Some incredible feedback
for which I am extremely greatful! You guys are making me think twice about the Nordlow and making me look at the Aquanaut. To answer one of the posts above, for the most part, I do A to B paddles on the Chesapeake Bay (from Perryville Community Park out to Elk Neck State Park or Battery Fishing Island). This is mostly protected waters, but can get choppy with the wind. The most I have done has been 17 miles in my Tsunami, but I hope to up that once I get a new boat. So I don’t do much in the way of playboating or surfing (which I miss, but life circumstances have changed). I considered a race boat like one of the Rapiers, but I dont want to give up the ability to camp or take it on a smaller lake, which I do on occasion. The naut sounds like the perfect mix of speed and handling for what I need. I’ll trade some manuverability for a little speed. Thanks for all the help and I welcome any other input!
Some incredible feedback
Nordlow with some weight
Here is a shot of Pete paddling my Nordlow - my guess is that Pete weighs at least 230 - he is a big man. The other shot is me at about 180 in my Nordkapp LV. In both cases the boat is also loaded with pretty full BCU 4* kit. Pete found the boat to be much quicker and livelier than his Explorer.
BTW, thusfar I have been unintentionally capsized in my Nordlow only when sitting still never when moving forward ;-)
But, make the trip and demo both an Aquanaut and a Nordkapp LV. Both are great boats. The Nordlow is quick and playful. The 'naut is fast (for a Brit boat) and very confidence inspiring without the loglike feel of an Explorer.
I think that’s exaggerated
…but I imagine it varies from person to person.
What I do: I lay the paddle across the foredeck, favor one side with the paddle, and hold it in place on that side with a forearm to form a soft brace. Stable i nflatwater or a mild chop. Practice looking up at the sky and behind you and you soon get used to the balance.
I’d hate to choose an overly stable boat just to facilitate photography when a less stable but swifter and more seaworthy kayak will suit that purpose and be more enjoyable to paddle.
OP seemed to suggest staying in calmer waters so the very sea worthy qualities of the Nordkapp wouldn’t be as appreciated. So depending on needs either a more stable boat or a racing type boat might suit better. Personally I like rough water and so would lean more to the Nordkapp.
I have taught more than a few courses where people show up in the latest and greatest ‘performance’ flavor of the month boat and have no real reason to be in one.
what’s wrong with the Tempest?
It could be my inexperience
but I expected a bigger difference in the feel between the Tsunami and the Tempest. Was it faster? Yes. Did it manuever more easily? Definetly. But to me I cant see spending $3000 to upgrade (which is a credit to the Tsunami and not a detractor to the Tempest). I think paddling it made me appreciate my Tsunami more. Am I missing something? I paddled 10 miles out to Battery Fishing Island in the Northern Chesapeake in my Tsunami, camped over, and paddled back in the Tempest. Would more time in the boat show me a bigger difference between them?
what more would you like?
You found the tempest faster, etc. – would you like faster yet to be worth it or is there some other attribute it lacked? Nordkapp would likely give a bit better performance (mainly in rough water) though require a bit more skill, but it’s an incremental thing from the Tempest and so you may not consider it worth the price either. Have you demoed a Nordkapp or Quest yet? If bang for the buck is an issue then look around at 17’+ used kayaks and grab one in good condition at a good price with less concern about whether it’s the ultimate boat.
to say the 'Capp is a better rough conditions boat than the Tempest is not a given. The 'Capp is NOT very forgiving and is quite demanding in ‘conditions’, while the T is quite friendly and IMO very sweet in the roughest of conditions.
This is EXACTLY my point. Many people whom I have seen trying to make a ‘performance’ boat work for them (peer pressure, fashion, etc)would do better in a more friendly boat.
Pics and video from a 'kapp
Done a fair amount of it. It may not be as stable as some of boats out of there, but time in the seat and skill building take care of that. If a ‘bump’ comes, with the narrow, more unstalbe boat, it requires less body movement to correct for while I’m holdig the camera. Not sure there’s a perfect boat for this. There may be.
would do better in a more friendly boat
A very good point. If the boat intimidates a paddler they will paddle it less and probably paddle less in general. A demanding boat can diminish a paddler's confidence and enjoyment.
I'm not a good enough paddler to have my Nordkapp LV as my only boat. There are days and conditions I choose to paddle my Romany or Aquanaut becuase I don't have the intestinal fortitude for the Nordlow.
After a day in the 'kapp LV which has required my best, I often spend a day or more in my Romany or Aquanaut to rebuild confidence and equanimity.
A year or so ago there were a number of Nordkapp LVs for sale from paddlers who found the boat more demanding than they desired. If a paddler wants an all round boat for journeying etc... I usually recommend an Aquanaut, Explorer, or Tempest 170. If they want one for day paddles and fun I first recommend a Romany, then an Avocet, Chatham 16, or Tempest 165.
Many very experienced paddlers prefer a reassurring boat to a more demanding one like the Nordlow. Paddle a lot of different boats in the fullest range of conditions in which you may find. Then assess which boat made you smile the most.
"…a bigger difference in the feel…"
IMHO the Nordkapp LV would provide “a bigger difference in the feel” from your Tsunami than you perceived in a Tempest
Thats what I was looking for
I am keeping the Tsunami. I LOVE that boat, however, I like to change things up from time to time. Hence the desire for a British boat. For instance, I had a Honda Civic, and it was fantastic, but instead of getting another one, I got a Jetta. Steve, I am not insulting the Tempest at all, (rather I think its a compliment to the Tsunami). I intend to paddle a Tempest again (and a Zephyr) after jumping in the Valley boats, and see if there is a big difference. If not, I’ll likely stick with Wilderness Systems.
As you’re keeping the Tsunami…
Go for the Nordlow!
Everyone almost convinced me out of it with my weight, stating that the Naut would be better for day tripping. Would the Nordlow would be slower than the Naut? I remember seeing a post by Peter Orton who said that the Nordlow has less volume, so a heavier paddler would get a longer waterline, therefore making it quicker. Peter, if you read this, I would appreciate your input!
in that boat
the additional waterline you get will be neutralized by more wetted surface. Remember how fine the stems are and think about the extra drag when submerged.
B I N G O !!!
and you paddle HOW many days a year? You gotta be on top of your game…in this style of boat.
Like I said sooooo many folks would do better in friendly boats.
Go with what speaks to ya. It doesn’t matter the brand!
regardless OP isn’t looking for rough
water paddling so a boat with more primary becomes more attractive.
And thank you for your help. Your feedback is most appreciated. Keep designing awesome boats!
Do you really want the LV?
What’s with all the big guys wanting to stuff themselves into LVs? Do what makes you happy, but it’s sounding to me like there is quite a bit of hype about tight low volume boats and that isn’t necessarily what everyone really wants in a kayak.
Anyway, I recently picked up a poly Nordcapp. You might want to look into that. According to the website it is about half way between the composite LV and standard. Frankly I surprised myself because I didn’t think I was interested in it until I paddled it. I was in the market for a plastic boat and I have to say the build quality looks very good.
The Nordcapp balance braces like a dream and the initial initial instability, so to speak, didn’t take long to adjust to. I think it will really advance my edge control. But enough about me. I’ll post some questions in a new thread.
Definitely not a kayak for everyone but worth keeping an open mind about.