Fully Loaded Boats?

Scorpio, Aquanaut HV RM, Etain 17-7 RM Just curious if anyone has paddled these boats loaded up to around 275lbs and if so how did they handle at that load? I bought a Delta 18.5 when I first started out but have since discovered I prefer the feel of lower volume boats. I plan to keep the Delta for camping and to bring friends and family out but I am looking for a day boat now. I’m 6’2, 275, I really liked the feel of the Tempest 170 after renting one in the summer for a couple of 2 hour paddles. I would have ordered one already but after seeing the stiffness of 3 layer poly in a shop I’m interested to see how it feels on the water. If anyone has any opinions on how the above boats paddle loaded I’d like to hear them.

I liked the Scorpio
Even the LV was fun for about 20 minutes. The seat in both of them makes my legs numb in about 20 minutes. For me the front deck height is low on both boats and there is not enough room to wiggle my legs arounf to stay comfy.

If they are comfortable for you I’d say the Scorpios turn well for their length and better than you’d expect once you get the cockpit comping in the water. They are fast, stable and predictable as well.

I really hated the skeg slider, it seems P&H cannot make a slider that simply works, they would be better off with the rope control there Venture brand has.


– Last Updated: Dec-31-12 9:19 AM EST –

With me at around 200, and about 65 or so pounds of gear, my glass Aquanaut paddled quite well -well-balanced, and fairly fast, and it handled a bouncy, choppy, open water crossing in a bit of wind adroitly.

I cannot address the characteristics of the RM HV, but I'd hazard a guess that it would be in the same neighborhood, behavior-wise, in part because of the plastic construction -stiffer -of the RM Valley boats

And while I also can't comment on other boats from experience, you probably can't go much wrong if you chose the RM HV to


-Frank in Miami

I have loaded up my Scorpio (full sized) with about 65 lbs of gear (I’m guessing) and my 220 lb self. Predictably it sits lower in the water, moves more slowly with the extra wet surface area. However it gets noticeably more stable, both primary and secondary. In rough wavy conditions I have less concern about capsize, but it does take more effort to turn such as to line up a small wave to surf.

These things are probably true of all boats when loaded. I don’t have the experience to compare with other boats, but I’m happy with mine.


I Paddle a Temptest
I am 6’2" and weigh about 220 and have paddled fully loaded in all conditions and the boat handles great. Regarding stiffness: my boat is 4.5 years old and it definitely has some flex. There have been times offshore in easy swells that I can feel the hull beneath my butt flexing while I am not paddling. I don’t know anything about hull design so I am not sure if plastic boats loosen with age or not.

Thank you for the opinions so far
Yes I really enjoyed the Tempest, excellent boat. I currently own two Tsunami SP’s for my kids. The plastic is a little wavy down the hull but I’m sure that’s my fault with the learning curve with roof racks and sunny days. They do however feel quite soft as did the 3 WS boats we rented compared to the 3 layer plastic boats I saw in the shops. What I’m wondering is if that stiffness will feel different on the water and worth the extra expense. What I really wonder though is if I’m asking these boats to carry too much load and being unrealistic. It’s difficult scanning reviews to find other guys my size. Lots in the HV boats but not much for feedback in the mid-size models. I really appreciate the feedback so far.

tempest questions
I’m only about 155# and rarely paddle with more than 15-20# so can’t answer your question directly. Also, my tempest is a composite, though I paddle both,(wilderness systems & dagger are both from Confluence so use the same plastic), a WS zephyr and a Dagger alchemy in plastic, surfing and rock gardening fairly often in both and see others doing much more of the same especially the alchemy. You might check out the yahoo Tempest Owners Group, where you could get a specific answer concerning the tempest,(great boat IMO).

All the best, t.george


– Last Updated: Dec-31-12 12:47 PM EST –

I actually quite like the Tempest and don't have any questions on it. It is rated about 50lbs higher capacity than the others though. 50lbs is a lot if you are near the limit. Unfortunately I live a long way from rental shops otherwise I would happily go spend a day in each model. When I do get the opportunity to rent I also have a bunch family commitments that limit my time. No one seems to understand that you went kayaking instead of visiting them? I tried to rent a Aquanaut HV and an Etain last summer but was unsuccessful, we were mainly looking for my wife at that point anyway. The comments above tell me I need to make time to try a Scorpio since it sounds pretty good. I'll have to start phoning again to see what models are available for rent.

Edit: Reading my post I don't want it to sound like I am criticizing the Tempest. I loved the fit and feel of this boat (other than needing the seat moved back a hair). It tracked and edged so well, very stable sideways to the waves, wasn't bothered by wind. If I hadn't seen the 3 layer stuff I'd have one on order.

Passing along one bit
My husband used his glass Tempest 170 on a 10-day trip on Lake Powell. The combined weight of him and his gear/supplies was about 250-260 lbs. He had only paddled the boat empty a couple times before that trip but said the boat was very comfortable and easy to manage.

Without any real first hand experience, I would guess the scorpio would paddle best under a load. It seems to have more volume.

I have paddled an Aquanaut loaded and it did fine. It too should do well with a load.

Any boat with a load is going to paddle slower, have significantly more stability, and be slower to maneuver while sitting lower in the water with a longer water line.


Aquanaut HV
Have paddled it loaded in conditions up to 25 kt. winds and 6’ seas. Rock solid and handled well for a boat of its length.

load and stability
A kayak with an extra 75 pounds of provisions low in the hull will definitely become more stable. But a kayak with an extra 75 pounds of paddler weight will likely do the opposite. If you like the feel of the Tempest 170, I think you might find the Aquanaut to feel a little more tender.

can second this
I have a RM Aquanaut HV and use it for trips. I am 220# and had it loaded for a planned 8 dayer (so likely 50+ pounds of gear) and it was rock solid. Probably handled and felt better than when I paddle it unloaded.

On Valley 3 layer versus WS single layer - I don’t think you’ll feel a difference on the water, but the 3-layer may be less likely to oil can if you have it too tight strapped to the car.

Aquanaut HV RM
Everything I’ve read about this boat has been very positive. I’m surprised they discontinued it. I’ve looked at Fatpaddler.com many times checking the waterline. I tried unsuccessfully last summer to find inner cockpit dimensions on it between posting here and emailing Valley when I was looking to rent one. I see even with their new website they still don’t have dimensions up for the boats. Hopefully the Etain is a good successor, it has big shoes to fill.

Has anyone ever loaded an Etain 17-7 RM?

Thank you!
I’d like to thank everyone for sharing their insight and experience with these boats. I was hoping someone was going to say one of them was unstable when loaded to narrow my list. They all sound excellent and will each have to be tried. I’ll phone the relatives ahead of time and explain I won’t have much time to visit…

Thanks again.