Aquanaut LV, Force 4, or what?

I’m looking for some advice on fast, responsive low volume boats. I am 5’8" and 150 pounds. I paddle an old Pintail with ocean cockpit and rope skeg which I love and wouldn’t sell. It’s a blast to paddle - but when it comes covering lots of distance, it’s pretty slow. I would just like to round out my fleet with something that tracks straighter, goes faster and is still fun to paddle in open ocean conditions. Cargo space is not important.

Having read some of the other threads, I’m sure several of you will have an opinion to share.



those are nice boats…
Although the Force 4 may be a wee bit too large for you if you’re looking for lower volume boats. I’m similar to your size at 5’8", 145 lbs and two of my favorite boats are the Nigel Foster Silhouette and the Valley Nordkapp LV. Both are fast and relatively low volume.

Force 3, Tempest 165

Impex Outer Island Maybe?
It’s very tracky.

If you want
an all around boat to go camping and for long fast day paddles the Force 3 or the T165 would be the best bet. If you don’t care much about camping, but want a fast boat that is great for rolling, the OI would be a very good choice. The Pintail is very maneuverable (high rocker), Force 3 and T165 are in the middle, and the OI is straight tracking (low rocker). I’ve paddled the Silhouette–great boat, but people love or hate Foster boats–and heard great things about the Nordkap LV, but never paddled one.

Prijon Barracuda.

– Last Updated: Jan-20-07 10:00 AM EST –

The opposite of the Pintail.

Little to no rocker, very fast. You'd find it a fun and fitting boat that would "feel" different than your Pintail, certainly.

additional clarification
with respect to tracking: Pintail

Aquanaut LV/ Force 3 Comparison
You seem to be eyeing the right boats for your size. In my humble opinion.

Initial Stability - Aquanaut over Force 3

Secondary - Pretty Much Equal

Speed - Force

Manueverability - Aquanaut

Acceleration - Equal

Try them both out. IMHO you can’t go wrong with either.


Thanks for the replies; it’s all very helpful. I didn’t mention that my wife has a kevlar T165 that I occasionally paddle, and yes, it is a nice boat. But in the interest of diversity, and perhaps a bit more sensitivity to edging, and a little more speed, I’m looking toward some other boats.

The short list seems to be Force 3, Nordkapp LV, Aquanaut LV, or maybe something from Nigel Foster. I’m not especially concerned about primary stability, and ocean cockpits are beginning to grow on me.

Much depends on which kayaks I get a chance to paddle before I buy. (I’m in the San Francisco area) Please add any more comments you might have.



Keep Nordkapp LV in mix

– Last Updated: Jan-20-07 1:21 PM EST –

I'm larger than you (6', 170+ pounds) so I've demoed a Force 4 and own an regular Aquanaut. I have demoed a Nordkapp LV and think it is a fun boat. Not as fast as a 'naut or Force boat, but more playful.

Greenlander, Standard and Pro
If you like ocean cockpits and I can see why, the standard Greenlander. Want less rocker and a keyhole cockpit, the Pro version.

These come up for sale used on the lists a lot. I doubt you’ll see a Nordkapp LV or Force 3 selling used for a while.

Track straight, fast, but maneuvers on edge. The oposite of a pintail. Hard chine.


I found the Force 3 to not feel very fast. The Nordkapp LV felt faster (it definitely accelerates better) but I didn’t have a GPS on me.

Once again the speed comparisons
among a bunch of boats that arent “fast”. Actual speed differences are not that great among these boats. Brit / Greenland hulls are excellent rough water, efficient touring, expedition etc. hulls. Certainly some listed will be better at straight ahead efficiency than your Pintail.

Why not go for a Rapier? Surf ski, or a legit faster tourer like the Epic 18 or QCC 700. That way you will have an exellent boat in two categories.

Instead of gaining half a knot in touring speed why not a knot and a half. If you are gonna be a bear, be a Grizzly. Why compromise? One mini van is enough in the driveway.

Aquanaut sound like a nice boat

Sense of Speed Subjective

– Last Updated: Jan-20-07 2:34 PM EST –

Without a GPS and heart rate monitor, its just a SWAG about whether a boat is efficient and/or fast. Same with whether a technique or paddle works well.
Very easy to get fooled. The Forces are very efficient and fast. Once I thought I was just slowly moving and no effort with paddle on a calm lake in one only to see nearly 4 kts on the GPS. I should have said fast for this type of boat.

betsie bay
The betsie bay boats or one of them should do it.

Low volume, ocean cockpit & pretty fast.

I second that…
Betsie Bay Aral…based on your size that is. Fast and edgy and ocean cockpit…find a used one if you can.