Cetus LV VS Explorer LV

Hello All! I am interested in the Cetus LV. I own a Nordkapp 18 and it’s almost too big for me. I also have a Romany 16 and it’s about perfect. Now I am looking for a boat a little in between in size and speed of these two boats. I am 175-180 lbs, 5’8" height. I could fit in the Explorer LV but it’s almost too tight. I could not skull or play as well as the Romany, but I hear the Cetus LV is a little bigger than the Explorer LV. I just need a little more space than the Explorer LV and it would be perfect. Any comments or ideas?

Replies? photopixels@earthlink.net


Their cockpits are very different
I own an Explorer LV and paddled a Cetus LV a few times.

The former has a small keyhole cockpit; the latter has a large one. You’ll need to try it yourself to decide if it’s good for you. I’m much smaller than you and am comfortable in the Explorer LV’s cockpit, felt sloppy in the Cetus LV’s. BUT I could still roll the Cetus LV despite that. If it matters to you, the Cetus was easier to stand up in than the Explorer.

Keep in mind that you can tweak outfitting. I added 1/2" minicell under the CLC foam seat (boat came with no seat in it)–you could simply use a very low seat if you buy an Explorer without a seat already installed.

From the other end of the spectrum, you can pad out the Cetus LV. It comes with a detachable seat cover. You could put in a thicker one and maybe add hip pads.

The two boats are the same length and beam but there the similarity pretty much ends.

Just to be clear :~)
Thanks pikabike! That gives me a good start. Just to be clear: you felt the Cetus LV was sloppy as in too much space? When I tested the Explorer LV, I felt just a little too tight.Just a little. I was hoping a little more room to twist, turn and practice static brace, sculling and just about all the play a kayaker should do! I could not turn too well on the Explorer LV and scull.

Cockpit to edge of boat
The Explorer LV has a standard Explorer hull. The deck is lowered especially around the cockpit and the keyhole is much smaller than a standard Explorer. This means that the distance from the edge of the cockpit to the edge of the boat in an Explorer LV is much greater than a standard Explorer or Romany.

As pikabike notes there is very little similarity between an Explorer LV and a Cetus LV. Liking the performance of the Explorer hull does not indicate you will like the Cetus. Are you too big for a Pilgrim Expedition?

Great advice. I need more.
I have to say…I love this place and appreciate everybody’s response and willingness to help me!

I am a bit tied up in funds as well as time to travel and pick up a boat from out of state. I have an opportunity to drive a couple of hundred miles and test a lightly used Cetus LV from a kind paddler who is discounting it for me. I am paying about $2,300 for it. (Not bad!) But before I make the drive, I wanted some opinions. Strangely enough, I tested my friends Tempest Pro and I was able to scull, roll and even do a butterfly roll Just as easy as I do my Romany. I went on line and compared the Tempest Pro 165 to the fit size of the Cetus LV and they look pretty close. Like I said, I found the NDK Explorer a little too big. The Explorere LV a tad small but not by much. I do fit and rolled it, but could not scull since my rotation felt limited. Thanks to all for your advice and keep them coming please! Thanks.


Cetus LV Fit …
I’m about your height, and demo’d the Cetus MV and LV recently. Could not fit my size 9 feet, with Teva’s, inside the LV … could just make it barefoot.

On me, my feet were coming up under the deck hatch, and the hull was too narrow there to fit on either side. If you’ve got long legs your feet may end up past the compartment.

I’m 5’ 9", 165 or so (trying to work on that part). The MV, empty, felt like a little too much volume … never got the LV on the water. Day boat for me.

Nice boat overall, great build quality. Would have been more interested in the LV if it had fit. Neat skeg system, but I’m not sure if long term I would like the slider … seemed like sand could work in there.

Make sure you try a Cetus MV

– Last Updated: Oct-20-10 2:27 PM EST –

I own the Cetus LV. At 155 pounds and 5' 9" I am near the top of the 'ideal' weight range for the the LV model. Yes, heavier paddlers can use the LV, but if you add too much weigh you will get to a point where the bow and stern 'lock-in' when the kayak is set on edge for turning. This will reduce the boat's maneuverability. I suspect you will be better served by the 'medium' boat of the Cetus family, the MV. Try both side-by-side.

I cannot comment on the Explorer LV. I have never paddled one, but I did sit in one. No, it is not the same, but it did show me that the fore deck was too low for my use. The new NDK Pilgrim Expedition looks like a different beastie and I hope I have the opportunity to give one a try someday. One cannot demo too many boats. ;-)

Feet and the LV
Just to give another (limited) perspective, my 6’0 180 pounds with size 12 feet fit in the LV pretty well. I had no problem with foot-room.

The thigh braces though were located closer to my crotch than my knee. Granted I’m too big for the boat. I just sat in it for curiosity’s sake.

Short legs …
Mine that is …

I think people with longer legs or smaller feet, ie female, will find a better fit. My feet ended up under the far end of the compartment for the day hatch.

Another factor could be what people wear on their feet. Summer, I use Teva’s. Just bought some of those “Five Fingers” … moved the foot braces up one notch vs. the Teva’s on my boat.

Cetus sizing
I’m 6’, 185 pounds. The Cetus MV felt like the right size boat for me when I used one for the day on Muscongus Bay this past July. BTW the original Cetus felt huge to me.

