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Nordkapp - first thoughts

While I was in New York I got a chance to try a Valley Nordkapp. I have been eager to get my hands on one of these boats since I began to take a serious interest in sea kayaking last year. When I first started thinking about buying a boat I picked up a Knoydart catalogue and there on page one was this beautiful slender craft. I fell in love at first sight. When I read a bit more about the boat I was intrigued by it's pedigree but wondered whether it's notoriously tippy nature might make it an impractical choice.


I normally paddle an NDK Explorer and I no longer think of that as being in the least bit tippy but it did not prepare me for the Nordkapp. The first few minutes were like learning to ride a bicycle. After that I quickly gained confidence as I found how solid the secondary stability was and after fifteen minutes it was beginning to feel normal and it was with some reluctance that I handed it back to it's owner.

I liked the snug fit of the cockpit and the very positive and finely tuned handling. The boat's owner had complained that he found it difficult to turn on edge but I think he was unused to such a long boat and I found no problem in this regard, in fact I found the secondary stability made edging a pleasure.

The Nordkapp has definitely moved up my shortlist now that I have paddled it but I would like to take one on a longer trip before I decide if it is the boat for me.