Valley Rapier?

The “fast kayak” bug is biting again and I am trying to get some information on the Rapier 18 and 20. And why not on the new 19 if you know anything about its release/performance on the water?

I saw a reference to Eric Nyre and a Rapier somewhere on the Net, so Eric, if you read this, please chime-in.

I do not have one to paddle locally. So, basically, I am trying to find out what the “personality” of these boat is compared to say a KayakPro Marlin, Epic 18x or V10 Sport surf ski might be.

And also fit - are they roomier in terms of foot and leg room than the Marlin (the minimum I need, the size 15 flappers don’t fit in the Epic 18x but could in the Marlin with some minor modification of the rudder plate assembly).

EFT is also a potentially interesting boat to compare to, though I have not paddled that either.

Rapier 20
I paddled Eric’s Rapier 20 and the cockpit/seat felt tighter for me than WSBS Thunderbolt or X-par Missile:

I was mostly concerned about fitting my butt into a narrow kayak.

Here is another review/story from UK in my Fitness Paddling blog:

Roto 19
Not made. Been in the catalogue for two years and no plans to make it anytime soon from what I hear, which is counter intuitive of having it listed in the lineup.

Riverside Kayak Connection has a demo
Rapier 20ft. for $2495.00. Not a bad deal considering Rutabaga is asking over $4000 for theirs.

There is one in upstate NY for

– Last Updated: Mar-09-09 9:28 PM EST –

$1,895. A demo. If the condition is good that looks like a good deal to me.

If my Extreme sells on eBay tonight (hint - bid on it, please!), I might try the Rapier or a ski - I do not have $$$ for a 3K+ boat right now, but I do not want to by a "cheap" but "wrong" boat, again -;). Having never paddled a Rapier I'm not at all sure how would I like it. It's a 7 hours drive for me and probably still freezing up there...

Paddled the first two Rapiers (18 and 20) to hit these shores years back. Spent three weeks with the Rapier 18, raced it, etc. Not really a boat for a smaller paddler, as I’m 6’1" and 198 lbs., and fit in it fine (Size 12s). HATED the rudder system and the seat (Marquis de Saddle), but the boat itself was fine-deceptively quick. I raced against skis and held my own-actually made up ground in in after a botched portage exit.

The 20 I paddled was tighter in the beam; again was hampered by that rudder system, and a poorly set up one at that, so it was probably not indicative of a production boat. It was quite fast and totally rudder dependent-nice boat. The thigh braces are brilliant, high and out of the way for knees up and together posture. There when you need 'em, out of the way when you don’t.

The original 18 is for sale in LI, NY. I think you could get it for $1500 or possibly less. It’s been retrofitted with a tiller bar.

Email off line if you’d like the contact.

I’ll shoot you an e-mail.

Rapier 18,

– Last Updated: Mar-10-09 2:45 PM EST –

Have one that I modified,,, ripped seat out and added a WestSide racing seat, original seat was horrible, I would need a blood transfusion after any long paddle due to rubbing in various places! Rudder system is bad,, installed a SmartTrack rudder with Patricks pedal system,,oh what a difference! The hooked thigh grips gave me a slight fear of entrapment, so I trimmed them down considerably. I agree with Trilibite in that it is deceptively fast, turns on a dime with the foiled rudder that I added and is a lively boat,,, tender for those comparing it to a Q700 or other Sea Kayak. With that high deck you should have no problem fitting your size 15's in there,, in fact that high deck will keep you from getting lazy and lowering your arms on the stroke,, your thumbs will pay for it.


The one hanging in Rutabaga’s ceiling is an Ultra-Kevlar layup. Should be 12 pounds lighter than the fiberglass layup which is what that demo boat is. Of course their will be a little price difference. The Rapiers are now standard with a bayonet mount Smart Track rudder and footpedals. The navigator rudder that they were originally offered with was pretty cheesy.