impex vs current designs

Anyone have experience with either an Impex Mystic or Current Design, the new line Vision? I am looking for input on either.


Just to keep this bumped…
Also a serious question. I just looked at CD’s web site and the Vision boats are not really in the same family to me as the Impex Mystic. The CD Vision boats are 13 to 15 foot long transitional boats with 24" width, a fairly big cockpit and 12" depth. The Impex Mystic is a true sea kayak in its capabilities, albeit for a small paddler. Between the two, I’d take the Mystic places that I wouldn’t take any of the Vision boats, at least if I had my druthers. The Mystic would also support learning big water skills better.

If I was to look at a boat comparable to the Impex Mystic in the CD line, it’d be more like the Cypress, maybe the Willow, their “Touring Kayaks”. In the Necky line it’d be the Eliza for small paddlers, and so on - all designed to be full sea-going kayaks.

So - where are you planning to paddle and what are your paddling goals? It might make it easier for someone to speak to your request.

Likewise, the new Impex Hesper is probably a better comparison to the CD boat you mention.

CD Vision
Saw the boat for the first time last weekend. CD Rep refererred to it as the “China” boat. Definitely in that “transitional” category but appeared to be a pretty decent boat. Amazed at the weight, 36 lbs for the long version, I would be interested in knowing more about the layup, not sure it would do well with the rocks. Not for me although the rep said it was for “you baby boomers” [ouch]. Price was around $2K for a composite boat, the China connection I would think.

Also discussed at length CD’s foray into plastic bulkheads on sea boats. Seems they have learned their lesson and are back to foam on rotos and glassed-in on composite.

CD does a nice job
No hit intended on the quality or value of the Vision boats for their intended use. I have huge regard for CD on a lot of scores, not the least of which is a long term commitment to trying get boats out there for smaller paddlers (average sized women). The Squall was a heck of an idea in its time.

My concern was that the OP’er may not realize that they are lumping together boats that are targeted at somewhat different paddlers and paddling environments.

Rep sounds like a charmer
how do these guys keep their jobs?

impex layup is
with less glass/epoxy so of course it’ll be lighter . When impex 1st came out they were talkin the weight stuff but omitting that the hulls are thinner . Just push on em an see it flex. Also watch out when someone talks about a carbon layup–ask how much actually is carbon , some are just a % of. Acts of omission can be as bad as comission . Whats the buzz term around these days , better to beg foregivness than ask permission , thanks corp. america . I didn’t lie , I mis-spoke is makin a come back.

impex is a decent boat , but I prefer the cd , an I also go for the glass bulkheads


impex vs cd
At the risk of sounding like a loser I paddle for solitude. I live in lake country. I paddle alone on lakes ranging from 100 acres to 2000 acres. I also paddle quiet rivers and streams and follow the otters. I paddle 4X or more a week from ice out until freeze up. Sometimes 2 hours, sometimes 6. I have a Carolina 13.5, I love it. Because I paddle solo, it gets heavy, too heavy to leap frog lakes. I am smaller than the average bear, 5 foot, 100 lbs. I do not see myself going much beyond what I do now, maybe a few day trips to Lake Superior. Does that open up more suggestions? Thanks for the help.

for what you do
sounds like either boat would be fine. The Carolina sounds fine except for the weight. For another good, even lighter boat, check out the Eddyline Merlin LT (light, light, light! :slight_smile:

For your use…
A lot of what you describe would leave either boat, Mystic or the Vision boats, as workable. But as you get to very large lakes, I presume with the possibility of decent wind and fetch, and add in Lake Superior, I’d move towards the Mystic especially since you paddle alone.

The Mystic is more fully rigged for self-rescue than the Vision boats and offers better contact for control of the boat. At 5’ tall and that light, even that 12" depth in the Vision boats starts getting a bit tall for good contact.

