"I began to wonder if some designers are more concerned with skinny as a status symbol as much as a performance factor."
I begin to wonder if you can make an objective statement about this boatbuilder. This board is littered w. your repetitive posts that NC Kayaks are the best in every category of attribute - speed, stability,tracking, light weight, comfort and even highly opinionated categories like aesthetics.
on the NC website home page they state "our kayaks are fastest in their class" whatever that means. Sounds more like marketing puffery. There is no data to support it other than a statistic based on sprinting speed, which they acknowledge most cannot attain nor sustain.
Any review done by SeaKayaker Magazine has a lot more useful
data in that regard.
A narrow beam is one of a number of factors that makes for a faster hull, but it is a very important factor. Surfskis and the racing kayaks seen in sanctioned events are narrow for a reason. Many are as narrow as 17 or 18 inches. Seakayaks w. beams of 23" are very
wide in comparison.They trade speed for stability.
People tend to have emotional attachments to things like boats. That's fine within its sphere. However it is not the basis for an objective recommendation to another kayaker.
What I see on the website for NC Kayaks are unrelentingly wide boats (beam 23")designed for larger paddlers, primarily, based on the weight limits, intended to carry gear. In that regard it's odd that only several models have TWO hatches. Gear haulers generally are not the fastest boats. This is not to knock them, there are tradeoffs for everything.
Most NC models lack full perimeter deck lining. This and having two bulkheaded hatch compartment are highly desirable in full-on seakayaks both for safety and functionality.
Of all the models only one of them is under 50 lbs in their standard glass layup. The others are hardly "lightweight" relative to other fiberglass boats of comparable length.
I was curious about their layups and so read this part of the FAQ section:http://www.nckayaks.com/faq.php
As for upgrades to a lighter carbon or kevlar layup, the upcharge of $899 is ridiculously inflated. And the statement that "our LT fiberglass layups are within a pound of our carbon/Kevlar kayaks" is pretty much an open admission that they do not know how to work w. these materials. Other manufacturers are able to deliver a weight savings of 4-5 lbs, typically, and for less than half the cost.
The website comments about the inferiority of carbon and kevlar in a boats layup has so many inaccuracies it would require a separate post, but suffice to say that both materials are encased in fiberglass and so UV deterioration is not a factor.
Suffice to say that all damage which penetrates the gel coat will entail repair to protect what lies beneath, be it fiberglass cloth or a hybrid of glass around a core of Kevlar or carbon. Repair is repair - use the right materials and the right methods, and it will come out well.
The statement that kevlar and carbon boats attract water, and so cause the boat to weigh more over time, has not proven to be the case with boats made by other manufacturers.
Perhaps NC Kayaks does not have the knowledge or skill to utilize the newer technologies of making composite boats, e.g. vacuum bagging or vacuum infusion. I do not know since they omit this critical piece of information. A weight savings of about 1 lb in exchange for an upgrade charge of $899 is very unimpressive. I guess in that sense they are doing potential customers a favor by discouraging them from ordering an upgraded layup.
So instead they publish a lot of inaccuracies about materials that other kayak makers (also small to medium sized companies) have been using very successfully for many years in many different models.
Magooch, you may think your continual cheerleading for NC Kayaks illustrates your product loyalty and determination not to "back down" despite the polite suggestions by other posters.
You have your opinions, I have mine.
My opinion is your endless shilling for NC Kayaks is annoying, off point, and in the long run too biased to be helpful to people who come to these forums seeking help.
It also dilutes the value of this board for me. If I want to read posts by other people patting themselves on the back for their choice of boats, there are other boards to visit. But frankly I am tired of wading through stuff like that on those boards and am approaching my limit here.
Ah well, I don't expect that this will yield any reasoned discussion or fruitful result, but I thank anyone who took the time to read it. Have an excellent weekend with time on the water if possible.