Even though the Cetus MV seemed like the right size, I was not fond of the boat. Personally I like the feel of NDK and Valley boats (such as Romany, Explorer, Nordlow, Aquanaut, and Pintail) more than the Cetus/Scorpio series. However, the new P&H boats have a lot of fans. I would caution rushing to buy one if you haven’t spent time in one.

Cetus cockpit was big on ME
I’m just under 5’3" 110 lbs.

For you, the Cetus LV probably has better fit than the Explorer LV’s very small cockpit. If you feel like it’s hard to twist to scull, that sounds too tight. Which seat was in it? Or was it the height of the thigh braces or front of coaming that made it tight? If the deck is too low and you already had a low seat in it, there’s not much you can do unless you want to paddle with no seat at all.

Coaming inner edge to edge of outer hull

– Last Updated: Oct-20-10 12:19 PM EST –

Yes, that is why I can edge the Explorer LV fairly hard over. Even though my hips and legs are well away from the hull sides, the low deck (and I added a grippy undersurface) and narrow spacing of the thigh braces allow me good contact with the boat.

This also explains why I found it harder to edge the loaded Explorer (despite easy edging when unloaded) than the difference between unloaded and loaded edging in, say, the Tempest 165.

But for the OP, it sounds like the Explorer LV cockpit fit is too tight. If he could try a Cetus LV plus an MV with pads that can be temporarily fastened to the latter, he might find a good physical fit.

All LV’s are not LV

– Last Updated: Oct-20-10 1:40 PM EST –

This has been around before but people may have forgotten - the NDSK Explorer LV is not really a low volume boat. The Cetus LV is a at least a much lower volume boat than the regular.

To explain - all NDSK Explorers have the same hull and the same hull volume. Each version has a progressively higher deck, and all but the LV have a regular size cockpit, but the only diff between each version is the cockpit fit and how much packing volume it has as the deck gets progressively higher. Hence my Explorer LV has a hull that is tuned for a person much larger than myself, even though it has a lovely fitting extra small cockpit and lowered deck, and our friend's Explorer HV has the same hull volume as one for a person smaller than he is.

Interestingly, we end up with one person who is really too small for the hull volume and our friend who is really too big, in the same paddling group. But we each make it thru the cockpits.

The Cetus LV is a boat where the hull volume has been properly tuned down for a smaller paddler, so it will be more responsive and easier to get up to speed than an Explorer LV for the usual person who can get thru that extra small cockpit. For you, the Cetus LV would have much more the characteristics of a low volume boat than the Explorer will. You are about the right size for that hull.

I'd suggest you consider hull performance for your size, then go to other considerations. The reason that the Pilgrim is mentioned above is that this model is a real low volume boat, as in the hull has been tuned for a smaller paddler. The Pilgrim is, at least functionally, closer to the Cetus LV than is the Explorer LV.

(And before the complaints start - there was a time when the Explorer LV was the only Brit sea kayak that had a decent cockpit fit for a smaller paddler, basically an average size woman. And there were darned poor offerings in North American boats as well except for the Squall in CD's line. So the boat was great for its time, it's just that that was then and now is boats like the Pilgrim.)

sculling the LV
Since the LVs cockpit is smaller in width, it makes sculling and ultimately rolling more difficult because when the boat is on it’s side, your body is pressing against the coaming forcing the boat over on you. It’s a classic design mistake. You gain nothing with a narrower cockpit.

That probably applies to the Explorer?
I found the Cetus LV extremely easy to roll/balance brace (I am too big for it weight and length-wise otherwise)…

Applies to the Explorer LV
not regular nor HV Explorer

Do you mean the Explorer LV?
Sorry, but for someone like myself of the intended size the Explorer LV is the easiest thing in the world to scull, and it doesn’t fall over on me. It just sits on its side in the water. It is actually easier to roll and to scull (and static brace) than my larger cockpit Vela, which does like to try and fall over on me.

The diff that matters here is the Explorer is slab-sided while the side of the Vela cuts in just an bit and makes it want to lie more over than away from me in the water.

Maybe for a large person trying to squeegy thru that extra small cockpit the above stuff would be an issue.

I like that small cockpit

– Last Updated: Oct-21-10 12:12 AM EST –

The kayak (Explorer LV) is otherwise too big for me, but the cockpit fits very well. And it's easy to roll and scull despite the coaming sides being well inboard from the hull wall.

The Pilgrim Expedition takes what I like about the Explorer and makes it work great for someone of my size, while remaining comfortable and easy to roll/scull/edge. I lose some of the cargo capacity, which is OK because I actually had storage room to spare in the Explorer LV. Something that I never had before.

I absolutely love the narrower width of the PEx. Can't wait to use it this winter, in the sea! But I'll always be fond of the Explorer LV, because I spent so many hours working on my roll in it, and that paid off, big-time.

I believe I have enough info! Thanks!
Ultimately, I wanted to know if it’s worth a drive to test the boat. AND IT IS! The input I got from many of you confirm it’s worth a try from me. I called the fine people at P&H and they assured me it’s likely a great fit for me. I remember paddling a Wilderness Systems Tempest Pro 165 and I was able to do everything I do on my Romany. I was told the Tempest Pro 165 is very similar in size and fit to the Cetus LV. So, on Saturday morning, I will be spending a couple of hours driving to test the boat with cash in hand. Thanks to all for your time, advice and kind follow up.



Tempest Pro 165 v Cetus LV
"Tempest Pro 165 is very similar in size and fit to the Cetus LV."

That may be born out by the stats but you will find the Cetus LV quite different from a T165