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Valley's Discontinuing A Lot of Boats

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  • Options
    CD is weird
    Current Designs is strange... they have like 50 different models, and almost none of them get a chance to develop any cachet or recognition, because they're buried within that HUGE MASS of different boats they churn out.

  • Not strictly speaking
    Cobra are an OEM manufacturer. A brand will provide them specification of the product and Cobra will build it to that specification. Assuming Cobra does an equal job for everybody when building products to its customers' specifications, any differences in their quality will be down to design, rather than Cobra.

    As a large generalisation, if a Necky boat is better than an Arrow or Tiderace one, or vice versa, it's going to be down to the design provided to Cobra rather than Cobra's ability or desire to build it to spec.

    Cobra themselves don't just build kayaks, they make a large percentage of the world's supply of surf boards, full scale yachts and composite parts for people such as Ferrari and Audi. It's about as far as you can get from a couple of guys in a shed that's the tradition in sea kayak building, such is the norm with some of the well known British manufacturers.
  • Options
    that's pretty much what I thought
    Thanks for confirming.

  • Glad to Hear it
    I've always heard good things about the Pintail when it came to wind and waves but I never paddled one. It's good to know that people consider a boat like the Alchemy to be superior... since I picked one up for a song last year!
  • One swallow doesn't make a summer
    As a retailer, the last new Valley boat we got was the Etain 17-7. This weighed 29.5kg (65lbs) with hatches when checked in the store.

    I wouldn't believe for one second the 23kg (50lbs) weight advertised for standard layups (even bearing in mind this figure does not include the hatches).

    P&H, Tiderace and NDK tend to be much more realistic with weights.
  • Options
    But as a retailer...
    ...you don't think that Tideraces are 'fragile/light' either, as the gentleman I was responding to stated, do you? 60 lbs is still a lot of boat.

    (btw, brutal weight on that 17-7 Etain. SK magazine reviewed that boat, and theirs came in @61 1/2 lbs).



  • Options
    etain 17.5
    Out of curiosity, I weighed my March 2011 built etain 17.5 (bought from store stock -don't think it was any special layup).

    Without covers or pod thing, I got 55lbs. The covers + hatch weigh about 5.5lbs, so about ~60lbs total.
  • Again, I agree
    I can look anyone in the eye and say that the Necky product built there is vastly superior to any Necky EVER made be that Canada or USA. Not even close. I suspect Tiderace is likewise an excellent build. FYI Cobra builds for Surftech as well as most windsurf boards worldwide.

    I suspect as well that the Tiderace issues spoken of on this thread are probably pre-Cobra built boats.
  • say
    You are quite familiar with the manufacturing process, so YOUR reply would be quite eye opening for most

    Would you mind posting the number of man-hours involved in manufacturing of an advanced post cure hull, and your best estimate of price if the same hull were done in the US?
  • When I was involved
    There we approximately 70 hours of labor in a Cobra built Necky. I know one Brit manufacturer claims his lads can build a boat in a day and a half? To devote that level of attention state side would add huge cost and make the boats too costly As is Cobra was a lot costlier than China. I know that in the case of Necky, neither Stoddard Aerospace, nor Fast Passage could build boats cheap enough to satisfy management or the market, so they were brought in house to Old Town where they were thrown together, cost saved, etc.. After some really poor results they were outsourced to Cobra where they went from crap to world class. I'd own one now! So, however anyone feels about outsourcing the bottom line is a far superior boat for a reasonable cost. In this case it was outsource or drop composites altogether. I suspect so for Confluence as well.
    As I said earlier, I'd opt to build here to those same levels and charge an extra grand a kayak, which is what it would probably be. I'd choose that based on my personal beliefs. If I loved a given Brit boat or Kiwi boat etc, I'd buy it and know it's just fine.
    My input here is only to share real world experience about Cobra and the quality prduced there. Also the choice of adhesives and resins are top notch.
  • thanks (NM)

  • Options
    Valley's weighing policy
    Have to say, Valley's thing of giving weights without the hatch covers included is pretty shady.

    I mean, is it like you'd ever use the boat WITHOUT hatch covers? o_0

    What's next, the weight with the seat removed? The skeg?

  • "There's nothing like a Valley"
    -- Last Updated: Sep-22-12 3:47 PM EST --

    I am sad to hear of the end of the Pintail and Aquanaut. For me the Pintail epitomizes the Valley feel and look. Even the Aquanaut feels more fluid in the water than many newer 'friendlier' boats. The Pintail is the most fluid feeling boat I've ever paddled. It seems one with the water. Both the Avocet and Aquanaut derive from the Pintail hull section. As Nate notes, Valley boats tended to have lower primary stability than the newer boats.

    Thankfully Valley is keeping many of the Nordkapp models. The Nordkapp LV is more demanding than most manufacturers would market these days. I find mine the greatest fun when I am up for it.

