What other Canoes and Kayaks would I like?!

Nova Craft Pal in TuffStuff

A green one of course, primarily for solo paddling - Hoping to test one of these shortly.

Novacraft Pal Canoe tuffstuff green

Dagger Axiom 8.5

For a more dedicated white water boat (playful with a low volume stern) plus surfing at the beach

Not tried it on the water yet but the cockpit fits me really nicely and the Ergo Contour outfitting (same as on my Katana) is very comfortable.

Length: 259cm (8'6") Width: 65cm (25.5") Deck Height: 34cm (13.5") Weight: 19kg Volume: 238 litres Paddler Weight: 59kg - 95kg

(Update - I now have one of these in river spec with the ergo contour fittings as in photo below and loving it so far!)

Dagger say:

Splat, surf, squirt…the Axiom does it all. A stable river-running kayak with seamless edging and a craving for play, the Axiom is comfortable on steep creeks, big water waves, and everything in between.

Winner of the 2011 Canoe & Kayak UK Whitewater Kayak of the Year.

Dagger Axiom river kayak in lime green

With a matching lime Maverick G5 whitewater paddle!

Palm  Maverick G5 paddle Lime


A composite sea kayak

Currently considering a Seabird Scott MV, P&H Cetus MV, Tiderace Xcite and Tiderace Xplore.  Only tested the Diolen Seabird Scott so far and quite impressed especially at the much lower price compared to the others.

Seabird Scott MV

Seabird Scott MV

Length: 518cm (17') Beam: 55.9cm (22") Weight: 27kg Volume: 330 litres Paddler Weight Range: 70kg-90kg

The Seabird Scott was designed especially for typical British sea conditions by Rob Feloy, the Devon based naval architect internationally renowned for his record breaking (inc. transocean) kayak and yacht designs and the innovative Inuk ultra fast kayaks - A man who knows a thing or two about kayak design!  It is designed to handle rough water and be manoeuvrable and nimble with good stability, comfort and seaworthiness. The hull has a deep rocker curvature, shallow V form with flat bottomed mid section and hard chines, allowing the kayak to edge and carve well in turns. The Seabird Scott LV is theoretically too small for me as , at 82kg, I am above it's recommended weight limit but I was surprised at how stable it was for a relatively narrow kayak and you could really feel the secondary stability kick in.  Within a minute of getting in I felt really at home in it and totally secure.  It cut through the water like butter and was very responsive on edge but so far only tried it on flat water.  The Seabird Scott HV is really too big for me as I am right at the bottom of it's recommended weight limit, and it felt big when sitting in the cockpit, but I was surprised at how well I got on with it and it out performed my Capella 166 RM in every aspect (On the sea this time).  Rock solid stability, picked up waves more easily to surf, turned faster despite being a bigger boat and surprisingly, even though it was theoretically too high a volume for me and was unloaded so floating high I had no problems with weathercocking in conditions when my Capella (unloaded) was quite noticeably weathercocking.  The Seabird Scott MV is theoretically the ideal size for me but haven't been able to get hold of a demonstrator for this one yet but keeping my fingers crossed - This could be the one.

(Update - I now have a Seabird Scott MV - Excellent so far, I absolutely love it!  More detailed review coming soon)!


Sea Palling Norfolk January 2017.

A white Seabird Scott LV and a yellow Seabird Scott MV

Using a traditional wooden Greenland Paddle (Thanks Mike!) in the Seabird Scott MV

NDK (SKUK) Greenlander Pro Sea Kayak

There seems to be some conflicting information on the internet regarding the exact sizing of the Greenlander Pro (and it's size relative to the standard Greenlander which is supposed to be 2"/50mm shorter) but on checking with the manufacturer I was told (which doesn't seem to match either of the published figures exactly!):

Length: 17'7" (535.9cm calculated)  Beam: 20 3/4" (52.7cm calculated)

Other internet sites show: Length: 540cm(547cm?) (17' 8.6"/ 17. 11.3"?) Beam: 54.5cm (21.46") Weight: 24?kg Volume: 296 litres

