Valley's Anas Acuta & Q-Boat^

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Valley's Anas Acuta & Q-Boat^

Post by rockhopper » Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:11 pm

One of my mates is looking to upgrade his boat and his eye has been caught by the Anas and also the Q-Boat by Valley. Looking on the web it is difficult to find any independent comments or reviews about them and it is also difficult to find any dealer who has them available to look at or try. He has talked to Valley who are very helpful and can arrange a paddle in both of them up near their factory however it would be interesting to hear the thoughts and impressions from anyone who has paddled either boat.
He is about 6' 2" and weighs about 200 lbs. and wants the boat for general paddling and occasional weekend trips rather than pure expeditions.

I have to say that the picture of the Q-Boat on their web site does make it look completely gorgeous so why don't more people have one !!!


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Post by Jim » Thu Nov 15, 2007 5:06 pm

Richard Cree or SPS may have demo Q-boats. The Anas Acuta is a '70's design - great boat but on the smaller side so more suited to day tripping, unless like woody you go very lightweight. I'm sure he'll tell you more about it.

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Post by rockhopper » Thu Nov 15, 2007 5:48 pm

Thanks Jim,
living in the flat muddy county of Essex means that a trip up to Scotland to view a boat is impractical, especially as Valley are only in Northampton (although I would love him to buy from SPS as they have always been delightful and trusting when I have bought stuff over the phone from them before).
I am more interested in what other people have thought of them if they have either owned them or paddled them in various conditions. I presume Mike at SPS will have paddled one at some point so I may get my friend to give him a call.


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Post by al27 » Fri Nov 16, 2007 7:27 am

I'm 6'6" 220ish pounds, and have no problem getting in my anas acuta (which I think is possibly one of the prettiest boats out there). Its a good fun boat in anything large, albeit a bit wet. As I understood it, the q boat is just a larger version?? Oh, and I have no problem loading it for a couple of nights away (although no more) and keeping up with the group in a wide range of craft. Top boat.


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Post by landlocked » Fri Nov 16, 2007 8:54 am

If your friend is not in any particular rush I would strongly recommend hanging on for one of the symposium. I went through this sort of process last year, went to Anglesey and spent an entire day trying out different boats before making a decision. All of the main manufacturers were there each with a substantial range of craft.

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Post by keith » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:07 pm

The Anas is the original Valley sea kayak - came before the Nordkap. Lovely looking boat - but almost not safe to use in a strong wind without a skeg (according to the wife, who is a better paddler than me!). The modern build will be OK in this respect. Hard chined - so potentially more prone to damage. Essentially it's a copy of skin boat. Very pretty to look at in my opinion.

The Pintail is a development of the Anas (both are names for the same bird!) and is a more rounded hull version of the Anas. This is what I mostly paddle. Both are low volume so may not be so suitable for the heavy paddler - hence the Q boat! If you pack sensibly you can do extended trips in either boat without the need for any baggage on deck. Beware older versions of the Anas with screw on Henderson Type hatch covers - they leak!

Haven't paddled the Q boat but have seen a new one on the water a few years ago - the paddler thought it clunked from one edge to the other a little - a bit like the P&H Bahiya if you've paddled one of those. This would suggest it would perform best loaded up with kit?

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Post by PeterG » Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:38 pm

The Anas must be the most attractive boat and paddles well in all conditions, the rougher the better.

True it does weather cock in F5-7 so a modern version with a skeg is good. That said, even though it seems to be hard work I seem to be able to keep up with other paddlers in my ancient skeg free model so maybe the loss of power caused by edging and steering is less than one thinks.

In very heavy weather-cocking becomes a safety feature. In very strong winds F8 and up, the wind on the bow now makes it track beautifully but once you get tired of surfing down the wind and waves it will still turn up towards the wind. Some modern boats with a more balanced hull shape become impossible to turn in such conditions and you end up being swept down wind out of control.

In the surf or messing about rolling nothing beats the Anas, it blurs the distinction between upright and upsidedown.

You just have to learn to travel light, coming from back packing rather than boating it is easy to fit all the camping gear and 8 days food into the Anas

The Q boat is too big for me at 170cm and 68kg and looks abit funny as the tail seems higher than the bow. Anas acuta's turned up tail is just right.

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Post by geyrfugl » Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:45 am

The Anas is a wonderful paddlers boat, but quite low-volume, so it can be hard to fit gear for more than a couple of nights. It's fantastically manoeuverable and you can crank it over to a leaned turn much more comfortably than you might expect for a boat of such low beam because of the large amount of rocker.

We have a seventies vintage one as a club boat, and I often paddle it, even though I have two boats of my own. Until recently it had no bulkheads or hatches, and the ones I retrofitted leave less room and smaller access than you'd get in a more recent boat, so it really is good only for daytrips. It has an ocean cockpit, which is just a bit bigger than ideal, but vastly better than these dreadful keyhole things - not suited to this sort of boat at all.

In waves, the wind is not really an issue as the boat manoeuvres so well, but if you are in strong wind on water with no fetch, so there are no waves to shelter behind and turn on, it does need a lot of effort to keep straight in a cross-wind. This is because in the change of design from the original Ken Taylor skin boat, the built in skegginess of the aft keel was sacrificed to ease of manufacture as a stitch and glue plywood boat. Modern boats with retractable skegs address this just fine, but if you were building one, you could do well to look at the original Duncan Winning drawing and try to put that keel line back. I believe the Qaarsut (Island kayaks) has kept a lot more faithfully to the original shape, but of course, this also doesn't have the size scale-up of the Anas.

The Qajariaq is bigger than the Anas again, so I would imagine it is possibly getting more stable than you'd really want, but I've only seen one of these boats in use and didn't get a chance to paddle it, so you should probably not rely on my opinion here. A boat scaled up to just about the size of the Qajariaq but retaining the original keel form of the Ken Taylor boat is one of my next projects ... if I ever get the time :-(


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