Necky a Good Company?

With all the message traffic regarding problems with some boat manufacturers, and my husband poised to buy a new Necky in the next few weeks, I thought I’d ask whether anyone has ever had dealings with Necky. Good company? Responsive to the customer’s wishes/needs?

I know our local dealer will be our primary point of contact and a good one–just want to check out all the angles. Thanks.

Necky is owned by Johnson
Johnson outdoors owns Necky and Ocean Kayak, as well as others. They are also the company that was ruled in favor for recently. I to was in the same dilema, and changed my mind on the kayak I was buying.

Point of Contact…
The dealer. Exactly! If that outfitter is good you don’t have to worry about Necky since the outfitter should stand by what they sell at the store.

Having said that Necky seems to be going strong with their current products and coming out with new ones. I wouldn’t be worry about Necky.


Ruled in favor of? Any links, info? I hadn’t heard of anything…do tell…

Necky has been great to deal with when I’ve had to do minor repairs on people’s boats. (usual abuse repairs…not any manufacturing defects to speak of)

So far so good
I have 4 Johnson brand boats ( 2 Neckys 2 Ocean kayaks) But like all big corporations greedy share holders pay big bounus’s to CEO’s that in turn lay off workers leaving a few saps to take on tons of work,cut corners, sinking quality boats and company. its a vicious cycle

Well, depends.
So far as I know, as a company, they are in decent shape and I wouldn’t worry about that. They, however, have a history of producing really good boats and real dogs. On the dog side, for example, the Looksha IV is, comparatively, a bad design. I know I will get flamed for that but I can’t see any reason anyone would buy that boat compared to the competition. On the other hand, the Chronic, a whitewater boat, is a real winner, despite the strange outfitting that has to be ripped out and replaced. So I would decide based on the quality of the boat assuming the company is fine and will stand behind what they do.

here Ya’ go

Necky Looksha IV
Dr_Disco - I have been paddling a Looksha IV for three years. It is stable and very fast. I’m interested in your critique of the design.

The Goose

no problems with Necky
I haven’t had any problems with Necky. In fact, I’ve had Necky people email me with answers after they’ve seen my Necky questions posted on

I paddle the Looksha Sport and I love it.

Learned quite a bit on a looksha 4hv
I’m an HV guy at 225 +. A bit rudder dependant for my taste but turned easily enough without it. Nice secondary but not so much primary that I freaked in the waves.

Minor knocks are weathercocking and rudder dependancy. Some folks do not like multi-chined designs or rudders.

I hope you get a more elevated view than this one!

You are buying a boat
not the company right? It’s not like you are going to have warranty issues with an engine or something. Any damage from use or misuse you’ll take to a dealer to repair anyway. If you like the boat, buy it. If the company folds, it will probably be worth more anyway.

I dont’ think it really matters
I know some folks will disagree but if you are familiar with what you are getting then that’s what you’re paddling,if you aren’t then you will be. From an engineering standpoint someone is having fun making them .

Last Necky boat I had was a kevlar Swallow 10yrs ago, 15’x24" kayak. Their niche boats, Phantom racing and whitewater/surf boats make sense. Until the Chatham kayaks came out the sea kayak line changed like automobile models with a heavy emphasis on a particular style of design that had more to do with marketing than paddling. So they must be giving the customer and investors what they want.

Chining in on the "Diamond chine"
in my decade and decade of seconds within the kayak industry, i have heard stories from both sides of the table. one group has pounded their fists/forks stating that the necky factory, upon visiting, was in terrible disarray and that they would not perform business with them. another outfitter claims that necky and mr. mike stand next to all their products. as for the looksha dispute, its been love or hate to eliminate the no brainer. some claim the hull is a slug others cite that once momentum peaks, the hull planes better than any. i adopted a necky looksha sport which treated me well. the recent necky grandprize i won featured a defect in the bow and had to be sent back. hence, i have not paddled the eskia. brotherman has a zoar sport and it has spoiled him as well as the gang (for its cavernous storage). so i hope this settles everything and we can all solidify behind these middle of the road comments and move on to the next hitching post.

Brief analysis
As indicated above the Looksha IV does not paddle well without a rudder (in fact, is designed to always have the rudder down) and tends to weathercock more than other boats I have been in. Rudders break, often in adverse conditions, and I don’t want a boat that isn’t designed to paddle well without a rudder. Given that there are lots of other boats out there that are stable, fast, and don’t need a rudder I can see no reason to own a Looksha IV.

for all the opinions, info.

As I said, we realize that knowing that we have a supportive and responsive dealer, which we do, is probably more important than the company.

Also, the bottom line, I think, is to get a boat we’re happy with. We’re close to being sold on the Zoar Sport (his) and Zoar Sport LV (mine) (can you tell we’ve got a tax refund burning a hole in our pockets?), so it was also nice to hear all the positive comments about that model.

Thanks again, and keep paddling.

Been good
in my experience, I’ve never had a problem with them over the 7 years I’ve had dealings with them off and on.

My experiences go back to the Pre-Johnsson days but then and now, things have been good.

I will point out that Necky does sponsor me and I am a member of Team Necky. That being said however, I’d have never joined them last year if I had not been happy with them all along.

Like any big company, they will experience delays once in awhile and minor setbacks but who doesn’t? Of the “Big” companies, I think they are in the best shape right now by far. This statement is NOT meant as a dig or slight towards any other company though, I just want to make that clear as well.

For kayaks, I’ll likely be paddling Necky for a long time to come.

Good luck…Joe O’

Team Necky

but what about dophin bows?
course that opens up the whole topic of aquatic animal body parts.

low sodium soy sauce?

I liked that they’re of a particular generation,mine.,no,no,I like all the different changes they did over time. I like the composite layups that stretched the light weight/strength compromise, There’s a particular aesthetic they’ve stuck with and now it’s morphing around. Some of the stuff makes sense,some is goofy, all those little things are in the margins. For the long boats rudders are a necessity. If Perception was General Motors then Necky was Ford and when they got into the whitewater market it took awhile for the paddler influence to come back to the sea kayak line they started with. Finally

Actually …
The Necky Dolphin looks like a pretty decent boat, whether the bow dives or not. I read the reviews and decided I should try it out sometime. As for aquatic animal parts, I don’t go there. :slight_smile: