Submitted: 07-10-2007 by doubledipper
It was an Impex Force 5 at 18' long. This boat was also made of Kevlar so it was light and easy to carry. Compared to my Assateague, this boat was narrower, a bit longer and an inch or two lower. The chine and rocker are also a bit different.
This boat is fast, it is a great surfer, it feels good and stable on edge, the outfitting is excellent with a smooth skeg action, comfy seat and those 3 wonderful Valley (VCP) hatches. Despite the perceived lack of rocker, the boat turns surprisingly easy on edge.
The thigh hook location in conjunction with the skeg control box caused pain and slight bruising when performing a hip snap when rolling. This may be resolved with adjustments in the foot pegs and back band, but for sure, some extra foam padding would be in order. I had to stop paddling it because of the pain. The foot pegs are rock solid but are hard to adjust. The spring loaded release is located behind the foot peg. I have the same ones on my boat but mine slid easier, maybe these needed lubrication. I would much prefer adjusters that can be reached by hand, from the cockpit.
The cockpit did not seem cramped but my spray skirt seemed a little loose. Although the cockpit was only an inch shorter, the deck was slack. This did allow a little water to enter, but may have been through the tunnel as I was only wearing a t-shirt. When sculling, I am used to my head being close to the water. With the chine on this boat, sculling is higher and to get closer to the water, the boat seems beyond 90 degrees and seems to be laying on top of you.
Overall this is a good looking, good handling fast cruiser. Could I love this boat? Sure, with some padding in the cockpit and a few changes in technique. I am going to try a slightly lower Impex Force 4 next and then compare them with a few other popular boats before I commit to a new boat purchase.
By the way, I would like to thank Barb and George at the Kayak Academy for making this boat available to me.