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What's the 'It' Boat in Sea Kayaks?

Yeah it's a slightly silly question, but I overheard a couple of older guys discussing it at length at the kayak shop not long ago, was curious as to what ppl here thought.

'It' boat simply means the generally-regarded creme de la creme (our Lexus or Porsche), though obviously it's more about individual needs/preferences.

Their consensus seemed to be the Nordkapp was the 'It' boat 'back in the day', then the Explorer, then for a few years it was the Cetus, and now it's either the Xplore (Tiderace) or the Nordlow.

I've only been in the sport a fairly short time, so I can't comment on what paddlers thought 'back in the day'. Any old farts wanna speak up? ;)



  • Options
    It Boat
    In my mind the "it" kayak is the one that fits like a glove, does what you need it to do and just feels right. i do not think there is in reality an "it" boat which is universally appropriate for all paddlers.

    Now OTOH if by "it" you mean the most expensive with the best of everything I'm not so sure.
    My "it" vehicle is my 2006 F150 4x4. It works for me. Is it a Lexus, no. But try carrying a round roll of hay in a Lexus!
  • The "It" Boat...
    ...doesn't exist - it so depends on the paddler and their waters, skill level, weather, and host of other factors.
    For me, it's the VOLKSKAYAK - 17' LOA, 24" beam, stitch and glue ply/epoxy construction - a very stable, solid tracking hard-chined sea kayak. Suits me perfectly for the paddling I want to do - others will need boats with different characteristics for different purposes. And absolutely the last thing I look at is the price tag...all that tells you is how much money the owner used to have, or how much bigger the credit card balance is...
  • It=can have just one.
    For me the "It" boat would be which kayak you would choose if you could only have one. That boat for me--without any reservations, or hesitation would be the Novus Composites (NC) Expedition. Another way to put it would be, if you could have any boat, what would it be? Again it is the NC Expedition.
  • The two I have for sale : )
    I think people should fight to get them before someone else does.
  • Absolutely no doubt that it is ...
    the Pamlico 140 with the gray thing.
  • Nothing like aging out....
    People coming into this sport now do realize that even a pretty darned old modern sea kayak is still younger than the house they may have grown up in.... yes?

    From Wikipedia - not a totally reliable source but close enough for a quick check - "The Nordkapp was originally designed by Frank Goodman for the British Norway expedition (the Nordkapp Expedition) in 1975."

    As to the "it" boat - personally I would prefer one that stashed itself in a box after use like itt from the Adams family. But I don't think we have found a way to make fiberglass compress that small then blow up again to a 16 ft long boat. I'll be first in line if they figure it out though - imagine being able to toss your boat onto the front seat beside you after a paddle!
  • Options
    awww... not a Pungo? =]
  • one you can stand up on.
    Ryan L.
  • Their isn't one
    Romany, Nordcap, Capella all fought for attention.

    Now it is XPlore, Cetus, Aries, Pilgrim.

    In my opinion they are all junk. What you need is some good plastic that is durable and expedition ready. So for me it might be an Alchemy, Tempest, or Scorpio. But only the Alchemy is comfortable, so the rest are not really useful at all unless you take the seats out to get the deck height you need.
  • Sh...
    ...it's on the tip of your tongue.
  • Options
    Gross posts....
    are gross. :(

    Is the combination of tongue and that substance something you think about often?


  • Hummm, I'll play.
    I get what you're saying or trying to get at. Yeah, yeah, the perfect boat is the one that fits you, but the original poster tossed this out for discussion.

    In my circles it seems like a lot of people are talking about the Tiderace line and it seems to be the hot boat line right now.

    I think there are more companies playing with thermoform and that material is picking up speed.

    I think companies are finally taking paddler feed back seriously and are putting more effort into multi-sized boats and producing HV and LV versions of classic designs. Along with kayak design you're also seeing companies who are building on the success of the PH dolphin and you're seeing medium length boats with rocker and more bow volume to surf and play in rocks and tideraces.

