Nigel Dennis Kayak: what happened??

Does anybody has some infos other that what we

find at (automatically redirect to another site).

NDK (production division was bought but is that meaning some changes?



Message on the website says…
The Anglesey Sea and Surf Centre known as ASSC, ceased trading in April 2005. The centre has been sold and is under new ownership. All Sea Kayaking courses and expeditions are run by Nigel Dennis Kayaking under the direction of Nigel Dennis from the new office on Newry Beach.


Website can still be accessed
by going here:

There’s more information about what’s happening with the company under the “News” heading on the left hand menu.


From NDK website

– Last Updated: Jun-26-05 8:37 AM EST –

Nigel Dennis Sea Kayaks Ltd have officially changed their trading name to Sea Kayaking UK Ltd.

Sea Kayaking UK Ltd specialise in composite Sea Kayaks. We are one of the leading Kayak manufacturers within the UK and are happy to manufacture Kayaks for any third party (subject to contractual agreements).

Would you want your boats made by NDK ;-}

lol, that’s a scary thought…
I’m still hoping that one day Nigel Dennis will wise up and have a reputable company build his wonderful kayaks… with less gelcoat. Seaward would be great ala Nigel Foster.

Ick. Nooooo thanks. NDK does just fine.

My better half has a Seaward built Silhouette in kevlar. Great boat, excellent quality of construction. Far superior in quality, IMO, to anything NDK ever built.

I’ve seen way too many Explorers with serious manufacturing defects to ever spend my $$$ on a new one. I’d consider a used one that I knew the history of IF it didn’t weigh 5,000 lbs :wink:

BTW, a buddy of mine once thought about copying one in cedar strip construction — imagine an explorer that weighed 40 lbs, and was TOUGHER than NDK claims theirs are! Now that would be a serious rough-water kayak.


it seems NDK quality control has been better. The most recent NDK boats I’ve seen are noticably more carefully made. The brand new Romany I paddled a week and a half ago at Atlantic Kayak Tours was the lightest NDK boat I’ve ever lifted. It is a blem boat provided as a demo, but I would own it in a second.

Word I got this morning is that the sale of the Center is to allow more focus on the manufacturing of the boats.

In a second…

– Last Updated: Jun-24-05 2:16 PM EST –

I have a 2002 NDK Explorer and I'd buy another one in a second no questions asked and no other kayak out there I'd even be interested in....sure it's alittle heavy and has some nit picky flaws but once I'm in it paddling....Who cares!!!!!

Weighed my 2002 Explorer on a reliable scale last night: 62 pounds - heavy getting on my truck after a long paddle but....

i have an explorer and my wife the elite lv explorer and both of them are beautiful, blemish free, water tight and perfect.

her boat weighs no more than 40 pounds and i wanted a very heavy layup figuring that i’d be bashing it about - imho, boats weren’t made to die of old age. after having paddled in angelsey…i understand why it’s unlikely a boat actually WOULD die of old age…

agree that ndk has had qc issues in the past (a buddy has a boat with a coaming that he can barely get a sprayskirt under and the skeg was such a mess he simply dremelled it out and glassed it over - and loves it) but the boats they are turning out these days seem to be on the money as far as quality. that’s my experieince and yours may certainly differ.

a container arrived here in NE about 3 weeks ago and in helping unload it, there were no boats with visible irregularities or grossly malformed coming right outta the container.

so…if they are scaling back the operation from the angelsey base (which is a shame, it was an amazing place to paddle out of with a host of paddlers that were world class - i am fortunate to have gone with my friends) to concentrate on manufacturing…that’s a good thing.

and as far as we can read from the website, it certainly appears as if they will still be doing training and such…just from a different base of operations. and while the aasc had a pub directly adjacent to the property (is life better than that?) it’s probably still going to be okay, there are pubs in town too!

Just callin it as I see it
In all honesty, I like the explorer for rough water. It is very forgiving, and seaworthy. But my experience with NDK products has not been good. I know people that have good ones as well, but they seem to be in the minority, and have mostly recently purchased them. Most NDK owners I know boast about their boat’s capabilites, and then start making excuses for their manufacturing defects. Personally, I’d rather be paddling.

