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In the end we are happy with the Curritucks for their maneuverability and sporty feel. The three of us got away on a four day ocean trip and surprisingly the Curritucks were able to keep up with the Force 5. I think when the Force 5 was 'peddle to the metal' he had us for a short distance but it never took long to catch up. We did much better in the tighter rock gardens. Both kayaks seem to surf OK but my buddys kayak the surf better than I do. Because I am not as daring and still getting the feel of the Currituck I had some moments of confidence and some moments of nerves. When I first got into big ocean swells I felt the kayak or probably myself a little nervous. Now I have had a good 4 months in the Currituck and feel a lot more confident (and competent).
We have all owned and tested numerous kayaks through the years and did a fair amount of research into the Impex models before purchasing them. No matter what you paid a deal is not a deal if you're not happy with the product. Both my buddys and I feel these seaworthy kayaks are at the top of their class in their construction, detail and design for the price whether you get a deal or not.
I have owned over twenty kayaks. The following kayaks mentioned are just a few I have owned. These are the rudder kayaks; Prijon Kodiak, Nimbus Telkwa, Seaward Quest & CD Extreme. These are the skeg kayaks; North Sea Shoreline, Valley Nordkapp, Valley Skerray, & Tahe Greenland T. I just need to list these because the others I owned are of similar design. This gives you an idea to what I am comparing this kayak to.
I had also tested the Currituck's big brother, the Assateague. The cockpit was a bit big for me. I am 5'11", 167 lbs. with size 11 feet. The Assateague is slower and not as lively but has a little more initial stability. It is also more susceptible to wind cocking than the Currituck. I found the Currituck more sporty and was up to speed faster with less effort.
The Currituck has a balance between maneuverability and speed in it's rocker. It is very close to the British/Greenland designed kayaks that I have owned. The lower back deck helps the back roll but that is not priority on the design. At 17 ft. by 21 in. it has sufficient cargo space with it's 'Valley' hatches to easily do a week of touring. The soft chine, shallow V hull likes to sit to one side or the other in calm water. Some people call this twitchy if they're used to a flatter hull design. I got used to it and don't notice it anymore. In rough water the twitch disappears.
The bow lifts nicely going into waves (dry ride) and also handles the ocean on the beam nicely. It handles going with the sea directly on the stern or slightly quartered but there is always an angle on the quarter you have to know about. Bracing and steering is always necessary when surfing waves which only improves your skill set which get's us to the next point. This is a kayak that will teach you skills. You have to pay attention to technique and shouldn't dose off like you can in some kayaks.
All the same this kayak is not overly nervous and is a very seaworthy design. The secondary stability is high and it was easy to learn where the line of no return is. This allows for good edging. It is a lower profile kayak and is not affected by wind as much as some other kayaks; in other words the wind cocking is slight but not an issue. As in most British/Greenland designs, the skeg will correct this in strong winds.
Contrary to other reviews I like the angled bulkhead behind the seat. I have found it so easy to dump water when self rescuing. I found a cowboy mount easier to do on this kayak. Seats & back bands have always been an issue with me. Before buying the kayak I read the mixed reviews. The back band is well padded and has an easy ratchet adjustment. All I have added is some dense foam against the back band, a personal issue for me on longer tours.
This kayak comes out very balanced in design as to versatility and behaviour. That is why I purchased it. I can say now 8 months later that it is exactly what I was looking for. That is why I give it a 10 (for whatever that is worth). I hope this review was helpful for those looking at purchasing an Impex Currituck.
I would now give the boat now a 10 whereas before it was an 8 due to feeling too "playful".
I am 5'11", 190 lbs and find the fit nearly perfect, as is. I have a 12.5 shoe size and find the room for my feet more than sufficient, especially when I wear a more minimalist paddling shoe or Vibram five fingers. Wearing full-size sneakers is not recommended.
The finish and quality of the boat is outstanding. The hatches have never leaked, the skeg works beautifully. Everything about the boat is high quality. The only exception to this was the back band latches which immersion research has helped me replace quickly for stainless latches which they now use exclusively. IR has excellent customer service.
This is a beautiful extremely well-made boat which is a joy to paddle.
It is tight in foot area..if you are a guy..no more then a 9 1/2 shoe will fit comfortably. The keyhole entrance is nice if you are not more then 5'10 you can seat in boat and slide feet in ..not so with the Tempest. I sit high in the boat.. higher then the Tempest..so that took time to get used to..but I now prefer it. The hatches are bone dry.
The boat is very responsive. I feel faster in this boat..but that's unsubstantiated. It's just a feeling.
Negatives: impossible to adjust foot pegs after you are in the boat.unlike the Tempest...hatches are very difficult to get on and off..seat in just ok... Wilderness is much better.
