Rotomolded Aquanaut LV vs HV

Interested in a new plastic kayak for my wife (5’9", I’m guessing 160-170 pounds [not as if I would ask], about 5 years experience on large lakes and ocean bays, maybe half-dozen trips on open ocean on calm days) that’s faster than her current Cape Horn 150. She does not have a roll, has practiced wet exits and re-entries but has never capsized unintentionally and says she would prefer not to as much as possible. Based on my reading, the Aquanaut looks like a good possibility. However, there is no rotomolded Aquanaut with the same dimensions as the composite Aquanaut. The rotomolded Aquanaut LV is somewhat larger than the composite Aquanaut LV, and the RM Aquanaut HV is a little smaller than the composite Aquanaut HV.

Anyone of similar size paddled both the RM Aquanaut LV and the RM Aquanaut HV? Reviews are limited. Can anyone compare the handling of either to the standard composite Aquanaut? Would the RM Aquanaut LV be too small for her?

Thanks for any thoughts.


– Last Updated: Aug-21-07 10:30 PM EST –

I'm 5'9", 160 lbs, and own an Avocet RM. I've paddled the composite Aquanaut LV and liked it a lot -- I wouldn't want much more volume unless I was doing loaded touring. I'd think the RM LV would be the better choice if she's comfortable in the cockpit. The composite HV is a *big* boat.

If you're looking at plastic, the Tempest 165 or 170(I like the 165) and the Capella RM 160 might be worth a try.

Don't overlook the possibility of a used composite boat.

Aquanaut RM HV
i like this boat a lot, and nearly purchased one. perhaps a tad boring in it’s predictability and ease of everything. a very nice all rounder, with great on edge maneuverability. in my opinion it is large-ish, if it fits me, but is not a huge boat, compared to more than half the sea kayak market. it has a very low back deck and is only 22 inches wide i think. compare this to most other poly sea kayaks on the market, mid pack at best, lower than almost all in the back. typical Valley. i’m sure the std Aquanaut (which is just called Aquanaut, not LV) would be great for her size. are you sure she wants a boat without a rudder?

I’m 5’9" and 150 lbs. and have paddled

– Last Updated: Aug-21-07 11:46 PM EST –

the LV for hundreds of miles. It is a great boat and a good fit but not as good a fit as the composite which is tighter.

I did not think there would be a noticeable difference between a 21.5" beam (composite) and a 22" beam (roto) but to me, I can feel it.

Since your wife is slightly heavier than me (and I agree that you should not ask), the roto LV may be an excellent fit.

Great boat for both calm and textured H20.

Thanks for the feedback. It’s very helpful. We will try the LV first.

I just traded up
from a 2004 Avocet RM to a 2007 Aquanaut LV. My initial review of the new boat is posted here:

So far, a fantastic boat to paddle and I can’t wait to take a trip with it.