    I think that Greenland paddles are hotter now, but overall interest in Greenland style, Tulik hard core paddling has peeked. I think people making their own Greenland paddles is picking up steam. It still has it's hard core niche groups, but I see more people using modern boats and gear with Greenland paddles. Just my two cents.
  • Quite hot now
    Sterling Reflection
  • Joking aside
    I do know of a kayak I think is very innovative and that I would love to have. It is the Epic V6 Tourer. So far as I know there is nothing else like it. But I also know there would not be a ground swell of enthusiasm from Paddling.net'ers for my choice. At least not now. But I think that surf ski style touring kayaks and wing paddles are the future. Except, of course, for the Pamlico 140, which is now the Pungo 140.
  • Kayak in a box
    Celia, ask and you shall receive. Not quite a box, but you could fold it in your trunk.

  • Options
    condolences on their recent fire =(
  • Cool box!
    It even has a handle....
  • Origami kayak
    -- Last Updated: Dec-10-12 9:34 AM EST --

    Been eyeing the Orukayak myself. Not that I don't love my Feathercraft Wisper (and consider it the "Ur" kayak, at least for my purposes), but the "kayak yoga" required to assemble it can be exasperating, especially on a hot day.

    The major problem with the Orukayak is that for now it is a "pig in a poke". They have been raising capital for production by asking people to pre-pay for one (sort of buying "shares"), sight unseen for the most part. It is relatively cheap as folders go, even as kayaks go, at around $850, I think. It is obviously a clever design but only time will tell if it is durable and functional in a range of conditions.

    Back to the question, there are any number of suberb boats out there with a high "I want one of those" factor. But in my mind the biggest obstacle makers need to tackle in building truly desirable boats is making the danged things lighter.

  • Yes, Lighter
    Someone posed the question recently... What's next for paddling?...Mr. Stamer replied 'lighter' for competitive reasons. I replied 'lighter' for just less hassle and misery reasons.

    Yeah, the IT boat is going to be a light boat.
  • sea kayaks
    Its been a sport and a way of life for many thousands of years.

    I like wood boats by Pygmy and Chesapeake Light Craft, especially the longer, faster boats and the Greenland designs.
  • 'it' is not a single boat anymore
    It's a quiver of boats due to the specialization of hull shapes. A rock-garden, surf or play boat and an expedition boat.
  • Options
    Can't be answered
    This question really can't be answered. It's whatever makes you smile. There are many that can do a little of everything but not one kayak that can do it all. I have six kayaks because I enjoy the variety. Each one is a little special in it's own way. ;-)
  • too broad
    Even in the automotive world there are "it" rides for different uses. Heck, I don't think I could pick one "it" boat for sea kayaking. An Epic 18X and a Romany Surf would satisfy me.
  • I'm very interested in that boat
    I'm hoping to demo one this spring. Very intrigued. Wondering about increase in potential hull speed vs. being exposed on weeklong trips.
  • Options
    Good answer
    Somebody gets it. ;)
  • Options
    so it's *only* about material?
    If the Xplore, Aries, and Pilgrim came in plastic, would they still be considered "junk" to you? (the Scorpio is 'sorta kinda' the Cetus in plastic, depending who you ask & how exacting they are).

    Not attacking, just askin'. I wouldn't mind seeing those boats come out in RM or thermoform myself, though I'm certainly not holding my breath.

  • Define "it"
    - If by "it", implies a boat that does everything better than other boats, it doesn't exist. The list of "best" in any particular category are not the same for other characteristic. So there's not one boat that's better in all area.

    - But if by "it" is a boat that allows enjoyment on water, then any boat would do. OK, any boat that's sea worthy and can be handled predictably in skilled hands. That means just about EVERY single sea kayak on the market.

    Each may have different characteristic. But all will put a smile on your face!

    - A common criteria for "the" boat (not "it" boat), is a boat with a wide performance envelope, i.e. performs well in many area, though not necessarily "best of the breed" in any single area. That's where the name of Romany (Explorer), Norlow etc. comes in.

    These are boats that, if you can only have one boat, they're the most balanced COMPROMISE!
  • Options
    if you have to ask...
    ...you'll never get 'it'. ;)
  • the last "it" car...
    ...was the Pontiac Aztek.

    Sure you don't wanna rethink that question?
  • If I Could Have Only One Boat
    it would be a composite Tempest 165 with the seat moved back some. But to put it in the Porsche category you need to knock 8-12 pounds off of it.

