Valley's Discontinuing A Lot of Boats

Want one of the discontinued models? Apparently you have to order by August 31st, i.e. TOMORROW.

From Solent Sea Kayaking (because apparently Valley never updates their own site):

Valley Sea Kayaks have just announced that they are intending to rationalise their range of sea kayaks. This follows the introduction of various new designs over the last two years, the most notable being the Etain range. The result of this rationalisation process is that certain models are to be discontinued permanently.

The last date for placing orders with Valley is the 31st of August this year, so anyone considering purchasing one of the soon-to-be discontinued models has just over a week [from this announcement] to make a decision and place an order.

Discontinued Valley Sea Kayaks

The models to be discontinued are as follows:

Pintail – keyhole & ocean versions

Aquanaut – all composite models: Std, LV, HV

Aquanaut RM – LV, HV


Nordkapp Classics – old HM & HS versions

More at:

Discontinuing the Pintail?
Now THAT’S a travesty!

I don’t think anyone will miss the Q-boat. That was a failure.

The Pintail fits a small niche. Very surf specific I’m told.

Oh well…
The composite Aquanaut LV has been on my short list for a long time, but I can’t afford one right now. It’s a lovely boat for the appropriate size paddler

Inevitable, but too bad
I suppose from a business perspective that this makes a lot of sense in a crowded market place in which folks increasingly want the latest, greatest kayak–I know this having just bought a Tiderace Xplore! Still, I hate to see the Pintail especially go out of production. There’s not much out there like it and it is a wonderful surf, rock garden, and teaching kayak. I’ve got one in kevlar that I’ve been trying (so far unsuccessfully) to sell, but maybe now I’ll hang on to it. Who knows, if a few years it may sell at Sothebys for a fortune .


– Last Updated: Aug-30-12 9:07 AM EST –

Really surprised about the Aquanaut line. This is a very user friendly and all-around performing sea kayak, similar in feel to the Explorer. While I love my Nordkapp I was (and still am) hoping to add one to my stable. I haven't heard much or ever seen an Etain but perhaps Valley thinks this will replace the Aquanaut.

Also surprised to hear about the Pintail.

Too bad Valley never responds to emails or updates their website.

wow, this sounds pretty bad
The aquanaut line would seem to me to be a volume product (in sales numbers). The pintail is a classic with sort of a cult following.

I wonder what valley is saying? Especially by not saying. Other small companies fill the niches better, and larger companies are selling the volume lines better?

This doesn’t sound good for Valley.

British MBAs?
Wow, this is amazing, probably the new crop of British MBAs, modeled after Johnson Outdoors, is taking over.

I would understand if any of the layups were something more advanced than a simple barn operation, as in in thermoset epoxy, impregnated fibers, core mats, vacuum bagging, autoclaves, as it does require a fair commitment in terms of labor force and facilities. But VCP layups, lately, are as simple as possible; I can not fathom discontinuation of any hull since there is no know-how involved - laying down a Nordkapp XYZ is just as simple digging out a mold ( pun intended), downing a couple of pints for quality control, and getting busy with gelcoat, epoxy, and fiberglass.

Ah well, I am quite sure they know what they are doing, as they did when they changed seat molds for Avocet RM, used mismatched alloys for skeg slider assemblies, or forced crappy layup on their FG boats.

I’m guessing they have product lines that are in competition with each other. P&H has done a nice job of having an easy to understand product line, expedition = Cetus, general = Capella, play = Delphin/Aries. With Valley it’s more confusing, expedition = Aquanaut or Etain or the Q boat or the Nordkapp. Granted I like the choices they offer but I’m guessing it’s confusing enough to have multitude of manufacturers to choose from then to have several products to choose from after that.

I’m very happy to have my Argonaut (Aquanaut HV)!

If you can get a deal…
…I’d take advantage. An Aquanaut RM HV is my “freight hauler” and I’d be pressed to find fault with it. I have a Nordkapp in carbon/kevlar for speed/play and can find little fault with that, either.

re: Hmm…
“Really surprised about the Aquanaut line. This is a very user friendly and all-around performing sea kayak, similar in feel to the Explorer. While I love my Nordkapp I was (and still am) hoping to add one to my stable. I haven’t heard much or ever seen an Etain but perhaps Valley thinks this will replace the Aquanaut.

