I'm looking for my first fibreglass or Kevlar boat. I'm considering Impex because they are very well reviewed for both performance and build quality. Plus they are Canadian, which I like to support and also is good from a foreign exchange perspective.
However, all the reviews I can find are from the previous manufacturer, Mid-Canada Fibreglass. Does anyone have experience with a boat from the new manufacurer, Abitibi? I understand they are using the same molds and have hired the production guy from MCF, so I have high hopes. What about customer service from Abitibi?
While I have your attention, does anyone have an opinion on Currituck vs Assateague vs Force 4? I'm 5'11" and about 205 lbs. i am somewhere between a beginner and an intermediate but expect to improve quickly as I'm getting serious about the sport. I have reasonably wide hips, so I worry a bit about fitting into a Currituck. I will be using this in ocean kayaking of the south shore of Nova Scotia (rocky, barren, lots of weather, wind, waves). I will be doing primarily day paddles. I want a boat that tracks well and is reasonably fast, but that is fairly maneuverable and (as I get better) I could eventually take into the surf.
If the Impex doesn't pan out, I'm also looking at a Delta 17.
Last question... Fibreglass vs Kevlar for the Impex?
From your all-round ability kayak the Currituck would likely be the best candidate. The Force seat (side hung seat) is going to be too narrow if you have wide hips.
My reviews should still be here in the P-Net archives from when I dealt with Impex/MCF.
Sorry you’re not closer. I just received a carbon/kevlar Currituck that I’m giving the spa treatment to before it goes on consignment sale here.
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
Thanks Marshall! Any experience dealing with Abitibi?
Check out Seaward
Canadian, on the opposite coast but good about shipping, very nice people to buy from. Lots of different designs but top notch layup and build quality.
Otherwise I’d just find a used NDK Explorer and paddle that for a year while building skills.
Some good instruction up your way, imo worthwhile to make that investment early.
Love my Force 4
I can’t speak to the new owners/mfrs, but I love my Impex Force 4 from a few years ago; the design, fit & finish are all great.
It tracks very well; though somewhat prone to weathercocking, it is more responsive to skeg adjustments than any other boat I’ve paddled, allowing you to easily hold a course.
It is also quite fast, but at the cost of some stability, as with most kayaks. Tight turns require a fair amount of lean to shorten the effective waterline, but it’s quite stable when leaned. A paddler with intermediate skills will soon get comfortable, and will always appreciate the speed.
Though it certainly handles rough water well (I use mine for weeklong open-water touring trips on Lake Superior), the Force 4 does not actually ‘surf’ well, with a strong tendency to broach. This can be corrected with full skeg and a lot of stern-ruddering with the paddle, but a Currituck will easily walk away from it when surfing.
P.S.: Had a chance to spend a week paddling a bit of the Nova Scotia coast a couple years ago, north of Halifax. Fantastic kayaking!
Impex (new company) just had some demos by me at a dealer for people to try. Mad I had to work and missed the test. Would have liked to try Assateague. Kevlar is lighter but more important stiffer and more impact resistant. 20" boats are tight.
I had a 2004 Currituck for approx. 7 years and loved it. I’m about the same size as you - I’m 5’10, 190#, 32" inseam, size 11 shoes (12 paddle boots in winter). I weighed about 215# when I purchased it and got as high as 245#. It was obviously quite snug at the upper weight but still paddled very well.
I paddled a friends Assateague and I felt like I was sitting in a bath tub. Way too much room for my liking. I demoed a Force 4 and didn’t care for it compared to the Currituck.
A couple years ago I purchased a Valley Aquanaut and have been paddling/rolling it since. The Aquanaut has a slightly longer cockpit and slightly higher foredeck making it much easier to enter and more room for my feet. My knees starting bothering me in the Currituck after paddling for several hours.
IMHO the Currituck paddles/surfs the same as the Aquanaut. The Currituck has a slightly higher rear deck but still rolls very easily. The Currituck is also about 10# lighter (~52.5#) than my Aquanaut.
I hope that helps some.