valley aquanaut vs. etain

Any comparisons between the two by our omniscient members would be appreciated. The intended purchase will be in the poly lay up.

Thanks in advance.

Different feel
I have an Aquanaut (HV) but no extensive experience with the Etain. The Aquanaut is a great “freight hauler” for long trips and does everything competently.

I believe the Etain is a bit narrower and more of a Swede form than Fish form. That is, the widest point is a bit more aft. These factors would provide a different feel so you should test paddle and see which you prefer.

Etain 17-7 Observations
I brought the Etain 17-7 into the lineup of my Showroom as a step up from the Impex Assateague, for the linebacker build of a kayaker. The sizing allows for a 35" inseam and #13 shoes size with a generous length cockpit for ease of entry/exit. The feel on the water is confident with solid tracking on an even keel but more responsive when heeled up on edge compared to the previous standard big paddler’s kayak, the Impex Assateague. Yes, the deck pod/hatch is quite handy for those that find day hatches tough to twist around to get at on water.

The rest of the details are going to require seat time for the OP, other than I think you’ll find that you’ll smile a lot when paddling it.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Marshall. How does the 17 5 model compare to the 17 7 ? I would imagine that with less rocker the Etain might track better but possibly be less forgiving in conditions. But perhaps the differences are not tht noticeable.

'tween the two

– Last Updated: Mar-11-13 10:54 AM EST –

My apologies for not reading your OP carefully enough. Low coffee levels. Mostly I focus on composites so my information would relate to the fiberglass and carbon/kevlar layups. I did paddle both of the polys but didn't concentrate on them as the weights threw me a bit.

As to the composites:
When I paddled the 17-5 it certainly fit closer (me 6', 190#, #11 shoe, 33" waist&inseam). It paddled as a very capable SUT (Sport Utility Kayak), with solid forgiveness when heeling it way over, seemed to track well and kept up a respectable speed and glide. Now my bias is weighted a bit more towards a higher end glide speed which I felt that the P&H Cetus MV allows me (and has done well by me in races like the Blackburn Challenge and the Lighthouse 2 Lighthouse {btw my age in the listing there is incorrect, I am not 65})

Being that I'l be putting one of these into my instructional/demo fleet which would I choose to take out? It'd depend on the time I'd have available. For guiding, paddling amongst a group of friends or teaching, I'd happily grab the Etain 17-5. Being that I'm usually pressed for time (free time, that is) if it's a workout paddle or training for a race then the Cetus MV, if not my surf ski.

More details than that and it's going to boil down to you having some seat time in the boat.

See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY

Thanks Marshall for the informative reply.

This may be useful…

Personally, believe the Aquanaut is an excellent boat. Have not yet had he chance to paddle an Etain. Hope to encounter one while at the sea this season.

Thanks Wilsoj. That was very informative.

Not much difference
I own an aquanaut, and am paddling an Etain 17-5 all this week in current, waves, tidal over falls, etc.

Frankly I see little difference between the two. Both are fairly maneuverable, and fast, and capable boats in really rough seas. I don’t love the new deck pod. I’m happier with a flat foredeck. But they’re both great all around sea kayaks.

The Etain is slightly swede form, but doesn’t look as see deform as a Cetus. One of the folks I’m with is also in an Etain and says it’s not as maneuverable as his Cetus.

Etain vs Aquanaut
I tested both the Etain 17.7 and the Aquanaut HV both in their RM versions. I would concur that they are very very similar and it was pretty hard for this relative novice to tell the difference. The Etain as mentioned is just a bit narrower. I ended up purchasing the Aquanaut as it was fall and all of the inventory of Etains was depleted. If you read the evaluation of the two on the Kayak Academy site, George feels the Aquanaut to be a bit more confidence inspiring thus geared ever so slightly more toward the novice/beginner than the Etain, but again they are really very close which is why Valley dropped the Aquanaut.