Composite Aquanaut LV fit vs. Avocet?

How does the composite Aquanaut LV compare to the composite Avocet for cockpit fit, and for performance with a small-to-medium paddler?

I ask as a happy Avocet RM owner dreaming about an upgrade…

What’s your size?

– Last Updated: Jan-06-07 11:57 PM EST –

Although I own the Naut LV in plastic, I have sat in the composite many times. At 5'9" and 150 lbs. with narrow hips, I thought it was the most perfect fit I could envision. It is snugger than the RM (1/2" less at the beam) but I needed plastic for where I paddle.

I have also sat in the Avocet several times, and maybe because of my build and preferences, I did not feel totally comfortable.

I cannot contrast performance because I have not paddled the Avocet and only the RM LV Naut which I find very impressive.

Depending on your size, have you also considered the Nordkapp LV?

Good luck.

Quite different boats

– Last Updated: Jan-07-07 12:33 AM EST –

I find the Aquanaut cockpit a better (slightly snugger) fit than the Avocet. The coaming opening is the same size.

But the cockpit differences are minor. The performance characteristics of the two boats are quite different.

The Aquanaut is, of course, longer and narrower than the Avocet. It has a good deal less rocker. As a result it is a noticably faster boat that takes much more lean to turn well.

Though both boats derive from the Pintail, the Aquanaut has a slightly hardened chine. When looking at an Avocet and an Aquanaut side by side one can see the more wholly round (soft) quality of the Avocet.

The Aquanaut has unbeatable secondary in seas.

A couple of regular posters here have both Aquanauts and Avocets and can provide more detailed descriptions of characteristics.

IMHO, keep your poly Avocet for rock gardening and guests. Get an Aquanaut for speed and confidence in conditions.

If you want more speed than your Avocet and more playfulness than an Aquanaut, I would suggest you try a Nordkapp LV.

Prefer the Aquanaut LV

– Last Updated: Jan-07-07 1:00 PM EST –

I go about 5' 9" and around 155 pounds.
I prefer the fit of the Aquanaut LV and I recently ordered one. I have previously demoed the Avocet that had some foam outfitting in the cockpit. I am fairly slender in the hips and I found I just swam in the Avocet. As Bruce stated, "I did not feel totally comfortable in the boat". In comparison, the Aquanaut LV I demoed was factory stock and no custom cockpit outfitting had yet been installed. It was quite a good fit for me and will even get better when I add a little foam in a couple of key areas.

As Jim mentioned the Aquanaut will be bit faster boat. In the LV model it is just a smidge over 17', so it is still plenty manuverable for an "all-rounder", which was my primary need.

One thing to look at in any Valley boat is the backband. Many owners replace them with IR, Snapdragons or NSI. Per Peter Orton, Valley is supposed to be outfitting all boats shipped after December 2006 with a new backband.