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  Posted by: ScupperFrank on Feb-02-13 12:14 PM (EST)

-- Last Updated: Feb-03-13 2:03 PM EST --

The glass ANAUT works exceedingly well for me.

I'm 6-0, and I ran 195 when I bought it, and I'm at 205 now (hmmm... well, plus or minus -well, mostly plus -a few pounds depending on how close I am to a holiday), albeit with a 30" inseam vs. your 32. But don't worry -you will still fit quite easily.

Everything Nate and Jim noted is spot on.

While I also liked the poly Tempest that I've been in, it was the 170, not the 165, and the larger model was quite snug for my thicker thighs, and for paddling empty, that would be OK. However, I think it wouldn't work nearly as well as the ANAUT has for camping -both in terms of carrying the same amount of gear, and for its paddling manners when loaded.

The boat does edge well and easily, and works well unladen, but seems to shine even better loaded. I'm not nearly as accomplished a paddler as many on this board; that said, I'll echo Jim's note: the ANAUT inspires confidence. That's good, because I find that confidence inspires experience, and experience is really the ultimate instructor. I returned from a camping trip and crossed an open water stretch of perhaps a mile in SW Florida near Cape Romano in choppy, breezy conditions, and I felt at ease handling the chop and wind in the fully loaded Aquanaut.

One word of caution: the Valley hatches are famous -infamous? -for eventually degrading and needing replacement. After 5-1/2 years (outdoor storage in South Florida, 303-treated) I finally had to replace mine a couple months ago.

I think it'll be an excellent choice should you decide to go with this now sorrowfully discontinued but classic Valley model to


-Frank in Miami

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