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Greenlander Pro

by Nigel Dennis Kayaks, Ltd.

Reviews

After paddling a fiberglass Nordkapp HS for 32 years (ocean cockpit) I…

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After paddling a fiberglass Nordkapp HS for 32 years (ocean cockpit) I decided to look around for boat that a 65 year old, 6'4" paddler could get in and out of easier. I love my Nordkapp - it's fast, tough as nails, handles well in the surf empty or loaded and has great secondary stability. I was not so happy when a quarter wind kicked up and I was having to constantly provide a correcting stroke. I guess could have installed a skeg but didn't wish to mess around with a classic boat. And that still wouldn't have solved my cockpit problem.

Last year, after using SearchTempest to search CL for 3 months, I found and purchased a used fiberglass 2002 Greenlander Proi n pristine condition. The original owner paddled it 6 time before he was transferred to an area hundreds of miles from the Atlantic Ocean. He put it in his barn and forgot about it for 13 years - he sold it for one-third the cost of a new one and looked brand new.

I've been paddling it for a year now and it has become my primary boat. The keyhole cockpit allows me easy access getting in or out. The day hatch comes in handy when storing items you may need while on the water. The GP tracks well enough that I've only used the skeg half a dozen times. The hard chines are a nice change from the Nordkapp's round bottom. Perhaps a little slower but I'm not into racing. I've read some reviews that complain about the GP initial stability but, perhaps because I've paddled a Nordkapp so long, I felt it to be rock solid, in flat or rough water. I've only paddled it loaded with camping gear four or five times but found it handled well in rough conditions. The Nordkapp is a little easier to roll but a static brace is easier in the Greenlander Pro.

One of my favorite activities is surfing and I've found the GP to be a good surfing boat in waves under 3 feet. Larger than that it tends to pitch pull (but less than my Nordkapp due to the GP having a larger volume in the front). Both boats are 17""10' so neither are going to slice up the waves (I have a Perception Sabre for those days).

I've read some negative reviews of the Nigel Dennis workmanship but the quality of my GP is right up there with my Valley Nordkapp. No rough fiberglass edges, leaks, seat or gelcoat problems. Due to it's age it has a rope skeg but replacing the rope was a breeze and cost less than a couple dollars.

I'm puzzled as to why the Greenlander Pro isn't a more popular boat, like the NDK Explorer or the Romany. Except for my friend, Greg Stamer (who used his to circumnavigate New Foundland), I've never seen one on the water. I asked Nigel Dennis and he couldn't explain it, either.

I'm at a loss of anything negative to say about the Greenlander Pro - I'd give it an eleven if I could. It's upswept stern, hard chine and greenland design makes it a beauty to look at as well as paddle.

I am a Norwegian kayak instructor and have been paddling a NDK…

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I am a Norwegian kayak instructor and have been paddling a NDK Romany for almost 6 years. I bought my Greenlander Pro last Spring and I now use it for everything except rough water play, because that’s what the Romany does best.

I use Greenland paddles when I am out for my small afternoon and day trips because it gives me less trouble with my tennis elbow. It is a fast boat for being fishform and hardchined, and it keeps a speed around 4 knots with a paddle frequency of 50 strokes/minute with my Greenland paddle. It is easy to edge with a solid secondary stability, and it responds extremely well to being steered by edging.

It is not a very stable beginners boat, and it is always needing some attention due to the extremely hard chines. But this is what makes it fun and interesting to paddle on days when the Romany would be slow and boring. And it makes me a better paddler by challenging me.

It is a wonderful boat in wind and waves, but can be a real challenge sometimes when the hardchines are gripped by currents, but again, it makes me a better paddler. I have a rope skeg which works fine without any danger of damaging with kinked wires, etc.
It is easy to roll, but not as easy as the Romany.

This boat looks hot! The long sleek lines and upswept stern gets a lot of attention from other kayakers (and non-kayakers). And it looks great on the water.

I'm 200 lbs, 6'1", and in pretty good shape. I'm a Maine…

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I'm 200 lbs, 6'1", and in pretty good shape. I'm a Maine guide and ACA instructor who uses the Greenlander Pro as my primary boat. My previous primary boat was a 1988 Nordkapp HS.

