I have been paddling for more than fifteen years in a variety…
I have been paddling for more than fifteen years in a variety of light touring kayaks. However, at 6'4" and 205 lbs. my options are limited. My criteria for this boat were good tracking for day trips, speed, ability to cut through two-foot chop, 16'6"-17'10" in length, and 56 lbs. or less). Ironically, the Alvik was not even on my list of boats to check out, but I came across it and am extremely impressed. The craftsmanship is superb, the weight at about 54 lbs. is about as low as you can find in glass, and the price is considerably less than comparable boats. I am most impressed with the ease with which it glides through the water. It tracks extremely well but can be maneuvered without much effort. With a moderate key hole cockpit, bracing is enhanced enabling you to turn the boat quickly. Others have commented on weathercocking. This is probably true in general, but this complaint is usually attributed to improper fitting. To create a snug fit I added hip braces using nothing more than roof rack pads and I moved the seat back an inch and a half. By doing this I am in constant contact with the boat, which enables me to steer the boat in almost any wind with little effort, eliminating weathercocking. About the only time I feel the need for the rudder is in a cross current. The bow flare and deck also provide for a very dry ride. This boat is a keeper.
As stated by previous reviewer, weather cocks a bit, (OK with rudder)…
As stated by previous reviewer, weather cocks a bit, (OK with rudder) soft pedals, and back lacks support. Haddles well in moving water like rougher bays, but we found it work to paddle in calmer water.
Probably a little wider and deeper than I would have liked. Had intended to buy the Ellesmere, but found it sluggish and hard to easily determine if skeg was up or down wwith rope system. Perhaps Ellesmere's skeg maintains itself better than metal.
Recently acquired this boat. There are several things about this boat that…
Recently acquired this boat. There are several things about this boat that are very attractive. First, the quality of the class is first rate. One of the nicest built boaters around. Second, the decking is also laid out well. Third, very easy to work around. Finally, the price is highly attractive. As mentioned by the previous review, this boat is significantly less expensive than other boats. Then, why the less than perfect score. This boat suffers from certain design flaws. First, it does tend to weathercock more than I would like (with the rudder up). Second, the seat back does not provide sufficient support. Every time that I push back, it gave. Third, for some reason, I wind up with scratched legs whenever I get in and out of the boat. Finally, I would have preferred the foot pedals to be more solid. With the rudder down, they tend to move more than I would like. Overall, in spite of the flaws (they are minor), this is a very good boat. Consider it seriously. For the price, you get a lot of value.
After paddling every conceivable glass touring boat I settled on the Boreal…
After paddling every conceivable glass touring boat I settled on the Boreal Design Alvik. This boat provided the best combination of initial and secondary stability without any sacrifice in performance. The boat has a comfortable keyhole cockpit with padded seating, easily ajustable rudder controls which also provide solid bracing, excellent tracking, and the finest fiberglass and paint finish I have seen from any manufacturer. Factor in the price, which is about $500 less than comparable glass boats, and you have all the making of one of the best boats on the market. The only downfall to this boat is a slight tendancy to weathercock more than other boats in its class but this is easily corrected with the rudder system. For those wishing a little more stability the Boreal Narwhal is a very similiar boat in its appointments and finish but it is a few inches shorter and a bit wider providing rock solid initial stability and greter secondary stability. The Narwhal unfortunately tracks so well that it doesn't like to turn without some work.