FG Aquanaut LV for avg woman?

-- Last Updated: May-02-09 12:36 PM EST --

Saw the first one in person this last weekend, and while I didn't get into it I was kind of intrigued by it. Rocker looks to be more than the regular size, so it'd make it a little more turny, but it should retain the solid handling in conditions and relatively good speed of the full size hull.

The guy paddling it weighed more than me, but wasn't hugely taller and it seemed to be a comfy fit. Has anyone of about average female size out there (5'4" 135 lbs) tried this boat yet?

(Note - fiberglass version only since the RM has different dimensions )

Average woman?
Not a concept that works. If there were such a thing, you would not want to say so.

Chuey Canoey

should be a very good fit
I have the standard size which I love. I think for your size the LV would be ideal (size wise only as I don’t know your preferences and skills).

Average size is a statistical thing - just a set of numbers. Why not say it? Or was this a joke and I am missing the smiley face?

Average size American woman
"The average American woman is 5’4", weighs 140 lbs, and wears a size 14 dress."


It was snug but comfortable for me at 5’9", 160. I hope to demo one again in a couple of weeks, and I’ll try to be more observant.

How did you like the Avocet LV? I know I’m at the upper limit for it, but I test-sat one in a showroom and think it’d be fun to try on the water.

try mine
well, I’m that guy and will offer stats - 158 pounds at 5-6, 33" waist. On an upcoming weekly paddle, you are welcome to use my Naut LV but swapping may be issue - can’t fit in Vela or Ex LV. Maybe have Jim bring two boats and I can try the Nord LV! Not planning tonight.

Size 14?
OK - I am definately not average that way.

I can fix that

– Last Updated: May-05-09 4:13 PM EST –

I can take Jim's Romany on a paddle since that keyohole makes it work OK for me. You'd be fine in that. That boat fits a huge range of people, and I think you'd enjoy messing with the GP in it as well. Very friendly to greenland, if not the fastest boat out there.
That'd also allow us to do a switch that would get you into the Nordlow, though I'd suggest that we not try that change for a crossing like the last on on Lake George. Unless you feel you need to do a lotto bracing and rolling practice.

Avocet LV

– Last Updated: May-05-09 4:14 PM EST –

I liked a lot of things about the boat. I felt it tracked a little better than the regular, makes sense since it's been narrowed, and it did everything I wanted without my having to think about it. It is small - I felt like even at my weight I was pushing some water when I got it near my upper capacity re speed for a short burst. Not as much of a feeling of that as the Vela though when it happens - you can hear the water piling up.

I had a my normal cool-not-cold day kit in it, a liter of water, first aid, emergency shelter, change of paddling clothes and underlayers, hoods, spare gloves, VHF radio, lunch including a thermos of hot tea (OK I admit it - I like tea even w/o the BCU thang), cag and odds and ends like goggles. Spare paddles on deck.

It was a lot of fun to take over - even for me it felt like what I would imagine a rolling boat should. I just had to think up and it was, it handled the smidge of greenland stuff I can do perfectly.

We messed with getting Jim onto the back deck when we came in, and that was tough. Some of the problem was that I was a bit tired, but some of it was the low volume of the boat compared to over 6 ft of Jim. I honestly couldn't keep things solid even on flat water for him to fully come up onto the rear deck - we got him partway up and I brought him sloooowly into shore. We made it, but I wouldn't want to trust my ability to manage that in conditions.

I liked it well enough that, if I didn't have the Vela already, I'd have gotten it. The ease of static braces etc was particularly fun - I think I could hand roll this boat with relatively little work. But it isn't functionally all that different from the Vela in the niche it'd fill, and there is something about the quick initial response of the Vela that I still would like to replicate in another low-lower volume boat.

the problem with average

If your head is in the freezer and your feet in a fire, on average you are quite comfortable. : > )

i’ll second that emotion or is it motion

– Last Updated: May-05-09 4:24 PM EST –

As Jim said, "the instructors taking a run in the Nordlow never practiced so much bracing and never took their focus off of staying up dynamically"

You all were just relaxed on that beam run on Lake George and I was humming "I will never be broken" by Bonnie Raitt just to keep my focus as I braced repeatedly!!!!!!!

When Jim sent me the stability chart I saw why! Yikes!

Has anyone looked to see if the Aquanaut LV vs poly version has different stability curves?

vs Explorer Lv
I would be curious how you find the Naut LV composite versus Explorer LV.

It sounds like a genuine small person’s boat, not just sorta-small like so many LVs.

While I don’t think
a Nordlow is right for everyone

With a constructive approach it is quite capable in the right hands.


Same as you have experienced, I think
The Explorer LV isn’t really an low volume version - it is exactly the same hull volume as the regular (also true for the Romany LV). It is an Explorer-with-lowered-deck-and-really-small-cockpit-opening version. This is one of the complaints about NDK’s labeling, tho’ in fairness thre wasn’t much of anything out there in a really capable expedition boat that afforded proper contact for a woman my size when Nigel Dennis put out the Explorer LV.

In contrast, the composite Aquanaut LV is actually a lower volume hull than the regular.

I think you have gotten into one of the regular Explorers in the group at one point or another? If I am correct, the diff between the Aquanaut LV and my boat is the same as what you found with a regular Explorer.

Very capable boat
I don’t think anyone questions that - it’s just a matter of how much attention you want to pay to it and how comfy you are with having to roll.

depends on the conditons
I think it’s a matter of getting used to the design of one kayak as opposed to testing it for a day or using it as a secondary kayak.

It might not be the right kayak for everyone.

I’m a little confused
To me anyway, when you say that a boat requires a fair amount of bracing to stay upright that pretty much says it’s not for everyone.

As above, that has little to do with how capable the hull design is of handling conditions - just who should be in it at the time. It is my husband’s third sea kayak, and it goes to our vacation in Maine along with a Romany to have when we go on a paddle where we need head room for conditions.

So - what in the above dialogue about the Nordlow needs correction on these points? You seem to think it is necessary.

just an observation
I don’t think it’s possible to assess a kayak with one trip and I think a lot depends on the kayaker and what boats they are used to. If you are used to a kayak with more secure secondary then the NLV will take some adjustments. I think that’s more difficult if someone is paddling two kayaks, each with different secondary.

I found the review I posted a link to similar to my own observations.