11-12-2011Submitted by: gingernc
Reviews for Pilgrim Kayak by Nigel Dennis Kayaks
Based On: 6 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 It's true: the Pilgrim IS a rolling machine. It's really remarkable. I am only 5 feet 3 inches tall, and it's difficult for me to roll kayaks with high foredecks and deep cockpits. The Pilgrim is the opposite, and rolling is pretty effortless. (I have been surprised how much difference there is among different sea kayaks.)
I also agree with the remark about stability. Despite the narrow hull, the boat has a lot of initial stability. I believe that's because the hull is basically flat under the seat. The Pilgrim also has enough rocker to sit down in the waves. I felt the difference in a West Coast sea kayak with a straighter keep line. In that boat, in short chop I felt the ends were supported on two waves with nothing under me for support -- kind of like sitting on a log over a stream. I felt shaky in that kayak.
I have yet to test the capacity of the Pilgrim for camping -- hope to soon. I do appreciate the very large day hatch, where I can stash lunch, snacks, water, and jackets plus a few other odds and ends. The Pilgrim gives me great confidence in the sea. It is a great design, and it really does fit smaller people, particularly with the low back deck and low foredeck. I have no complaints and only compliments for this kayak.
06-03-2011Submitted by: MontanaMom
- Rating: 10 of 10 The Pilgrim is a rollin' machine! I own the Romany, and bought the Explorer as a "big brother" for extended trips. I wish I had the Pilgrim -- it is more the "big brother" of the Romany than the Explorer is. I am a female, older, tall but not a lightweight ... it fit GREAT.
06-02-2011Submitted by: Surfkayakers
- Rating: 10 of 10 NDK Pilgrim has to be one of the most ingenious and talented designs developed of late. Amazingly, this kayak is a blast to paddle...It tracks nicely, it turns on a dime, and it handles following seas and surf like "its on rails"... easy to maneuver, this is one of the best designs for the smaller or tall & lightweight paddler, accommodating height with clever "knee bumps". Although a narrow beam, this kayak displays stability behavior like it is a wide beam kayak..
The quality is tops, and with the option of the foam seat, a truly comfortable and reliable kayak to own. Mine is a gorgeous white/white with black trim... people stare when it is on the car, and become envious when it is on the water... Quality throughout with retractable skeg, reflective decklines, dry hatches, this is THE kayak to own. The lower back deck makes rolling so easy you'll think there was a "roll" button.
My advice? IF you can find one - buy it! It's "competitors": Valley Avocet, Romany LV, Vela, Force3, etc.... no competition at all...
06-01-2011Submitted by: nthome
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is my first sea kayak. It took me 3 years of renting and demoing to make up my mind. My top 2 choices ended up being the Nigel Dennis Pilgrim and the Valley Avocet LV. I am 5'4" and 149 pounds. In the end I chose the Pilgrim because I felt the most confident in it and had the best speed in it. I just got back from a 4 day trip on Lake Michigan. Conditions ranged from 3 ft waves or less, and 15 knot winds or less, with gusts of 20 knots or less.
Looks great; low deck in both the front and the rear; comfortable seat (I prefer the molded-in backrest instead of the included but detachable back band); completely dry hatches even after 2 rolls; day hatch behind the cockpit; solid fiberglass layup - lighter layups are available, but I tend to be rough on my boats, so I went with the traditional layup; good speed (got up to 5.5 miles with a tailwind without really trying - was able to keep up with the other boats in my group, all of which were at least a foot longer); nice deck rigging, bungees for your extra paddle in the stern, etc.; dangling toggle carrying handles that won't pinch your fingers; tracks well with one exception which I will discuss under cons, below - I didn't use my skeg unless winds were 10-15 knots; good primary stability and excellent secondary stability.
Seems to cock to the right. At first, I thought the bow was just turning into the wind, which would be normal. But at other times, when the wind was coming from a different direction, it continued to cock to the right. A more experienced paddler who has the Explorer LV wanted to demo it and she also found that it cocks to the right. Could it be that it is designed to be fully loaded, and I was doing day trips, so it didn't have enough weight? In a few weeks I'll be going on a 5 day camping trip and the I'll get to see how it handles fully loaded; foot pegs are comfortable and solid, but they are the traditional adjusting kind where you have to reach way into the cockpit and adjust them from behind - I prefer the kind where you can adjust them with a lever even while you are underway, if necessary.
Overall, I am very happy with this boat and I'd encourage anyone who is shorter or lighter weight to give it a try.
11-11-2010Submitted by: BruceK
- Rating: 9 of 10 I purchased the Pilgrim from Sea Kayak Georgia in October 2010 during BCU Week. I was looking for a play boat for rough conditions and surfing. First I test paddled a P&H Delphin at Sea Kayak Carolina. After all the hype I "knew" this would be my new play boat. Boy was I disappointed after my test paddle (on flat water). In the surf it may be great, but on flat water it was too stable, too hard to edge and too slow. A great beginners boat but not what I was looking for.
When I first saw the Pilgrim I new this was NOT the boat for me. You know, all those quality issues, and those funny looking knee bumps. And then I test paddled it in surf off Tybee. What a GREAT boat! It had all the speed I needed. Easy to edge and VERY stable on edge at only 19.75" wide. So easy to roll! A great surf boat that could catch the waves, stay under control and take me on the best rides ever.
After a week at Tybee in surf from 3-6 feet I am in love with my Pilgrim. So much so I am planning to sell my Nordkapp LV. I just do not take trips and have discovered I prefer a shorter boat. I purchased the standard layup so I can be rough with the boat. It weighs 55 lbs, not light. But after going airborne off a six foot wave and landing hard I was glad to be in a NDK hull.
I give it a 9 because of the weight and because it does not turn as quick as my Nordkapp or my wife's Avocet. By the way, I am at the top of it's weight range at 160 lbs.
04-16-2010Submitted by: Karen
- Rating: 10 of 10 I am 57 and started sea kayaking about 4 years ago making the best boat choice I could at the time. As I progressed, I wanted a great boat that would suit my build, provide confidence in changing weather conditions, and allow me to increase my kayaking skills. I've tried quite a few boats and now I've found the one I love.
The Pilgrim fits me to a "T", is fast, turns like a dream, is a reasonable weight, responds crisply when I try a more advanced skill, and I'm thrilled. I found the Romney was too large, the Romney LV too small (I am tall and slender with long legs), and the Pilgrim is just right. Call me Goldilocks.
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