Name: GilH

Most Recent Reviews

This is my first review and probably will update in a few months. This is my first rudder kayak. My current kayaks of choice are Romany 16, Cetus LV and Tahe-Marine OC. Previous to those I had Nordkapp 18, Necky Chatham, Explorer and Avocet. The kayak is absolutely fast. That’s never an issue. The construction is spectacular. Attention to detail! Great finish and trims. It feels slightly tippy compared to my sea kayaks but easy to get used to the stability which is really good for a boat this narrow. I had a chance to paddle an Epic 18x before purchasing the Stellar 18 and for me, the Stellar felt better. It was my own preference. I even tried rolling the Stellar and while it’s absolutely not a rolling kayak, it’s not as hard as I imagined. i did miss a roll due to my hip snap coming out of position. The foot pedals are very well made. The seat feels a little to low for my taste. I have been paddling the seat and once I get to the hight I need I will probably raise the seat. You have the ability to place the seat in three positions away from the back of the cockpit to better trim your weight or body posture. Mine is all the way to the front to leave space for a layback roll and a water bladder behind my seat. i hate that the back band of the seat is raised by a bungee that reaches accross the deck. This makes it impossible to get a full seal from your spray skirt.The entire concept of not edging but using a rudder takes a while to get used to. The lack of a day hatch unlike the Epic 18x is very annoying. It’s obvious a person who does not camp or travel long distances in the kayak designed it. It was probably designed by someone who paddle races for 20 miles. Not 100+. If the back band and the day hatch issues were corrected in the future, this boat would be a solid 5 star. I will be adding the day hatch and bulkhead.

This is my 4th IR skirt and my 7 counting all the other brands combined I have. Please note, this is the Kling-On Regular - not the Empire - which I also own. This new version of the Kling On-Large cockpit is an absolute perfect fit for sea kayaks. It's a shame they market this as a white water skirt. Based on the recommendations of Brendan from IR, I purchased this skirt and I believe they don’t even know how PERFECT it fits my NDK Romany. I also tested it in my Avocet and Cetus LV and it's a great fit. Easy to put on and off, VERY DRY. Like ridiculously dry. Best of all, it's built like a tank. I imagine for other boats like the Chatham, Tempest and even the Legend this skirt would be perfect as well. Bottom line: It's easy to put on and off, very dry and rugged. Most skirts only meet 2 out of 3 in this criteria. This skirts meets all 3!

I recently purchased an Immersion Research skirt, the Klingon Empire to replace my old Shockwave plus to something that can handle the tough edges of a glass sea kayak. I have owned Just about every other brand of skirt which are good skirts and kept me mostly dry. The Klingon Empire keeps my boat dryer than I ever expected. After a 7 hour of rough water and surf day at Matanzas, Florida, I believe the only water in my boat was from my wet shoes and splash before the skirt was on. The skirt is reinforced with Kevlar along with an extra thick bungee. I can't see myself ever buying any other skirt.

To give it a 10 rating would be cheating the skirt from a good rating. It deserves a rating of 12. if you are reading this review to decide what's your next skirt for your boat, this is it!
Boats used with the skirt: NDK Romany, Explorer, P&H Cetus LV and a plastic Valley Nordkapp.

Boats I tested before purchasing the Cetus LV: I tested the Quest LV, The Explorer LV, Tiderace Xcite S and Tempest 16.5 pro.

I was looking for a boat with the agility of my Romany and the speed of my Nordkapp. Of course, I knew I was going to find a boat that met half way between those features. After testing all of the boats in previously listed, I ended up with the Cetus LV. I may have liked to have tried the Cetus MV, but it was not available at the price I found the Cetus LV, which was a demo boat. I purchased the boat after Russell, from Sweetwater Kayaks recommended the boat. I wanted a boat larger than my Romany with more speed to be used as a day boat.

The Quest LV was a nice boat, but a tad on the large size. Nice boat but I could not lay back on the deck. The Explorer LV was a tad too tight. The Tempest was nice, real nice but I wanted something a little longer. The Xcite was almost as tight as the Explorer. I found the boat fantastic. Great speed. Turns well and rolls very, very easy. By the way, I am just over 5'8", 170 pounds which is almost too big for the boat.

I loaded the boat with a first aide, change of shirt and pants, towel and a couple of water bottles. PFD, skirt and camera and I may have had 15-20 pounds spread throughout the front and back bulkheads. You can see half the name of the boat coming out of the water. Not too far sunk. I did not feel too tight in the boat, but I would not like to gain 10 pounds.

I guess I could give this boat a 10 if I was under 160 pounds. Bottom line, this is GREAT boat.

I have to give it a rating of 10 because I enjoy this boat SO, SO much. Sure there is room for improvement. I would have liked the seat to be able to be moved forward a little and perhaps make the boat just a little longer to see if that helps with speed. Still, make no mistake about it, it's my preferred boat as it does many, many things well. It rolls easy, it turns well and tracks great without the skeg. I have never used the skeg. I also own an 18 foot Nordkapp, a Chatham 16 and a Dagger Megellan. Nice boats specially my beloved Nordkapp, but I do prefer the Romany for day trips and fun in the water.

