Nordkapp LV SK review?

I noticed that on the Seakayaker Magazine website they have a PDF under resources for a review of the VCP Nordcapp LV. It says it was in the April issue. Not in my copy. Anyone seen the full review? Numbers are interesting, but wonder what the paddlers said.

Here’s a review that someone posted
from the UK:

Not that I recall
I think I would remember a Nordkapp LV review.

I’ll look at my copy of SK again when I get home…

April Reviews
Quest (by Hobie Cat)

Eskimo 17 CRX 3G HV

That’s it.

I guess they couldn’t fish…
from a Nordkapp LV.

Maybe it’s time to email Sea Kayaker and ask why they have the stats posted for the Nordkapp LV to go with the review listed as in the April 2006 issue, yet the review is not in said issue?

Frankly I would forego both the reviews that are in the April issue for the review of the Nordkapp LV.

BTW, how does a 13.5’ SOT count as a Sea Kayak?

Where are the LV?
I would rather actually see and paddle one than read about it. Which US retailers have them? Owners?

Container this week
Andy at GRO informed me that a container of Valley boats arrives Stateside this week. The boats are for East Coast and Texas dealers.

My sense is that the new models are trickling in slowly. The two Valley dealers I’ve most dealt with are not getting any of the new models for demo in the current shipment.

Rutabaga had three…
at Canoecopia but I think they sold all three of them at the show. When I sat in the boat, it felt great and I’d love to test it on the water. I’m not sure if their plans changed, but initially Rutabaga was not going to stock this boat and only special order it which makes some sense given the rather niche appeal of the Nordkaap. From my perspective it is an exceptionally appealing boat.

The review I think is going to be in the may issue. I can’t wait to try it out in conditions.

May issue makes sense

– Last Updated: Apr-12-06 10:15 AM EST –

The numbers are interesting. Weight is about same as H2O, cockpit height down only a little, and the stability curve for a 200# paddler nearly flat. Should be one fun and light touch boat if that curve really relates to how the boat feels when paddling.


– Last Updated: Apr-12-06 10:39 AM EST –

I do not believe that numbers alone mean really much but I checked the measurements of the H2O and the LV in the Seakayaker website and found out cockpit lenght and coaming height (forward) are actually bigger in the LV. Not by much but slightly bigger.
Coaming height aft same in both models.
I never seen a LV but those numbers look very strange to me, I thought Valley lowered both decks and actually a bigger cockpit opening for smaller paddlers doesn't make much sense.
Oh well........ I can't afford another kayak anyway ;-)

Killing time with numbers
Valley boats can vary a bit within a model - though I would guess that will be less so with the new layups.

The measures given for the Nordkapp LV cockpit are pretty much (within 1/8")those SK got for the original Aquanaut. Valley does not vary the keyhole coamings on their composite boats. So, I would figure that what ever difference in the H2O measures is within the variances of the build.

I too am surprised at the height of the decks. The LV’s decks are higher than a standard Aquanaut’s and effectively the same as an H2O (within a quarter of an inch of the H2O’s foredeck - and exactly the same aft).

Seat height retains the Nordkapp’s tradition of slightly higher placement (LV 1.44, H20 1.31, Aquanaut 1)

The weight is almost the same for the new LV (60.25) and last year’s H2O (60.75) - so much for Valley’s weight savings in standard layup.

The LV and H20 have very similar waterline length and beam. Both shorter than an Aquanaut and both wider up through 200 pound load after which the beam is effectivley equal among these three Valley boats.

What does this all provide? A diversion until one can actually get in the boat. I would guess that the ways that the LV feels different from the H2O is primarily owing to to its 1/2 less cubic ft in volume. The ways it feels different from an Aquanaut are probably similar to the ways an H2O feels different, which is likely mostly owing to hull section. (Nordkapps are rounder than Aquanauts)

More Play with numbers
Aside from dimensions, we could all speculate what the stability curves mean in terms of how it will feel compared to H20, Aguanaut, or whatever. In fact, it would be fun to write a review and see how close it came to the real one. I mean the review is a summation of three padlers with different opinions…so how hard could it be anyway?

stability curve voodoo

– Last Updated: Apr-13-06 7:51 AM EST –

Sometimes the stability curves in a SK review seem to reflect experience - at least it feels so to me regarding the Aquanaut, the Explorer and the H2O. However, I cannot honestly say that I can make much of a prediction on how a boat will feel based on the curves.

Of course, most times if I'm demoing a boat it is unladen with anything but me and minimal gear therby approaching #2 on the SK curves in which case the boat's stability is the lightest. Maybe when I'm fully packed for camping the total load in a boat attains that wonderful #3 curve.

