Submitted: 08-20-2001 by Pete
I bought an Aquila last spring (2001) and then took it on a 63 day trip in SE Alaska. I wanted a boat that has more room and is more stable than my Nordkapp HS. The Aquila is a great boat, and because I am familiar with the Nordkapp and the Nigel Dennis Romany, I'll compare the Aquila to them.
The Aquila may seam a bit shaky for some-particularly for those who are a bit "top-heavy," but I found its initial stability very comfortable-much more stable than the Nordkapp, but not quite as stable as the Romany. But this boat's secondary stability is rock solid. I can put this boat comfortably on its side to turn it, even in rough water, which is sometimes scary in the Nordkapp. As far as rolling and high brace recovery, the Aquila is similar to the Romany-very responsive. This boat is much easier to roll than the Nordkapp, and almost as easy to roll or high brace as the Romany. What this boat has over the Romany is that it is a faster boat and can carry more gear. In addition, the larger front and rear hatches are easier to pack and can accommodate the small size bear containers.
A complaint I have about this boat concerns how well it tracks. The boat has a lot of rocker, which makes it very easy to turn-too easy. I would gladly give up the maneuverability for something that tracks better. I often lower the skeg slightly (even in calm weather) in order to keep it from weather cocking. This is not as much of a problem with the Nordkapp or Romany.
I really like this boat and I'm sure I'll do many more long trips with it. I have a foot pump and a knee tube, which are nice features. I recommend that if you buy this boat that you order it with a custom bulkhead so that you have even more space in the front hold.