I know I shouldn't buy this boat...but

-- Last Updated: Jun-17-13 6:08 PM EST --


I've done some kayaking around the San Juan Islands in a double many years ago but aside from that, sea kayaks are new to me, beyond all of the reading I've done.

I'm shopping for my first touring boat with plans for trips on Lake Powell, Shoshone Lake and eventually 6 or 7 days on the Green River. All of these trips are a good day's drive and my local possibilities are smaller reservoirs.

Here's the boat:

It's a fairly well used glass 1994 Valley Nordkapp with the retractable skeg, chimp pump, large oval rear hatch opening(not the small round one), compass and spray skirt(made in England) for $500. I've sat in it and the boat fits me well and the price would be kind as I need to buy *everything else* involved in kayaking. I don't even own a PFD. While I have fast reflexes and pick things up quickly, I've read about the limitations of this boat, especially when it's not loaded down or in the hands of a beginner. The price seems pretty incredible though and it's the only true touring kayak for sale within 6 hours of me.


good price
If it doesn’t leak and basically works, does seem like a steal. if it doesn’t work for you, you should be able to resell for as much or more than you paid.

Of course this is assuming you don’t kill yourself as you test it out. Nordkapps are great expedition boats, but not great beginner boats. So you should be very conservative until you figure the boat out.

And, some of the earlier boats had small, round cockpit openings, rather than the more standard keyhole shaped ones that current boats have. These are much harder to get in (and sometimes out).

And if it does not have bulkheads (not all boats from the 90s did), make sure you have float bags securely installed inside the boat.


– Last Updated: Jun-17-13 5:39 PM EST –


That's a shot that shows the cockpit, spray skirt (Palm brand), compass, pump and skeg release. The kayak does have bulkheads. I don't know about leaking. The hull is pretty scratched up but everything looks solid and functional. The only real damage I saw is a small chip out of near the tail of the boat, thumb print size or less, as seen here:


I'd take the thing to a smaller high mountain reservoir, which is all I have to play in nearby and stay close to shore until I can keep from repeatedly going over. I really am a beginner but this Nordkapp would do the trips I want to do.

There's another used kayak in pristine condition being sold by the original owner for $1,600 and it's a well mannered 17' Caribou. Another good deal on a high quality fiberglass kayak. The Nordkapp is 1,100 less and right down the road from me. The Caribou would be a day's drive to go look at but I have high quality images and it really looks to be in flawless condition.


Buy it.


ridiculously good deal
Buy try it and if you can’t handle it resell it for 3x the price. I have a friend who’s a fantastic paddler but not very big. He puts a diving weight belt behind the seat.

It doesn’t seem to be listed on the stolen kayak database.


buy it x 3

– Last Updated: Jun-17-13 7:34 PM EST –

Deck looks immaculate and the wear shown in the second pic is minimal. At the end of the season you can teach yourself the fine art of gel coat repair using that for practice.

Palm skirt looks a little dubious since it seems like there's a whitewater type rand on the skirt. If it is, those are notoriously hard to get off a composite cockpit coaming.Being a beginner you'd want a more forgiving touring style skirt (hell I'd want one too)since you are going to be capsizing while you make friends.

put stuff in the hatches while you're learning: lunch water change of clothes, etc... Nords do handle better under load.

Snapdragon and Seals both make a skirt to fit that Nordkapp.

Hell yea, buy it.

It’s Mine!!!

– Last Updated: Jun-17-13 10:18 PM EST –

This Nordkapp is now sitting right here in my carpeted hall. Tomorrow I'll have to work out storage space for it in the garage.


The boat was a consignment at a whitewater place so I didn't get to meet the owner.

I saw it hanging there a couple of weeks ago and as soon as I realized what it was I wrote it off without asking the price. "Why pay $1,200+ for a non-beginner friendly 18 foot expedition kayak when I could get a new Wilderness Systems Tempest instead?" etc... is what I thought. Then I called them today to ask what the price was. I almost fell over. This is a glass expedition kayak made in England by Valley! $500??? People can sell things on consignment for whatever they choose I guess. I had to go back to see what configuration the boat was in. I knew I didn't want it if it had the ocean cockpit and wasn't going to be thrilled if it had the two small round hatches. I didn't know what the real condition of the boat was either and at that price I had to assume something might be wrong with it. Nothing was. Well, now there is. Taking it off the top of my SUV the pump handle snapped in half for the Chimp Pump. Ahh well. I was thinking about converting that to a day hatch eventually.

I walked out the door with a paddle, paddle float, paddling top, gloves, PFD, 2 foam storage blocks, some foam padding and mounting cement, a tapered Sea to Summit dry bag and an 18 foot long fiberglass expedition boat for at total of $1,200 including tax.