For straight A to B passages as fast as possible I like the classic hard chine looks of the NDK Greenlander Pro sea kayak which, with it's reduced rocker, is optimised for straight line speed rather than manoeuvrability and it is generally considered to be a fast kayak.  It's an old design and likely to feel "tippy" until you get used to the initial stability characteristics of a hard chine hull, hopefully I now have a level of experience that will allow me to cope with this.  They seem to be available quite cheaply secondhand, I guess because pure hard chine designs seem to have fallen out of favour (except with the Greenland kayak rolling specialists but they tend to choose very low volume designs rather than expedition boats) and most people now opt for one of the more modern designs. Old school maybe but something about the Greenlander Pro just appeals to me.

If anyone has one for sale (cheaply!) please contact me via the contact form on this web site - Crashed bashed and damaged examples considered!

NDK Greenlander Pro Sea Kayak


Anas Acuta

Length: 17'2" (523cm)  Beam: 20" (51cm calculated) Depth 11.5" 29cm c.22.5kg

Regarded by many as the precursor to all production fibreglass sea kayaks the legendary Anas Acuta was derived from a genuine Greenland kayak brought back to the UK in 1959 and was produced in fibreglass in the early 1970s and is still made by Valley kayaks today. With it's highly rockered hard chine design it is renowned for it's manouverability, abilty to handle rough weather and ease of rolling and said to be be an amazing play and surf kayak. Originally made with a small ocean cockpit most modern versions now have the larger key hole cockpit which while annoying the purists makes it easier to enter and exit. I have never paddled one but everything written about it makes me one to try one (If I can fit in!) especially as I spend more time playing in the surf zones than long distance paddling!

If anyone has one for sale (cheaply!) please contact me via the contact form on this web site - Even extremely crashed bashed and damaged examples considered!




If I can't find a cheap Greenlander Pro or an Anas Acuta then I quite like the idea of building a stich and glue plywood Shrike Greenland style kayak using the free plans kindly made available by http://cnckayaks.com/project/shrike/

I'd like to finish it in natural wood colour though.

shrike DIY kayak from plans - side viewshrike diy from above960



Greenland Paddle

Not another kayak but a new paddle!

A greenland Paddle

To the unitiated, including me until recently, used to a standard Euro style paddle the traditional Greenland paddle, with no feather angle and a thin blade, looks unsophisticated and not very powerful.  However, after trying out a friend's Greenland paddle, while at sea in a strong wind recently, I came away extremely impressed with it's style, efficiency and ease of paddling.  Unlike a high tech Euro paddle in fibreglass or Carbon Fibre they also look reasonably easy to make so - next project I am going to make myself a nice wooden one of these!  Would suit the style of the Anas Acuta or NDK Greenlander Pro Kayak perfectly.

(Update - I have been using a borrowed wooden Greenland paddle with my Seabird Scott MV a lot recently, thanks Mike, and I am now an absolute convert to this style of paddle to the extent that my Werner Corryvrekan will be relegated to be used as my spare split paddle as soon as I can make or purchase my own Greenland paddle)





Perception Scooter - My Surf and general purpose Sit On Top Kayak


Length  2.95m  Beam  75cm Weight 20kg  Capacity150kg


Speed - GPS test yet to be carried out but est. circa 2.8mph comfortable cruise


This a great little versatile Sit On Top Kayak.  Very, very stable, turns on a sixpence, fairly light.  You won't break any speed records with it on the flat due to the short length (after about 2.5 mph  you start putting a lot of effort into building up a big bow wave rather than gaining much more speed) but if you can only have one Sit On Top and want a general purpose one that will do practically anything then this is the one, river, mild white water, lake, touring (albeit relatively leisurely), playing in the surf (fit thigh straps to give you more control) - I tend to leave thigh straps fitted to all my Sit On Tops as you don't have to actually use them if you don't want to but they do connect you better to the kayak even on flat water. The MKI version has flatter top sides which make it easier to mount things like rod rests etc if you are interested in fishing and also has a slighty larger rear storage area than the current MKII version which has more rounded top deck profiles for a more streamlined cosmetic look but may not be the best choice for a fisherman.  The big advantage of Sit On Top kayaks is that they are self draining in the event of a capsize and much easier to get back into while in the water so even novices can quite easily self rescue with no need to learn the "Eskimo roll" or kayak emptying techniques. Nice and light for ease of carrying and getting on the car roof rack.