Also surprised to hear about the Pintail.

Too bad Valley never responds to emails or updates their website.”

My take on it is similar… the Etain filled much the same slot in Valley’s lineup that the Aquanaut did, and was more popular/a newer design, so that may be why the Aquanaut is out ('cept for the Aquanaut Club).

So, Valley may simply be consolidating their lineup to be more efficient. However, there are other things about Valley that, in combination with this, makes one wonder a bit.

As you say, Valley does seem to do a very poor job of responding to emails and updating their site. I’ve emailed them on a few occasions, and I never hear back from them. And their site was last updated almost two years ago.

Another odd thing is their Gemini launch, or lack of one. You heard a bit about these two boats in early Spring, and then… nothing. A Valley dealer had told my friend they were expecting boats in stock by June, that hasn’t happened. Obviously the Gemini(s) have been delayed, but no info on why or for how long has been forthcoming from Valley.

Despite this, it may be that there’s nothing really wrong over there at all, but the cutbacks to the line in combination with delayed launches and a general lack of responsiveness/information is troubling. =<br />

If there is trouble over there, I hope they right the ship.

Deadline- August 31st

– Last Updated: Aug-30-12 11:23 PM EST –

Well, I hope everyone who wants one of the discontinued boats gets their orders in by close-of-biz Friday (tomorrow).

Valley doesn't seem to be doing a particularly good job of publicizing the paring-down of their product line, so more than a few ppl are likely in for a surprise when they try to buy certain boats this fall. =\

At least there's always eBay or Craigslist (or demo boats). But not everyone wants to buy used, and you'd have to think prices on the used EOL'd boats will probably rise.

Ka Ching
my Pintail (and yours), just got a little more valuable…

Yes… Competing Products
I understand the Avocet is supposed to be a less squirrely, somewhat trackier Pintail. Is that a fair assessment? I have only paddled an Avocet LV.

Wow, a lot of ppl mourning the passing of the Pintail.

I had thought the majority of the comments would be about the knifing of the Aquanaut. Guess not.

And nary a mention of the passing of the Nordkap Classic boats.

I guess because the newer versions of it are still going strong, and most ppl prefer them?

Pintail v Avocet
The Avocet is a great kayak–basically a Pintail made palatable for the masses. The Pintail on the other hand is a delight in the hands of someone who knows how to work it and it does need to be worked. Plus, how can anyone not love the upswept ends modeled on the Pintail duck–they are worth the price of admission. Hmmm, maybe am talking myself into hanging on to mine . Back when I had two kayaks–an NDK Explorer and the Pintail–the latter was my go to the surf zone and teaching kayak. Super maneuverable, it made getting around in teaching and reverse figure eights ridiculously easy. Did I say fun to surf and fun to play in clapotis? I don’t think that there’s anything out there that is quite like it though there are many “better” kayaks. For me the big downside to the Pintail is the low top end. At about 4 knots the bow wave begins to enlarge and after that it is all effort–not a problem in rough stuff but not what you want for point A to B paddles. The Avocet solves this problem (sort of) but at the expense of the fun aspect of the Pintail.

Naut mourning
The Aquanaut will definitely be missed, but for some reason it never became as popular as it should have been. Maybe it was because it’s competing against the Explorer and there are a lot of them available used?

The used market seems to have plenty of Pintails, I wonder how many new Pintails Valley was selling.

Hopefully sea kayak companies aren’t shifting to a white water mentality of a new boat/design every few years.

I suspect the next company to organize thier product line will be Current Designs. Lots of different models and a website that’s a bit scattered. Also Valley is discontinuing the Naut but CD is making the Infinity? I’ve never seen one of them on the water!

End of an era
English boats are like British sports cars and motorcycles

Beautiful to look at, but outdated with spotty workmanship

Why do the English drink warm beer?

Because they have Lucus refrigerators

May be true about motorcycles …
… and cars … and many other British made items. But where can you find better made or designed sea kayaks?

Many Years Ago
I was bumped off a flight (jet) and had to fly on some old puddle jumper prop plane over the Appalachians. I was comforted to see “Rolls Royce” printed on the engines.