I found these two kayak within my budget and i’m trying to decide which on would fit me best, i’m 5.9 , 150 pds and would paddle on ponds and ocean mostly day trip here on martha’s vineyard. The kayak are both around 15 years old,the diamante as a skeg,the nordkap nothing…does anyone knows about the quality of these two boats ? I have a sit on top fishing kayak,a little heavy for me and looking to invest in a lighter,faster sit in kayak for a longer paddling season.
can you try them out?
There are several versions of the Nordkapp. Most are meant to be paddled loaded. If you know which model it is would be helpful. The plastic ones are less dependent on a load.
A Nordkapp of that vintage…
…could be an HS (retractable Skeg equipped) or an HM (Modified hull). Since you say that it doesn’t have a skeg, it’s probably an HM. It’s easy to tell, as it will have a built-in “skeg”, a squared-off stern keel. The HM is a VERY strong tracking boat that can be really difficult to maneuver. I owned one and found it to be problematic in certain wind/wave conditions. It requires a lot of edging/leaning and strong sweep stroke to turn it in any kind of a hurry.
As was mentioned, Nordkapps are designed to be paddled loaded with gear and the seats are mounted high to make edging easier with a heavy load. Unloaded, they feel quite unstable and twitchy. Lowering the seat makes a night-and-day difference, but it requires cutting it out, removing the foam underneath, then reinstalling it. It’s not a simple job.
It may also have an ocean cockpit, which I like, but the high aft deck of the Nordkapp makes it difficult to enter the boat if you have long legs. I chewed up my shins on a regular basis.
The bottom line is that the Nordkapp is a specialty boat that can be challenging to deal with. I found it to be an interesting learning experience, but I sold it after a couple of years.
The Diamante is a more general purpose boat with a benign character. It’s easy to maneuver, comfortably stable and well made. If I was faced with your choice, I’d go with the Diamante.