kayak comparison

I am looking to add a new touring kayak to my rec and sit on top boats. I have paddled the tempest 165 RM and the Impex Montauk. I have heard some good things about the Valley Avocet RM and Scorpio LV also RM. Please share any feedback, comparisons, etc. regarding these boats. I will test before I buy, but feedback on this site has always helpful. I am 5’7" 140 lbs., an Intermediate level paddler, and anxious to get back on the water!!! Thanks for the help.

Avocet is good for your size
Depends what you want to do, but it’s a nice boat.

I own an Avocet RM and I have put

– Last Updated: Mar-10-10 9:59 AM EST –

quite a number of hours in the Scorpio LV. I'm 5'9" and about 150. It would be very hard to go wrong with either one. Each boat has it pluses, and not not many minuses when compared to each manufacturer's design criteria. It just comes down to your personal preferences.
That said, I have no immediate plans to part with my Avocet. The Avocet RM is not quite as quick at the Scorpio LV, but I give the nod to the Avocet on maneuverability and quality of materials. To balance it out, others may prefer the skeg system, seat and 4th hatch on the Scorpio.

I should add that I am a previous owner of a WS Tempest 165 Pro (composite). The Tempest has a wonder hull design, but I am NOT a fan of the hatch system on the Tempest series, particularly the RM model. In my experience Wildy's proprietary hatch lids leak.

Own an older Avocet RM, have paddled the T165 and demoed the Scorpio LV. I have MUCH more seat time in the Avocet. 5’9", 160.

The Avocet is more maneuverable than the other two, but gives up a bit of straight-line speed. T165 seemed more responsive to an edge than the Scorpio. All rolled easily.

My take is that the Avocet is more toward the day/play end of the spectrum. It’s happiest with waves to enjoy. The others would be better if you’re chasing horizons.

although I have used the Avocet RM for several longer crossings without ill effect, I would prefer to paddle my Aquanaut LV if just going from point A to B.

Good addition

– Last Updated: Mar-10-10 1:11 PM EST –

The composite Aquanaut LV would be another one to try. Lovely boat for a smaller person. I haven't tried the RM but I think it's bigger than the composite.

It's always worth trying boats that fit even if they're out of your price range -- you never know what'll show up used...


– Last Updated: Mar-10-10 6:24 PM EST –

The cockpit on the Valley Aquanaut LV RM definitely has more volume to it than the composite version. I have paddled them side-by-side and the composite version is a much better fit on me. According to the specs on the Valley website the Aquanaut LV RM is for a bit larger/heavier individual.

I am not sure why Valley chose to call the RM version of this boat LV? Ironically it is just the opposite with the Avocet. The Avocet RM has a slight lower volume cockpit than the composite model and it is the better fit for me. Who would have thunk it?! ;-)

the composite tempests stopped leaking when they went to the kajak sport hatches and its a nice paddling boat. I like the avocet too though it has a tad more volumne than the 165. I’d like to try a fg aquanaut but havent yet.

Tempest hatches, not all are equal

– Last Updated: Mar-10-10 5:20 PM EST –

What you say is true, but the Kajak Sport hatches were only speced on the the composite Tempests from August 2006 through 2008. There were never available on the RM model. I believe the OP is taking the poly version here. Anyway it becomes a moot point because in 2009 Wildy went back to a proprietary (non Valley, not Kajak Sport) lids on their composite Tempest. Ironically I believe this corresponded with moving the production of the composite Tempest line to China. You would have thought that with the 'cost savings' Wildy would have retained the Kajak Sport hatches? I have yet to hear any reports pro or con as to Wildy latest hatch incantation.

You indicate that the Avocet has slightly more volume. I am curious how you made that comparison? Having owned both boats my feeling is the opposite. The Tempest has 0.5" less beam, but 6" more length, however, I cannot seem to make a direct comparison because I do not see volume data listed on either manufacturer's websites. :-(

Valley plastic
I like the stiffness of the Valley 3-layer plastic. I don’t know about it’s scratch resistance with the thinner solid outer layer (time will tell). I observed a Wilderness plastic kayak with what I thought was excessive distortion just from sitting on the rack in a shop.

the ks hatches were continued. they are on the 09 and 10 composites. you are correct about the rm’s being hit or miss. they did re-design the hatches for the rm’s but i dont know how they work.

you are right the tempest is longer. i shouldnt have said volume. the tempest is narrower and lower depth. avocet is 22" tempest is 21.5. the avocet depth is 13" and the tempest is 12.5…i’ve used an avocet many times and i own a 2009 tempest china built tempest standard with ks hatches…


– Last Updated: Mar-11-10 7:27 PM EST –

I believe you. I can only add that according to previous discussions here on the p.net boards, specs listed on the Wildy website, and comments by Tempest designer Steve Scherrer, indicated that Confluence went to a new "domed hatch" (not KS) on the 2009 Tempest composite series. Link to Tempest 165 Pro specs:
(Those certainly are not KS lids pictured and the same specs were listed there in 2009)

I wonder if Wildy had hold-over stock of Kajak Sport hatches and rims they needed to use up?