Submitted: 10-02-2009 by JA
I've had my Nordkapp RM for a few months now. I'm lucky enough to live on the east coast of Australia surrounded by a wealth of beautiful paddling. Lakes, rivers, wetlands, mangrove swamps, open ocean and surf. We’ve got the lot, although it has to be said that tide races are somewhat lacking here. I'm 5'9", weigh 180lbs and have been paddling flat water and estuaries for about 5 years with a bit more exposure to open water and surf in the last year. Consider me a sea kayaking novice who is transitioning from a shorter, wider estuary boat with solid stability.
I was looking for a longer boat with a bit more carrying capacity, and quicker acceleration but still with enough liveliness and responsiveness to be a fun day boat. The Nordkapp RM was really love at first sight for me, it is probably the prettiest plastic boat on the market. It is beautifully made too. Luckily it fits me like a glove. I have no issues with the cockpit fit out, the backband or the foot braces. It works for me. If you try this boat, do make sure that you shim the seat pads out for a good fit on your hips, it makes a big difference to the feel of the boat. Other people have described the boat and it's handling, I won't dwell on it. I would like to mention stability though.
I was concerned that it might be too tippy for me, but I have been pleasantly surprised. On calmer waters there is no problem stopping to take pictures or rummaging around in the day hatch. The stability is certainly less than in my last boat, but you get used to it very quickly. This boat is very easy to edge into breaking waves and just drops naturally and effortlessly into a low or high brace. Funnily enough, I only notice the lower stability in calm conditions where there’s a little chop. As soon as there’s some waves happening it just feels solid.
I'm very happy with this boat, it suits me very well. 9/10 because all boats are a compromise and no boat can possibly do everything perfectly.
I have seen some reviews mention leaking hatch covers on Valley boats. If the hatch cover is leaking it probably isn't on properly. The hatch cover should sit right down into the recess on the deck. It is a snug fit. They can be a little stiff when new. A little Armour All will help. Once properly seated, these hatches do not leak.