I'm sure if Valley would lend me a Nordkapp LV, I could easily find two friends (at least one of whom would be FEMALE) who would join me in paddling the boat in order to review it ;-)

Cockpit Opening
The folks at Valley got email from both myself and my husband over the last several months specifically asking about whether the LV versions would have a cockpit size that was correct for smaller paddlers that seem to be the target for a “low volume” boat. Neither of us ever got an answer to that one, so we guessed a while ago that Valley was not willing to have two molds with one having an appropriately sized cockpit for smaller guys or average sized women.

From the measurements on the .pdf, it’s a moot point anyway. Doesn’t seem that this is at all a “low volume” boat either, just a slightly lower volume than the regular Nordkapp (1/2 a cubic foot less volume). So it’s really an average sized guy’s boat, and low volume is a somewhat misleading label.

Coaming area
After getting no response from Valley regarding coaming size in the LVs, I emailed GRO and got a prompt response from Andy noting that the coamings are the same size as Valley’s other composite boats.

NDK and P&H reduce the coaming size for their lower volume boats. It is odd that Valley can’t be bothered.

Yes, but…

– Last Updated: Apr-13-06 9:27 AM EST –

A few things to keep in mind first:

1. The proof is in the pudding.
2. Only a handful of US folks have seen let alone spent time on the water with the boat.
3. We assume the numbers are correct.
4. The reported volume is in the same range as a Romany and Avocet which most consider lower volume day boats, but which are good camping boats for smaller paddlers except they are not small paddler hulls.
5. You have to know what the design intent was for a boat before you know whether the boat is a good design or not.

My understanding is the Nordkapp in any version is designed as an expedition boat which means it its primary use was expected to be trips of a week or more. To do that you need space to to lug around your basic kayaking kit, your full camping kit, and required food and water. I know someone who camps out of an OI with around 8 cubic feet, but most would want more as in 10 or 11. So even if you make a boat specifically for smaller paddlers ( whatever that means), you will need volume consistent with the Nordkapp LV's. Then you have the issue that without examining the hull and deck you don't know where and how the volume is distributed. More importantly, you still don't know what its design displacement is and how that displacement is distributed.

IMHO, slapping a small cockpit and lower deck on a hull does not automatically make that boat a smaller person's boat. A smaller person will fit fine and there will be less volume, but the design displacement may be wrong and the trim may be wrong for a smaller person.

I have no idea and never will know what the Nordkapp LV may or may not be like for smaller paddlers since I am not a small person, but the total volume does not seem out of line for its intended use. It does seem VCP has developed a different hull for a smaller paddler and that bodes well. The only other boat, to my limited knowledge, in this category with a hull designed for smaller paddlers is the Impex Force 3 which also has a nice small cockpit to fit a small paddler.

also good to remember what a person, even a smaller person , has to wear in any boat designed for long trips…even the foot wear changes slightly depending on the temp of air and water you are planning on paddling. T shirts and jogging shorts are not the general clothing or bulkiness of clothing generally worn when out for a long period on unfriendly waters…trying on a truely fitted boat has to be done in paddling cloths, not in a pair of blue jeans with all kinds or stuff in the pockets…

just a thought

Best Wishes


trying on a truely fitted boat has to be
The snuggest my boats fit is when I’m in dry suit with two layers under. They are looser fitting with my warm water clothing. However, we are talking fractions of inches in difference.

I’m 6’ tall and with the seat moved forward an inch have okay thigh contact in my Aquanaut (which has an inch of foam under the foredeck.) For my wife (who is average height for a woman) the cockpit is voluminous. She has an Explorer LV and a Vela. Both have smaller cockpit coamings than standard reflecting the intended paddlers for the boats. All Valley composite keyholes take a medium deck skirt. The Explorer LV takes an XS and the Vela a S. Even if Valley were to make the keyhole more pronounced as on a Romany or Explorer it would help.

Wilsoj2, I just brought it up because, I’m not particularrly big, 5’ 11" 205 # and I can’t hardly slide into anything that I paddle wearing street cloths. I have a size 12 foot and wear only neoprene socks or rodeo socks or the soleless mucklucks in my boats (even in my Nordkapp) because they fit me better this way. I realize the pain of trying to fit small people into the boats that are on the market today…my wife and I went thru the same thing a few years ago looking for a camping boat for her. She doesn’t like anything that is over about 20.5 inches wide. (she’s 5’ 4" 135#) The selection is rather limited. She ended up chosing between the old model Nordkapp that I then paddled and the NF Siloette…she liked my old '93 Nordkapp, sooo I got a new boat. I believe that the length of the cockpit on any given boat is less crucial than how the thigh hooks or lack of thigh hooks fit. and the way the hull paddles is even more crucial…meaning how far into the water can you sit the boat with your weight and your gear. most things in the cockpit can be altered to fit anybody…rip out a seat, add thigh braces etc. The one thing that you can’t change is how far into the water the boat will sit with you in it and how the boat paddles for that persons weight.

I find that it’s better to look beyond the outfitting, and see the boats possiabilities. I think that the Nordkapp LV has possiabilities.(my wife says it’s still too wide)

Sorry I got windy …Again

Best Wishes Always