The long waterline combines considerable storage capacity with an impressive cruising speed. In order to counter the length and provide good maneuverability, a flattened hull was placed in the center section. This results in a boat capable of tight turns in and out of the surf zone and one that provides an impressive level of stability. The extended keel section maintains strong directional stability when paddling on a heading but lifts free from the water when edged.
The wide hull and distinct chines give a very stable boat with comfortable and predictable edging characteristics. Added volume in the bow gives a nice dry ride through the chop and handles larger waves with ease. A pronounced stern complements the bow, allowing the boat to ride up and over steeper swells. Volume distribution in the center section allows the stern keel section to lift during edging, shortening the waterline and increasing maneuverability.
The Menai 18 deck has a few subtle differences from other Rockpool boats. Probably the most identifiable of these is the forward oval hatch. This expanded opening allows for easy storage of bulky expedition gear in the bow as well as the stern. The front deck also has a small fourth hatch fitted just ahead of the cockpit. This easily accessible compartment will store all of those useful items needed for longer crossings. A molded compass recess and moldings for spare paddle storage have also been added to the fore deck. Finally, to provide greater retention for items too bulky to fit into the fourth hatch, the number of deck bungees has been increased.
Standard items include Kajaksport hatches, flat-tab, flush mounted deck fittings, adjustable footplate and saddle system, and a skeg under tension.