    You can do it, Newbtastic. The world will beat a path to your door.
  • Breaking Bad
    I laughed every time I saw that car on screen. In fact, I smile or laugh whenever I see one in traffic. I don't point and ridicule. Hopefully the drivers just think I'm in a good mood.
  • Options
    Nah. AMC Pacer/Gremlin...
    ...in atomic lime-green. Most hideous car ever made. =o

    Aztek's a close second though, I'll give you that.

  • Options
    the "It boat"
    is the one which supplies filler to the kayak mags. Even if the reviews of the "it boat" are done by its sponsored paddlers and/or dealers.

    It's the one that attempts to get you to feel that you need to "upgrade".

    It's the one to ignore if you like to paddle, think, and choose for yourself.
  • Hey!
    The Pacer was a hideous, ugly piece of sh**.
    The Gremlin was a cool looking piece sh**.
  • Plastic Pilgrim
    If they made a Pilgrim in 3 layer plastic or thermoformed I'd have one hanging in my garage for my wife. Maybe one for my daughter too.

    Is the Delphin not the plastic version of the Aries?
  • Newbtastic - yes to plastic
    In fact the Delphin is the plastic Aries and a wonderful boat that we considered getting, but we decided to get an Alchemy.

    I really have to hand it to P&H and to Wilderness Systems for trying to make a lot of their composite boats have plastic counterparts. In the past Epic did it too and so did NDK. Unfortunately the plastic Romany wasn't nearly as good as the actual Romany and is wasn't as good as Plastic P&H boats by a long shot.

  • IT
    A proper IT Kayak would have a 1024 bit dual servo controlled propulsion system cross connected to a redundant RAID 5 navigation control system with everything connected to a 12 core Linux server via an OC3 backbone.
  • For me, whatever "IT" is
    has gotta weigh less tha 35 pounds. That's it!
  • Don't Recall Ever Seeing One
    I thought they looked cool with oversized wheels & tires on the back... with a black paint job.
  • Hey I owned a gremlin
    Hey I owned a 1974 Gremlin lime green manual sterring 3 speed stick am radio and it had points that needed replacment every few months. College car for $300. Solid transportion. Dont be dissing my old Gremlin, with snow tires it blasted through the snow. To bad I dont have any pictures of that old ugly car but bar far uglyest car ever was by Volkswagon it was called the "Thing". Not that was ugly, made a Pacer or Gremlin look good.
  • Options
    maybe helium in sealed hatches
    or for the adventurous hydrogen. Maybe light enough you can walk/float it in the air to the water. Maybe make it from that anti-gravity stuff they mine in Avatar.
  • Options
    Das Hindenburg kayak!!! =0

  • I miss those cars
    I still have the hot wheels version.
  • I almost bought an Aztek....
    I almost bought an Aztek....Not because they were cool looking - but for the total opposite reason...

    Buying my first car in Miami area - initially thought something sensible like a civic/corolla/whatever - then looked up the insurance rates - turns out it is quite costly to insure those cars down here - while an Aztek was about half the price to insure, and cheap as dirt - as people were to trying to offload them from their driveways as fast as possible to stop the non-stop ridicule. Reason for the cheaper insurance it turns out was because they had a low likely-hood of being stolen, while missing civics/etc is quite a common event (in comparison) and more likely to be associated with an accident per capita (again, in my area).

    Test drove a few of them - not horrible, if you expect it to drive like a mini-van and had lots of neat options (tent, etc) and attachment points - if I was into kayaking back then - I might have got it, just because it would do the job pretty well as a kayak/water sports (but not boat) carrier...alas then I found out Mustang Convertibles weren't that much more to insure than Azteks and went that route instead ;-)
  • Marketing blah
    Top 10 this
    Best that
    "the" bike
    "it" boat

    Only a fool can't see through such marketing ploy and believe whatever the marketing department put out as the one "whatever" that does it all!

    I chuckle every time I see this kind of junk got presented.
  • One of two.
    The one I'm in or the one I'm not.

    The rest are rubbish.
  • Options
    "Yargle bargle, you damn kids, git off my lawn!!" =D

    Yes abc, we're all aware of the limitations of such discussions. But sometimes ppl just wanna shoot the breeze a little anyway.

    Sorry if I played on your lawn. ;)

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