Submitted: 12-29-2003 by feltman
I am quite new to kayaking and have only tried a few models. So please note: This is a novice's review and should be taken as such. I am reviewing this boat because no one else has and I figured a novice review is better than none. Plus I like the boat, and I'm a little tired of the confused looks on people's faces when i tell them what brad of boat I'm paddling.
The boat looks great with fine upswept bow and an unusual but not unsightly notched stern. I believe this is designed to better accept the rudder assembly. Mine does not have a rudder and at present I do not have plans to get one. The boat is long and fast with good initial stability and rather remarkable secondary stability especially for a rounded v-type hull. Nomad's literature says it weighs 45lbs--I would say that's fairly accurate.
The manufacturer claims the Exocet is primarily for small to mid-sized paddlers which I could not understand as the boat appeared to rather voluminous. I changed my opinion once I got inside and found my size 9's fit well but didn't have much room to spare: I'd say size 11 would be the maximum.
The boat is sold as a kit or a finished boat and is available only in fiberglass construction. The glasswork is quite good: vacuum bagged, with a honeycomb core and very decent layup. Mine was originally a kit and finished well by the previous owner. The kits come delivered nearly complete with the hull deck and extruded joint all pieced together. All the owner has to do is glass the joint and affix the deck hardware.
The hatches are large with neoprene gaskets. I've noticed some leakage but nothing too bad. Mine are not flush but i believe the newer models do have flush fitting hardware an hatches. The cockpit is smallish, 16" x 30"; those over 6' might find it tough but not impossible. The hard molded plastic seat is decent though I found a little cushioning under the seat felt better and would probably reduce the possibility of chafing through the glass.
The Exocet rides a little high in the water and as one would expect weathercocks in wind greater than 15 knots. Otherwise it tracks well and turns nicely especially when edging (which it does very comfortably for a novice paddler.)
I have only paddled it on the Hudson river, along the west side of the island of Manhttan, and for only one season. Therefore, my only experience is in rather brisk 1-4' chop, high winds, swirling current and insane boat traffic. It handles all of this aptly--in fact I felt much more secure in this boat than the handful of the other "big name" yaks I've tried out. I really look forward to paddling this boat on a calm lake.
Basically, I like the Exocet. I am encouraged by it; I feel confident in it; and it suits me well. Others in my club seem to like it as well -- even the snobiest snobs.
I'm giving this unusual boat a 9 rating because I've noticed rather generous ratings by most reviewers. As I progress and try more boats I will revise this review accordingly.