Impex Outer Island

-- Last Updated: Aug-24-04 3:08 PM EST --

I was perusing the Greenland board then found mention of an Impex Outer Island!
For those outside the wood strip kayak builders world the Outer Island is Jay Babinas design with more than one person liking the design.
This is competition in the composite world,,I like it.

here's a thread on it..

Definitely a beautiful design. The picture in Sea Kayaker (page 17) looks SWEET! What a tease! My first reaction - awesome!

Second reaction - what are the specs? Looked them up…

…and the wind slacked from my sails a bit. Please understand this is not a complaint at all - more of a very slight disappointment (and based TOTALLY on MY wanting something that I know I’ll probably never find and will have to build - and not on the Outer Island itself really):

At 17’10" x 21" it’s rather mainstream. That’s likely very good news for the majority of those who are shopping I suppose - as they can add it to their existing short lists. There are already a half dozen good composite boats of nearly exactly these dimensions (including mine) and a dozen more within a couple inches of length though - so the Outer Island ultimately offers one more (good) option more than an option that really stands out.

Wouldn’t most who would be in the target market for this be likely to already have one of the others - and how likely is someone to trade over? They might need need something more radical (lower volume and/or narrower still) to unseat them from their current ride.

Granted, dimensions don’t really tell you much about the boat anyway. All I’m saying is I hate to see one this nice appear to be sort of an “also ran” on paper (I’m sure it takes itself well enough on water - where it matters).

Maybe Jay or some current strip builders/owners can fill in the other details of the design/handling that set it apart? I can tell it’s lower volume in the ends and aft deck than my boat (but what isn’t?) - but compared to the Brit designs - what’s uniquely special to the Outer Island? I’m just curious - not critical.

No matter how I look at it, it’s obviously a great kayak and wonderful it will be commercially available. I’m not shopping, but but always looking. I hope to get to test paddle down here (or traveling) somewhere!

(Mental notes to self: 1. Win Lotto. 2. Buy house on water with big garage/shop. 3. Buy, design, build, and paddle kayaks/accessories full time! 4. Stop daydreaming and get back to work!)


– Last Updated: Aug-24-04 7:26 PM EST –

hmm, maybe if it was in centimeters?

When you come right down to it…
…the OI would make a great alternative to an Romany Explorer. It’s similar in volume (perhaps a bit lower), rolls at least as easily, handles at least as well (including rough water) and unlike NDK, Impex knows how to build a quality boat that weighs less than a Buick.

maybe Perception will come out with a CLC Pax20 in carbon?


the funny thing is that I put money down on a glass Necky Chatham18,first glass boat in 12yrs!,then this shows up.

Keep me away from that boat
unless I sell two of mine!

It looks too nice. Does it have a day hatch?

Day Hatch?

– Last Updated: Aug-25-04 11:48 AM EST –

That's the same question I have. The original design does not call for one, and the cedar strip version of the Outer Island that I demoed last year was not equipped with a day hatch.
It's a wonderful boat to paddle. I was reluctant to admit it at the time, but I much preferred it to my NF Silhouette. Both boats come in around 17' 10", but the OI had a bit more initial stability and was just as fast. Secondary stability was about a draw between the two. It was a bit easier to make a rapid turn in the OI.
The nod also goes to the Outer Island on ease of rolling. The Silhoutte does best the OI on sculling for support because you can lock it on that hard chime.
The wood version of the OI did not have a skeg, so it did have more storage aft than the Silhouette.

Safe Paddling,

hear hear
I second that sentiment.

I find it funny that people judge what a kayak will paddle like based on dimensions. It’s not just a bunch of numbers if it was, anybody could design a great kayak on their first try. Alot more goes into a good design and the craftsmanship. I know that I use the numbers as a range for what I am looking for in a kayak, but they don’t tell all.

A Nigel Dennis Romany Explorer and the VCP Aquanaut have very similar stats, but are just totally different kayaks.

No on is “judging” this boat on the numbers beyond the “range” grouping you say you yourself do when looking. On paper there’s not much to talk about. Pretty or not the specs are quite standard.

Within that range - of course there are many differences - and that’s what I was looking for - the Outer Island’s differences - from people who’ve PADDLED one.

reading between the lines
I haven’t paddled one but listened to a few folks who have,and who’s descriptions of other boats sound accurate to what I’ve experienced. I could be misquoting but the impression I’ve had is a kayak with strong tracking,decent stability and speed but responds to a lean. The thing that attracts me to the design besides being in the ball park for the above attributes is that Jay has refined the design a few times from feedback with paddlers.

saw a couple strip versions
at The Midwest Meet At The Beach, it’s a very very nice design.

Last Info from Danny @ Impex on

– Last Updated: Aug-26-04 12:44 PM EST –

the Outer Island.
The boat will actually be available this fall!
It will have a day hatch and a skeg.
Check the link below for all the details.....

i’ve heard it rumoured
it may be available with an ocean cockpit later in the build season? Hope this is true. Like Greyak, not shopping, but always looking.

according to Jay himself on the website message board, there will be an agreement that the boat NOT be produced in yellow, red, or blue, to differentiate it from everything else on the showroom floor. It will be available in off white; possibly some pastel options. This is a very sweet handling design, and a real looker in the strip version. Check out the Boat Builders link on the site. Kudos to Jay, and to Impex (Danny) for building it.

any color
as long as it’s white,I like that,I’m partial to a light Roberts Grey,maybe one of their custom layups with no gel coat and it could be painted?

Yes, it has a day hatch

Yes, it’s true.
IIRC, Jay told me that he insisted on it.

Man! Danny needs a spell checker!
Not to mention a grammar editor.

Seriously, I’m glad to see that they’re building Jay’s boat.

Photo shop
Did you all notice in that Danny said the kayak in the advertisement was a wooden boat made to look like glass!

I ordered my explorer with custom colors insprired by Guinness. It has a dark chocolate colored hull with a creamy deck. When I saw the new adverstisement I thought someone took a picture of my kayak. So far, I think I have only one. I’m pretty currious about this new one, mainly from the quality control perspective.


Impes standard lay ups are

– Last Updated: Aug-27-04 7:57 PM EST –

on the light side for rough use, but the are very flexible and hold up well. I have been very impressed with them over all.

They are in it for love. pride and money.

Think Jay would let his boat be turned to garbage? I have my doubts.

On the other hand some of the earlier hatches were not the best.