Valley Aqauanaut RM ????

Looking to replace an old CD Gulfstream with a plastic brit style boat (I already paddle a Foster Shadow in glass as my main boat).

I have an opportunity to trade my GS for an Aquanaut. I haven’t paddled it yet, but will. Looking for what people think of this boat. Not interested in a ruddered boat or one without a day hatch.

I’m looking for something to play around in near rocks and in surf. If you’ve paddled this boat, what are your thoughts and how well does it perform with “larger paddlers”? I am 5’9" 230 lbs and both the GS and the Foster Shadow fit me very well.

I just purchased a plastic Aquanaut RM LV. I have yet to pick it up (I’ve only paddled it for a limited demo), so I cannot comment much about paddling performance, but I liked it when I paddled it. Also, the LV fit me quite well. I’m 6’ 175. At your size, probably the Aquanaut RM HV version may be a better fit, considering you’re comfortable in a Gulfstream. Hopefully others will be better able to comment on paddling performance.

I cannot comment on anything but

– Last Updated: Feb-21-08 1:58 PM EST –

the roto Aquanaut LV, Waterdoc. I am your height but only 150".

If this is any help:

The plastic is very rigid.

The boat is quick and manueverable (I've seen some disagreement on these boards on this matter but I stand by the comment as I have paddled my Naut many hundreds of miles).

Easy to edge.

Fun in both flat and textured water (which it handles adroitly).

I would hope that some of these characteristics would carry over to the higher volume Naut.

I am very well pleased with this boat.

Good luck.

Great boat if it fits
I also have a Shadow, and demoed the composite versions of the Aquanaut and Aquanaut HV. I am 6’ and when I did the demo, I was 235# (out of the shower, not dressed to paddle)

I have sat in the plastic versions of these boats, and they feel a bit smaller than the composites. The Aquanaut was a great boat, but too small for me. The Aquanaut HV was a bit big for me, so the plastic version would probably be just right.

I thought the Aquanaut handled my weight fine in the water, and loved the boat overall. I was just too jammed into the cockpit. At my current weight (212) the Aquanaut still feels awfully tight, but I have large thighs from bicycling. I would say sit in it, and if it feels good it should work. But you will be at the very top of the weight range for that boat when dressed and loaded to go.

As for playing in the rocks and surfs, I am sure it will do, but it is a longer boat than those that excel in that (like the Avocet, which is way too small for you).

waterdoc, I’m concerned it may be tight

– Last Updated: Feb-21-08 3:24 PM EST –

Valley boats, in my experience, run small. My Avocet RM is tight on me (5 foot 8.54 inches and 165 lbs in season), but that makes it great for waterplay. It is tight ernough that I sit very upright, almost "on top" feeling, an that is not handy for comfort over many hours, though.

I have a Nordkapp RM, and that is the largest roto Valley, and even that, I will sya, is not spacious. Certainly with more room than the Avocet, it is much smaller and tighter feeling that other boats. You're coming from a Gulfstream--known to have a genrous Derek-sized 'pit--will make it feel even tighter. I understand your desire for a reasonable degree of tightess, though, as you become a more proficient yakker.

So, you really ought to demo it. I think buying one by reviews and sight only at your dimensions would be a mistake, as prior poster mentions.

And as my paddling buddy bruce said, the boat handles many situations adroitly. Indeed, it's a well-performing steed.

I will definitely be demoing it first.
My skills are pretty good. I’ve been told by a BCU Level 5 coach that on some days I paddle at a 4* level and other days I’m more at a 3* level. I’ve taken the training, but I’ve not taken any assessments.

I was just looking for opinions of the boat with larger paddlers. My main ride will continue to be my Nigel Foster Shadow.

The 'Naut would only be for those areas that are too rocky for the Shadow. I like textured water and playing in surf so that’s where that boat would be used.

The Aquanaut HV is not in plastic

– Last Updated: Feb-21-08 5:26 PM EST –

(I meant NOW in plastic, instead of NOT in plastic, sorry for the typo)

and bigger than the Nordkapp RM.

It is an inch shorter and 1/2 inch less deep than the composite. Hull is very similar to standard Aquanaut. Should be perfect for somebody waterdocs size.