Valley - Aquanaut RM - Impressions?

Looking to replace my aging plastic kayak. I have seen advertisements for the Valley Aquanaut RM; however, I don’t know anyone that has one or demod one. If anyone has any firstand knoweldge of the yak, let me know what you think.

It’s a “New” Boat
in terms of material but not so new design. So the reviews of performance for the composite model should apply, except the RM may be a tad slower because of the additional weight. Some posted 79 lbs for the “heavy duty” model. Guess there is also a lighter plastic model as well.


My husband has one
Valley also offers it in a ProLite layup, which comes in at about 50 pounds and has been used on the rocky Maine coast - no problem. Jim can say more in detail about the boat - summary is it’s a really good boat, everyone who’s tried it loved it, and plenty fast. Keeps up with the fastest paddlers in our local group.

The boat has been available since the latter half of 2003, though at first some of the Valley dealers had decided to stock the revised Nordkapp rather than the Aquanaut.



Login confusion again
Jim (wilsoj2) has one. Still on the laptop temporarily where have to switch user…


RM Naut recently arrived
Though long promised, I believe the plastic Aquanaut only arrived in the most recent container from Valley.

The Sea Kayaker review of the composite is very good and consistent with my experience of the boat. There have been many threads over the past year with comments as well as a number of reviews posted. In short, it seems the Aquanaut is highly regarded by those who like Brit boats. Its closest relation in handling and feel is the Nordkapp. The boat that the Naut most competes with is the NDK Explorer. The Aquanaut has a longer and narrower waterline than both the Nordkapp and Explorer. It is pretty fast for a Brit style touring boat. It has lower primary and higher secondary stability than an Explorer.

The plastic version is said to have the same characteristics as the composite. One notable difference is that the RM version is 7" shorter. Combined with being plastic, the least one can say is that the plastic Naut will be slower than the composite.

I have not heard from anyone who has actually paddled the RM Aquanaut.

Didn’t catch the RM part

Luckily others were more alert…

liked the composite aquanaut
a lot. Seemed to have more primary than my explorer but not that rock solid secondary. Smooth transition nothing unexcpected.

Faster than my explorer though that’s not a really fast boat.

Easy to roll. easier to turn with a bow rudder and an (offside or nside lean I cannot remember which and the aquanaut seeme really partial to one of them.)

Sea Kayaker tests
Sea Kayaker did tests of the Aquanaut, Nordkapp and Explorer within the last 2 years. Comparing the three is very helpful.

Sea Kayaker stats indicate that the Nordkapp has the least initial resistance (drag) of the three, while the Aquanaut has the least resistance (drag) at higher speeds (it has the longest, narrowest waterline of the three). The stability charts indicate that the Explorer has the highest initial stability and the Nordkapp the highest secondary. The Aquanaut has more initial than the Nordkapp and less than the Explorer. The Naut has higher secondary than the Explorer and slightly less than the Nordkapp.

My test paddling of these three boats felt consistent with SK’s tests.

can someone explain those tests?

– Last Updated: Feb-04-05 12:12 PM EST –

the above topic deserves its own thread

– Last Updated: Feb-04-05 12:12 PM EST –

i don't want to hijack this thread with a separate topic.

check the index for a new thread on the above questions.

I would demo both. I went with the explorer,

used…I felt the aqua was to tight for me and

the explorer seemed to have a little more primary

stability. I weight 165… ( glass boats)

Just goes to show

– Last Updated: Feb-05-05 9:58 PM EST –

that I am not the final authority.

I still find that the first slight tilt in an explorer is very hard to control when I am sitting still then if firms up heavy at about 10 degrees.

Doing a full floating entry into the 'naut seemed much more solid. Thus my rating for the primary.

Secondary is very subjective.

I also weigh 220 so the stabilities are much different for me and their test paddlers. The graphed stability curves for heavy paddlers are generated by static weight. Even I am not that bad of a paddler.

I still find that the first…
“I still find that the first slight tilt in an explorer is very hard to control when I am sitting still then if firms up heavy at about 10 degrees.”

The hull profile likely has an amount to do with such behaviors. Leans of varying degree feel different in an Explorer than an Aquanaut.

The Explorer has what NDK calls ‘modified hard chine.’ The designer of the Chatham informed me that ‘soft edged hard chine’ might be a clearer description. The Aquanaut has fully rounded chines.