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What is an NDK Explorer???


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I notice that alot of people are paddling an NDK Explorer and I am addled trying to find what I want in a kayak. I am currently paddling a Wilderness Sytems tsunami 120 and doing alot of ocean kayaking with it. I want to get into a composite but dont know waht to get, looking for a lite touring kayak. Does anyone have a review of the cape horn 150 pro???

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What's an NDK Explorer? Well, I won't mince words and I KNOW I'll get some flax from other paddlers who feel strongly about their own boats, but the Nigel Dennis Kayaks Explorer is the best all around boat you can get in my opinion (I won't add humble since I'm not :) Good for long distance, playing in the rocks, surf, stupid kayak tricks, rolling, etc. A great boat that you love to have!

Of course, just be careful of the initial quality when buying new...all that Guinness and such ;)

Willing to let you try my NDK Explorer if you want.

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Do you mean you want a boat for modest touring or you want a touring boat that does not weigh a lot?

The NDK Explorer is often considered the best all round expedition lenght touring boat. It is confidence inspiring and capable of handling anything.

However unless you get an Elite layup Explorer it isn't going to be light (in case you meant a boat that isn't heavy) and no one I know recommends the Elite layup (even though my Romany is an Elite layup and I love that it weighs so little, I use my Aquanaut for the rocks of Maine)

There are a good number of great 17'+ boats available. Demo a range of them (especially Valley boats) before you decide.

IMHO, Cape Horns are not the same class of boats as an Explorer.

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>I notice that alot of people are paddling an NDK Explorer

>and I am addled trying to find what I want in a kayak.

Without getting into the whole boat debate thing, you have in that sentence hit two important points with the latter being critically important.

For a variety of reasons none or only some of which may have any validity for you, Explorers are popular boats, especially among NSPN members. It is possible to have endless debates about boats and their respective merits. These are fun in an idle gearhead sort of way and it is interesting to hear why different people like various boats. But don't put much stock in it.

That said, there is no "best" boat. There is even no "best" boat within a specific category. There may be some boats that are generally regarded as poor and to be avoided, but I suspect you would get agruments over even that.

There are many very competent boats in several categories and many of them have distinct traits. A boat may or may not be comfortable in terms of physical fit and handling to one person, but be just right for another. So to discover what you want in a boat and to find a boat that does a better job at filling those wants, you need to paddle lots of boats, develop paddling skills so you can really understand what it is you like in a boat, and be rather ruthlessly honest about what type of paddling you will be doing. This takes time and you may end up going through a few different boats. Just buying what is popular is easy and given that boats from the major "names" are really quite good, you are unlikely to make a bad mistake. On the other hand, getting a boat that matches what you like in a boat will mean a great deal more pleasure on the water.

So my view is find a boat that is sweet to you and enjoy it. The love affair may last, or you may move on to a new love, but at least you will paddling a boat you find sweet. Don't just buy a boat because some great paddler took it to hell and back, or its popular, or someones says it is the "best" boat. That is a great prescription for engaging in cognitive dissonance.

Just as an aside, I have two friends who are currently doing a long trip on the coast of Newfoundland. One is using a NF Silhouette and the other an Impex Outer Island. These are not boats usually thought to be camping/expedition boats to say the least, but they use them for that all the time and they like them very much. Different strokes for different folks.

Ed Lawson

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>That said, there is no "best" boat. There is even no "best"

>boat within a specific category. There may be some boats

>that are generally regarded as poor and to be avoided, but I

>suspect you would get agruments over even that.

The notion of "best" is by its very nature subjective and so there can be a best boat in the minds of the people; otherwise, they wouldn't choose one boat over another or spend time looking for a specific model (i.e., the notion of revealed preference). It would be better to say that there is no "global" best boat, but there are "local" best boats to borrow from mathematics. ;)

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Brad, between Kevin and I we have an Explorer, a Valley Aquanaut RM, and a Valley Avocet RM. If you ever are in Salem, MA in the evenings you're more than welcome to try all of these boats out. The Explorer and Aquanaut are both great touring boats and you'll get to try both a fiberglass and RM boat . . . we're around most evenings! If you come to any of the lake sessions for practice (Mystic or Chebacco) anyone there will let you try out their respective boats as well!

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> It would be better to say that there

>is no "global" best boat, but there are "local" best boats

>to borrow from mathematics. ;)

Yes. I think in more modest modes such as: "This porridge is too hot, this porridge is too cold, but this porridge is just right."

