Avocet weight capacity

I’m 180, and carry about 10-20 pounds of gear in my kit. I’m looking at Avocets and wondering if I’m too close to the heavy end of that boat’s carrying capacity.

Anyone paddling an avocet near my weight? How does it sit and perform?

Also, how similar is the plastic boat to the composite boat? I can try out a plastic Avocet, but regardless of which model I settle on, I’ll be shopping for composite boats. So will the plastic boat give me a decent feel for the size and handling of the composite Avocet?



– Last Updated: Sep-17-09 1:44 PM EST –

I own an old single-layer Avocet RM, and have demoed composite ones a few times. I'm 160, and it feels fine at my weight. I'd think another 20-40 pounds wouldn't be an issue. The cockpit feels bigger on the composite models than the the plastic ones. Overall handling felt similar, with the composite maybe a bit crisper, but I wasn't paddling them back-to-back.

I’m 5 lbs heavier than you and I feel the boat is both responsive and predictable with reasonable speed. If a put a little weight in it (an overnight) it isn’t an issue. I can’t comment on the RM one, never having paddled that version.

I’ve got a glass 2003 model…

– Last Updated: Sep-17-09 6:47 PM EST –

that I day paddle. Well, not much any more 'cause I have a glass 2003 Aquanaut that takes following waves much better on Lake Erie. I weigh about 145 lbs. and have outfitted both to fit me very well. As the other posters have said it paddles well with your weight aboard. If you don't already have the Avocet, I'd suggest looking at the Aquanaut even though your ? wasn't about what boat to buy. There is little weight difference between the 2 I own, and IMHO,the Aquanaut does more better. I am proud to own these boats; as I tell most people, you can't buy a better boat(Valley)! you can buy as good a boat, but you can't buy a better one... I have replaced the backbands on both. just my take.....

You’re fine as long as…
…what you’re looking for is a play/day boat, which is what it will be for a paddler your size. For smaller paddlers, an Avocet would be a good boat for loaded touring.

I plan on trying a bunch. Cetus, Romany, Avocet, Explorer, Force 4 - to name a few. I’ll add the Aquanaut. I’m quite definitely shopping the used market, which may make things tough. Many of those are pretty rare on the used market.

horses for courses

– Last Updated: Sep-18-09 8:12 AM EST –

If you are looking for a day/play boat I think either an Avocet or Romany would be fine. I'm 6', 185 lbs and and very happy with my Romany as my day/play boat. I have a few friends who have Avocets and are very happy with them. I find the Avocet a good boat, I just happen to prefer the Romany.

I can also second the recommendation of an Aquanaut. I've used my 'naut (2004 ProLite)as an all round boat. I did my 3* training and assessment and my 4* training in my Aquanaut. (though if doing it all again, I would use my Romany for the old 3*) The Aquanaut is the best behaved boat in conditions of any I've paddled. It takes some edge to turn well but has confidence inspiring secondary. It is not a playful boat, nor does it provide the thrills of a Nordkapp LV ;-)

I do believe "there's nothing like a Valley."

One problem is . . .
Honestly, I still have to decide whether I want a day/play boat or more of an all-around boat. The majority of my paddling is play. But I’m intending to do more multiday trips, and I also have an inkling that it would be good for my skills to be in a less squirrely boat (something along the lines of the Force 4, Expl, Cetus, Aquanaut) for a while, and work on getting confident maneuvering that in rock gardens and surf. The Pintail is a bit of a cheater boat in tight spots, since I can spin it 90 degrees with a single draw.

It is an all arounder, isn’t it?
Unless you are often doing trips longer than four days or so, why wouldn’t the Avocet work fine as an all around boat? The boats you mention are big expedition or at least longish touring boats. Why haul that bulk around?

My $.02.

For some reason anything other than a big honking expedition boat tends to get called a day/play boat when they they are often just right for the trips most of us take most of the time. I love my Force 4, but is overkill and the AA is just right for typical long weekend trips.

There is such a simple answer
Nate needs two new boats!

You would be
the perfect weight for the Nord LV. I’m 6’3’’ and about 190 and like mine a lot. The only time I capsize or need to brace is in the surf. In 4’ seas and over 20 knot winds I could remove the skirt and pump it out.

It can be more challenging but is very close to an ideal all around kayak for me.

"cause the “bulk” is minimal difference