 Intermediate Paddler Review Update: A great, versatile, stable, do anything all round Sit On Top kayak with good build quality. Not fast but that is purely down to the shorter overall length and true of all Sit On Tops of this length. I have happily paddled the Scooter MKI around both the Norfolk Broads and Cornish Estuaries. Great for stress free fun on the water.  The later MKII models of the Perception Scooter (Now called the Wavesport Scooter) had a revised more rounded hull and deck shape with a flatter (less of a  "V" shape) rockered bow shape which may perform better in surf but be slightly less efficient touring on the flat.  For an alternative all round Sit On Top kayak take a look at the Feelfree Nomad Sport which is very like an improved Mark I Scooter and has a hull shape which, while still being able to surf, may be slightly more efficient and track better on the flat.




Perception Scooter






Venture Kayaks Easky 15 - Touring/Light Sea Kayak


Length 4.58m (15') Beam 60cm Weight 23kg Capacity 135kg


Avg continuous comfortable cruise 3.9/4.0mph - sprint 6.3mph


Bought as a final attempt to try to tempt my sons back afloat but while I was  awaiting delivery of my P&H Capella 166 RM I have been putting it through it's paces myself instead and have been very favourably impressed.

The cockpit is generously sized by sea kayak standards and is easy to get in and out of.  The storage space inside the front and rear hatches is generous for a boat of this size and my C-Tug trolley is easily swallowed by the rear hatch.  There is plenty enough room for expedition/camping equipment etc.   I really like the Easky 15.  It is easy to drive along and has a nice glide, has comfortable thigh braces and responds very nicely to edging. The twist lock footerests are easy to adjust while in the cockpit. Most novices would probably feel quite comfortable with the initial stability and the hard chine design gives it good secondary stability the more you lean it over.  Haven't needed to try the built in skeg yet as it tracked well without it (less prone to weathercock unloaded than my P&H Capella 166 RM Sea Kayak) and what little wind I have encountered was easily corrected by edging or a slight sweep stroke.   Overall a very nice kayak to paddle and one which will enable you to grow your skills further than the typical recreational style kayaks.


 Intermediate Paddler Review Update: An above average recreational/touring kayak that looks like a proper greenland style sea kayak and is suitable for river/lake/canal touring and light sea work with a good turn of speed.  Tracks well and responds to edging very nicely and is responsive if padded out for a good fit.  A Low Volume (LV) version also available for lighter paddlers or those who prefer a narrower, lower volume kayak.  You can advance your paddling skills in the Easky.  Good stability for beginners but intermediate paddlers will also enjoy it. Easily stays with my P&H Capella 166 RM Sea Kayak when day touring around the Norfolk Broads. Can be fitted with the same small deck storage pod that is used on the Pyranha Fusion crossover kayak in a shaped moulding in front of the cockpit. I still like it, in my opinion one of the best touring boats Venture Kayaks have made and one of the best, and nicest looking, 15' touring boats on the market.


















P&H Capella 166 RM Sea and Touring kayak


Length 5.05 (16'7") Beam 56cm Weight 24.5kg Capacity 120kg


Avg continuous comfortable cruise 4.0/4.3mph - sprint 6.5mph


This is the P&H triple layer plastic version (same material as the P&H Scorpio) not the current single layer Venture branded version.