Greelander Pro is about as hard chined as a kayak can be. I find that it's made me a better paddler by demanding constant attention and quick adjustments. It's fast, strangely fast for a fish-form hard chined boat. The layup is strong, but not as strong as older Valley boats. Here on the Maine coast (with its abusive but fun rocks) I do minor fiberglass repairs every month or so. But it's well constructed. The only major modification I made was building a front day hatch with a 4 inch opening.

It thrives in the wind. I paddle it at any angle to a 0-20 knot wind with very little effort, and no use of the skeg. Even above 20 knots, the only times I use the skeg are when I come through following seas that have breaking wind waves at their crests.

It likes the surf zone, at any angle really. It comfortably bounces along parallel to a breaking wave with a lazy brace. With sculling and rolling, it has very pronounced points where it "sits" (more so than other hard chined boats). I don't do lay back rolls very often, but they're super easy with this boat. With a C to C or storm roll where I want to finish with my head down forward, it takes a more aggressive hip snap, possibly because it's a fish form boat. A standard sweep roll or scull-up brings the boat over pretty smoothly, although it can dump a paddler pretty abruptly if timing is or paddle position is off, more so than other narrow kayaks that have more forgiving lines (like the ol' Nordkapp). Re-entry and rolls are smooth with the keyhole cockpit.

Strong current will mess with the boat. Even crossing the center of a boat wake can suddenly shift the hull several degrees to one side. In a river or tidal current, it needs a lot of attention. Playing in eddies and strong current demand a lot of work, but it's doable.

As a guide/instructor boat, because the Greenlander Pro is not as maneuverable as other vessels, I spend a lot of time paddling backwards. I find it's a fast enough boat that I can keep a good pace, watch my group, and be in a position to get to a rescue right away.

The boat is sexy. The upswept stern gets a lot of compliments. It looks great on the water, both modern and classic in a sweet blend. They're also pretty rare, so the uniqueness adds to it's appeal. I've actually never seen another one on or off the water.

I love the Greenland Pro; it has been really good to me…

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I love the Greenland Pro; it has been really good to me over the past year since I bought it. The fit, finish on delivery was excellent and the dealer help fitting foam pads to fit the boat to me, since it didn’t have foot pegs. I had to wait 4 months for the boat. I sold my Chatham 18 in graphite which was an excellent boat also. The boat is water tight with no leakage. You have to burp the hatches they are that water tight or at least on this boat.

I found the handling excellent under severe conditions on New York’s Finger Lakes during the winter months. I used it for my hunting trips in the Adirondack’s last November and found the boat very useful to get into area’s that are difficult to hike to. I took the boat out twice a week from December to May for work outs on the lake roughly about 8 miles per work out. The Greenland Pro seems to go faster or it seems so in rougher water for me, but that can be an illusion. I use Greenland paddles with my boat because there is less stress on my wrist’s and are quick for a bracing stroke. The skeg works fine, but had very little use, except in extreme conditions to trim the boat out a little going down wind.

The boat is fast and glides gracefully between strokes, I try to time my strokes so my body doesn’t wear out to quickly and reserve my strength when I need it. The boat will cruise easily at 5mph without a problem and could go faster, but I am not out for speed. I could out pace my old Chatham 18 which my friend has purchased and he is physical fit gym teacher at a high school. He works out every day, but can not keep up with me when I want to go fast at a steady pace. He uses standard paddles and doesn’t use his torso when he paddles.

My rating for the Greenland Pro is 10 since I couldn’t rate it better. It is a solidly built boat for exploring, work out’s, and expedition’s.

I have been paddling a Romany Explorer for almost four years.…

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I have been paddling a Romany Explorer for almost four years. I bought the GP this spring and have paddled it 2/3's of the time logging hundreds of hours this season. The Romany is a benchmark boat that many people are familiar with and I will use it to compare the GP to during this review.

