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NC 15 Escape

by NC Kayaks

The NC15 series is perfect for paddling the coastline, exploring shoals, or just a leisurely day on the lake. Suitable for a beginner thru expert. With a shorter waterline length it turns well with a sweep stroke and tracks good even in rougher conditions. The NC15 series is very nimble, quick to accelerate, and very stable. You will also love its great secondary stability and excellent surfing capabilities. The NC15 series is best suited to paddlers measuring 4'10"- 6'2" weighing between 85-220 lbs. with up to a size 13 shoe.

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Reviews

Nearly perfect

Submitted by: on

I have used my NC 15 LT Escape for about 3 years. I'm a senior male, 5'8 160lbs. I've paddled around Maryland for the past 13 years or so after getting the bug while at a Canadian Boy Scout camp with my kids. I bought this particular boat because I wanted speed and light weight so as to move it around on my own if need be, although I mostly paddle with a club on trips of 20 - 40 kayakers. I was nervous about buying without trying it, but based on other reviews I took a chance, and would definitely recommend NC!! I get so many complements on this boat, its amazing. I experience little to no weathercocking, and the boat turns very well for a 15.5' boat. I think its quite fast.

At 41 lbs, its over 20 lbs. lighter than the P&H Cetus fiberglass boats that many of my kayak friends use (and much cheaper too). I accidentally dropped it off my SUV's roof last year, and the rubber strip landed on a concrete curb, which caused the strip to spread open, but there was no damage whatsoever to the fiberglass.

As others have mentioned the folks at NC, Doug in particular who I deal with, are the best. This is my second kayak, the first being an Old Town Castine, which I still use for trips on rocky waters. My only issue, is that the cockpit is just barely long enough to get my legs into, usually scraping my knees in the process.
My advice - Get one, you'll love it. (I give it 4.5 stars)

I live in the Puget Sound, am about 190 pounds 5'11"", and…

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I live in the Puget Sound, am about 190 pounds 5'11"", and am over 60 years old. I have been paddling for several years, starting with a new recreational kayak, and then using Craigslist to go through a few more. My kayak prior to the NC was a Current Designs Solstice HV which I really enjoyed. The only problem was I pulled my back out a couple of times loading or unloading the boat on my CRV. I started looking late last summer for a lighter, shorter kayak. So I ended up buying the NC kayak directly from the builder in Tacoma. It is a small business run by a couple of ex Boeing composite workers, and they do use some pretty high tech processes to strengthen the fiberglass to keep the kayaks light.

The Solstice was like a freighter, so stable as to almost be untippable, and it plowed through waves and wakes. The NC is more like a little hot rod, and is more likely to bob over a wave than plow through it. I have had it in the big lakes here and on the sound, but not in really rough conditions yet. It truly is simple to lift on and off the car, and that is a real joy. With the lightness and simplicity of the boat, and with the Greenland paddle I use, it feels closer to the Inuit tradition than today's cruisers.

For my purposes, mostly a day paddler, it is great. I don't know if it will hold up as well as some of the heavier longer boats. I have done self rescue, including a cowboy entry, and no harm done. I will be happy if I get a hundred or more uses of it.

The reason I give it a 9 instead of a 10 is I really don't like the seat. However with a back pad and better posture I am getting used to it after 10 day trips.

I bought this boat untested after searching the NC website and talking…

Submitted by: on

I bought this boat untested after searching the NC website and talking extensively with both Mark and Doug. I really loved the hull design, but was wary about whether that would translate into loving paddling it. I live in the far eastern side of Washington state, and NC is on the extreme western side and rather than drive over there, I decided to roll the dice and take a leap of faith and just go for it. (Yup, I know, it could have gone terribly wrong, but happily it didn't.) Doug met me halfway in Ellensburg, and he went over any remaining questions I had.

The one big feature that drew me to the boat was the rudderless/skegless design. I must admit I was skeptical, but this has proven to be true. I took possession of the boat as winter was closing in, so my paddling time was limited. But, we have had an amazing Spring here in the PNW, and I have been out paddling since March and finally feel like I've gotten to know this boat well enough to write a review.

