Submitted: 11-10-2004 by mark w
I have been guiding for one season. We have all Necky boats, including an Elaho and an Elaho HV. I like the Elaho pretty well, but it is usually paddled by another guide who claimed it first (!). So I decided to give the HV a try and see if it was as much fun as the regular Elaho. I weigh about 185 and am 5' 9" so I figure the HV might be a good fit. I did not really like this boat. I paddled nine miles with it one day. I put one large dry bag of clothing and a couple of quart thermoses in the rear hatch, and it made the stern ride way too low, to the point of being hard to turn.
For some reason, the newer Necky seats don't suit me either. They all seem too narrow and the shape is just wrong for me, and the back band usually digs into my back in an uncomfortable manner. The regular Elaho does this too. After lunch, I switched the dry bag to the front and removed the sidepads from the seat. The boat rode more level that way, but was still not all that responsive, and the seat still hurt, although less so. The next day, I went back to the old Looksha with the hard molded seats. If you like Necky's seats, you could probably like the Elaho HV.
I do like the handling of the regular Elaho, but was pretty surprised how poorly the HV carried a little weight. It seemed to be less able to handle it than the regular Elaho. At any rate, I do really like the regular Elaho's hull shape, but not the outfitting, and the HV didn't really do anything for me at all. This week, I bought a used Wilderness Tempest 170 instead.