Submitted: 11-04-2002 by DSK
I have owned my Quest for a little over a month and 1/2 now and have done a lot of day paddling including open coast and in the surf as well as a couple of 3-4 day trips. So far I am very pleased with the boat, I was on the verge of buying a NDK Explorer but after trying them both side by side at the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium I went with the Quest. It wasn't an easy choice as the NDK Explorer is an excellent boat.
I am 5'7' about 165lbs so the boat is a bit big for me but so was the explorer, and I've fixed that with some padding. The finish on the boat is excellent, I have not seen a better finish on a boat. The seat and backband is one of the most comfortable I have tried.
Now on to how the boat handles. The boat has a nice blend of initial and secondary stability, easy to edge without being tippy and a very solid edge to lay over on. It carves turns very well for such a big boat, it feels like a much smaller boat. Tracking is very good but will weathercock a little when empty, a little bit of skeg fixes that. With a load aboard it tracks very well.
Seems to be a fast boat, has a nice glide and handles big water very well. Handles well in Surf for such a long boat, and following seas are a blast. You really need to get this boat in big water to really appreciate it. Oh, and it rolls very well.
Anything I don't like? The Kajak Sport hatches, I prefer the VCP hatches, but I am getting used to them and the appear to be completly watertight.The layup seems a little lighter than my Valley Pintail but most people will like that as most vcp boats are very heavy. I'm hard on boats so I tend to favor a heavier lay up though, well I guess I will see how well it holds up.
I will have to say I am very pleased with this boat. The day after I bought it I was wondering if maybe it was a bit of an impulse buy, as I had pretty much made up my mind on an explorer untill seeing and paddling the Quest. Anyway after a lot of paddling the last month or so I think I have found the boat for me. For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, P&H is trying to have more reresentation out here. I got this one from the guys at Gig Harbor Kayak Center and I think they are the reps out here so hopefully they will be better availability here in WA. Anyway a solid 9 at least.