Impex quality

I have been following the other impex thread which got me interested in their kayaks. I went

to my locak dealer and looked at a Mystic and

was impressed with the fit and light weight of

the kayak. The lakes are still mostly frozen

here so I have not been able to paddle one yet.

I was concerned however because the front

bulkhead had a few cups of water in it and this

is a boat that had not even been in the water

yet. I assume the water got there will the boat was being transported. The VCP hatch covers seemed very loose and I am wondering how water tight they will be. This got me to wondering about the overall quality of the kayaks. Any input from those with experience with Impex kayaks?


In The Past…

– Last Updated: Apr-05-04 8:35 PM EST –

the major concern/issue about Impex is the leaky hatches and, despite that, many like their Impex hulls. Me included with my Montauk.

The addition of VCP hatches really brings Impex right up there. Most folks would consider VCP hatches the top one of two (the other being Kajaksport) hatches available.

You may have seen water in that boat but who knows how that got there. If I were to bank on a hatch, I take VCP.


Ask Impex
You should post a message on their forum. They know the dealers and the boats they have with each dealer and I am sure they can help you out. Their forum is

Loose VCP hatches
Usually Valley hatch covers fit very tight. They also have a double seal.

My Elaho has a VCP day hatch that, though a few years old and frequently accessed, still fits very tight.

Impex Quality; VCP Hatches
I have had an Assateague for 5 months, using frequently. I have not experienced any problem with water getting past the hatches. I also did on water testing of a couple other Impex models/boats before purchasing my boat. I intentionally submerged the hatch covers and did not experience any leaks.

Regarding Quality Control, take a very close look at the specific boat that you are going to buy. Some background, Impex boats are sold in Canada as Formula Kayaks. Both Impex and Formula are made by Mid Canada Fiberglass.

Before purchasing my boat, I visited many dealers of impex kayaks and talked to two dealers of formula kayaks. My personal observations were that approximately 50% of Impex boats had some serious cosmetic cracking of the gel coat. In addition, I found additional damage on approx 50% of the boats. Dealers could not say if the damage and cracking where due to mfg quality control issues or if they were damaged in shipping. Either way, they were serious problems for which I received some serious excuse making from dealers (much whining). I ended up still buying the Impex Assagteague since it was a very good fit for me at the time and I liked the performance.

Bottomline: if you are sold on the impex hull design, carefully inspect every inch of the specific boat you are going to buy for gel coat cracking or other damage. Ensure the dealer will provide warranty coverage for any gel coat cracking. Also, if you special order the model you want, put deposit on credit card, so you can contest the charge and get a refund, if you need to. (I had to do this with a canadian dealer of a Formula kayak.)

Impex quality
Based on what I see, and what the dealer tells me Impex quality has improved since Danny took over. The Mystic I bought for my wife is not as well made as my Kajak Sport Millenium, but it is quite good anyway. The hatches do not leak. Gelcoat is flawless. Company service excellent. I see no problem with Impex.