I had decided once to buy one, and went to a shop that sold them. I inspected three of them, and all three had major defects: Two had voids in the layup, and one already had stress cracks in the gelcoat around the bulkheads, and the front hatch cover rim wasn’t properly caulked on one. All three had “pigeon droppings” of excess resin throughout. If I’m shelling out $2,800 for a new kayak, it had better be perfect. I accept nothing less, so I bought a Canadian built boat that has proven to be every bit as capable and tough (And 10 lbs lighter). I don’t regret my decision, because it opened my eyes to other options that for me are better.

A friend of mine bought an explorer a month later, and there was no glass in the keel at the stern — just gelcoat & resin. He’s lucky he discovered it before it breached completely, and possibly flooded the rear compartment.

As a former aerospace composites prototype maker, I can tell you that building quality kayaks ain’t rocket science — it requires attention to detail, and quality materials and processes. That’s all. Plenty of home builders make world-class kayaks with little or no prior experience, so why can’t a company that makes them for profit do the same on a consistent basis? Especially someone with such a great design.

I genuinely hope they do get their quality standards up to those of the Canadian manufacturers. They could sell a lot more boats if they did.

once again
"A friend of mine bought an explorer a month later, and there was no glass in the keel at the stern — just gelcoat & resin. He’s lucky he discovered it before it breached completely, and possibly flooded the rear compartment."

Nigel has addressed this Urban Legend on his website. Think it’s under layup options. How do you know that there is no glass there?

I had my Explorer out in some chop today on L. Michigan, and never had to think about it. Great design. Had it for 4 years now with no problems. Other kayak designers could learn a lot from NDK boats, for example, what’s with those high back decks on some other makes? Ridiculous. The only complaint I have about my boat is that it does weigh far too much. I think mine weighs 65 lbs.

Nigel ran out on his bills
Forget all the polite answers here.

Nigel ran up a huge amount of bills with a number of resources, declared bankruptcy and started doing business as Nigel Dennis under a new business front.

The guy can build a boat but not balance a checkbook.

So you “ick” seaward and offer

– Last Updated: Jun-22-05 9:50 PM EST –

nothing to back it up? How long you been working for CD or...

So, what is your knock?

while any boat building company can be improved I find seawards quality to be very good, with adequate strenght, excellent strength to weight ratio and better finish than my companies highly touted for it.

I have dreams about a Nigel Dennis designed, seaward built boat. I have a Nigel Foster Seaward built boat.

I also have an ndk explorer not built by NDK. It is my favorite boat. He should have stuck with that business model.

I wish him every success becasue his hulls deserve to be paddled.

How American of him…

is that true?
if that’s true, that’s too bad. and if it’s not, that’d be nice…in either event you seem to type it with a fair amount of joy…don’t think that anyone posed a question that would have elicited that response of yours but as you seem to be fairly bursting with the “news” please let’s point out that…

  1. lotsa companies go bankrupt without any malfeasance on the part of the principals and

  2. is that factual? please cite reference.

Legend? Hardly
I actually saw the hole in the keel, and the repair that the shop did (Very poor repair, BTW). He later took it somewhere else, and got a professional repair done.


Other kayak designers could learn a lot
from NDK boats."

They have been learning alot from NDK boats starting with the Dagger Meridian and continuing through the Necky Chatham series.

There are many boats and number of domestic and foreign manufactuers that are inspired or at least greatly influenced by the Romany and Explorer.

However, there maybe no boat by others which gets all of the nuances of design. Even Valley’s Avocet and Aquanaut (both of which I like a lot and own an Aquanaut)don’t have as functional of a keyhole or as comfortable rear deck/coaming for lay backs as the Romany and Explorer.

Cockpit design
Actually, the rear deck on the explorer is as high or higher than a number of other SK’s if you measure it. NDK did something ingeniously simple, and recessed the rear of the coaming, and also made the cockpit opening extend further behind the seat than most, so that even 5’7" guys like me can layback on the deck. Lots of whitewater boats are designed similarly, so I think Mr. Dennis did his homework before the boat went into production. First SK I ever hand rolled was an explorer. It’s easy!

The idea is catching on with other companies now. I’ve seen several newer designs at kayak demos that are using that same design trick. It not only makes rolling easier, but I suspect that it may make rescue easier, too. Just good, soild thinking in the design.