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Montauk

by Impex Kayaks

Reviews

After paddling wider boats, the Montauk is sleek, efficiently gets up to…

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After paddling wider boats, the Montauk is sleek, efficiently gets up to cruising speed, and tracks effortlessly. Very responsive to the thigh braces. Made for a slender built person and you have to be choosy about what gear can fit inside the 3 hatches but that's the trade off for the narrow beam of 22".

Background: After paddling for 8 years and owning multiple kayaks of various…

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Background: After paddling for 8 years and owning multiple kayaks of various styles and sizes, I was fortunate to come across an ad for a Montauk on Craigslist. My very first sea kayak was a Seda Swift, and while a great boat in its own right, it taught me that as a smaller-framed female, I needed a better fit. I had done my homework on the Montauk and the price was right, so she became my first skeg boat. I'll also note that she was already 10 years old when I bought her secondhand, but she was new to me and barely had a scratch on her due to the previous owner's lack of use. I think he said she was too 'tippy' for him, which has not been my experience, as I'll later explain.

So, 5 years down the road, this now 15 year-old kayak still makes me feel like I'm paddling a Ferrari. She's not the fastest, lightest, or most feature-rich boat out there (at least not my older, fiberglass-hatch cover version) but I love how she paddles. At 15' with a 22" beam, she is the perfect size for me. But my favorite aspect is her rocker, great for so many applications... turning in tight mangrove channels, surfing, and breaking through chop.

I always marvel at how 'springy' and lively she feels, especially after having paddled larger boats. She's also pretty easy to roll (intentionally) but I've only ever dumped her (unintentionally) when I was trying to surf some shore breaks. Fortunately, I find her just as easy to wet-exit and to climb back in.

The Montauk is actually a pretty stable boat, despite her narrower beam. I can even stand up in the cockpit on a calm day. I routinely go on snorkeling trips to the reef in this boat... there's just enough room in the key-hole cockpit for me to donn my gear, roll out, and then climb back in. She tolerates all my maneuvering around like a champ while at anchor.

I've done a lot of camping trips out of this boat too, the longest being the 100 mile wilderness waterway through the Everglades. I carried water and food for 5 days, along with all my gear. It was a squeeze, but quite feasible. The first day out on that trip did see me burying the bow in wind chop due to too much water stored forward, so you do have to be conscience of the balance.

The Montauk is the most comfortable boat I've ever paddled. Rather surprisingly, I can sit in the molded fiberglass seat all day without my butt hurting but my other kayak, with a padded seat, gives me bruises. I can't figure it out but it seems to ring true that sometimes simpler is better. The thigh pads are also very sparse (just thin strips of a neoprene-like material), but even these I find to preferable over the more padded ones. They make it easy to move my legs in and out of position against the bulkhead, so that I never feel like I'm putting too much pressure on my knees while still being able to maintain good contact with the hull. A quality Immersion Research backband completes the cockpit... no other padding and bells-and-whistles needed.

As for maintenance (and given her age), I've had to replace the skeg cable, hatch seals, bungee and deck lines. I mailed the skeg and hatch covers up to the Impex rep up in North Carolina, who did the custom repairs very quickly and reasonably priced. Customer service A+.

The skeg design is simple and it's easy to remove the cable, unlike some other designs I've come across. I also actually prefer the fiberglass hatch covers, as they are easy to remove and allow for larger openings by which to load gear. I usually get very little to no water inside the compartments, so the seals on the covers themselves do a decent job. Newer models come with the more modern rubber hatch seals.

She has more scratches and dings than when I bought her, but considering all that I have put her through, she has aged quite well. My only criticism is a weak spot on the bow, just at the waterline. I cracked the glass while trying to rescue a capsized 2 person SOT…70 lbs of rotomold coming alongside rather abruptly proved too much for it. I have patched the spot with some glass and epoxy...good as new.

I have no plans to upgrade to another kayak at this point because after 15 years of paddling, I finally feel like I've found my perfect boat.

If you are in the 130 to 180 pound range its hard…

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If you are in the 130 to 180 pound range its hard to beat the Montauk. It has so many great qualities that it is hard to know where to start but here are just a few:
1. It tracks well and is fast for a 16' boat.
2. It handles great in rough water and you can carve turns nicely when edged..
3. It has lots of standard extras that are not just for looks (concave bulkhead empties nicely on rescues/ reflective decklines are great for night paddling/ handles are nice for toting/ rescue handles are safe for surf recovery or rescues/ Valley hatch covers float and seal great/ fair amount of storage w/ easy access).

If you want one boat that does a lot well (oh, it rolls nicely too) then get this one. The quality last a lifetime if you care for your Impex because it is built with pride.

After 3 years I am still pleased with my Montauk. At…

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After 3 years I am still pleased with my Montauk. At first I thought it perhaps too stable, however I found in choppy and rough water it easy to move with the chop. I learned to roll in this kayak, others I have since rolled are not so easy. It was much easier to control in surf than other kayaks I had tried due to cockpit size. Its slim Swede bow may seem to have not enough volume, this feeling passes briefly as the flare in the front bow will smoothly get the bow to rise. I got a post purchase modification of moving the front bulkhead back, more storage and less water in the small volume cockpit. I don't want a sea kayak bigger than the Montauk, just one that can carry more. I can still do overnight trips and handling day to day is always easier with a smaller kayak.

