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Never paddled a NC but one thing that drives me crazy about my NDK is the 10 inch hatch openings.Friends have CD kayaks with huge oval hatches. Makes loading there kayaks faster and easyer. When I look at NC kayaks they have even smaller hatch openings. I cant imagine trying to load the front hatch on there expedition 19 kayak with a 8 inch bow hatch they use. Forget about getting my sleeping pad or even sleeping bag through that. Plus no skeg or rudder. Never paddled any kayak that couldnt use one or the other in heavy winds. The hatches would rule out NC kayaks for me at least.
As another poster said Valley,P&H or NDK.Just choose the right size for your needs.
As far as a kodiak from Prijon I have had a few people tell me there screw on type day hatches always leak. Thats from kayakers who roll the ones that say they have no problem with there day hatches are the ones that never get water over the top of the kayak or would ever think of rolling.Durable plastic BUT heavy as lead.
... Plastic 170, glass 170, glass 165. Not sure how they are built these days. My first one, plastic 170, bought back in 2000 or so, had some leaks where the skeg cable came in through the hull. Easy fix. The glass 170, bought a few years later, had a similar leak, also easily fixed. The 165, one of the early ones when they moved from NC I believe, was not so well made. Hatches leaked, skeg leaked, spider cracks in the glass, interior glass work in the real near the skeg looked like a birds nest. Growing pains I guess. Don't know how WS boats are these days.
As far as handling they are nice boats, capable of far more than I could put them through. Not fast, but dependable and predictable. I don't camp, but they can hold a lot of gear.
After that, picked up a Nordlow. Looked at many boats then, including the main Brits ones, Impex, etc. The Valley was like a Mercedes of Kayaks, as well all the main Brit boats, and many of the other likely suspects. The Nordlow is a great boat, pushed my learning curve.
I've got an Epic V8 now. Never thought something that looked a little like a QCC rather than a "real sea kayak" could be used for anything more than dawdling on a flat pond sipping lemonade. Guess I was wrong, there is something about that shape after all (hate to admit it though, at least in public)...