Boat? Getting back into kayaking ...

Been out of kayaking for a few years, but after hanging around Cape Cod for a few weeks and seeing all those boats everywhere I found myself longing to be out in one.

Demo’d a few boats the over the last week (there’s nothing like the smell of the ocean and a new boat!): Northshore Polar, Atlantic LV, Avocet, and Aquanaut. All glass. Previous boats I’ve owned, in order: Tempest 170 plastic, 170 glass, 165 glass. My weight averages 165; height 5’ 9".

All the boats handled well and felt comfortable. Best fit was the Avocet; roomiest was the Aquanaut (nothing a little foam would not fix). I liked the speed of the Aquanaut and Polar. Handeling of reminded me of the T170. Avocet and Atlantic LV were easiest to edge and turn. Recollection on the T615 is handeling somewhere between the Avocet and the T170.

So basically no surprises, except that, like riding a bike, I can still paddle a boat.

Here’s what I want: A light weight (carrying and getting on\off the car) great handling day boat for tooling around in the waves, but fast enough to hang with a crowd if I decide to join a paddle club. Not interested in carrying gear, camping, expeditions, etc.

Avocet or Aquanaut?

naut to aqua
Avocet is the better choice for what you claim to be interested in.

The “light” layups by VCP are a bit on the flimsy side, but it all depends on the usage.

Do try Nordkapp LV.

Thanks will try a Nordkapp LV
Planning to try the Avocet and Aquanaut LV later this week. I want to get a better feel for the Avocet’s speed. I know there are trade offs, and any of these smaller boats are slower. The T165 always seemed slow to me.

I’ll add the Nordkapp LV. From what I’ve read, it’s a fast boat, but more for advanced folks.

If 55 lbs OK…
the Scorpio LV from P&H may do the trick for you. You are in a good spot within the paddler size if I am reading the specs right.

North Shore Fuego
You might want to look at the North Shore Fuego for sale on craigslist in Plymouth, MA (look at the listings for Boston for Aug 29). I would buy it if I didn’t already have a Fuego. It’s a great kayak for your size and if it is as light as mine (~47#) it would be easy to cartop. I think the Fuego is similar to the new North Shore Atlantic LV. One difference is the cockpit opening (shorter) and you may have to sit on the back deck to slide your legs in. I saw the Fuego that is for sale when someone was demoing it on a RICKA trip a few weeks ago. It looked like it was in excellent shape.

I’ll look at that one …
… There’s a p&H dealer near my office so I’ll check it out. I’d like to stay 50 pounds or less, but I know weight is not an exact thing as sometimes it includes seats and hatch covers, while others do not. Just going by specs, the P&H boats all seem heavier than the Valley’s.

Looking at specs, my weight seems more a problem than not. I’m on the heavy side for an Avocet, but way too light for an Aquanaut, for example. And probably too tall for an Aquanaut LV with it’s 12.5" deck height (although I want to look at that boat: my old T165 had the same deck height).

Thanks for the suggestion
It’s an interesting boat and sure is light. Seems to come with a price, though: deck height says 10.5". One review says he has size 7 shoes and that seems to be all the room there is; I wear size 9.5.

Looks to have hard chines, like a Polar, from the pictures I could find.

All have enough 'speed’
All the boats you list have enough speed to keep with most paddling groups.

You should try the Aquanaut LV. The 'naut hull is among my favorites. It is well behaved while being somewhat livelier and faster than many in its cohort.

And if you have the chance, try a Nordkapp LV. It is a boat with the responsiveness of a good dayboat with better speed (up to 4.5 knots) than most. Do not buy a Nordlow until you’ve paddled one in the conditions you might encounter.

It does not have hard chines and my husband’s size 10 feet fit fine (although he does not wear hard-soled boots, but wears a soft, flexible neoprene bootie). That might make a difference.

I’ll have to check into that …
… internet search came up with this:

… it’s not in their current line up of boats.

Just looked at a Cetus LV …
… Planning to go back tomorrow to demo the LV and MV. The LV looks good spec wise, but heavier than what I wanted … but that’s just another compromise. It’s a little heavier than the aquanaut for a same size boat. It’ll have more speed than a 16’ boat … I’m real intersted to see if it has more agility than the Aquanaut. Deck might be a little low at 12".

The MV might be a better fit, but is too heavy at +60 pounds.

Wish I didn’t have “work” cloths on … would have gone for a spin for sure.

Aquanaut LV …
I asked about that one, but the people at the boat shop said I wouldn’t fit. Didn’t even take it off the rack. When I got home, I looked up the deck height: 12.5". The Avocet is 13" … same as the T165 I used to paddle. Weight range is fine for me … better than the Avocet. I liked the naut that I tried … regular size version. Just a little too much volume for me.

Appreciate your thoughts on speed. May not be as much of an issue as I am thinking it might be. I don’t want to race anybody, but would like to be able to keep up without having to expend more energy, and get tired, to do so. The few times I have paddled with others, they all had 17 - 18 foot boats, and my T165 was much too slow.

it would fit
One of the boats I tried out, I am 5.9x150.

Don’t over-analyze, this is likely not the last boat you’ll ever buy.

BTW, have you discovered the “Classifieds” yet?

I disagree with the shop
You’re not too big for an Aquanaut LV, nor are you too heavy for an Avocet. Definitely try both. And I agree with wilsoj2 - try a Nordkapp LV in the conditions you’ll paddle. It’s a fun boat, but not everybody likes their “personality”.


– Last Updated: Sep-01-10 5:34 PM EST –

Based on your size I predict you'll feel the aquanaut is too big. Yes, the LV. I'm your size and it felt tanky to me for a day boat. But that's why we go demo!
Read suiram's post and check the classifieds!

Yes have looked at classifieds …
… here and local paddle clubs, craig’s list. None of the boats I’m intersted in so far.

I plan to demo the Aquanaut LV tomorrow or Saturday. The shop has that one in particular on sale.

Tried the Avocet …
… and liked the feel. Seemed to accelerate quickly, but did not have the glide of the Aquanaut (of course). I like the speed of Aquanaut full size too, but it felt like a little too much volume for me, with the boat sitting too high in the water.

My plan is to demo the Avocet again, then the Aquanaut LV, and Nordkapp LV. Same shop. I may play hooky tomorrow afternoon, and demo the Cetus LV and MV as well.

From what I’ve read, the Nordkapp is not a forgiving boat … I don’t mind a boat to grow into, but would not want a boat that I always had to stay focused in.

The full size aquanaut …
… did feel a little large on me, but I liked the glide of the longer hull. Reminded me of the T170 I had … and why I moved to the T165.

With no gear I know it would ride too high … no good in wind. And the long flat hull would be a little harder to handle in waves.

Why those two?
There are lots of boats out there beside Brit boats. What about Eddyline? Or Qcc? Don’t foreclose your options too early and don’t just automatically accept that standard Brit boats are what you will actually like.

I like the brit boats …
Hull design, build quality, etc.