Read reviews for the Nordkapp HM by Valley Sea Kayaks as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!
In the progression of sea kayak design one boat always makes the list, the Nordkapp. I first saw one of these back in the early 80's when a friend of mine named Max Smith showed up for a San Juan Islands weekend kayak tour with a bright red Nordkapp HM. I was intrigued with the boat and almost afraid in many ways. It looked too narrow, the tiny ocean cockpit was confining and everything had to be packed through these small 8" deck hatches. Max was a character and at that time he was going through his "live-off-the-land" phase. As a result he barely bought any gear and was fishing and foraging for dinner along the way. Good thing we bought some extra so he didn't starve. So at that point I had the design on my radar but it was not until almost 20 years later that I finally owned one.
I saw an original Nordkapp HM listed for sale locally and bought it. There are many versions of the "Nordkapp" and I will not get into it here. You have to go on-line and read about the different versions. The name had so much value in the market that Valley Canoe named many boats as "Nordkapps" and it is somewhat confusing at this point. The boat I bought was a 80's vintage boat with a yellow deck and white hull. It came complete with the little bilge pump mounted in the deck behind the paddler. It is a low volume boat and I find it amazing the expeditions that this boat has accomplished with its tiny hull crammed with the gills with provisions.
I find the boat very stable and very forgiving. The Ocean Cockpit is tight but feels very secure for bracing. The boat has a lot of volume at the paddlers location and forward so it is a remarkably dry boat even loaded to the max. These were thick hand laid fiberglass hulls and are super strong. Older boats usually need new hatch covers but the hulls are usually hard to really damage with normal use. I really liked the experience of the Nordkapp. It tracks well but not too well. It was easy to maneuver using the swells and some easy corrective strokes. I had a hard time packing into the boat but the new ones have larger hatches so this can help the packing problem. They are still low volume so you need to pack carefully. It is hard to get a case of beer into the boat for a long tour. Just line the big cans of Fosters right down the keel line for stability.
I have paddled a modern version of the original Nordkapp design and it is still a classic. Valley makes a great kayak and this boat is no exception.
Paddle on lads...
It was in 1979 that I decided to buy a British kayak. I had to choose between the Kirton Meridian and the Nordkapp HM. At that moment I was a student and paying an amount of f 100,00 more for the Nordkapp was just too much...
Since a couple of years I have an Eagle Zeester. The hull of this boat is an exact copy of a Nortshore Meridian. The deck however is more flat and the cockpit more open. Rolling e.g. is rather difficult in this kayak.
So I also looked for a real seakayak. Last december I found the Nordkapp HM. A beautiful yellow boat, without any modifications. I replaced the outfit of the deckgear and today I made my first trip on flat water. I have NO concerns about the primary and secondary stability or the turning. My only concern is that it's rather difficult to enter or exit the ocean cockpit. But when you are sitting in, it's perfect! It fits like a glove. It's tracking well and paddling is effortless. Until now, I'm very satisfied.
Cargo room: Whose asking? are you a dual burner coleman guy with the 4 man tent? you'll suffer. Are you a backpacker with the Ray Jardine "Go Lite" mentality? You'll swim with room. I am confident I can take a go lite approach in arid country and still have room for a ten day trip. In water plentiful country it can go in the 3-4 week length of time. That question is so subjective it depends on the personal camper's habits. I'm a backpacker and I go to look at what is there, not at all the crap I can surround myself with. I still have room for photography gear, though. Hey everyone has at least two Achilles Heels.
3 piece version for travel is built like a tank with glassed in threaded shanks, dual gasket system that needs to be very tight, and stainless hardware. It took 30 minutes to assemble and the same to disassemble. longer head on 17mm ratchet would have cut 10 minutes off that time. Costly to get through airport: $225.00 USD for three bags. Skycaps or "porters" are necessary because they have the carts large enough to get it to the curb. Truly, it is no folder in ease of transportation. It requires larger vehicles at destination to get you to water. It was such a spendy, logistical hassle to bring on a simple week long cruise I may not bring it for many more of those trips, I'll sell the one piece Nordkapp and buy a used Khat's for those trips. I'll save the 3 piece Nordkapp for the longer trips where it will be worth it. The boat is a ten; the three piece concept is a 5.