I wrote the first ever review of ken's paddles under the brand Greenland Kayaking paddles. Now, with almost three years of paddling and having compared and tested other paddles, I can truly say that Ken's paddles are as good as they come. None better. I am sure there are many just as good, but not better. Just last year while paddling Silver River I noticed another greenland paddler. We started to talk and compare paddles. The paddler paid slightly more for their paddle. Their paddler was lighter, but it was also thinner and shorter. The craftmanship look good, but I would not call it superior that ken's paddles. Overall, it was an OK paddle. I also tested a greenland style carbon paddle. Those are lighter, but they have been known to snap easily while rolling or trying a paddle float re-entry. Not sure why a previous review would give Ken's paddles a 3 rating. perhaps that was not one of Ken's paddles after all. I now own two paddles. I have abudes them both in my pool, rivers, sprinds and lagoons. Both of them are strong and smooth to paddle. If we are comparing apples to apples (One brand of greenland style paddle with another) Ken's paddles do get a 10 out of 10. I love my Greenland paddles from Ken.

I purchased a Nordkapp 18 (formerly known as the Nordkapp H2O) in April wanting to upgrade from my plastic Chatham to a fiberglass boat. I found a great deal from a friend who had one for sale in pristine shape, insignificant scratches and barely two years old. A great deal. He allowed me to test the boat prior to the purchase. I have been paddling for just over a year and I thought of myself as a decent kayaker with plenty of stamina but with much to learn.

Coming from owning SOT Necky's (Spike and Dolphin) and then the Chatham, I felt ready for the next challenge. The Chatham is, without a doubt, one of the finest plastic boats ever. Stable, responsive. Not the fastest but able to keep up with anything. I sat in the Nordkapp on a rough water day to try it. In less than 5 seconds, I noticed that it was a responsive and perhaps "tipsy' boat. Within 30 seconds, I was upside down not sure what the heck just happened. I was in about 1 to 2 foot waves in a little bad weather. Not too challenging, but I was not used to it. The water was rough, with winds at about 25 knots. I paddled the boat stiff and scared. Scared out of my mind. I had the confidence of having taken self rescue classes and was sure I could get back into the boat if needed. I just did not want to get flipped again. I can't roll yet. Yet! With the owner of the boat with me in his other boat, we paddled for about an hour. At times I was thinking "THIS SUCKS!" I want my Chatham! But by the end of the paddle, I realized that the Nordkapp is a boat well designed and a boat I would never outgrow.

It's a boat that challenges you to become a better paddler. I purchased the boat with some hesitation, but I thought I could always sell it if I don't like it. Now, with about 10 additional trips and more hours in the boat, you could offer me twice the cash and I would not sell you my boat. My 18 foot fiberglass Nordkapp is my favorite boat by far. The design of this boat is so that the paddler decides how stable or tipsy it will be. The hull has a smooth round design where you can't really tell initial and secondary stability and it's a matter of muscle memory and experience. I am brazing, edging and playing with the boat more and more.

Now, just under 2 years of kayaking and with a bad case of paddling fever, I am sure my first roll will be in this boat. My longest trips, my most fun adventures and my best kayaking memories will be in my Nordkapp. I look forward to paddling this well designed and beautiful boat for years to come. This boat is a perfect 10.(Maybe a 9 for others with more experience) Anything less would reflect the paddlers preference, but not the boat's quality and features.

I just wanted to rave about this boat. I have three Necky products. After recently purchasing the Chatham, I placed the Dolphin in the semi retired list and have not used it since May. Just last week end I got back on it and the entire 'honey moon" was relived.

This boat is amazing. I actually paddled both of my SOT Neckys and will also share later about the Spike. Both great boats. But still, I wanted to let all know that this boat still is very popular and if anybody finds one used, you better snatch it!

Great boat for playing, fishing and touring. Yes, touring! This boat is very, very comfortable regardless of what type of seat you have. Great boat. It does feel a bit tipsy and perhaps short of scoring a perfect 10 because of that, but this tipsy feature also allows the boat to be be superior than many boats in the surf, waves and agility. This boat will stay in my fleet forever.

This is my third Necky product. I started with the Spike, then the Dolphin and now the Chatham. Necky makes them simple and well engineered. The SOT were short lived in my Kayak days. It took little time to graduate to the sit inside boat. I tested many other boats.

I would have preferred the Valley Aquanaut, but I found a real good deal on a Chatham as a demo sale and grabbed it. Call me ignorant and perhaps rookie, but after testing some of the Valley products as well as Wilderness Systems and Old Town, I have concluded that the Chatham handles and resembles the Valley's features and craftsmanship as a true western made British style boat. This is my conclusion as a rookie kayaker.

I had the opportunity to test my friends boats from other manufacturers and I could not have gone wrong with the Chatham 16. It's a boat that will allow me to apply to many styles of outings. Highly recommended. In fact, it's hard to go wrong with just about any Necky product. The Chatham 16 is a little tight on the hips. I am not overly heavy but a bit on the out of shape side.

I would have given this boat a 10 had it been a little wider on the cockpit. The Chatham 17 was too big for me. I am 5'9", about 185-190 pounds. My Necky Chatham is the plastic model. I look forward one day upgrading to the glass boats. It's a matter of funds.