Most Recent Reviews
I am 5'10, about 155 pounds and I love the fit of this kayak. I have a small fleet of kayaks and this one is my favorites for long term comfort. It has become my primary boat. The flange has a secondary benefit of protecting the boat finish both on and off the water. Like a protective bumper extending a half inch (all the way around the boat), it has saved the gel coat from getting scratched on many, many occasions.
I love the back hatch, but the front hatch is a screw on type that gets stuck on a hot summer day. I combat this by loosening the hatch a bit before taking it outside in the sun. If it still gets stuck anyway, I splash water on it to cool it a bit and cover it with something for a minute or so. I understand NC has switched suppliers now, so that may no longer be an issue.
The people at NC were great, and the build and delivery estimate was right on the mark. I had some trepidations about purchasing a boat sight unseen, but It was a good buying experience. The boat was packaged well and was quite a beauty when delivered brand new! She has some fading now and scratches from heavy use, but she still looks great on the water.
If you are looking, consider paying for a 2003 model because there have been some changes. Thigh straps and a foot brace now come standard (thigh strap easily added/removed). I assume that six d-rings have been added also, because they are not present in the photo ads, but they are on mine. They are nice for securing coolers, gear, etc. I am quite pleased with the quality of the outfitting, sturdiness, and the feel of the boat in general. I am 5:11, 160 pounds, 33 waist. My hips are nice and comfortably snug in this boat, but those with MUCH larger torsos might need to think twice before buying.
I don’t have many negatives to offer. If you like to buy American, forget this boat. It’s made in China and the company is French. I suspect Chinese labor costs are largely responsible for the low cost and high value, however.
Documentation is virtually non-existent. If you are new to rafting, you will have to figure it all out yourself. Fortunately, it isn’t rocket science. I would not expect the greatest customer support at this price, but I did have a question and I received a prompt response via e-mail.
When I first tried to inflate the boat (there are 4 air chambers), two of the rings that attach the cap to the inflation port popped off way too easily (much like the way some gas caps are attached to the car so you don’t lose them). I don’t really consider this to be a quality problem, but it is a concern. I reattached them, but until I had time to work on it, I kept the loose caps in one of the drawstring mesh bags on the back of the seat.
This boat comes with a mesh carry bag, but there is no way I could get the boat folded to fit well inside it. Instead, I use it just for the seat, straps, foot peg and other gear. The boat folds easily into a space of about ‘2 x ‘2, 8” x 7” with only four folds. Good enough… It is no longer worth the stress on me (or the boat) to try to compress it to a smaller size. Material is very stiff and hard when cold, so it would probably be worthwhile to bring it inside to warm up some before inflating/deflating or folding.