NordkappRM vs. AquanautRM LV

Ok, so this is probably born more out of cabin fever, but it beats some of the other winter madness I see…IMHO anyway. Anyhoo, so why would the same company put out two lower volume roto versions of very capable expedition boats with comparable dimensions and volumes? Where’s the huge difference? Anybody paddled both and can comment?

I’m coming back into the market for another long boat and am just browsing through my options. I’ll keep an eye out for used composite boats, but I have to admit my short list is pretty short and kind of rare here in the midwest. My preference is for point-to-point paddling, Great Lakes big open-water crossing capable, snug fit, and Greenland rolling skills development. I’m sure both the AquanautRM LV and the NordkappRM would fit the bill for tha first half, but how about the second? Thanks in advance.


Do you mean the Nordkapp RM LV?
It would seem the Nordkapp RM is not even close to a lower volume boat. (but then neither are any of these boats)

Greenland skills and point-to-point? Maybe an NDK Greenlander or BBK Aral…I have both and like em both for any kind of paddling to include your desired types.

I paddled a Aquanaut RM LV for a class last summer and thought it felt way too roomy and was wicked slow. The Aquanaut LV FG though is definitely lower volume and seems quicker - a better choice though lots of $$.

Tough to find one boat for everything that fits like you want it to - ain’t it? Good luck on your search for your perfect boat.


RM Nordkapp etc…
The RM 'kapp is between the volumes of the Standard and LV Nordkapps.

With Valley (and many other manufacturers), LV means ‘lower’ volume not necessarily ‘low’ volume.

I haven’t paddled the plastic versions, but have both a Nordlow and an Aquanaut in composite. The Nordkapp hull is very different from the Aquanaut. Both good but different personalities.

Aquanaut RM LV
Everyone’s different - I have one and don’t find it slow. To me, seems more or less similar to a fiberglass Impex Force 4 for speed. I fit fine (5’11", 165 lbs), not too roomy. It rolls well. Nice boat.

I’m with Harlingford- I have a roto
Naut LV and find it quick and it fits me fine (not as fine as the composite which is a bit snugger) at 5’9" and 150#.

More info…
According to VSK’s website, the NordRM is only available in 1 size yet, which also according to Peter Orton (as posted on p-net) is based on the NordLV. I know neither is truly low volume, but then again I’m aiming at a compromise…most of us with limited disposable income do. The Greenlander is on my short list based on reviews, specs, and the fact that it is one of only two point-to-point “fast” boats available with an ocean cockpit. Like I said though, in the Midwest, these are rare and I am yet to paddle one. I would keep nearly all the BBK boats on my short list except for the fact that they are a little too fragile in their layup. I’ve already passed up smokin’ hot deals on a Recluse and three different Valkyries for this reason. Beautiful as they are, I don’t want to be 20 miles from the mainland with a holed boat. Other boats on my short list are the Silhouette, Sirius, Ellesmere, Currituck, Outer Island, Force3 & Force4. All have something or other that I’d change to make it “better” for me, but I try to keep an open mind. I’ve been looking at used glass boats for so long, I’d really overlooked the fact that there are new expedition grade plastic boats out there too.

I know both the Nords and the ‘Nauts can handle the miles and I can adapt to the handling characteristics of either. I’ve done a nonstop 20 miler in a Sirius, which by all accounts handles much like a Nordkapp. I’ve done 150+ miles over 6 days quite comfortably in a Force4 (with much padding), which Harlingford says is comparable to the Aquanaut. Now, I can balance brace the Sirius but not the Force4, and since this is a gateway skill to many Greenland moves, this may be a deciding factor. I know I’ve got to test paddle them both, but with the water hard around here, I’ll be waiting a while. Not to mention it’s fun to just “talk shop” now and again. :wink:



– Last Updated: Feb-12-08 8:44 PM EST –

I own a Avocet RM (2006) and a Nordkapp RM (2007) and a Valley Nordkapp Classic in Ultra Carbon Kevlar with ocean cockpit, and I have ordered from Valley an Aquanuat LV Pro-lite composite sectional which should be here in late springtime/early summer. I live in central IL, you in SW MI. Come on down, longshadow. Bruce will bring his Anaut RM, chuck_IL his Nordkapp Jubilee, silverwave her Nigel Foster Legend, Lred her Impex Montauk, and Guinness his P and H Capella 167 and we'll have a whale of a test paddle and rescue session. All within a couple hours of your house. So, yes, there are other kayak nuts around the area.

PS I will be selling the Nord Classic c/K in spriongtime, it's pristine and is only 44 lbs including pump and compass. I have topo many boats and cannot adapt to the ocean 'pit, so there's one you might consider for a purchase. Great roller.

From the comments here,
the Outer Island gets high marks for rolling.

I’m 5’9", 160, and have an Avocet RM which I like as a day/play boat. Based on demo paddles, if I were looking for more of a point-to-point boat my short list would include the composite Aquanaut LV, the Force 4, and the Tempest 165.

LOL! We’ve had this conversation.
You bought the NordHM just south of me. I actually almost bought it back then, but waffled due to the fixed skeg; I’ve gotta be able to paddle upwind when I’m in the middle of Lake Michigan. I was planning on making a run over to Riverside Kayak for one of their spring demos, but this could be more fun. I’ll think about both offers. Thanks.

deck height
Having paddled the Aqua RMLV, Nord RM and the Silhouette here is my impression of size. Not to go into hull shapes as that is a whole other topic.

