NDK deck fittings


Yeah, that’s about it
Great designs, but they have no idea how to build them correctly.

Bryan, the speed of which you go to
great lengths to attack Nigel Dennis suggests a severe case of penis envy. Of the constants known in the Pnet universe “BNystrom says Nigel is the anti-Christ” is a given. Tell us how you really feel about Nigel, don’t sugar coat it.

Of the 3 Nigel boats we have, one came with a leaking fitting. All others are just fine. They are heavy boats. They have a design/build philosophy that is acceptable to me. They have a large build paddler play boat that few if any other companies produce. Nigel is a great guy, a helluva fellow and a survivor in a extremely niche industry. People understand rafting, they see river kayakers once in a while, but sea paddling, let alone making a living at it, has to be as obscure as a flute playing bluesman.


thanks dog
I wonder if the criticism is partly inspired by knowing what good hulls NDKs have.

I especially like how one’s personal experience with an NDK boat turns into knowledge of the quality of all NDKs ever produced or gives one the gall to question someone’s definition of durability.

We all know NDKs are prone to QC issues. So, if you’re going to buy, inspect and paddle first, and take your lumps if you did. But I’ll continue to disagree with some of the blanket statements about materials and construction and offer up my much-bashed but to this point, non gelcoat-cracked, watertight explorer as proof. And yes, it’s durable according to whichever definition any of you care to use.

Blues flute player
Oh you mean like Red Groetzinger. :slight_smile:

Bottom line

– Last Updated: Jan-07-08 2:51 PM EST –

Warts and all, it's only in the last year and a half that we've gone to symposiums in the northeast and not seen whole classes where the majority of the boats are NDK Explorers. From where I sit, that means it took other manufacturers a decade or so to come up with boats that competed with the Explorer in performance as an all-around boat for big water. The other boats that fill that niche like the Aquanaut, the Chatham 17, the Force boats and the P&H Cetus are all much newer designs.

Yup many of the Explorers show repairs - but it as much due to the paddler using them hard as from anything original in the manufacture. For whatever reason, paddling Brit boats aggressively, at least in the east, tends to mean playing in boat-bashing rocks. We must all be trying to find our Scottish roots or whatever.

Whatever the debate about NDK build and QC, and there is plenty to be had, the guy made a boat that a lot of other manufacturers spent some years chasing. That's their charm.

Blind Mello Jelly

I could care less, but
I have never seen a much bashed regular FG hull, regardless of manufacturer that did not have gelcoat cracked, chipped, whatever. Isn’t doing so its reason for existence? Frankly, it is just as irrational to say Brand A boats are indestructible tanks as to say all Brand A boats are junk. Maybe well bashed to some does not mean getting body slammed onto rocks or surged if not surfed onto rocky shores, but if it does, then the gelcoat is going to get damaged. Not scratched, but damaged. Lets get real folks.

here you go

– Last Updated: Jan-07-08 2:32 PM EST –

It's chipped at the places where it has been bashed. Nowhere else. No spreading cracks, no spider cracking, No cracking at flex points/bulkheads, nowhere else. At other points of impact there is no crack nor is there any chipping. If you want to impugn my intelligence or question my honesty maybe save yourself the breath. (I think I read somewhere that you could care less) but you posted anyway, so you're welcome to come see it anytime.

If you re-read my post I was only commenting on my personal craft; I think that was rather obvious. I haven't seen anyone here make positive blanket statements regarding the brand and I certainly did not do so.

I suspect some of this is nothing more than posturing from people who have little more to do with their time than compare gelcoat cracks and old war stories (fish stories) instead of paddling...or people envious to the point that celia made.

Nystrom has experience

– Last Updated: Jan-07-08 3:14 PM EST –

Brian has repaired, owned, worked on, etc... many boats. He speaks from experience.

I love my Romany and recommend Explorers to folks more often than any model boat. However, I would never assert that the build quality of an NDK boat can be reasonably relied on to be as consistent as a Valley or P&H boat.

Brian is not challenging the design quality of Nigel Dennis boats. He is noting the build quality based on his experience and knowledge.

We have 9 kayaks in our current fleet, all but two British built. So, I guess that makes us Brit boat folk. I think, as noted above, people are often passionate about the boats they love. Also, as noted above, people get frustrated when they have a beautifully designed boat that has manufacturing flaws.

Someone like Brian who knows boat construction, gets more frustrated than many because he understands the details of building/repairing a kayak.

I have been frustrated with the defects/flaws in two of my Brit boats. Brian's advice helped me solve the biggest issue with my Romany. Peter Orton is resolving the problem with my Nordkapp LV.

Knowing what is usual or acceptable in kayak manufacture is helpful. In addition to Brian, posters like Onno, Flatpick, Salty, Orton, etc.., help in deepening our understanding of the design and manufacture of these boats of which we are so passionate.

Learning how to address and remedy concerns is also extremely valuable.

Not personal, I just think
its absurd how these NDK threads go spinning out of control. I admit I don’t grasp why debating the merits of NDK boats apparently involves some fundamental truth of the universe which in turn creates essentially a religious war. Debates about other boats do not reach a similar level of religious fervor on both sides.

"Know Why The Brits Didn’t Invent TV?
“Because they couldn’t figure out how to make it leak oil!”