This is what I call a good day. :)

Thanks everyone!

Spray skirt
Good point on the spray skirt. I’ll check it out completely here at home and replace it if it’s a pain at all.

: )

me likee nfm

palm deck
they actualy come off very well some times to well id try it dont be fooled if its a mare to get on when its been dry and stored for any time.

Palm Spray Skirt
It seems to go on and come off OK. I don’t have anything to compare it with. I like that it has a chest pocket but it will be covered by my PFD.

Working up the courage to take the boat out to the local reservoir at over 7,000 foot elevation. I’m thinking I might need to buy a drysuit for any real paddling around here but I’m not certain on this.

sure someone knows where & when you are trying your new boat out at, if you plan to go solo. If you “think” you might need a drysuit or wetsuit you probably do. There’s been a lot of posts on that subject.

Which resevoir?
If you are in Utah or Colorado the water temps will probably be OK this time of year without a drysuit. You might invest in a 2 mm wetsuit top.

do a wet exit or two
(pull off the skirt) with another kayaker standing by. Better to know now than later how easily it comes off. Then you can relax when it happens again :wink:

Enjoy the boat. What a find.

I’ll be alone most likely.
I just moved from one mountain town in Colorado to another. I don’t know anyone here into touring and I’ll probably be up there at Vallecito or some other 8,000 ft elevation location on the week days.

My first outing won’t even be an outing. I probably won’t install the spray skirt as I test the limits of the Nordkapp’s stability in waist deep water. From what I’ve read, I think I’ll be upside down pretty fast because I only weigh 155-160 pounds. I want to know how it does with just me in it, to start. After I find the stability limits I’ll work on getting back in with and without a paddle float.

I’ve ordered a Snapdragon skirt and Meridian drysuit from a local shop and will have them in a week. I’ve been waiting since about 2002 to get a kayak and I’m hoping to get this boat figured out by August. Then I’m doing a week or so at Lake Powell or someplace big to celebrate my new found freedom. :slight_smile:

That’s the plan anyway.

Not exactly prime seakayaking
You are going at kayaking a little bit backwards. You are in an exceptionally nice area for whitewater paddling.

The Nordkapp is not all that tippy at your weight you should be fine. Get a pump and a sponge and some nose plugs and practice wet exiting without a skirt and then with the skirt. A good video to learn a roll without help is Eric Jacksons Rolling and Bracing. Get a friend to stand nearby and spot you when practicing rolling at first.

You might think of taking a trip out to San Diego and signing up for a seakayaking series with Aqua-adventures if you want to do travel kayaking. You are not going to have any exposure to coastal conditions. Down river on Colorado streams is not going to be real enjoyable in a Nordkapp and can also be dangerous in big moving water, as the boat is not braced to prevent folding up when pinned.

Not real close by but Blue Mesa was also a spot I enjoyed in Colorado, try also Flamming Gorge, Great Salt Lake and Bear Lake in Utah. Look into going down through Ajo Arizona to Puerto Penasco on the Sea of Cortez. It’s not that far away, but go with a group.

LOL. I’m not hitting whitewater…
Thanks for the great suggestions. My boat has the built in pump but I forgot to pick up a sponge.

I hope you were joking with the stream and whitewater comments. I owned sportcars for many years here in the southwest and I didn’t go off-roading with them, just as I won’t be taking the Nordkapp through rapids or down any streams.

You highlighted Blue Mesa which is the kind of place I’ll be going with this boat and I already mentioned Lake Powell and the 100+ miles of Class I water on the Green River as a couple of my target destinations once I have the handling and self rescue down. 16,000 acre Navajo Res is within an hour of me and is the largest body of water accessible in Colorado. Also 4,500 acre McPhee Res is within a couple of hours.

It’s after I play around on the flat water nearby that I plan to look toward coastal training opportunities and a few nice trips to Alaska and beyond.

I’m an avid remote wilderness backpacker and have toured the world by bicycle. I have more camping gear than I know what to do with. 6 shelters, 3 backpacker stoves and 5 different sleeping pads. Some of this is due to the fact that I worked on a high altitude SAR team for a number of years. That said, I know I have a lot to learn when it comes to kayaking. Just about everything really. I’ll look into that video.

Have you been to a casino lately?
With your luck you should at least buy a lotto ticket. I’ve never owned a Nordkapp, but I’ve paddled a few of them and if I couldn’t have the expedition boat that I have, the Nordkapp would have to be it.

Stay loose and you’ll find the Nordkapp is not at all tippy. It might take some time and a lot of paddling, but fair warning, you will be looking for big water.