Looking at a newsed boat (Impex Currituck), questions

TL;DR: is it weird that looking at (and sitting in) a boat in a garage it seems way shorter and wider than I expect?

Long version:
Currently paddling a Perception Shadow 16.5 and it’s really snug in the cockpit (not getting in and out of the hole, but having knee room and room to move my hips around). I’m 5’11", 165#, not a big guy but it is a LV boat “for the smaller paddler.”

My paddling is on Lake Michigan; I try to get out for an hour or two every weekend, often “just” to paddle off in a direction for 45 minutes and come back but if the weather’s spicy, I like playing in the surf.

Looking to get both a little more room in the boat and also a little more stiffness/efficiency from going to fiberglass rather than plastic.

A Currituck came up locally at a good price, and I went to see it. I’ve read every thread here about the boat and it seems right. (I had been thinking of something with more rocker and harder chines for surfing but realistically, about 1/10 of my days are really surfing-focused right now, and I’ll try to get out in bigger waves as I get better, but I’ll also try to get out for some multi-day camping trips, and the percentage time will only go up a bit for either.)

I went to see the boat, the glass is in good shape (I’ve also repaired FG and other composites in the past, not worried about that). BUT:

The spec sheets for the boats say that the Currituck is 4" longer (17’ vs 16’8") and half an inch narrower, but when I looked at it and sat in it (in the owner’s garage), it felt 8-12" shorter and about 2" wider! Is this just an optical illusion? Or was there a change in Currituck design at some point? (I know it’s not any of Impex’s current shorter boats; the duckbill bow and stern are the shape of the Currituck and the Assateague.)


Currituck is still the Currituck. What year? waybackmachine.org and plug in impexkayaks.com to look at the site from that year to see the matching description. Measuring tape will confirm your info.


A couple of thoughts – It’s hard to tell from the images I pulled up of the Perception and Impex, but if the boats you are comparing differ in whether they are swede-form or fish-form, then that makes a a large difference in how wide or narrow they look from the cockpit. The angle of the sheer line can also affect how long the kayak looks.

Also, a Currituck was my first kayak and although it served well to learn with, I would recommend a different boat for your purposes. To me, the Currituck never felt very fast or responsive, either in a straight line or in maneuvering on waves. Of course, those are competing objectives in kayak design, but I didn’t find the Currituck to be a very satisfying compromise.

Your mileage may vary,

Thanks, Mark!

Good explanation of the visuals!

Yours is the first less-than-glowing words I’ve heard about the model. The hull shape looks pretty, uh, basic—no chines, rocker, or even vee to speak of.

I was all ready to buy without a test paddle but maybe I’ll see if I can get it out on the water first.

Good call; it’s always best to paddle before buying if possible. Boats that seem ‘odd’ sitting on the ground can suddenly make perfect sense when on the water, and vice versa.

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I think it’s really hard to get a sense of a boat from reviews. I’ve owned four kayaks so far and have tried to paddle as many others as I can. My current quiver is a Nordkapp H2O, an NDK Romany, and a Mariner Coaster, and so far I’ve spent at least a little time in a Currituck, a Stellar S18, a Nordkapp LV, a composite Petrel Play, an old WindDancer, and a Seda Glider. I liked the Currituck and I think it was a good “first kayak” for me, but I seem to like boats that have less primary stability and that turn sharper when put on edge. Other people have different priorities, but I spoke up because you mentioned playing in the waves and I didn’t find the Currituck to be a lot of fun in that context.

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I don’t think calendars will align for a test session in the surf, but I’m feeling pretty good about it based on the sit-in and overall design.

I’ve got a lot more biking miles than paddling miles and the most important thing I tell people buying a first bike or a first ‘serious’ bike is “does it fit?” If you’re comfortable on it, you’ll get the mileage in to fall in love with it or figure out what you want different next time.

And then – is it multi-purpose? Can you do a lot in it reasonably well so that you can figure out what comes next?

So the “first kayak” / “jack of all trades, master of none” thing is pretty appealing.

Maybe I should add that most of my bikes (3 out of 5, not counting tandems) are variations on that “jack-of-all-trades” theme (cyclocross bikes–drop bars, fattish tires). One’s the “go-fast” version, one is the “set up for commuting” version, and one is the “backup for the other two” version. (And I’ve had those three for about 5, 10, and 15 years respectively.) But I can take any of them on a tour, or on fire roads, or in a Cat 5 road or CX race (or towing the kayak to the lake).

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Hah! I’m a long-time bicyclist who agrees with your advice to new riders. And speaking of towing kayaks, here is one of my first posts to this site:

I am down to three bikes that match my number of kayaks, but we seem to have similar taste there in that I have a commuting bike and two others, all of which are set up with fattish tires.

Good luck!

I had not connected that that was you! And in fact, I think that searching for “bike kayak trailer” or something like that may have been what brought me here :smiley:

Am building up v. 2 of the boat trailer now, will bring that convo back to the other thread.

Picked it up yesterday, looking forward to paddling tomorrow! Thanks all for the sound and sounding-board advice!