I’m on the verge of purchasing an Impex Force Cat 3 with carbon kevlar layup. I’m 61, in pretty good shape, but am looking for a performance boat that’s a bit challenging and light, for when I’ve got to schlep it myself. I’ve paddled the boat for a couple of hours and liked it a lot. Two slight concerns. One is that the seat is allegedly a bit higher than most. The other is the fragility of the layup. I know fixing this layup is more difficult. Any comments on these issuges?
Very good boats
Congratulations on choosing a very neat boat.
Impex has a deserved good reputation for their quality control.
The Force boats are very well designed.
How harshly do you plan on treating the boat? If you are planning on rock gardening or seal launches into rocky waters or onto shoals, you might consider a hardier layup. Otherwise the layup should be fine.
Weight can be a safety factor. You are less likely to drop a lighter boat than a heavier boat. This is especially true getting the boat on and off your vehicle or carrying it without help.
As far as seat height, small differences in height can make noticable difference in the feel of the boat. Paddle it and if it feels way too unstable or otherwise reliable skills are no longer reliable, you might consider lowering the seat.
Though the trend is to lower seats, sometimes a slightly higher seat might be a better match for the paddler and boat. It will make a boat livelier.
Impex Force 3
My dream boat! but not appropriate as my first kayak.
surprisingly little chatter about it. check out http://www.impexkayak.com/chat/index.php
Maybe what you are sensing is not that the seat is high but that the deck is lower than that to which you are accustomed? That to me was one of its best features.
Thanks for the reassurance. How difficult is it to lower a seat - especially in this boat? I’m not anticipating having to do so, but just in case.
the seat isn’t very high, and the boat is tough as nails
methinks that if you are truly seeking light weight you’d be picking a more fragile kayak.
If you are worried about the "fragility" of the standard Impex build, spring for their 'Expedition' lay-up (see their website for details).
It will add about 5-6 pounds to the boat and deduct around $200 from your wallet. I have demoed a Currituck in the Expedition build. It was still a fairly easy shoulder carry and I'm no Gorilla-Monsoon at 5'9" and 155 lbs.
Which ever you chose, Impex makes a nice boat.
I have a friend back in New Brunswick that I sold a FG boat to back in the nineties from these guys, it was a fg Formula diamante. He upgraded to a carbon/ kevlar a few years ago and loves it and has had no problems with it at all. The Impex brand is byuilt by the same folks…Mid Canada fiberglass. Nice designs, nice workmanship.
Seat height? I’d no worry about it too much. If need be, it can be lowered later on. But I doubt if you’ll need to once you get some hours in the boat.
is a terrific boat, and the layup should be fine for everything but smashing your kayak on rocks and even then it’ll be plenty tough. If you feel unstable, work on skills, don’t blame the boat or seat height–you’re buying one of the best designs out there.
Many thanks to all who responded to my concerns. I very much appreciate your comments.
Your boat is sexier
While I think the Force boats are very good boats, your Qaarsut is a much sexier boat
lowering Force seat
I lowered the seat on my Force Cat 4 -less because it seemed high than that it tilted backward slightly. It was an easy job - remove 4 bolts, add spacers, trim foam under the front of the seat.
Other than the tilt, I find the seat and backband very comfortable and like everything else about the boat - good maneuverability for a long boat, and handles well in rough water and wind.
is carbon kevlar, and I think it’s pretty tough. Last summer, I got washed over some concrete and rebar - three nasty,really long scratches, but no structual damage.