Positives: great looking..handles well in all conditions..good tight hatches...relatively fast boat built for small to medium paddler under 5'10 175 lbs tops. with smallish feet.(under size 10)
Great hull design. This boat has great tracking, yet very maneuverable since it has a generous amount of rocker. I think the design, volume-wise, is a nice balance for someone doing mostly daytrips with some multi-day. It has low secondary which doesn't give you much of a solid edge but it is nice when you are in rough seas or taking waves to the beam. I've paddled in some high winds and big waves and the feel of the boat gives me confidence. Weather cocking isn't as pronounced as some boats I've paddled and is easy to counter with the skeg. If you're looking to do some surfing or want more solid edging you might be disappointed but otherwise it is a very nice design.
I replaced the back band somewhere b/w 2.5 - 3 years. The plated steel buckles completely rusted thru. My feeling is that a SEA-kayak ought to be built to survive in salt water. I replaced the nylon straps in the handles after the front strap broke about at about 6 months. I also had a leaky bulkhead and some small leaks around the hatch rings. I fixed with some UV resistant marine grade caulking. I whittled and sanded my skeg to be a tad more streamlined which was basically just a shape cut 1/4" sheet. Not the best surfing kayak. Tendency to broach a little more than some I've paddled.
My rating is an 8. Although I feel they cut a few corners in the mfg., the design is a good one and they do have excellent customer service and respond quickly to problems.
It's a beautiful boat and handles nice but, unfortunately, there wasn't enough leg or foot room for me to be comfortable. I'm only submitting this info for people who are my size or larger and considering demoing or purchasing a Currituck.
I'm 5'11 w/ sz 12.5 feet.
I think the ideal paddler would be 5'9" or shorter with a max foot size 10
At 17 feet long and 21.5 inches wide the kayak zips through the water. At a 16 mile lake paddle I was able to paddle at an average speed of 4.0 mph.Not bad for a 56 year old. The boat loves swells and waves. It sometimes seems disappointed when the water is too flat. It is rare for boat wakes to make me change course. The boat is very stable both initially and when moving. The currituck is easy to lean without tipping and you can turn it on a dime.. The skeg is necessary to keep it on course when the wind and tide on at right angles to each other. The seat and backrest have good support and are comfortable. I still use a yak pad for extra paddling due to back problems. The hatches do not leak even a drop. When I first bought this kayak I thought I would have trouble getting into a smaller cockpit than I was use to. Now I feel the cockpit is too big. All in all I am very satisfied with the sea kayak and would recommend anyone looking for a top notch stable, fast and solid kayak to consider purchasing the Currituck.
The boat is well constructed and it is incredibly responsive and fast. I have no problem keeping up and actually staying ahead of more experienced and stronger paddlers. I hardly ever use the skeg anymore and have no problem keeping it on track. It handles on coming waves beautifully. And it loves following seas.
I have outfitted mine with a little extra rigging although the deck lines and rigging on the boat are very substantial.
This is the second of three Impex boats I own. The first is an Assateague, which is a little big for me, but I still like it and keep it (for now) for those friends of mine who are bigger.
The other Impex boat I own has not yet been delivered, and that is the Force IV.
The great thing about Impex, is that they stand by all their boats and their workmanship. Any problems? Just call or contact them and they will give you wonderful service.
I am a beginning kayaker who wanted good performance in a kayak I could grow into over time as my skills develop. I was looking for something for a variety of environments. I live on the Severn River in Maryland and also plan to use the boat in coastal Maine and Canada during summers. I tried out the P&H Capella which I found entirely too unstable for my liking/skill level. I also tried the Gulfstream which was nice but a bit wide for my liking. The Currituck I tried was the fiberglass version that seemed perfect. The Kevlar/Carbon handles quite differently. It is much more responsive, quick, and easy to over-correct (which I am quickly and easily adapting to) and very easy to turn for 17'.
To date, I have only used it on the Severn in good conditions (today there was a pretty stiff breeze) and it is all I expected and more. It is very quick, very responsive, and, due to weight, very easy to handle out of the water. Perhaps as I get more time on the water and more skill, I will find something about which to be critical. At this point I could not be more satisfied.
The worst conditions that I have driven the boat in were confused 6'+ seas in and out of Port Everglades and Haulover Inlets - a real rough 1/4 mile or so. Both the Montauk and Currituck are great in that kind of mess. I don't have a great feel for its relative speed, but the Currituck has held its own against more experienced paddlers in the longest QCC (albeit with a Greenland paddle) and the NDK Explorer (6" longer). The relatively soft chine feels better to me than, say, a hard chine Nigel Dennis Legend, and I feel good secondary stability all the way over - a high brace recovery from a full 90 degree is quick and easy. All of this relates to a moderate gear load - 30-40 pounds and growing - that I take with me whenever I go out.
The only boat that I have seen, on the water or in a shop, that I might prefer to the Currituck is the Romany Explorer - and then only because of its incremental rolling ability and the advantage it appears to provide traditional skills. The two boats have relatively the same look and line, but there is no contest with respect to finish and overall quality. The Explorer is heavier and feels sturdier as a result, but that would not be an issue until (if) I find myself in a situation that I should not have gotten into in the first place. The Currituck also excells in storage with its large oval fore and aft VCP hatches. The day hatch is readily accessible and easy to use from the cockpit. Don't buy a sea kayak without one.