    My Aquanaut is my go to, do everything boat. I've been paddling it for years and prefer it to any other 17'+ touring boat I've paddled.

    I haven't paddled an Etain, but it seems that Valley is moving away from the distinctive Valley feel that earned the praise "There's nothing like a Valley."

  • +1
    similar DNA, perhaps, but very different sizes and shapes. I've owned both (and imported/sold both)
  • Pintail: aka The Glass Slipper
    Pintail is a great boat. I picked up a used classic ocean cockpit Turquoise over white with black trim. I'm a beefy guy, my Romany and Exporers both fit much better, but nothing looked as good on the water as the Pintail.

    I decided which ever girl fit best in my Pintail and paddled it best is the girl I would marry.

    So my friends called my Pintail The Glass Slipper.

    It's been 15 years and I'm still married to the girl that best fit the Glass Slipper.
  • great point about the nordkapp
  • Bummer
    While I am loosely affiliated w/ tiderace, valley kayaks are a huge part of the introduction of recreational paddle sports. The first sea kayak I hand rolled was an aquanaut lv. While I don't personally care for their more recent models, like Derek Hutchinson, frank goodman put a ton of people in cool boats. I hope they hold onto the molds.

    For dealers it is hard to be a valley dealer when you have to stock that many models. Slimming down the line could be good for the brand.

    Hope they have good luck with the strategy.
  • Options
    Tide race
    -- Last Updated: Nov-21-12 11:28 PM EST --

    I've seen a few Tiderace boats and sat in one. I did however see a BRAND NEW tide race last month that was sent to a shop for a repair from damage inn shipping, nothing major. What was clearly visible was that the hull had indents at every bulkhead. In speaking to the owner of the shop, who also builds boats, his opinion was the indents came from the bulkheads being too big. When they insert the bulkheads and the hull shrinks in curing, it indents on either side of the slightly too large bulkheads. Not what I would call great workmanship whether Cobra is using the specs from Tiderace or their own construction methods, apparently this could be prevented by reducing the size of the bulkhead slightly.

    I've owned two Cetus MVs in the past 2 years. Both were reasonably well built, one was a lightweight layup and one is an expedition layup. Both have excellent fabric layup and paint, but neither was flawless by any stretch of the imagination. I've found enough blemishes and rough spots on both boats and have had plenty of small little issues such as the tab holding the rear hatch cover leash coming off (tab goes around skeg "rope" housing so it wasn't lost but it needs to be repaired for the skeg to work best and stay straight. Thankfully I rarely need it.

    In my experience, the overall finish of valley boats has been pretty good inside and out, I'd say as good or better than my Cetus.

    No flames, just a few observations of a few boats.

  • Options
    PS
    I am surprised the Aquanaut is going, is a good boat and not really comparable to sizes I've seen/sat in of the etain. Maybe they have a size or two coming out to complete that line.
  • think of all the various 'naut models
    It's more than just discontinuing one boat.
  • Options
    exactly
    By getting rid of all the Aquanaut models (except the Club), Valley eliminated five boats right there.

  • Aquanaut...
    Certainly a good boat, but I can see why Valley would discontinue it in many ways.

    As many have stated here, they are offering many overlapping niches. The Etain seems to fill a similar niche. Additionall, I think they really want to push this boat and prioritize its sales over their older models.

    Additionally, despite how good one feels the Aquanaut is, it does not seem to have gained in popularity compared to the ever poplular Explorer. This is not me saying that the Explorer is a better boat, but it is just a lot more popular and seems that the Aquanaut just did not compete well with it in terms of popularity from my perspective.

    Last thought...not sure if Valley is under new management or if they perhaps decided to call in a consulting firm or something like that, but reducing the number of models you offer is often a smart business decision. It is in line with the concept of lean manufacturing, etc. thus reducing operating costs and most likely increasing your bottom line. Offering too many models and too many options is not efficient from a business persepctive in most cases.

    Matt
  • Options
    see rest of thread
    -- Last Updated: Oct-07-12 12:20 PM EST --

    Yup, many ppl have made excellent comments along the same lines.

  • Nothing like a Valley
    -- Last Updated: Oct-09-12 10:29 PM EST --

    My favorite boat is an Aquanaut lv compostite(not to
    be confused with the plastic version) and really feels
    responsive, quite maneuverable on edge which surprised
    me where the standard aquanaut is stiffer tracking.
    Also laying on the back deck there was nothing in the
    way, the cockpit combing is recessed quite low and rolls so easy. The cockpit also fit a bit tighter
    then a cetus lv or TD Xplore s. Really feels like it's between a
    Std aquanaut and an avocet but fits tighter. Liked this boat so much
    sold my xplore s and bought one. Also another thing
    I didn't like about tiderace boats was the cockpit
    combing really dug into my back when doing laybacks,
    even with the tiderace xcite s I had the same problem.

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