Finding a lighter Kayak...

I have come to the realization that after my third

hernia operation I may have to depart with my Explorer.I love this boat…so its killing me.

I like the British boats and the Greenland design.

The 56Lbs may be just to much for me…I kayak alone.

So, The only similar boats I’ve found, weighting in

less would be the Valleys…carbon/kevlar…I think the

Nordkapp is like 46 or so…I think the P@H boats are

about the same weight as Nigel Dennis kayaks…Any

suggestions? thanks…

A number of options…
My Elite layup Romany is very light.

My Standard layup Nordkapp LV weighs notably less than most Explorers. The current top Valley Carbon/Kevlar I imagine would be quite light.

I think that current Valley layups are very good.

Earlier Valley layups could be good but heavy. My ProLite layup Aquanaut weighs more than most standard layup boats.

Keep the boat that you love, and …
go about loading, unloading and carrying it to the water differently than you have been.

My 4’-11" daughter has figured out a way to do it with her 18 foot long kayak using a bunch of different stools, slides and a portage buggy.

With a little ingenuity on your part there is no need to get rid of your boat.



Check out Pygmy Boats . . .
at . These kits are extremely light for their size and easy to build with some patience - a lot cheaper to build a boat from a kit, also.

Careful What You Wish For…
I changed boats mainly to get a lighter one. Turned out I liked my old heavy one better than the new lighter one and ended up buying my old boat back.

since you love the Explorer
you might consider the Impex Currituck in Carbon/Kevlar.

The hull shape is awfully similar to the Exporer (Nigel Dennis said that himslef when I met him at an event looking at the Currituck).

Valley Aquanaut would probably be closer to Exporer than the Nordkapp. The layup and finish on the Valley kayaks is the best, seriously.

I Agree With Jack
There are ways to move your heavy boat around safely.

probably be closer to Exporer
Tempest 170 feels the closest to an Explorer of any boat I’ve paddled.

I agree that the Aquanaut is Valley’s boat closest in personality to an Explorer.

Despite what Nigel may have said, I’m afraid I don’t find the Currituck to be like an Explorer in personality. Maybe more so than a Nordkapp but there are a number of other boats whose personality is closer to an Explorer’s than a Currituck. Chatham 17 among them.

Do you want an Explorer
or do you want to shift to something different that is lighter?

Type to you soon.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Have you thought about SOF?
Significantly lighter and a lot less expensive. I’m also looking for a ligher boat … shoulder problem. Haven’t got around to trying one yet, so I have no idea how they compare to something like the explorer … I have a Tempest.

Another option, at least for day paddles, that seems to be significantly lighter is a surf ski. These seem to be around 30 pounds or less.

If in Delaware…
you can maybe get away with the Elite layup mentioned above. Won’t take the rocks, but Delaware area is fairly forgiving shoreline compared to Maine.

What are you loading the boat on? What obstacles and terrain do you face moving the boat to the water and back? Have you tried a support band while lifting? Have you considered a Hullivatior? I load and move a 65 lb fishing kayak solo without injury. It can be done but some info is needed to develop a system.

Lighter weight kayak

I don’t pretend to be an expert. Also consider other advice that has been posted and will be posted on this topic. There are a number of other hulls to consider that I haven’t mentioned. Their omission only means I am not familiar with them-some could be as good or better choices than the ones i mention.

Looking for a lighter weight kayak is a major quest. I had an NDK Explorer which weighed in at 63 lbs true weight (many/most published weights by manufactures are lower than true weight on a quality scale). My Explorer’s weight, combined with my having a rebuilt shoulder and experiencing the gradual age related muscle loss that occurs in your 60’s forced me to look for a lighter kayak. I exchanged it for a KayakSport Artisan, which is 10-11 lbs lighter. This month I purchased a 41lb Tideline 19. So, I moved from 63lbs to 41. Tideline kayaks are hard to find as Pat had a one man shop so his total production was low. They are out of production now.

I really liked my Explorer. It’s too bad that ND won’t license the design or sub out production to a composite builder in USA or Canada-dealers have told me he has been asked. It could be built much lighter with better quality control for the North American market. This hypothetical lighter version would be for paddlers who are not going to be landing on ledges under the force of the waves off Wales. He could still make his heavy, crude and easily repaired “standard” model for his conditions and for expeditions. I have weighed some Explorers built in the last couple of years, and found some in the mid to high 50’s in standard construction. Saw one carbon Explorer and it was a disaster- avoid this layup by NDK.

Some options to consider for lighter weight:

Explorer Elite- modest weight reduction. Still fairly strong construction.

KayakSport Artisan-weight in low 50’s (Mine’s listed for sale in p-net classifieds)- has many design innovations-is little stronger tracking and a little less maneuverable than Explorer. Faster than the Explorer.

Impex Force4 in lighter composites- 45-55lbs depending on layup-Impex tends to be more accurate in published weights than most builders- stronger tracker and cockpit is a little tighter than Explorer. Faster than the Explorer.

Plywood stitch and glue kits-I’m interested in building a One Ocean Kayak Cirrus.- there are many others. A plywood kit kayak should weigh in the low 40s if you are very weight conscious when building it. Most have too much volume as designed but can be modified in construction to reduce volume.

Sterling’s Kayaks Ice Kap- I have never paddled or even seen this kayak, but published weight is quite low.

Some of the new Valley kayaks made with more costly materials and vacuum bagged construction weigh much less than NDK hulls and would be a “British Type” hull.

One last thought- lower weight kayaks will be more expensive regardless of the builder- you have to trade $ for lower weight since the materials and construction methods to accomplish lower weight are more costly. Light weight kayaks tend to be less tolerant of abuse than heavier constructed kayaks since faric has been reduced to the minimum to obtain lowr weight.

Good luck in finding that lighter kayak, they do exist from a number of builders, search them out and find the one that suits your needs.


Feathercraft Khatsalano


North American
You may check out the Mealstrom kayaks.

The site is a mix up of French and Kayak. It is like Franglaes for people that like to paddle.

They look like a fine boat.

My French sucks but a friend sent an English email that was answered in English.

Price is about where it should be, weight is OK and they look kind of Explorer like.

It remains , you can’t go far wrong with Valley or P & H.

I love my Explorer, even if it never saw 57 lbs. I would give hully rollers, wheels, rack extenders and milk crates a good look before trading it in.

Now if you live in Nova Scotia and racing the tide means running like hell to get a boat to and from the water before it is half a mile away, hey your back will hurt.

Good luck

The mealstrom looks interesting. (Tres Bien)


Look at options for easy loading
There are lots of ways to make it easier to load a heavy kayak. I got a roller loader and it works for me. I am sure there are many other options.

Thanks for the input on Kayak lifting
A lot of good Ideas, I guess we all, at some point,

have to deal with the Issue of lugging these beasts

around and not getting hurt…
My eft is about 34# and was new at $2300. Because of race classes, they are for sale. EFT is best kayak ever built. twice I did 20 miles of in about 3.3 hours. (age 56) The ocean around cape ann can have huge waves and the harbor can be scary but the eft is so fast and wonderfully stable and light. Totally reliable but I added front and rear bulkheads and small out of way thigh braces.

get a muscular girlfriend

– Last Updated: Nov-26-08 11:36 PM EST –

I've heard Madonna may be available and she looks like she could lift the explorer without breaking a sweat. Or you could buy a hullevator from Thule---makes even a heavy kayak easy to load