Fiberglass Betsie Bay

Does anyone know anything about the fiberglass version of the Betsie Bay Valkyrie? Good points, bad points, etc. From what I found in my initial research, four different companies were given the rights to produce this kayak in fiberglass back in the early to mid-90’s. I’m having a hard time finding any other information on the fiberglass version of these kayaks so I thought that possibly someone here may be familiar with this boat. I’m looking for any input anyone can offer. Also, what would be the ballpark price of this kayak in decent condition?

I Had One

– Last Updated: Aug-29-06 9:19 AM EST –

I until recently had one of the Sawyer produced Valkries.

It was very heavy by Betsy Bay standard (60 lbs), but manageable in comparison to most poly/glass lay-ups.

It was a very fast boat with simple but affective outfitting (pry hatches, solid bulkheads, and minicell seat and back rest). I'm not a practiced Greenland style paddler, so I'm sure I didn't do the boat justice, but I found it to have predictable performance.

I got mine for a killer deal, due to some funky gel coat. I sold it at a very low price as a project boat.

The few that were in the Mid-Atlantic area sold at killer prices below a grand. The only compromise on these boats was the weight. I think they still would have been a good value at a little over $1000.

I think there is still one listed here on P-Net Classified Ads for $650.


Try calling Al Anderson, the guy who designed them, at 231-352-7774

He’ll be happy to talk about them, I bet. It would be interesting to hear from him why he decided to switch to wood/glass and make them by himself.

People I’ve met with the boats like them. I have one of his wooden boats, and I love it, although it does have some quirks (a weird coaming and perimeter lines and annoying hatches–but the boat handles incredibly well, it’s fun to roll, and my wooden version is 30 lbs).

I used to own one…

– Last Updated: Aug-29-06 9:49 AM EST –

I sold my fiberglass Valkyrie last year. It did paddle nicely and it was a sharp looking boat. Mine weighed around 45 lbs and it was nice although my hatches were a little leaky until I sealed the hatch rims with silicon. I also found the gel coat on my particular boat to be a bit brittle and had to make a few repairs. It is a fun boat to paddle but like all Betsie Bay kayaks, it has a really high coaming which makes it not the best rolling boat for Greenland style rolling although it does roll ok.

As for the pricing, I think it usually goes for around $1000 or less these days. I sold mine for around $800.

High coaming?
I didn’t think the Betsie Bay’s had high coamings. I know someone who has a wood Valkyrie and have seen her perform all kinds of Greenland style rolls with her boat with no problem. Would the fiberglass version be so different from the wood version in this respect? Just wondering. I guess I will find out tomorrow. In any case, the coaming has to be a lot lower than that of my Squall.

same coaming height as the wood…
You’ll notice that almost every Betsie Bay paddler creates some sort of foam ramp to help overcome the high coaming. I can do nearly every roll in the Betsie Bay but there is the difference between doing the rolls and comfortably doing the rolls. Heck I probably could equally do most of the Greenland rolls in the Squall with more comfort. My thinking is, if you want a beautiful boat to paddle, Betsie Bays are wonderful. If you are looking for a boat for Greenland rolling, there are many boats that are better suited.

I guess that is why posted this message in the first place. The volume of my Squall is pretty high and even though I can roll it with a semi-layback position, I can’t lay back very far because the coaming hits me just above my lower back. I could swear that the Betsie Bay didn’t come up that high. Anyhow, now that you mentioned that there are other boats more suited to Greenland style rolling, I am curious as to which models you would choose for that purpose. I have to consider my options since I have decided a need a different boat than my Squall if I want to get more into Greenland style paddling.

good rolling boats for g-style…
Definitely try out the Betsie Bay but I definitely expect that you will only get a semi-layback in it as well. Some boats that I’ve found roll exceptionally well for G-style rolling are:

SOF rolling qajaqs

Impex Outer Island

Valley Anas Acuta

Nigel Dennis Romany

Nigel Foster Silhouette

Feathercraft Wisper (with modified rib for rolling)

Dagger RPM (whitewater river runner)

I will check out the Valkyrie and see if it will meet my needs. If not, at least I have a list of other boats to check out.