Submitted: 08-08-2008 by Will Bingaman
6"2, 170lbs, Intermediate paddler. I recently purchased a 1990 FG Nordkapp HS. The old girl came with some fine "cutting edge" options. Recessed deck fittings, chimp pump (hilarious) and adjustable drop skeg. Mine is not an ocean cockpit boat, but rather the elongated / updated cockpit lacking thigh braces. The boat is fitted with two round hatches (same size) front and back.
I've heard terrible things about the HS have a very low initial stability and good secondary. I find this overstated, and to a point not true. Traces of tippiness fade as soon as you become familiar with the boat, usually a couple of hours. The boat edges predictably and can be leaned over with very positive results. All in all if your balance is good, and you are used to a narrow beam, you will love the HS. Primary stability is lowish (but suitable) and secondary is solid.
The boat has plenty of rocker for a 17+ footer, and when leaned it turns very quickly and smoothly. Once you drop the skeg (which I basically never use) the boat tracks as straight as any British form boat I've ever been in. With the skeg down you will need to really lean the HS to turn it over, but it can be done. I also notice a humming and vibration coming from the skeg box as the blade moves about in the enclosure. Not so much annoying, but does take away some serenity on a nice calm day.
The boat rolls like a barrel. I wish the back deck and cockpit coaming were a little lower, but you can get very low on the back deck all the same. After 30 minutes of straight rolling I've found my valley hatches (round, new, with steel snap ring around them) to be completely dry. I've actually never been in / around a boat that I can say this about.
The hatches are a bit small for packing but I put my bags inside, pack them and close them, and then locate them in the hatch. I believe that the smaller diameter hatches seal better and having less surface area exposed to the elements helps keep them dry.
Even the old chimp pump works well. Although I haven't had to do a re-entry into the boat (yet) I did fill the boat with water and try it out. The pump is slower than some new hand pumps, but it pulls water from behind the seat and pushes it out the port side behind the cockpit. The nicest thing about this is that after a rolling session, if I'm staying in the boat, I can pump the boat out without having to pull of my skirt. If you've never seen one of these please check them out online, they are very funny.
The reasons for the 9... Skeg noise, smallish hatches, no boat is perfect. I must say that looking at the old girl make me smile. I would put this boat up against any other brit form / greenland style boat built to modern spec. Absolutely the nicest all around boat I've ever paddled, does everything well.