Submitted: 03-10-2009 by magooch
It's a bit soon to do a comprehensive evaluation of my new Expedition, but a few impressions might be in order. First, I am delighted with the looks of the boat and the details of its construction. I have been over the boat with a fine toothed comb and have found nary a flaw.
I ordered the NC Expedition after looking at a lot of other boats, most of which I dismissed without even trying them out. I guess I knew what I wanted and nothing else was able to change my mind. I'm very happy that I settled on the 19 foot Expedition and not one of NC's 17 footers. That's not to say that the seventeens aren't great, but as I said, I knew what I wanted.
The seat, being an integral part of the structure of the boat is not adjustable, so I had them mount it as far back in the cockpit as is practical--so that I can enter and exit the boat in my accustomed manner, which is while in the water, one leg at a time and not having to sit on the rear deck (I'm 6'2").
I've only had the Expedition in the water a few times, but I've already gotten used to its handling and stability. Because of the boats remarkable ability to track, I had to use a little different strategy for turning than I do with my other boats, but I was pleased to find that the Expedition can be comfortably managed. The boat's stability actually took no getting used to; both the primary and secondary are exceptional—probably as good as it gets. Even so, edging the boat, which is seldom required, is effortless. I added a couple of knee pads under the deck in just the right spot for me and I'm good to go.
Naturally, I'm interested in the potential speed of the boat—not so much its ultimate banzai speed, but its comfortable cruising speed. My first impressions left me wondering if the 19'-2" boat is actually any faster than my other boats. The boat gives little to no sensation of movement through the water. There is barely a bow ripple and the same goes for the stern. My GPS revealed what my senses weren't able to—the boat is fast. Even against a fairly strong outgoing tide, I was able to maintain an easy 4 ½ mph. There have been a few instances when I got an adrenalin shot for one reason, or another and powered up. The Expedition can move and sometimes it's comforting to have raw speed to get you out of a situation.
The builder claims the boat tracks with little regard to wind and current; they don't lie. That cannot be said about wind when you're carrying the boat on your shoulder. This is a big boat and very light for its size, so you'd better be aware of what a gust of wind can do if the boat is sideways to the wind.
I have no doubt that the Expedition will live up to all the expectations I had about it being my long distance boat and from what I've learned about it so far, it instills a lot of confidence that it can handle anything I'm likely to take on and do it with style, comfort and very, very good looks.