Ed Lawson

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>I notice that alot of people are paddling an NDK Explorer

>and I am addled trying to find what I want in a kayak. I am

>currently paddling a Wilderness Sytems tsunami 120 and doing

>alot of ocean kayaking with it. I want to get into a

>composite but dont know waht to get, looking for a lite

>touring kayak. Does anyone have a review of the cape horn

>150 pro???

Hi Brad,

The Tsunami is a wonderful boat to learn and develop great skills with. I use them a lot to teach and still amazed that although they look quite unusual for a sea kayak, they do most of what a good sea kayak is supposed to do well. However, it is a stable, and slow design, and at 12', it is quite short for the ocean and will result in a rough, tiresome ride in steep chop and wind waves.

The Cape Horn is also in what Wilderness Systems calls their "transitional touring" line. This means that they are designed for sheltered ocean waters and still make some sacrifice of performance for stability.

It sounds like you are long past the transition from flat water to ocean touring, or true sea kayaking. I recommend a good Greenland style touring boat that is at least 16' long. I also strongly recommend going for a skeg instead of a rudder - the list of reasons why would double the length of this post. Finally, buy a boat that makes you feel great on the water, not just the one that seems most popular or best looking.

A word on used composite boats, provided it isn't full of ugly, amateurish patches, you can always sell it for at least $1500 dollars. Some people will buy a used, composite kayak and try it for a season, then decide it's not exactly the kayak for them and sell it without losing any money. It's kind of a long, free demo.

-Dee

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www.paddling.net has lots of classifieds

Likewise, in addition to NSPN, try the sites of other area paddling clubs like connyak.org and ricka.org and maybe also bskc.org and smskn.org

Happy Hunting!

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Brad, you didn't say your size. I have a Necky Looksha IV HV which fits a larger frame (and shoe size) very well. Getting my 11.5 feet comfy in medium-sized 'yaks has been a significant issue. If you like the Looksha CRCK has their red/blue rental one reduced to only $1499. Scratched up, but a great deal for a bigger/taller guy.

I'll be here on the Mystic Tuesday if you want to try mine.

Cheers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tried David's new Aquanaut last week, and even though it's speced for a smallish yakker I was surprised at how comfy my 5'11" frame and 11.5 feet fit. Paddled great, too.

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>I tried David's new Aquanaut last week, and even though it's

>speced for a smallish yakker

I think it's really the medium-sized boat of the Aquanaut line. There are an HV and LV besides, so this is undoubtedly the MV ;-)) jsut like the Explorers.

Anybody's welcome to try mine -- at Tuesday Mystic sessions or whenever you can catch me. It has a fitted bulkhead pad but is somewhat adjustable with multiple pads of different thickness that can be removed or added.

--David.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I love mine and will be buried in it. My west coast bretheren call it the "Beast from the east". She's had about 10lbs of glass and gelcoat added to her since 2001.

If you do buy an Explorer you'll also need a support group. See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDKOWNERS/

B

Bob Burnett

NSPN Lifer

Sr. Sea Kayak Instructor/Guide

Seattle Raft & Kayak

Seattle WA

206-321-0011

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NDK are, like VCP boats, high end, high performance sea kayaks---I noticed in your trip reports that you fish from your Tsunami---is that the main reason you paddle? If so you may want to stay with what you have---the shorter wider Tsusnami is easier to actually cast and land fish from then the longer, sleeker, but with less primary(as opposed to secondary) stbility NKD, VCP etc. If on the other hand you want to go further, faster and in rougher seas than the high performance boats are what you want---you can fish out of them too but it is more tricky than fishing from a shorter wider boat. You might take a look at Wilderness Systems Tempest 170. It comes in RM(plastic), FG and Kevelar. The RM MRSP is 1575---the Kevelar is about 3600 the FG is someplace between the two. It is a sea touring type of boat 17' long, 22" wide with a skeg, not a rudder,---more like the british boats mentioned above with perhaps a little more primary stbility but a little less speed----you could pick up the used RMs that guide services use this time of year for substantially less then a new boat---also many shops have season end sales with good deals on the FG and Kev models. The tempest also comes in a 16.5' version, the 165 and a an 18' version, the 180. The NKD and VCP and well as other kayaks might also be picked up at end of season sales with substantial price reductions. Good luck

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