Buying NDK Explorer

Trying to decide whether to go with the regular or Elite lay-up? The Elite lay-up is 8 to 10 lbs lighter and is an additional $200 more. The regular lay-up is heavy duty expedition type with thicker gelcoat.

go with the standard lay up
unless you really need the lighter layup to aid in loading etc. I like the heavy layup, tough and durable, hen again, I am 6’1" and 250 lbs, 60 lbs isn’t bad for me.

depends on use and that boat
It first and foremost depends on your most extreme uses of the boat. If you need a lighter boat because of your height, the heightof your vehicle, your strength, age, or simply preferences, $200 is little to save that much.

However, the standard lay up is quite a bit tougher and in some folks who have more savvy here easier to fix and repair too.

Lastly, each boat varies in execution and actual weight so I would heft the boats. I have a really immaculate wonderful Explorer FG standard lay up but is started at only 54 lbs, no thin spots. After removing the seat and putting in foam, removing the foot pads and rails, with foam foot pads, boat is 40 something.

Good luck and check them out!

I’m surprised it’s only $200, I thought it was usually a lot more of a difference.

The way I look at it, if you have to ask the question then you probably don’t need it. Not trying to be a smart a**, but the advantage is the weight savings. If the extra 8-10 lbs doesn’t bother you with lifting the boat onto your car, then go with the standard layup. To me, that’s the only advantage of a lighter boat, and there are drawbacks to consider. I’ve heard that the Elite isn’t as tough (from Nigel himself), it will be harder to fix, and that $200 can go towards a carbon paddle…

Spend the $200

– Last Updated: Jan-03-06 11:20 PM EST –

You will be thrilled everytime you pick up the boat, long after you forget the money. And 200 is a DEAL.
Friends have them and they're way tough enough..

Just looked at your profile.
You're in Florida for gosh sakes not the north sea... go with the lighter one... JMHO

Have you paddled both versions?
Believe it or not 8 pounds or so will make a difference in how the boat handles. My wife and I both paddled standard fiberglass layup boats on several tours and instruction sessions before we ordered our boats in carbon/kevlar layup.

We noticed a difference right away. The lighter c/k boats are “snappier” when it comes to rocking them edge to edge with your hips. My theory is the lighter boats have less rotational inertia to overcome. Being lighter they must also ride a little higher in the water which I imagine changes things a bit too.

I’m not fond of the word “tippier” but I’m sure some folks would interpret the difference between the f/g and c/k boats as just that. We were quite surprised by how different our new boats felt from what we were “used” to.

That’s not to say we were dissappointed. We are not. I personally like the faster handling and snappy response. I guess my point is that the same “model” boat in different layups is not the same boat.


I have an elite layup Romany
I am very happy with my Romany. I think it probably weighs about 45 pounds. I’ve taken it surfing on the Rhode Island coast (sand) and it is fine.

Though the gel coat is thinner and there is one less layer of ‘glass’, the foredeck is reinforced as in standard layups.

As the boat weighs about ten pounds less than my Aquanaut, I find that I am more likely to grab it when heading out.

All that being said, I would not use it for rocky shores or rock gardening.