I’d also suggest that, if you haven’t gotten some bigger water skills down, you get some time with a coach or other paddler that you trust before trying Lake Superior.

you need a light boat

– Last Updated: Apr-10-08 1:30 AM EST –

It also sounds like you don't desire a kayak where rolling is a baseline skill. The problem is that there are few kayaks ideal for 100lb rec. paddlers. CD Raven would be an incredible kayak but it may not have the stability you seek, CDs other small kayaks aren't that light nor small for a small person.

Try the Raven. If you want more stability AND very light weight consider finding someone to make you a Pygmy Osprey 13. It can be made very light and at 22" wide will be very stable. I've seen friends who couldn't keep up in group paddles because the 100lb adult woman was paddling a 65lb plastic sea kayak, once she got in a 28lb GE13/Osprey (same model) there was no problem keeping up at 3mph group speeds.

impex vs cd
You are correct, rolling is not an issue. I love the carolina because it fits, I was always looking to see if rest of the kayak was still with me in larger kayaks. I have never felt unstable. I do not want to go shorter than 13 or 14.

Thanks for the input.

why no shorter?
I’d suggest throwing the linear dimensions out the window. The 13’ Pygmy has about the same waterline length as a lot of 15’ kayaks with overhangs on the ends. Max length and max beam measured above the water are irrelevant dimensions compared to what is actually touching the water, which is what matters.

The Raven is such a screaming deal price and weight wise, if the stability is acceptable consider it,if you’re paddling in very cold water the risk of immersion requires baseline self-rescue skills that aren’t evident with the very stable rec. kayaks.

Good luck on the hunt, finding a sub 30lb production rec/transition kayak for a 100lb paddler is a very thin market,the Pygmy is the closest thing I know of.

Comment on the Pygmy
I tend to agree, the Pygmy boat would work. One caution though, I’ve seen a number of these that were made by people who did not include perimeter line and full bungies. Should you get one of these, either add this stuff yourself or find a friend who is handle with tools to do it for you.

At your size
You might keep an eye out for a used Wilderness Systems Tchaika. My 5’ wife is happy with hers.

The composite Necky Eliza is another nice small person’s boat, as are the CD Willow and Suka

They would require better recovery/self-rescue skills than your Carolina, but would be easier to paddle and carry.

Impex glasses bulkheads
and some layups are stiffer than others, depends which one you get. the std glass layup in my Ass. is stiffer than my Romany and many other boats out there.

Impex layups
The Impex boats were hugely improved in terms of consistency as well as features when Danny M decided to really get involved. Some of their earlier boats, which we saw in Maine when we first started looking at serious kayaks, were not as solid as the ones post-Danny’s influence. They were very interesting, and their price point was great, but the actual QC was a little rocky.

I think, if you are talking about quality and layups with Impex, you have to be a little more specific about the manufacture year of the boat than with some others.

impex vs cd
All this advice is grand. I thank you all for the input. The only outfitter anywhere near me has a Mystic, last years model, a “barely used” demo he will let me have for a darn nice price. I have checked craigslist, nothing near me, actually nothing I am interested in even close. I realize I need to learn to roll/recover, which I intend to do, either with this outfitter when ice out comes and it warms a bit or through offers from this site. It is snowing here now.

I will check into the, Necky, Suka and CD Willow as well.

Thanks again. Toodles

impex vs cd
I have a friend who paddles the Mystic…she is tiny and loves her boat…I often help her get it back on the car rack…and its very light…about 45 lbs or slightly less…she keeps up with me and I have a 17ft tempest!

Good luck

Get the Mystic
You have a clean demo available now, at a good price, from a dealer who presumably will stand behind it? And you want to add in skills like rolling…

Heck, go ahead and get the boat. The others are all fine boats, but none are radically different from the Mystic in proficiencies and at your size the Mystic should be quite comfy. If you find it’s slightly heavier than you’d like to cartop, send me an email. Jim has photos on webshots of how I managed my (much heavier) Squall by myself.