(The above was the response given to my father after taking his Jaguar in for service for the umteeth time.)

ok, apologies here
I have my suspicions to the answer. They are:

  1. People know how good these designs are, and are pissed at NDK for not getting the execution right.

  2. Some people revere these boats carte blanche. So when someone who knows better than they do tell them that a Romany is a great boat, and they find QC issues, they have an opening to show up that person.

  3. NDK owners are a passionate bunch. There are some who will defend their boat and admit no fault of NDK anywhere but the people I’ve talked to with NDK kayaks seem to admit they either suffered through some stuff or did their homework and inspected well.

let me deepen your understanding more

– Last Updated: Jan-07-08 3:31 PM EST –

getting into my Romany S a couple days ago, i put my weight on the left rear of the coaming, full force. i heard a bang, and realized the coaming had come apart from the deck in about a 12 inch long section. i've spent the last couple nights, with the boat indoors, filling in the gap where the coaming meets the deck with epoxy through a syringe. fill it until it all runs down, then do it again until it runs out the top, move the boat around from side to side, to make sure it flows all over in the gap.
good advice to those who own them as preventative maintenance.

i love this boat, consider my postings as merely statements of fact. i bought the boat knowing the risks and it's all a part of NDK ownership as far as i'm concerned.

Learning how to constructively
criticize something is a useful skill to go around with in life. I think Bryan is probably a great guy, however, the lengths he goes out of his way to gut Nigel Dennis is like a Pnet rapid insertion strike force. This is an observation of someone’s posting behavior. Everything from disgusting material to a lack of care of his customers to being a terrible businessman. It really is personal, isn’t it?

Additionally, what he does not say about Nigel’s construction material philosophy is that cheap or not, the materials used reflect the consideration that for Nigel and his style of paddling that he advocates, localized failure is better than failure over a wider area. I’m ok with that consideration. It has benefits, it has a price to it. That can be misleading to someone who is not aware of why the combination of woven mat and chop mat is used.

To be fair, if I ordered a custom job that came in as a train wreck I’d be pissed, too. But all of ours came in with a grand total of 1 flaw. Big whoop.

There was a day when Nigel Foster had his boats made in Belgium or Florida, they weighed 6 tons but if you liked his great designs it didn’t matter, you paddled them. Is CD still using plastic hull and deck seams? Do you get composite bulkheads? Everything is a trade off. I like Seaward, I like CD, so if there was a design for a large playboat I would add them to the list of consideration and if selected would live with whatever design/build philosophy they prefer.


what’s telling to me…

– Last Updated: Jan-07-08 4:27 PM EST –

...is that if someone tries to defend NDK, even claim their NDK is relatively flaw-free, everyone else likes to jump their sh*t. but someone makes an asinine statement like medicineman did above, and no one calls him on it. A pretty good indication of groupthink.

I agree with dogmatycus and think the post he criticized is disingenuous at best or suspect that there is a personal issue at worst.

You’ve had a broader variety of warts in that Romany S than it seems usually happen in a single boat. Congrats on your patience.

Suggesting that an Amway career is
similar to a BCU symposium is pretty silly. I know that at these meets there is some real groupy behavior. I know the influence factor of leading paddlers on some of the mortals is significant. Everything from their design to the schwag they hand out or sell is part and parcel of it. Well guess what? We live in a commercial world, well, most of us do, anyway. The way to make a living is to design and build something, market it, be good at what you do and get other people to wear and speak your brand. It is a successful model. Every successful brand or concept can be called an Amway convention. Does anybody really like Red Bull?

Group think: I know what you mean, but I’ve already pissed off enough people for today to take that one on.

Augustus Dogmaticus


Wow, jbv, I’d be unhappy.
Actually by this point I would expect the dealer to replace or suitably repair the boat.

We bought both of our NDK boats from Tom Bergh - MIKCo. With both boats (an Explorer LV and a Romany)Tom took care of cleaning up and finishing NDK’s sloppy and incomplete work. Had Brian, and others here, not provided an easy solution to my coaming issue (set too low), I would have returned the boat to Tom to take are of it.

This is a small community at this level. Mostly, it seems, dealers, importers, and manufacturers try to do the right thing.

Regarding both the…
… “Groupthink” and “Commercial World” aspects - how would Bnystroms being more PC, or less direct, or toning it down, or otherwise altering his style to better suit your liking - really be doing a service to either?

It’s just ONE more opinion - with obviously valid points from that ONE perspective - and that will not be the same for everyone else. There are legions of NDK lovers that can and do chime in on the positives for balance (if a bit apples/oranges at times).

I take anything hinting at (by my reading) emotion or agenda in there only as indication of strong feelings/positions - AKA he actually cares about these things.

Seems you mostly don’t like his mode of expression on this. That’s a perfectly fine opinion on your part - but really none of your business how he communicates either. If you think see blatant lies - that’s something else - but really hard to call this that.

Style aside - companies can stand to benefit more from negative feedback than praise. “Groupthink” clusters can similarly benefit from some small reality checks from outside the cool-aid circles now and then.

Looking at these NDK quality threads, as someone with no dog in this fight, it seems like the stuff people know about already (and are glossing over/minimizing/doing workarounds for/or just are really OK with) ruffles the most feathers.