CoreLite X)
Paddler weight range: 50-110kg
Scorpio MK2 MV (as tested)
Weight: 29.5kgs (CoreLite) 26.5kgs (CoreLite X)
Paddler weight range: : 65-125kg
Price: with skeg RRP: CoreLite £1,299 CoreLite X £1484
with Skudder RRP: CoreLite £1,399 CoreLiteX £1584
Scorpio Mk2 HV will be available mid 2016.