NDK Explorer X Impex Force

-- Last Updated: Apr-21-06 12:06 AM EST --

I heard last week from a pretty experienced instructor that the Force line from Impex is very similar to the NDK Explorer/Romany.

If so, this should be a great thing, due to the fact that Impex is famous for its superb finish and attention to detail and the Explorer is famous for being plain and simply a great boat design with sometimes questionable workmanship.

I have no experience with the Force, I love the Explorer, any thoughts?

Too New for Opinions?

– Last Updated: Apr-19-06 10:55 AM EST –

I rather imagine the Force boats have not been paddled by enough people for long enough for reasonable opinions to be formed let alone a consensus developed on how these boats are or are not alike. My $.02 based on very limited experience in both and a few SWAGs looking at the hulls is the Force and Explorer are rather different ways of getting to the same goal of a solid, open water, extended trip boat. I doubt it will be viewed as an Explorer copy or clone. It seems to me the Currituck is more like the Explorer than the Force boats, but what do I know? Not much. To me the intriguing question is whether the Force will become popular as a day boat for rough water fans as the Explorer has in the NE which is my frame of reference or be seen primarily as a fast day tripper and camping boat.

Better Quality out of NDK
Our local shop got its shipment of NDK boats a few weeks back and so far the quality looks superb, looks like they may have sorted out their QC issues. A friend of mine who is extremely picky grabbed a new Explorer and hasn’t found anything wrong with it yet.

ignorant of both
but I wonder if the Force is stiffer tracking and less forgiving in waves

Force 4 very manuverable
Not like you’re thinking. Pretty easy to spin it around in a stroke.

wow, that goes goes against
their description of the “Pro Touring” line.

I’m looking for a highly maneuverable boat and thought the Force series was geared toward the touring class as opposed to a clapotis boat.

Might look at Chatham 16.

Still reading it wrong

– Last Updated: Apr-19-06 4:54 PM EST –

They are long boats - NOT playboats - but are playful for longboats. That is possible you know!

A few have said they'd be good trip leader/instructor boats - something also said of the Explorer. They have different personality/feel though - but definitely good for same jobs (a bit of everything).

This is all stuff that must be DEMOED! Discussion has very little chance of providing useful comparison as each paddler will feel differently.

Chatham 16 etc
I haven’t ever had one in stuff - just a brief try in a protected bay - but I know of at least one highly rated coach who regards the Chatham 16 as a very capable surf boat. Which usually means that it manuvers very well.

But as Greyak said very well - manuvers well for a long boat, with a paddler who is willing to take a steep edge to really swing it around, doesn’t mean it isn’t a plenty efficient touring boat. Just that it manuvers quite well too. Best to try lotso boats to see where you land on the contimuum of speed, tracking and manuverability.

Own a Carbon CH 16
My favorite of the Chathams, but not for everyone. If you are a legit coastal paddler who plays in big water, surf, rock gardens, high winds, etc., you will appreciate this boat, which is outstanding in said conditions. Some find the cockpit narrow, but I love it and I’m 210 - 5’ 10". Some paddlers will say it’s too loose, and or slow. It is looser than a Romany or Avocet, and somewhere between in terms of speed, which is splitting hairs in this category. All are fast enough. I’ve owned all three. I’d say if you paddle mainly flat, protected water, with only occassional forays outside, you’d be happier with the CH 17, of the CH series. The 17 is my least favorite of the 3, but is the most appealing to the market as I understand it, and I can see that. The 18 is an efficient fun boat that still is maneuverable. Cockpit is big, so big people enjoy it, but I’d have to really pad it out for my taste.

I very much like the composite 16 for my type of paddling. Lots of good choices and it comes down to what does it for ya.

it comes down to what does it for ya.

– Last Updated: Apr-19-06 8:45 PM EST –

Exactly, Salty...

Lots of good boats, many with different personalities. Everyone should own a few... And ones other than the models I own ;-)

Explorers, Avocets, and Romanys account for nearly all the recently aquired boats among my regular paddling partners. They are fine boats, but I want an chance to play with more different boats!

I think someone in my pod should buy one of the Force boats. And maybe one of them should get a Chatham 16, I really wish someone I know would bring a Rockpool boat back from Wales.... And when is Evan getting his Rapier?

Rockpool Alaw Bach
luv to give one of those a try!!

Chatham 16
I’ve got an 18 but that full hull shape with no rocker is kind of funny compared to the 16

Chatham 18 etc…
A friend has a Chatham 18, so I’ve had ample opportunity to paddle it in varying conditions. It is not to my liking.

The less subjective dislike I have of the boat is the enormous cockpit and ridiculously high fore deck. Also, the forward bulkhead seems placed to accommodate paddlers over 7’ tall.

I’ve only paddled a 16 once a few years ago. I recall it being a pretty neat boat, but my skill set was much more limited then, so I have no viable personal take on the boat. Paddlers with far more experience and skills than I are quite fond of it.

I paddled a 17 at the same time and recall being neither impressed nor displeased with the boat. Again, my skill set was not particularly deep at the time. Also it as the 17’s first appearance and I don’t know if the boat was subsequently tweaked.

What discomforts me in all three Chathams is the amount of hardware in the cockpit. When I think of surfing the boat or wet exits and re-entries, I wonder about the possibility of interference or snag.

Fairness to the Force
Let’s be fair with the Force boats. They are deliberately made with LESS rocker in order to be fast for long crossings. They then, as a second priority looked for a way to make them turn as best as possible, within that restriction. They also were willing to depart from their classic typical medium chine that makes them work for a wide variety of paddlers. All in all, too soon to know, but that is what they were aiming for. Not a boat the was super playful, i.e., very tight and quick turns, just no boat can do it all.

Impex is fair too
Overall, I think Impex describes their boats fairly. They don’t try to convince people all the boats are do anythng boats and they are up front about the compromises made for different models.

I think people are going to be pleasantly suprised at how manuverable the Force boats are. Not play boats for sure, but they are not hard tracking like the Sirius by any means and you do not need to really crank them over to get it either. From my limited seat time and watching my wife in her 3, I think they did a very good job of hitting their design goals and the boat is what they say it is.

Also, based on my wife’s experiences to date, the Force 3 may well become a true gem for small paddlers like women under 5’4’ and 130 pounds looking for a full sized boat as in 17’ and decent carrying capacity. It is much more than an “LV” version of the 4.

get rid of the back band adjustors
in the smaller 16 cockpit I don’t need the thigh braces,it’s perfect for easy water and I’ve had it in the surf and I don’t need the metal thigh braces,besides in the plastic version they’re angled wrong. The 18 does have a bizarrely high foredeck, it’s wonderful down wave but in the choppy bay it kind of bounces around more than a kayak with more rocker. I’d still pick any of the Chathams over the Tempest for a windy day.

Adventure Kayak Magazine
Thanks to all who replied.

By a huge coincidence today I got my issue of Adventure Kayak and believe it or not they bring a test report of the Force 5 and there is more, they do compare it to the NDK Explorer.

On a side note, this one is a great issue for people who enjoy Greenland kayaks, if you like to read a about traditional paddling, it would be smart to get a copy.

can you give the issue number/year of the magazine that has the Greenland info? please and thanks!

And how to they compare?
So what do they say in the review in terms of how the Force and Eplorer compare and what did they think its best features were? Curious minds would like to know.

I’ve got my Chatham18 for sale,thinking of the Force4