Name: Jonathan-in-Vermont

Most Recent Reviews

We bought a pair of the Kestrel 120 R's and have been absolutely delighted. Beautiful boats (we bought the blue Sky and the grey Shadow). Longer, slimmer, lower volume than the Perceptions we've enjoyed for six years. The Kestrels have proven to be a clear a step up in the water. They've lived up to their billing of having "efficient touring speeds and maneuverability." They move through the water so smoothly, accelerate easily, and turn quickly. They handle small white caps on the lake with ease. The Swede form, soft chine, and shallow v make for a responsive, yet actually stable, experience. They have a bit more initial side-to-side sensation than the wider Perceptions had, and we were ready for that -- it quickly became natural and we no longer notice it. The cockpit is big enough to get into without issue, yet small enough to feel securely compact - and the thigh pads are a plus. We are each 5'5" and the foot rests have plenty of adjustment beyond our settings for those with longer legs. The 'Revolution' seat is very comfortable, given its padding and multiple adjustments. I particularly like being able to raise the front of the seat to support the back of your thighs. Small things like the paddle parks, easy flip locks on the hatch cover, deck rigging, and carry handles are nice bonuses. We had the benefit of sitting in and handling the floor model to ensure it fit well -- and we fell in love with it. Bought the floor model immediately and ordered a second one. It was worth the wait and we are well on our way to years of exploration and enjoyment with these quick, nimble, rugged recreational kayaks.

Provides just enough cushioning to the molded seat of my touring kayak. No-slip bottom works well. Has eliminated any thoughts of what I'm sitting on while I'm paddling. Have had really good luck with other Cascade Creek products (yakgrips), so went with this one and am pleased.

My early experience shows the NC 17 Overnighter is as advertised - a "fast and efficient touring kayak." I bought one used and have put it in four times in the first four days in four different bodies of water. It has absolutely met my expectations. It tracks very straight, paddles easily, and clips along noticeably faster than the 11ft plastic recreational kayak I've enjoyed for five years. Mine is the lightweight model, so it comes in at a delightful 43 pounds - noticeably less than my 11fter. At 23 inches wide, it is also 5 inches slimmer than my 11fter, but it is still has good stability. I'm 5'5, 155 -- so the 17'2 length is 3 times my length. Despite this, it is as easy to lift and load as the 11fter (you just have to be attentive to things farther away from you as you carry it, given its length obviously). I wondered about the intentional design without a true skeg (as I had a skeg in my head as a desired feature) and I'm pleased that it has lived up to its promise of tracking arrow-straight without one on my initial runs. The seat is molded in with a low back height. I'll have to get used to that, but it is comfortable enough and I may experiment with a bit of neoprene padding. Despite me buying a used model via a private internet listing, NC Kayaks has been very responsive to my two email inquiries. They promptly answered my questions before buying it, reassuring me that the listing sounded accurate and that there was a sealed front bulkhead for safety (just not a front hatch for storage on this particular model). Then, when I reached out after the purchase, they welcomed me (again, promptly) to the NC Kayak family and answered my questions about care and storage. I do have a learning curve on this boat - particularly on leaning and turning as that's different from my 11fter. I knew that coming in and it is what I wanted. This kayak is a meaningful step up from my very worthy recreational kayak and I'm anxious to advance my kayaking skills to match it. Fortunately, right off the first launch, it is very paddleable and enjoyable and "fast and efficient" with my recreational skills. I'm thrilled with it.