NDK or Knoydart Jubilee^

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Gin Gin
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NDK or Knoydart Jubilee^

Post by Gin Gin »

Ok, I'm about to splash out and by a Sea Kayak. I have got it down to a Knoydart Jubilee or a Romany Explorer.
I am into, week long expeditions in Scotland as well as rock hopping day trips, butt clenching adventures in overfalls and stupid messing in the surf.
Both boats are great but which should I spend my hard earned money on???
I need some advice, please help.
Zoe Newsam
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Post by Zoe Newsam »

Like you say, they're both excellent, classic designs.

Performance-wise, I'd personally go for an Explorer- a bit more manouevrable, surfs really well and has a little more storage space. The Valley Nordkapp Jubilee (Knoydart sell the boats- they don't build them) is a slightly faster boat though.

HOWEVER, take a long, hard look at build quality first. I hate to say this, as anyone who reads this forum knows I am a big fan of Nigel Dennis boats etc, but they have had some problems with build quality - this may have been resolved, I don't know. It is worth checking first.

Valley's build quality is excellent, generally, but if you buy through Knoydart their customer service is, well, unpredictable to say the least. I personally think it's appalling and never buy through them, but there are folk on this forum who think it's very good.

So, good and bad on both counts. At the end of the day, they're quite different boats- which one suits you best?

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Post by Owen »

Hi Gin Gin,
The only real way to answer your question is to get a demo in both boats. Try them loaded/empty, in rough water and if you can do a long trip in them i.e. at least an over night trip.
It all comes down to which fits you the best; there both similar sized boats but handle slighty differenty. Only you will know which you prefer.
There both well tried and tested expedition boats that will do all you want. With NDK boats their quality control sadly stinks and they don't seem to care! This is a real shame as they do some otherwise great boats. This is just my opinion of course.
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Post by ChrisS »

NDK hatches are round and relatively small whereas Valley now fit large oval ones. I have not heard of people having serious problems with oval ones which I prefer for carrying camping gear etc.

On the other hand you can now get new NDK boats fitted with an hydraulic skeg for £150 extra. That sounds brilliant to me as I don't really like either wire or rope operated skegs. I don't know if Valley can fit hydraulic skegs to their boats.

I 've just bought a used Explorer with round hatches and rope skeg...so the above points are obviously not vital issues for me, but my fantasy boat would be an Explorer for its handling characteristics with Valley hatches and an hydraulic skeg for convenience.
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Post by Gavin74 »

If I was in a sensible frame of mind, I’d try to wait to see what the Rockpool Menai18 is like. It’s been mentioned on here that the Rockpool boats have many of the pluses of the NDK boats without the quality issues.

No idea when the Menai 18 is due out in the shops, but with the summer fast approaching chances are I wouldn’t be very sensible and would go for the one with the quickest delivery time!

As an aside I’ve an Explorer HV, which I become more and more satisfied with the more I go out. Although, it took me a while to sort out a leaking hatch plus the front bottom lip of the seat was doing a good job of wearing through the hull!

The boats now 2 yrs old so lets hope NDK have sorted out their issues, but it worth having a clear head and sharp eyes when taking delivery on one.
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Post by CaileanMac »

The Rockpool Menai 18 is afloat now.

Previously owned a NDK Romany Explorer but it was pre-NDK building the boats themselves and it had no issues (Mike Webb hand built :-). If your thinking about any NDK as other's have said inspect it throughly.

Dave Thomas
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Post by Dave Thomas »

CaileanMac wrote:The Rockpool Menai 18 is afloat now.
It certainly has nice lines, judging from those photos.

Dave Thomas
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Post by CaptainSensible »

The rails on the bottom are nice too. If I was in the market for an expedition boat, I would definitely consider the Menai before anything else.

(The wait could be a problem, but I've sort of got round that problem by buying a plastic tourer which will become my rock bashing boat when my Alaw arrives)
paddling grandma
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NDK or nordkapp

Post by paddling grandma »

I have an NDK explorer which i find fast,stable and manouverable.I've never had any leaks or other problems and have been perfectly satisfied with it.I'm sure the nordkapp is a good boat but whenever i've paddled one in rough water have found they're nowhere near as playful as my explorer.We all have personal preferences so if you're looking for advice i'd say try them both out in various conditions.I don't know about about knoydart but i know NDK will let you demo one.
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Post by RichardCree »

Try the Alaw Bach, it will do exactly what you want.

in its day the explorer was nice but now there is better on the market.
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Post by AndyC#2 »

CaileanMac wrote:The Rockpool Menai 18 is afloat now.

What's more, it's even got (almost) dazzle paint. I'm with MarkR - a dazzle paint sea boat would be cool (albeit a little unwise, at least for SAR).


AndyC :-)
Jon Wood
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Post by Jon Wood »

I asked Aled about the Atlantic Convoy paint job.
In fact, it's an Oyster Catcher (you just have to squint a bit)
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Post by Luke »

I have paddled the Explorer extensively and the Nordkapp only briefly but they handle very differently. I would liken the Explorer to a faithfull labrador and the Nordkapp to a thoroughbred greyhound.

I enjoyed the finese and precise handling of the Nordkapp but the Explorer is certainly much more forgiving and I find it a very comforatble boat.

It is definitely worth trying both to get a feel for the difference yourself.
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Post by JMT »

zoenewsam wrote:
Valley's build quality is excellent, generally, but if you buy through Knoydart their customer service is, well, unpredictable to say the least. I personally think it's appalling and never buy through them, but there are folk on this forum who think it's very good.
Some things just don't change!!!
Keep pushing for fair access to all rivers (or better still, just go and paddle them!).

Mike Tinnion
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