Most reviews here compare Impex (favorably) to less sophisticated boats so I'm…

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Most reviews here compare Impex (favorably) to less sophisticated boats so I'm going to reveal a big secret: there's not much difference between Impex and several similar marques. That isn't lukewarm praise. It's a terrific line with all the right features, intelligent design and seemingly excellent workmanship. Like Valley, like Necky, like (older) NDK, like CD, like P&H, like Boreal... The beautiful thing, though, is that Impex is made in Canada, distributed from NC. They make small hulls for slim paddlers, as do the Brits, but without the jaw-dropping exchange rate. Many North American boats are reasonable and available but built for bloated North Americans. They run from too big to ridiculously too big. There are exceptions that I would have jumped on if they had come up first, but it was a Montauk on craigslist, rather than an Avocet, Romany, Ellesmere, Chatham or Capella, so that's what came home.

Those are all topline boats. This is a topline boat. She won't win any races (at my mass that would take a pencil) but she's equivalent to the others with some extremely nice touches (carry handles! adorable! a locking loop! finally! bowed bulkheads! genius!), yet because of her modest price she's usually compared to boats nowhere close to her quality or performance. So let me just say this: She goes where you head her. (Equivalent to the others doesn't mean like the others. Montauk has quite a taut keel. Impex seems to think, and I agree, that with a waterline <4.5 m rocker isn't such an advantage.) She edges reasonably well, catches waves with aplomb, responds appropriately to the skeg but rarely needs it because the decks are low. She does everything well and has no discernible flaws. Best of all, she fits. I can get the Montauk down in the water where she belongs, even unladen, which is rare, and Montauk is not their least displacement. I'd also like to mention that while Impex offers a healthy range of sizes and styles, they do not offer a range of quality. They do not make plastic surrogates, they do not make cut-corner look-alikes. They make nothing but top-drawer, precisely designed, carefully engineered composite boats. If they make the shape you're looking for, I don't think you can do better.

They also offer wild color combinations. When you see mango yellow decks, burnt orange coaming and rails and a green hull, you can be pretty sure you're looking at an Impex.

I've owned my Montauk for 3 years and couldn't be happier with…

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I've owned my Montauk for 3 years and couldn't be happier with my choice of boats. When it recently developed a small weak spot in the glass hull, I emailed Impex, and got an immediate response from Danny Mongno. Long story short, he took it back to the factory in NC, quickly fixed it, and then personally drove it back up to Connecticut...and even went for a paddle with us. Great boat, great customer service.

I purchased the Montauk after 5 yrs. of owning a molded 10…

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I purchased the Montauk after 5 yrs. of owning a molded 10 ft.kayak (nice but I was ready to upgrade). I rented & tested several glass boats..the Montauk was by far the best in fit (I am a short, petite paddler), thigh braces, tracking, hatch size, turning etc. The 1st summer my husband & I went kayak camping - the Montauk hatches carried enough for 2 days with room to spare. I enthusiastically endorse this boat.

The Montauk is a great boat! Excellent glass work, great design…

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The Montauk is a great boat! Excellent glass work, great design, paddles like a dream! Fantastic combination of primary/secondary stability and LARGE hatches. The best part about the Impex Montauk is their customer service. For example, I had a question about the footrests and emailed Impex on a Friday afternoon at 5:15. I not only got an email response shortly after, but I also received a phone call from the General Manager making sure everything was OK! They care and it shows!

After owning and paddling the Montauk for a month, there are a…

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After owning and paddling the Montauk for a month, there are a number of features that convince me that I've made a superb purchase. Compared to other 16 foot glass boats in the same price range, Impex offers features the others do not:
  • easy access day hatchmetal bracket behind cockpit for locking boat
  • bow compass recess
  • adjustable foot braces while in cockpit
  • adjustable seat back while sitting
  • VCP rubber hatch covers silky smooth skeg control
  • enough rocker to turn but still track
  • fine quality glass and gel coat high end carrying handles
  • British design assists in dry paddle in heavy seas.
  • 49 pounds is better than plastic!
Handled a combo of winds, boat traffic, and strong current on a St. Lawrence River paddle yesterday-felt safe.

After hearing a friend of mine talk about what a thrill it…

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After hearing a friend of mine talk about what a thrill it is kayaking. Ill call him DB. I finally decided to buy a after much debate I purchased a impex montauk and werner carbon fiber camano paddle. I have found these to be excellent together and have enjoyed them very much. I would reccomend them to anybody. As my experiance grows I plan on moving up to more sophistacated equipment and gear. But I think it will be hard to top what I have started with. I would reccomend this combination to any novice.

Wow this is one impressive kayak, greenland style, very dry, lots of…

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Wow this is one impressive kayak, greenland style, very dry, lots of attention to detail. from a recessed cockpit, all rigging, and hatch covers. grab handles at each end of the boat - unlike others. day hatch with seperate compartment, tracks exceptionaly well due to it's retractable skeg. Overall construction exceptional, no soft spots, super back brace, great seat - hatches are attached internally, thigh grips are a nice touch - a beautiful 16 footer - my girlfriend will not let me have it back!