I was skeptical about the non-padded seat, but I've found it is surprisingly comfortable, even for my bony butt. At first I felt I needed support for my lower back, but moved the pegs closer a half inch which puts in in a better position and ta da! perfect, no more back issues.

I have not been out in wild and wooly weather, but we share the lakes with lots of water skiers and go-fast boats and it is FUN to paddle through the wakes. In 15mph+ winds it tracks beautifully when others were using their rudders. Oh, yes, it did need the occasional corrective stroke, but overall it's a steady eddie. We have gotten to know each other better as I've paddled him more (yeah, he's a guy) and find its an almost intuitive experience.

Fast, yes, even for my relatively small motor. A younger, fitter person could really amp it up, but even for myself I find I have to slow down or wait up for others in my group. And no loss in stability.

And, this seems like a weird thing to praise, but the coaming is really comfortable, slightly rounded which makes it easy to grip, but deep enough to attach a cockpit cover or spray skirt with ease. It has a 31 inch cockpit which is perfectly adequate for most people, but I find I need to maneuver more to get in and out, but with practice it's becoming easier.

Almost gave the rating as a 9, but decided I shouldn't punish the boat for my shortcomings, so will stand by my 10. My boat has the LT layup, and I am not overly gentle, but I have no concerns about just going out and using it.

The weight is accurate, mine comes in at about 43 lbs, which for a 15'8" boat is pretty good. I keep badgering Doug about designing and marketing a 14' boat with a slightly larger cockpit, but same hull, and maybe one day that will happen and I will be first in line to buy it.

As a footnote to this very long post, a friend was looking for a new boat and tried mine out and has also bought one. We have two of the prettiest boats out on the water now. Because, oh yeah, it is pretty! and not a time I'm out on the water goes by that it doesn't get remarked on. Price is good, if you buy it during one of his sales, price is Excellent.

Maybe not for everyone, but if you are looking for a fast, stable, great looking boat, then this is definitely one you should be checking out.

I've had my Escape for 2 yrs now. NC painted mine a…

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I've had my Escape for 2 yrs now. NC painted mine a beautiful purple & hot pink! Everywhere I go, people tell me how awesome my kayak looks. It is very lightweight at 41 lbs. It's fast, tracks well, and has great secondary stability. It handles the rough waters with no problems. Tons of storage space. As for the seat, it's so comfortable! I can paddle for hours & never get a sore bottom. My other kayak I had to use a seat pad. The only thing I would change is having a day hatch behind the cockpit. But all in all.... it's a great kayak at a great price!

I've had my NC for two years now and it is more…

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I've had my NC for two years now and it is more stable than my wife's Perception. It racks very well and is faster than any other Kayak I've paddled with less effort it just seems to glide. I am 5'8" and 220 which is at the high end of the weight limit for this boat, and I fit in the cockpit well. I just love the boat it is such a joy to paddle.

This is a follow-up on my previous review. The real test of…

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This is a follow-up on my previous review. The real test of this kayak came during a 76-mile trip on the Ochlokonee River in northwest Florida. The river was choked with sweepers and strainers resulting from a previous flood state. The NC Escape performed well around those obstacles and handled the fast current with ease. Against an in-coming tide and a strong off-shore wind the kayak's tracking ability came to a crucial test and came out with flying colors.

I originally worried about how much abuse this kayak could take due to a previous review from another paddler. During this trip, it got launched from concrete ramps, landed on gravel bars, got stuck in sand and mud, got thrown over a drainage ditch and rode in the back of a rental truck along with other kayaks and survived a 200+ mile journey at high speed on top of my Honda. Yes, it is scratched up but it actually looks better for it. It deserves a 10.

A few months ago I purchased the NC 15 Escape LT from…

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A few months ago I purchased the NC 15 Escape LT from Novus Composites and I have some positive as well as concerns to share. I am 71 years old and definitely not new to the sport. I have owned many different kayaks over the years.

