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Submitted: 12-11-2006 by Howard

My new NC 19 just arrived, so this is first notes after just two paddles. But Iím impressed. First, NC was great to work with. Very helpful on the phone, even about things they werenít selling me, like questions about a new roof rack, as well as the size and fittings and color scheme for our boats (my wife got the NC 17 Quest, also superb).

Second, they really should brag more about the details on these boats, like their marine-grade toggling hatches. One of these held positive air pressure all the way from Tacoma to our altitude. If theyíre airtight, you can bet theyíre watertight. Yakima footpegs. The gelcoat and color is gorgeous, and the recessed deck fittings (bungee and perimeter cords, compass well, carry toggles) are top notch. Great coaming and seat (with perfect-height backrest), and (as mentioned here already) great fit. My wife is 5í3, and Iím 5í10, so with the reviews already here you can see these boats apparently have a good deck height and cockpit shape to help almost anyone hook up with their boat.

Third, the hull shape and waterline contours are impressive to study. The boat really tracks (as others mention), but that long stern taper also replaces the water smoothly, something usually only seen in racing hulls. Fast, easy paddling and sweet secondary stability have already been mentioned, I havenít been out in big waves, but I was drawn to these boats because the bow and foredeck look designed for a dry ride with little deck splash.

Finally, the layup deserves more comment. I once worked in a kayak building shop, and I agree with NCís website that Kevlar and carbon are light but limited. Looking into my boat, the LT layup shows just how light and solid professional hand-laid glass (with an Airex-style hull stiffener) can be. NC boats are priced right, but youíll see their weights are competitive with funny-fiber boats, and I honestly agree an all-glass layup has real advantages.

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