The only bad feature was also covered in an earlier comment - a lot of virtually unusable space between the seat and the bulkhead - a great place to store unneeded seawater and little else. As the Impex boats catch on and the word about its quality gets out, the price will probably continue to creep up but it is still a bargain, and it appears that the dealers have the ability to work off list. Good luck.
While the Chatham was my second choice, its extremely restrictive cockpit width ruled it out; only 15". Gravity allowed me to get in but was almost impossible to get out. Contrast this with the Tempest's very generous sized combing and outfitting that permits you to firm out your personal contact with the boat anyway you want. The Chatham also had superior outfitting but only if you first passed through a very (for me) tight threshold: the cockpit combing. The Orion was too wide for me and the Quest a little big and longer than I wanted as well. Since the Currituck is considered a Greenland style boat, it was no surprise that I also liked the Tempest and Chatham as well.
The Currituck is very much a "British" style boat. I would place this boat in a category between the NDK Romany & VCP Avocet and the NDK Explorer & VCP Aquanaut. I would suppose that would put it in a class with the P&H Capella & Orion (or CD Gulfstream). I found the Currituck to be more playful and responsive than either of these boats (Capella & Gulfstream), and probably faster as well.
The Currituck is very lively and pretty fast. It handled the multiple wakes and crossing chop of Lake George, with its many motor boats, with ease. I would urge anyone contemplating a British boat of this size (17') who may not want to hassle the heft of British lay-ups, varying attention to detail and quality control, and lousy stock back bands (not to mention the paucity of dealers and long waiting times) to seriously consider this boat.
That being said, the Currituck did not seem to have the ‘sure footedness’ of either an Explorer or Aquanaut. Both of these British boats convey a confidence in challenging conditions that is ‘felt’ by a paddler more than can be objectively described. Though the Currituck tracks well, it does not seem to track as well as either an Explorer or Aquanaut. Of course, the Explorer is 6" longer than the Currituck and the Aquanaut is 7" longer. The Aquanaut is also noticeably faster than the Currituck and seems to respond more solidly to lean turns.
Impex is moving in a very positive direction with this boat and its rethinking of some of its other models.
Primarily I needed a boat that tracked well in winds and required minimal effort to keep at cruising speed. I interpreted this to mean a longer, lower volume boat than what I had been paddling. I felt that the longest boat that I could store was 17', more or less.
I also wanted a boat with rubber hatch covers weighing no more than 50 lbs with a skeg. I paddled a few boats that seemed to fit these requirements.
The Currituck has not disappointed me. It has moderate primary and secondary stability. It tracks well enough without the skeg that I can devote most of my energy to forward motion, and with the skeg it tracks like a train. However, it is surprisingly maneuverable without having to put it very far up on edge.
It appears to cut through waves more easily than most other boats. When we hit rougher water, I quickly catch up to paddlers who were pulling away from me in the flatter stuff. The ride is smooth and feels secure.
The VCP hatches are dry, and I really appreciate the larger, oval front hatch. The seat is very comfortable for me, and the curved, padded thigh braces are properly located for someone my height (5'5" on the leggy side).
The only cons that I can find are: difficulty in paddling the boat backwards without turning, and a lot more wasted space between the seat and the bulkhead of the day hatch than I would like.
The boat handled well. Very well balanced and predictable. Peel outs and eddy turns in swift current were spot on with the hull fully releasing. Edge control, again, was well balanced and predictable. I was able to surf some standing waves and the boat handled well. The full, loose bow gave a fairly dry ride when I was on the sweet spot on the wave. Of course when I fell off the wave it pearled and buried in the green water. In the flatwater the boat seemed to accelerate well and held it's glide quite nicely. When turning the boat flat, the hull had a very predictable YAW pattern and the yaw was easily stopped or left to keep tuning. Very nice. Edged the boat spun around quickly. In a bit of very light (3-5 knot) wind the boat weathercocked a bit, as expected, but was easily countered with boat tilt and sweep. The skeg really stopped the WC desires at a bit of loss in glide. The skeg is 3/8” thick plastic.
The cockpit is comfortable and well appointed, tho I wish the coaming was 1-2” longer. I couldn’t quite raise one leg without lifting my butt. Knee braces were padded tho not much to grab on to. The backstrap is very nice and fully adjustable. The deck rigging is adequate tho could use a few more fittings/ bungies for forward spare paddle placement. Bungie and perimeter lines were poorly tentioned. Perimeters were too tight and bungies too loose. Go figure. Grab handles were comfy for the carry but would be a PITA in a gnarly swim. Seemed to have enough volume and stowage for an expedition load for someone around 150 lbs. I would be pushing it with a full load.
All in all, a very nice boat, especially for the value.
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