I purchased the NC 15 Escape in the LT version because of its weight. Age and a back that needs cuddling being the main factors. The NC 15 Escape at 41 lbs is definitely a light boat. It is also a beautiful, well constructed boat and the folks at Novus Composites made the purchase easy. It was shipped to me in Florida in a huge box and arrived safely. Upon reviewing the website I had opted for one of the in-stock models which made it quite affordable although the shipping charge was much higher than anticipated.

I have taken this kayak up a very narrow twisting river with a very strong current and found it easy to maneuver it through the twists and turns. I have taken it out in the Gulf for a 20 mile trip on a day with moderate chop and the kayak tracked straight. For anyone interested in multi day trips rest assured that her cavernous bulkheads will carry a lot of camping gear. The boat is responsive to leans, tracks well without a skeg or rudder, and is very stable.

However, there are some things that I wish the company would have done a bit differently. This particular model comes with a D-Ring aft but it does not come with a similar D-Ring in the front although it is available as an option when you order the boat built. On my kayak, the screw securing the D-Ring to the deck is very long and protrudes way down into the kayak. This could possibly lead to the tearing of a dry bag or flotation bag. Also, the hatch covers (which I like a lot) are not secured to the kayak in any way. They are rather heavy but could still be separated from the boat by a strong wind while taking gear in or out of the kayak or also by some critter while camping (like racoons in the Everglades for example). Also, the footpegs cannot be moved while sitting in the kayak, a feature now available in many other kayaks.

That said, over all, I am very pleased with the NC 15 Escape. It is a good sea worthy and very attractive kayak.

NC's boats are very nicely finished are really beautiful to look at…

Submitted by: on

NC's boats are very nicely finished are really beautiful to look at. That being said, they are really meant for placid water paddlers who enjoy getting out on the water but don't really care to advance their paddling skills (which means beating your boat during the process). Here's a few reasons why I say this:
While the fit and finish of my NC15 was super, the light layup simply could not stand up to any abuse, whatsoever. Practicing rolls, T-rescues, cowboys, etc., quickly resulted in spiderweb cracks around the cockpit area.
The hatches that NC uses also miss the mark. The front hatch is so small as to be almost useless. The rear hatch is large enough to be useful, but the small, non-slip nubs that are molded into the hard plastic hatches shred your knuckles when turning the handles to open or lock shut the covers. Besides this, they are not dry. The perimeter deck lines are pretty much for looks only. They don't extend far enough toward the bow or stern and they are so tight that only a stick person would be able to get a gloved hand under them.
Lastly, the "performance flange" (where deck meets the hull) makes a nice rub rail, but it catches on your pfd if you are doing cowboys and T-rescues. A flush seam would be much nicer.

Okay, this review is quite critical, but there are positives to this boat, too. If you simply want to get out on the water and don't plan on hammering your boat, this is a great choice. The choice of colors is super and NC boats are really nice to look at. The light layup makes the NC15 easy to carry and load without help. The craftsmanship is excellent, and, oh, the hull really scoots through the water, smoking without effort the Romanies, Explorers, etc. that might be paddling with you. The boat has no rudder or skeg, but one was never needed, despite wind, following seas, etc. If that were not enough, NC often has killer sales where you can pick up a spiffy looking boat for not much money...just be sure of what you hope to get out of and put into paddling and you won't go wrong. My wife and I now paddle NDK boats. Not as fast or pretty as NC's, but tough as hell and, for us, that is more important.

Ok I ordered my Escape; it came a week later. The finish…

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Ok I ordered my Escape; it came a week later. The finish is very very good; a great looking boat. I am not graceful on entry or exit of a kayak never have been in 43 years of paddling, but I found it easy to enter and exit. It is graceful in the water tracks pretty straight and I over paddle to my right. I will turn well while edging. It is quick, i usually find myself waiting for my companions to catch up a lot it takes little effort to get her up and gliding and she glides on and on.