More photos coming soon - Contrary to my fears, despite it's narrower beam within minutes I felt comfortably stable and confident in it (big relief!).  It has great secondary stability.  Also managed a sprint speed of 6.5mph equalling the fastest speed I have so far managed in any kayak (although initially I had only been able to equal the speeds achieved in the Easky 15).  On my standard test cruise average speeds were slightly higher than the Easky 15 and quite a lot faster than the Pro SI 149.  It edges easily and responds to an edge well.  It doesn't track quite as well as the Easky 15 (or the Pro SI), and has a tendency to weathercock, but that is the price you pay for a little more manoueverability and the increased rocker.  This can be easily corrected though by judicious use of the skeg. The seat is slighty more comfortable than the Easky 15 ( a little more padding) but doesn't have the option of the flip up additional back support on the seat (which I never use anyway) and the cockpit is not quite as roomy, foot space is a bit tighter.  Experienced sea kayakers will quote this as an advantage, being more in contact with the kayak, but recreational kayakers may appreciate the slightly larger cockpit space of the Easky 15.  Personally, as my experience has grown, I have begun to appreciate the control advantages of a snug fitting boat and have added strategic padding so subtle movements of hip and knees are more directly transmitted to the hull.  The triple skin hull is nice and stiff.  The additional day hatch behind the cockpit, accessible while on the water, is useful.  The large rear hatch comfortably swallowed my, dismantled, C-Tug trolley.  Having encountered a stiff breeze and a short, steep, confused chop the theory of a narrower slightly more tippy (less initial stability) hull being better than a wider more stable hull in waves was proved correct.  The kayak tended to stay upright with the waves passing beneath it rather than heeling following the surface of the waves and I felt nicely in control and in no danger of a capsize.  All in all I am delighted with this kayak and it probably does as much as I will ever need (Now I just need to test the P&H Scorpio/Cetus MV/Tiderace Xcite and Xplore, SKUK Explorer!!  Kayak/Canoe Acquisiton Syndrome seems to be a comon problem with paddlers!!!).  I frequently paddle this on the sea now and it continues to display good characteristics and has proved stiff and robust.


Intermediate Paddler Review Update: Nice all round triple layer plastic sea kayak equally at home at sea or touring round the Norfolk Broads.  Good initial and secondary stability and manoeuvrable when edged.  Prone to weathercocking when lightly loaded but this reduces the more weight is added. Low Volume version (160) LV version also available for lighter loadings (but at at 82kg and a touch under 6' with UK size 10/11 feet I didn't have enough foot room in the 160 whereas my 166 is fine). Check for well documented P&H skeg control issues (modifications to later versions helped).  I probably paddle this more than any of my other kayaks and I don't regret buying it but after a recent test paddle in a Seabird Scott I am once again longingly eyeing up a longer/narrower/more expensive composite sea kayak (although I would probably keep the Capella as well funds permitting as it is more robust than a composite boat)!




Capella 166 RM








Nova Craft Bob Special - Was my Solo Canoe


Length 15' (457cm)  Beam 35'' (90cm)  Weight (Royalex Lite) 26kg  Capacity: 360kg


Solo Avg continuous comfortable cruise 2.3mph - sprint 4mph.  Tandem - yet to be tested, but will be faster


Light, stiff Royalex Lite hull with black anodized aluminium gunwales.  Solo or Tandem, reasonably fast and straight tracking but turns quickly and easily (I can perform a reasonably stylish looking canoe ballet in this one and actually look like I know what I am doing!).  Symmetrical, shallow arch hull (slightly v'eed) with slight rocker.  Responsive to trim, lower windage than some designs with higher ends. Manufacturers state best suited to flat or gentle white water (others have reported success in up to Grade 3 White Water).  The laced seats are both pretty and comfortable and stand out from the crowd of normal webbing seats giving it a very stylish look.  An absolute joy to paddle and my paddling technique has hugely improved since I started using this canoe as it is so responsive to every nuance of the paddle.  Due to it's light weight also the first boat I have been able to comfortably carry solo on my shoulders using the beautifully sculpted yoke (which has a thoughtfully placed little notch in it to avoid pressing on the bones in the back of your neck). If it wasn't for the fact that I also need to carry a family of four at times then this would probably be the only canoe I need.


Intermediate Paddler Review Update:  A lovely all-round canoe for solo or tandem use and I still miss it but for my primarily flat Norfolk Broads use I might consider a Nova Craft Pal (slightly longer and narrower) instead next time for a little extra speed.  I'd also probably go for the new TuffStuff  construction for it's even lighter weight and beautiful shiny finish (hoping to test one shortly courtesy of Norfolk Canoes  so watch this space!)




 Bob special Canoe






Bob Special Canoe






Bob Special