Considering a consolidation of my boats, and in light of the fact that most of my paddling is day or overnight sea kayaking (and that I can do a weeklong trip out of my pintail)...
I'm thinking of that magical single boat, something just a bit less voluminous (not necessarily true "low volume"), something with the playfulness of my pintail but with better speed, like my Greenlander or the Silhouette I paddled not too long ago. I'm about 5'9" and 170#. My choices are:
Impex Force 3
I've paddled all but the force 3. I realize the others may not be as "playful" or maneuverable as the pintail but the AA didn't feel too far off.
Thoughts on the 3, any of the others, or any kayak I left out?
AA - Playful, not great speed, great Greenland stick / rolling boat
Silhouette: Straighter tracking (comp to Pintail/AA), quicker, good Greenland stick/roller
BB Aral: No experience, but would love to support a Michigan-based company, all other things equal.
Impex Force 3: No experience.
impex force 3
I loved this boat but not playful like pintail
or AA. The boats on your list that have the speed
of Greenlander would be aral or silhouette but
silhouette depending on weight is alot more tender
is the rough stuff. I personallly could be happy
with the force 3, but would rather own 2-3
boats to cover all bases.
I’d Add the Tempest 165 to the List
Check it out.
(I'm 5'9" 165 pounds)
…would work well in the Force 3 as a low volume boat. 20" width x 10.5" deck 8" rear coaming height from seat pan, with generous thighbraces should make for as Grey says a “good Greenland Stick boat”. Performance, I’ll have to report via observation as I’m 6’ 200lb. and paddle the Force 4 regularly. My wife on the other hand loves paddling her Force 3. Holds ample gear. Little rocker, very good glide to it, not much volume on the sides make it very easy to heel the boat over with confidence and make it carve quite agressively. On that note it does carve more like a harder chined boat as the rounded chine is of a fairly small radius curve as the hull flattens out a lot around the cockpit giving a comfortable primary stability.
Too bad I don’t fit it.
The others on your list, little to no experience.
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
Aral, Greenlander, AA
Got all three of them right now! But, new so not much seat time in them yet.
Aral - day cruising - good speed - good tracking but not tight turning unless you edge it well.
Greenlander Pro - Great speed, good turning, pretty good tracking. Great all arounder…(got it from Bowler dude!!)
AA - what can I say? Play boat all the way, great for rolling and fun in the waves which is why I bought it. (not to mention best darned looking composite boat I ever saw)
I must confess though, got the Aral so I could keep up to my friend who will be paddling the Greenlander Pro!!!
I should change my moniker to HARD_CHINE_GUY
Love 'dem hard chines and lower decks!
AA a bit “faster” and smaller than Pintail, but work at 4 Kts Often said to be a better all around boat than Pintail and lots of fun. Great boat. If I was forced to have only one boat, it might be it given my use of GP and appeal of OC.
Force 3, Impex says 85 Gal which is bigger than Pintail, but smaller cockpit and paddles like a small boat. Definitely faster than a Pintail and more playful that expected, but not like a Pintail and AA . Great boat.
Silhouette fast,fast, but not as playful as Pintail and same volume overall. Great boat.
Aral. No clue.
I would add the Avocet and Nord LV to list and maybe a lower volume P&H along with Tempest 165. Sounds as if you like a boat with some personality so of these maybe the NordLV would get the nod.
Reminded of sign in diner. “Good food fast. Pick any two.”
If you like Pintail, I would keep it and would match it with a Silhouette. Outer island, or maybe Bayihya.
Just one boat? A life hard to contemplate, but F3 likely or maybe AA depending upon which way you lean.
As I said, my SWAG. Yours likely differs.
Fast and playful.
"As conclusion, the Valley Nordkapp LV is a superbly made expedition boat for smaller paddlers. It is as maneuverable as a day boat (albeit at the cost of some secondary stability) and it is also fast. Valley seem to have achieved the Holy Grail of sea kayak design: the LV has speed, maneuverability and sufficient volume! It is a boat that the progressing paddler will delight in for its excitement and responsiveness. It is also a superb day boat for heavier paddlers while still having enough expedition carrying capacity for all but the heaviest of packers."
AA all the way
I have a Avocet, Pintail, and AA. I wouldn’t give up my AA for anything. Not only is it the sexiest boat made, it just has such personality on the water. Not a good boat for the rocks because those hard chines take a beating. Pintail is my rock boat.
The Force3 is the only one I’ve been in from your list. At 5’7" and 165#, it fit me like a glove…snug as a bug and I could just about rest my feet on the stock front bulkhead. On the downside, I’m not sure I’d still fit with a drysuit and more insulation. Also, I had to go barefoot to fit my 10.5W feet.
It had a little more stability than I expected (good for an expedition boat) and seemed to carve turns almost reflexively; I barely had to think about it before I was coming about. I can’t say how wind and waves would affect it as both times I tried it out, it was flat calm.
Rolling and sculling was a breeze. I think it’s the most effortless roller I’ve tried…possibly second to the Outer Island, but I’d have to try them side-by-side to be sure. Heck, I even balance braced it my first try.
For me though, I think it could only be a warm weather day boat due to the minimal cockpit space (but of course it wasn’t really built for me). To make it my all-rounder, I’d have to cut out the seat and replace it with lower foam padding, pad the front bulkhead into a footrest, and point my toes a bit more than usual. If you want, I can let you know when Lee’s schedules their demo days down here, and you can come try it out yourself.
The Nordkapp LV seems to have a lot of the good qualities of the Pintail, but a little straighter tracking and a higher top speed.
I love the Pintail as a day boat and the Norkapp Jubilee as an expedition boat. I like the extra capacity of the Jubilee, but if you don’t, the LV may be what you are looking for.
And this glowing report on the Nordlow
Cruel or at least cold NM
worthwhile and informatve as well as
genuine, carefully observed, detailed & absolutely honest… a month ago.