My only complaint, if it can be called one, is the forward bulk head is a bit close i can touch it with my feet if I stretch out and I wonder how long it will be before I have to change the rubrail but other than that I am thrilled. It was cheaper than many plastic boats these days, they were great at NC to deal with and I called and emailed a lot before ordering as I had never even seen one in person let alone paddle one, I am glad I got it and next year I'm getting either a 17 or 19.

A quality, top-notch product in every respect. Spur of the moment…

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A quality, top-notch product in every respect. Spur of the moment, I ordered a NC 15 Escape from NC Kayaks right before Christmas. The sale was too good to pass up. The kayak was delivered with no damage or scars after a trip across the country. It truly lives up to the claims made on the website. Paddles straight, little or no weathercocking, achieves "touring" speed quickly and easily. Construction is superb. Seat is amazingly comfortable. Only critique is the aft access hatch opening is a bit small but no problem for packing. I've already tested getting my camping gear in and was successful with no issues.

In every respect I'm a satisfied customer: from ordering, to calls for more info, to final receipt of the kayak, the purchase process was a pleasure. This is my third kayak and first composite boat. Aside from being a darned attractive boat, it's stable and fun to paddle. I'd recommend this kayak to all who are seeking to move out of their plastic boat and up to a faster and lighter boat.
I'm looking forward to testing it's roll-ability (and mine!) as soon as the weather and water warm up.

I received my NC Escape in early January. It arrived at…

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I received my NC Escape in early January. It arrived at the freight terminal in the largest card board box I have ever seen! The folks at the YRC terminal were very gracious and also helpful in disposing of the carton. The kayak arrived in perfect condition. When I removed the top of the carton I was spellbound by the graceful lines and meticulous fit and finish of this boat. I brought it home, applied a quick coat of wax to the hull and left for the lake.

I have been paddling for years, but always in a plastic kayak. The difference was immediately obvious. The Escape slips through the water with ease and tracks wonderfully. It does require a little more effort to turn but I expected that. The Escape responds well to bracing turns and after a few hours on the water I feel one with this boat.

To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about the fiber glass seat, but Greg at NC assured me I would find it comfortable. So far I have to agree with him. I am 5'11" and 175 pounds and the seat shape and position is perfect for me. The underside of the cockpit combing is nicely shaped to provide a comfortable knee brace. I guess if I had to pick something I would like different on my kayak it would be a larger front hatch. It is only six inches in diameter and will limit what I can fit into the front compartment.

Overall I am extremely pleased with my new Yellow Escape and look forward to years of exploring the lakes and rivers of the Southeast. I would like to add that Doug and Greg of NC Kayaks were very helpful and patiently answered all of my questions. Give them a call before you buy your next kayak. You will be glad you did.

I just had my new Escape LT out for the first time…

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I just had my new Escape LT out for the first time on Sequim Bay, WA. I'm very pleased with all aspects of this boat. I'm 5'9", 205lbs and although a beginner, I find that I can confidently handle this boat. While it may not have the initial stability of other designs, it has excellent secondary stability, tracks well and is very fast for its length. The light weight is a real plus for car-topping. Highly recommended.

I've just purchased my second NC Kayak. The first was the NC-15…

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I've just purchased my second NC Kayak. The first was the NC-15 Excursion - the second is the new NC-15 Escape (same kayak - w/forward hatch). I'm 6'2", 185# and paddle primarily in South Puget Sound (Olympia, WA). I've found everything about NC Kayaks is truly exceptional (tracking, hull design, deck finishes, storage, seat comfort, etc.) Amazingly, the hull glides through the ebs and flows of the South Sound and slips through a good breeze without the necessity of a rudder or skeg. I've even added a Scotty mount forward of the cockpit for a rod holder and sail. Even when I'm trolling for salmon, or sailing in farily stout winds, I've found NC Kayaks stable and true to their course. Before buying my first Kayak I did a ton of research - I feel NC Kayaks are a terrific value. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.