Submitted: 10-14-2002 by Bob
We have recently purchased two Explorers. One is Carbon Kevlar and the othre is fiberglass. Have had experience palleing a Dagger Meridian and an Nigle Foster Legend. Of the three designs, the Explorer is the best all around design. While the Explorer is not as fast as the Legend or as stable as the Meridian it is superb. We recently took the boats to the barrier islands on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and they handled extremely well in some very difficult conditions.
For camping, I find the circular hatches superior -- they are water tight and force you to use smaller dry bags which can better fill the hull. We had all the room we needed for a week trip -- to include ~ 10 gallons of water in each boat. The rope skeg design is, in my mind, superior to the more popular slider skegs. I do not use a skeg unless absolutely necessary so the ability to "feather" the skeg is not important. This skeg will not stick or get clogged with sand. It can be fixed in the field with not special tools and when deployed it works really well.
The Explorer performs better in following wind and seas than the Legend and the weight of the Explorer compares very favorably to the heavier Legend. All in all I am extremely pleased with the Explorer. In fact I have not had the Legend in the water since I brought the Explorers home.
Footnote on quality control. The Explorer really looks good! I can't find anything to complain about. I did have an idea about the point at which the rope attaches to the skeg and called Nigle Dennis to seek advise. I found him first to be interested and second to be very responsive. I made the adjustment which we discussed on the phone and then e-mailed the results to him -- he even answered the e-mail within 48 hours. The Explorer is one fine boat within a family of very fine boats shch as the Legend.