pintail diff's ? older to newer designs

There any handling differences that are noticeable

between old pintail design with rounder hull

& flat rear deck compared to newer ones.

Yes, several
The older boats roll with the waves better. They sit lower in the water and the flat aft deck makes layback rolls easier. I know several Pintail owners (myself, my girlfriend and her housemate included) and all of them prefer the old design. I know of a couple of them who have sold newer boats and bought old ones. The one downside to the older boats is the rope skeg.

If you can’t find an older Pintail, VSK (the company is now “Valley Sea Kayaks”, not Valley Canoe Products") will build you a “classic” Pintail on special order. It will take a few months, but you’ll get a better quality layup, considerably lighter weight and I assume that you’d be able to order it with a cable skeg and your choice of deck rigging, compass location, day hatch (or not) and front bulkhead location.

That what I was thinking about rounder hull

takes the waves a liitle better & sitting lower

in water. I think I’ll look for older version.

I didn’t realize valley would still make pintail from older design.

New, old boats
Since Peter Orton took over VCP and it became VSK, they have begun offering “classic” boats for which they still have molds. It’s great, because in some cases - like the Pintail - VCP modified it to give in more mainstream appeal and nearly ruined the character of the boat. It also makes more ocean cockpit designs available.

cockpit & skeg
I guess with older ones there’s only ocean

cockpit & rope skeg. Ocean cockpit I can

handle but rope skeg I’am not big on. In a boat

like the pintail it’s nice to have quicker

trimability with slider. Possible to change to

better cleat design or make front rope?

Rope skegs suck, IMO

– Last Updated: Jun-03-07 10:41 AM EST –

Unfortunately, there's not a lot you can do to improve on a basically piss-poor design. There have been a few variations in the VCP rope skeg. On the early ones, the rope and bungee ran around the ~1" pivot. The later ones have disks on either side of the skeg blade that function as pulleys and increase the leverage for the rope and bungee. I added them to my own boat and it improved the function somewhat, but it's still not great. The keys to getting it to work decently are:

- Use flexible, low friction skeg rope.

- Use either a single strand of bungee or a narrow enough loop that it doesn't bind in the tube.

- Carefully route the cord and bungee so they don't bind each other.

As for the control location, moving it forward would likely create nothing but problems.

93 pintail
Found a 93 pintail but have to check it out. This

should be older design I’am looking for?

Do you know when roughy they started changing hull. I guess I could always add day hatch later



– Last Updated: May-30-07 3:23 PM EST –

'93 should definitely be the older one. Get a picture of it and compare it to the keyhole on Valley's website; the hull shape is very different. It may be possible to add a day hatch but not very easy. There are two of them in the classifieds right now...

I'm not sure where you're at but I emailed the seller for a picture of the one in Wisconsin (East/Central). That's got to be the same one, anyway. It has a light blue deck over white hull, day hatch, ocean cockpit, older style hull and looks like it's in nice shape. I'm actually looking for a keyhole so I passed on it, the older one is too tight of a fit for me.

Hull diff’s
Did they only change hull in keyhole pintails

or all pintails made after a certain date, so

even ocean cockpit pintail were affected by

hull changes?

I’ve never seen a keyhole cockpit with an older hull design, but I’m not sure on the other part of your question…

I just meant when they started making keyhole

in pintail is that when hull was altered by valley

And if so, were all models affected by hull

changes ocean & keyhole pintails.

I agree with bnystrom
I have an old Pintail and love the ocean cockpit and the way the boat handles, since it if very skeg dependent in quartering winds, I wish I had a slider rather than the rope. Speaking of ropes, bnystrom mentioned ‘low friction rope’ for the skeg control. Where can I get some?


Smaller diameter nylon rope
from your local hardware works fine. If they have different types of rope get the rope that bends more easily. Attach it to the skeg and the old line on the deck somewhere. Smaller line won’t hook onto my cleat so I use the old line from the cleat back and attach the new line where it goes across the deck. Hope this makes sense.

Rope skeg vs. cable

– Last Updated: May-31-07 8:40 AM EST –

The rope skeg needs regular oil changes. My brother has a rope skeg pintail. We just shoot some WD-40 down the skeg opening on the deck and all works fine.

HOWEVER- I would rather repair and fix that skeg then a cable job. Don't think cable skegs don't jam up and need overhalls too. Try fixing a bent cable before you totally condem the old rope one. When the cable ones work well they are nicer but I have repaired a few for friends and it's a lot tougher than a rope one.

If your skeg is down and you sit in the boat, the cable one breaks or jams, the pully/rope one just goes in.

I forgot to ask?
Does anyone know if Valley changed the hull on the newer ones or just deck changes?

Hull changes
From what I dug so far, hulls changed around 95.

From a more rounded hull to a little more squared

off middle section of hull. From what people say

older ones ride a little lower in water & ride

waves a bit better.

maybe some Elvish rope might solve the
problem? on the serious side, has anyone considered the hydrolic skegs by kari-tek?

I tried to get one of them when my Q-boat was in production but methinks that kari-tek is aligned with NDK…but you can order them and install on your own.

They changed in '94 or '95…
…so your '93 is definitely the older design. I think the change was in '95, but I’m not 100% certain.

All of them changed
The ocean cockpit boats got the new hull and a a sligtly arched aft deck, plus some other minor changes that I don’t recall.

I own Valley boats with both skeg types
In terms of functionality, there is no comparison, the cable skeg wins hands-down. As for sevicing them, I can change a Valley cable at least as fast as a rope. The only difference is that unless you carry a spare cable and the proper size allen wrench with you, field repairs are more difficult. If you have the cable and wrench, field repairs are a snap. Rope skegs obviously need rope and bungee, but you’re more likely to have cord with you than a cable and you can scavenge bungee off your deck in a pinch (assuming that you use bungees on your deck, which I don’t).

It’s important to understand that cable skegs do vary significantly in their ease of repair from one brand of boat to the next. The Valley cable skeg system is one of the easier ones to work on.