I have been racing the GP since the spring in all sorts of conditions. During races of one hour or less (3-6 miles) I have been able to maintain at least 6 mph average speed using a Werner Kuai or a Superior Carbon greenland paddle. I find the GP much easier to maintain a fast pace with than the Romany. The GP's hard chines resist weathercocking better than the Romany (I should mention that I weigh 220#) and I also find that the GP responds to 'hip steering' (lean initiated turns) which makes it a better boat in big water with one exception: The stern on the GP is finer than the Romany and I discovered the hard way that the GP does not back surf as well tending to pearl and ender, exciting but not something I consistently enjoy. The GP's speed, stability and ability to maneuver make it an excellent boat in big water. We are splitting hairs here comparing it to the Romany as both are just excellent in wind and waves.

There are not many boats out there that roll as easily as the Romany. The GP rolls very easily but resists slightly more than the Romany. I have begun paddling with a Greenland paddle this summer and learning all the different maneuvers that go with the paddle: behind the head rolls, one arm rolls, throwing stick rolls etc. I sometimes paddle the Romany and have discovered that everything is just ever so slightly easier with the Romany than the GP, subjective but true nonetheless.

The GP is almost as big inside as the Romany so with low volume gear and a spartan attitude trips of two weeks or less should not pose a problem with the GP.

The GP I own has no day hatch and subsequently the large flat rear deck deflects quite easily. Storing the boat on a rack or cartopping or doing rear deck rescue stuff the deck will easily dimple in flexing quite a bit. I would recommend installing a removable foam pillar (perhaps with velcro at the ends or some other fixing solution) this would prevent the boat from possibly cracking, or buy a GP with a day hatch and preclude the problem altogether.

The GP is a boat better suited to a paddler with some experience. The ability to consistently edge while paddling is essential. The GP comes very close to doing it all: it's fast, it is stable, it is good in rough water, it holds a lot, it turns well.

I would recommend it to any paddler looking for a very fast sea kayak. Anything faster would have to give away something important.

The NDK Greenlander Pro is a longer, slightly higher cut version of…

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The NDK Greenlander Pro is a longer, slightly higher cut version of their traditional Greenlander model. Instead of the circular cockpit of the standard model, the Pro has a keyhole cockpit making it much easier to enter and exit at the expense of some boat control and water tightness. It has the same hard chines and strange upturn at the stern as the original model.

Originally designed as an ocean race boat, the Greenlander Pro is very fast when paddled empty. The first thing you notice when paddling it is the excellent glide. Once it reaches cruising speed the Pro will literally paddle itself. Unlike many fast boats, the Greenlander Pro responds well to J-lean turns and is quite manoeuverable for more advanced paddlers. The boat is very easy to roll with its low cut and flat back deck. For those interested in Greenland style paddling it is perfect, and responds well to sculling braces and back deck rolls.

Although its volume appears low, the Greenlander Pro can accomodate expedition size loads if it is carefully packed. The front hatch is quite large and the day hatch will also hold a considerable amount of gear. The low back deck restricts the capacity of the stern hatch. Under load the Pro is slightly slower and less manoeuverable, but keeps it trademark glide making paddling easy. Loaded boat rolls are easy once the boat settles (it takes a moment or two!) upside-down underwater.

In wind and waves the Greenlander Pro is at its best. Once one gets used to the "grippy" feeling of the hard chines in reflection waves, it is a fun boat to play with in waves close to Lake Superior's rocky shores. The boat's quick accelleration makes it fun to test your limits in more "hairy" conditions. In wind the boat does weathercock slightly, so a skeg is a good addition. Most of the time, however, it is not necessary. In a following sea the Greenlander Pro is a blast, its fishform and great speed allowing it to catch surfs that most other boats will miss. In a headwind its low windage is appreciated, but also gives a wet ride -- especially when loaded where chop will crash over the bow.

Comfort is excellent in the Greenlander Pro. For 2001 NDK updated their backband making it wide and cushy. I am tall and skinny, and find that my height (6-3) is the maximum that you could fit in this boat. The low deck will just accomodate my size 12 feet. I am willing to trade off the tighter fit of the Greenlander Pro for the better control it affords -- plus it is one HOT boat to paddle.

Overall the Pro is a top notch boat for more advanced paddlers wanting a traditional design offering speed, manoeuverability and moderate capacity.