Your #1 source for kayaking and canoeing information.               FREE Newsletter!
my Profile
Product Reviews > Kayaks > Valley Sea Kayaks > Aquila Add Your Review Now!

Reviews for Aquila Kayak by Valley Sea Kayaks


Rated: 8.38/10 Based On: 8 Reviews

Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image
Select Kayak to View in Buyers' Guide



08-12-2011
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     A good boat with a combination of vices and virtues. First of all, lets be honest -- this boat is built. It is heavy, but very well built. It can take a far bit of abuse. Second, it has pleasant lines. However, it has a few interesting vices. First, initial stability is relatively low given the vee shaped hull. It also has a tendency for me of some weathercocking (a bit of skeg did a world of difference).

A good boat but there are better out there (e.g., VCP Aquanaut, P&H Cetus).

Submit your own review!

09-26-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Picked boat up this past summer (1998 model I think). I've paddled for years in a 17 Hydra roto boat in all kinds of conditions on the Great Lakes and on trips lasting up to 7 days. Needless to say the Valley was a major upgrade! It did not take long to get used to the initial stability and the 2ndary stability is amazing.

The boat is very easy to roll and surprisingly easy to turn on edge. I love the style/look of the boat and the Valley hatches are truly watertight (I spend a lot of time just practicing rolls and never get a drop in the hatches).

At 6' 175# size 12 feet, the boat is very comfortable and roomy in the cockpit. The storage volume is good but not as much as I was expecting. The tail and bow is very long and slender. I paddle on long trips with a bunch of guys that own the QCC 500 that can carry more load (and they have no trouble keeping up or handling big waves).

As far as the ride, the boat handles extremely rough water with ease. The only complaint is that my skeg needs some attention. On a recent trip in September to the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior, I ran into trouble with the skeg sticking. We set out one day into 20+ mph winds and I had dropped the skeg by hand before taking off (we were heading into the wind but about 2 miles later we would be turning around the point of an island and coming with the wind). About half way, I had to pull the skeg up and let the boat weathercock into the wind, which made it much easier to paddle. I was a bit worried as we approached the turn, however, on how the boat would go with the wind with the skeq up. It was a bit scary until I managed to get the skeg to drop again. With the skeg down, the boat tracks like a missile in the following seas (4-6' swells) and was a blast. Extremely seaworthy boat, but the skeg is a must. I'm going to try to modify my bungee style skeg to make it operate more reliably.

Submit your own review!

04-17-2002
Submitted by: Russ G.Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     After five years of different kayaks from 17' to 18.5 I now have an Aquila which I tried out three years ago and really liked it, just wasn't willing to put out that much cash for it. My time came with a very reasonable price and one in excellent condition. Since I have surfed,paddled flatwater, and been in 15-25mph cross winds heading against 3.5knot currents and have been impressed with this kayak. The seat was to high as many folks have said so I cut it and put in a 1 1/4" wood spacer(screwed) then fiberglassed it. Increased initial stability! seems to track a bit better although I still have to keep the skeg down a bit, as someone else mentioned to much rocker! I will say that the workmanship could be improved as with the Canadian boats I have owned were flawless in finish. I will end this in saying that this will be my last kayak and I think that says a lot.
Submit your own review!

08-20-2001
Submitted by: PeteSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought an Aquila last spring (2001) and then took it on a 63 day trip in SE Alaska. I wanted a boat that has more room and is more stable than my Nordkapp HS. The Aquila is a great boat, and because I am familiar with the Nordkapp and the Nigel Dennis Romany, I'll compare the Aquila to them.

The Aquila may seam a bit shaky for some-particularly for those who are a bit "top-heavy," but I found its initial stability very comfortable-much more stable than the Nordkapp, but not quite as stable as the Romany. But this boat's secondary stability is rock solid. I can put this boat comfortably on its side to turn it, even in rough water, which is sometimes scary in the Nordkapp. As far as rolling and high brace recovery, the Aquila is similar to the Romany-very responsive. This boat is much easier to roll than the Nordkapp, and almost as easy to roll or high brace as the Romany. What this boat has over the Romany is that it is a faster boat and can carry more gear. In addition, the larger front and rear hatches are easier to pack and can accommodate the small size bear containers.

A complaint I have about this boat concerns how well it tracks. The boat has a lot of rocker, which makes it very easy to turn-too easy. I would gladly give up the maneuverability for something that tracks better. I often lower the skeg slightly (even in calm weather) in order to keep it from weather cocking. This is not as much of a problem with the Nordkapp or Romany.

I really like this boat and I'm sure I'll do many more long trips with it. I have a foot pump and a knee tube, which are nice features. I recommend that if you buy this boat that you order it with a custom bulkhead so that you have even more space in the front hold.

Submit your own review!

05-09-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     Probably the best built boat available and certainly one of the prettiest. It is seaworthy and the recessed deck fittings are great. I love the compass mount forward. My only complaint is the molded fiberglass seat. For us 250 pounders, it is uncomfortable and set too high off the bottom of the hull, raising the center of gravity too much. I cut my seat out, installed a polyethelene backband and a Seairsports Total Air seat- Voile'!!! I not have the perfect cruiser.
Submit your own review!

05-22-2000
Submitted by: JohnSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     I bought one of the very first Aquilas to hit the US market. Since Valley boats sometimes come in way over weight I bought the boat in kevlar, which was a mistake. It oil cans like hell which results in spider cracks all over. I also don't like the skeg which uses the old bungee/take up line (since replaced on newer models with a slider bar). I can't complain about handling though. For a large boat it is surprisingly nimble, turns very well and tracks well even in quartering seas if you use the skeg. ALso very easy to roll. And this boat has lots or room for expeditions. I wouldn't recommend it as a day boat, or if it is your *only* boat. But for trips it's great.
Submit your own review!

04-17-2000
Submitted by: DaveSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Purchased this boat last summer. Its long and fast. Tracks well. I put the skeg down just a hair and can really track into the wind. At 22.5 inches in width I wouldn't want anything wider, although some beginners might want more. Stability is good, you can really lean over in this boat. The rigging is good. The built-in compass notch is a bit far from the cockpit. I can't complain about anything else though, a very well made boat.
Submit your own review!

01-13-2000
Submitted by: Travis RobertsSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just bought this boat. It is extremely long, the initial stability is questionable but after that its rock solid. the boat feels like its made to GO. once you get it up to a cruising speed it is very easy to keep going for long periods of time. the retractable skeg is very nice, in that if all you want to do is cover some ground with out having to worry about keeping the boat straight all you have to do is drop the skeg and away you go. the cockpit has ample room for almost any size paddler. the cargo capacity...well lets just say i have a hard time filling it.
Submit your own review!

Don't Miss the Paddling.net Weekly Newsletter!
Free Newsletter120,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!














Bicycle and Kayak along Island Shores
San Juan Islands
See Whales & Eagles
www.crystalseas.com/BikeKayak

Follow us on:
Free Newsletter | About Us | Site Map | Advertising Info | Contact Us

Sweepstakes

©2014 Paddling.net Inc.