Submitted: 08-04-2003 by wilsoj2
The Aquanaut is, in essence, VCP's answer to the NDK Explorer, which seems to be the most common point of reference for this class of boat. I found the Aquanaut to be more playful, faster, and snugger fitting than the Explorer. It seems to have even more solid secondary stability than the Explorer. It is easily as confident in challanging seas.
My current main boat is an Elaho, and my ideal is the snug fit and responsiveness of that boat in a boat with better glide, tracking, and greater volume. The Aquanaut came the closest of the many of boats I paddled.
Valley's workmanship and QC is more consistent than NDK's and the attention to detail seems excellent. VCP hatch covers also work better than NDK. I am having the front bulkhead moved in (a no cost option from VCP)and a rope skeg (rear deck cleated) installed instead of the slider skeg. Having the boat customized in its manufacture, as a matter of course, is a very positive aspect.
I am giving it a 9 rather than a 10 because the back band is pretty weak. I am having the VCP band replaced with a Bomber Gear band. Impex uses IR back bands, my Elaho came with a Bomber band, it seems that VCP could easily use either.