NDK 3 piece?

Does anyone out there own a 3 piece explorer? I am weighing the merits of getting one. After testing many boats, I know I want an explorer, but must be able to load and transport the boat by myself. After a back injury a few years ago, I need to pay attention to weight. I am considering a 3-piece elite layup, but understand this may not be Nigel’s best boat. Others have said that, since Nigel builds 'em bombproof, an elite layup in an NDK is similar to a regular Valley or Current Designs layup. Any experience out there?

3 piece wins on…
storage space options…you can take it apart and store the pieces in various places OR pack it into bags and ship/air freight it conveniently to where you’re going…huge advantage if you have limited space for storage or for exped’s where you want to use YOUR boat sort of thing. it’s just relatively easy to store and ship.

once you put those pieces together and you have to carry the boat whole, the parts bolting the boat together only add weight…so overall a 3 piece boat weighs more than a similar 1 piece boat.

if your concern is only weight then maybe a 1 piece elite or carbon kevlar maybe what you’re looking for in an ndk.

Explorer Options

– Last Updated: Jun-26-08 9:44 AM EST –

I agree with Rick, to transport the kayak, unless you have a pickup truck, you'll need to assemble it. An assembled three piece Explorer will always be heavier than a one piece Explorer. I would recommend getting an elite one piece Explorer and a Thule hydraulic rack to load it on your vehicle (see link). Keep in mind that the elite lay-up is not as bombproof as the standard lay-up and requires more care with landings and around rocks. You might find with the hydraulic rack and a kayak cart that you can handle the standard lay-up after all.

Happy Paddling!


thule makes
a rack accessory called a hullavator and it makes short work of loading a kayak—you won’t have to lift it more than waist high–or thereabouts—also I’m reasonably sure the Explorer comes in a so–called “Elite” layup(its an option) which is lighter than the normal fiberglass–are you looking at the Explorer LV, the regular or the HV? The LV in an elite layup may be quite light.

lv explorer
elite is what my wife paddles. in my extensive loading/unloading that boat experience, my guess (guess…never had it on a scale, guess) is that it weighs in the mid 40’s.

I have on oder a three piece Valley Aquanuat, which should be here any day (7 months and still waiting). I do indeed have a pickup truck, and for longer drives (eg 3 + hours or more), I will use the sectional, even tghough it takes 20 minutes to put together (Cartoppping takes ten). Long trips for example FL in wonter, bring, pout and leave together all week. The lightweight layup you describe should par down the weight for you–a three piece adds 10 lbs, fropm my research. Mine is carb Kev hull only, which shaves off about 8 lbs, so net same as glass. If they had a plastic three piece that was decent and from a reputable builde,r I’d bu\y that for bombproofness, but they do not (and it might weight a ton).

I plan to post a vieo on youtube and plenty of reviews of my Valley when and if it gets here. I did not order NDK because of all the issues with build quality (low) that supercedes their reputatiohn on the water (mediocre).

elite layup in an NDK is NOT similar
to a standard Valley layup.

I have an Elite layup Romany and a standard layup Nordkapp LV - the Nordlow is stiffer and heavier.

The Elite NDK layup is one layer less fabric (as well as carbon/kevlar bulkheads, thinner gel coat, carbon seat) than the standard NDK layup.

I love my Elite Romany, I guess that it weighs about 40 pounds. It is my most often used boat. I’ve taken it in tidal races and surfing. However, it is not my boat of choice for rock gardening.

if I had a bad back
I’d get an SOF