The Silhouette and the AquanautRM LV have a lower deck than the

NordkappRM. enough so that to me it is a big difference. I find the deck height of both the nord and nord RM higher than I would like. In fact I would prefer the nordlow to have a lower deck than it does. The

Silhouette has a deck that does not fit me but I think it is lower than the

Aqua RMLV. I hesitate to make that statement because the Silhouette

just is not comfortable for me so I did not really check out deck height to any degree.

Oh yeah! Longshadow!

– Last Updated: Feb-12-08 11:02 PM EST –

You;re the one that asked me if the seller located the pump handle (he did). I must admit, some people on Pnet love these ocean cockpits, but alas, I find it cumbersome. I have waaay too many boats to have opne that I need to struggle with, so I will likely be selling. It is so beautiful--pristine, frankly, with no repairs or scratches--as you know, and now that fadedred on Pnet has told me it is one of the very last ones from the original molds in 1995, I really hate to get rid of it. I begged my wife to let me hang it in the livining room from the rafters. She told me if I did, then I'd better make sure it was hung strongly, because I'd be sleeping in it nightly. I think of it like a custom car; like an original Corvette or something. I had offers this past autumn from many, but was unable to get out to test paddle due to cold. Oh, well. I will have to see what to do. I find the HM skeg great, actually, but I have not tried to turn into 30 knot winds yet in it either.

Longshadow, you had the wonderful photo set of your upper Lake MI expedition--I still recall those great pics. You had a sweet boat there. We really should secure a Warren Dunes area trip, you game? Where you headed for your long trip this summer>? Link the pics again, if you still have them webshotted. Ciao.


My buds pics of the same trip:

I was in a rented Force4. Great boat, but a little higer volume than I need…nice compromise though. Yeah, with the weather as sweet as it was, a NordHM would have been great too. Frankly Doc, if the water’s 33 degrees, I’ve got immersion gear…just as long as it’s not stiff. Maybe we can get something together this spring.

Agree about the high front deck on the Nord LV composite. As to nobody seeing a version of Nord LV in plastic - PNET had one on its Premier ads for sale about 2 months ago. A misprint?

As to the earlier posts about the BBK boats being “fragile” - I have yet to see a case of that in regards to any less resistance that fiberglass boats to abuse. They may look pretty - may be 20-25lbs lighter - but they are still covered in fiberglass cloth last time I looked - and am sure that Al at BBK would be able to discuss this to a much better level of detail. I think BBK boats are a great choice (though I wish they had a drop down skeg in them - oops, sorry Al)…


Take my opinion with a grain of salt though - as opinions are alot like a–holes…everyone has one! (all in good fun)

The betsie bay boats
are not completely covered in cloth which is why they are so light. The hull has 3 oz glass, and the deck only has glass on the outside.

Thanks for the info! Is that 3oz S-glass or e-glass cloth? Is it inside/outside on the hull and only outside on the deck? I know Al has a couple drawings on the site showing differences between his and regular SnG joints but hadn’t seen anything specific about how much or where the glass is used.


Its 4oz S-Glass
Just spotted it on their drawing - says they use 4oz S-glass (very strong stuff and light weight) inside and out on hulls but didn’t specify deck. I used 4oz S-glass on my Black Pearl - and think its extremely strong while retaining light weight. What saves the weight on a BBK boat is lack of 15 lbs of useless GELCOAT - at least that is what I am thinking based on previous posts by others more knowledgable than I.

Current Nordkapps according to Valley
Here are the measures given by Valley for the four versions of the Nordkapp currently available.

Nordkapp Classic: LENGTH 17’2" (523cm) WIDTH 21" (53cm) DEPTH 12" (30cm)

Nordkapp LV: LENGTH 17’6" (533cm) WIDTH 21" (53cm) DEPTH 13" (33cm)

Nordkapp RM: LENGTH 17’9" (541cm) WIDTH 21" (53cm) DEPTH 13" (33cm)

Nordkapp (standard): LENGTH 18’ (548cm) WIDTH 21" (53cm) DEPTH 14" (36cm)

It is inside outside on hull

– Last Updated: Feb-13-08 2:58 PM EST –

and only outside on deck. Obviously he finishes with some resin on the inside of the deck.

I know it is S-glass, and OCD is right it is 4oz glass I incorrectly said 3 oz.

Also al's joint is essentially a butt joint, instead of a scarf joint like most stitch and glues. I think the butt joint is fine really, I do like how scarf joints look though.

I think the choice between the two has something to do with structural integrity and also a lot to do with Al's building process. Because he builds lots of boats I'm sure he's come up with a system that is quick and easy for him as well as offering good structure.

hey longshadow
I know of one Greenlander you might get into locally…

You’re always welcome to try mine. I’m going to be at the confluence at Ludington in April so perhaps we can meet up there?

I’ll say it again, I call it a greenland kayak for big white europeans. Not an LV boat, more packing room than my Pintail. But while I’m 5’9" and 170# it doesn’t feel overly roomy or bulky to me, and I can move it through the water pretty quickly. Carried plenty for a weeklong trip.

A friend of mine picked up an Aquanaut LV last summer. Big guy so it was right for him, but I sat in it and it felt like a bathtub to me.

Let me know if you want to try the greenlander and we’ll set something up.

Nordkapp RM
Think seriously about it. I like it more each and every time I paddle it. Tough to get a feel for on a demo day though. The skeg slider housing comes equipped with a nut designed it seems to dig into the flesh above the knee. Until you get that padded its tough to really enjoy.