SOLD Necky Looksha IV
The following information was shamelessly lifted from Sea Kayaker Magazine's website in a brazen daylight heist.
Looksha IV by Necky Kayaks
TS 5' 10", 165-pound male. Day trips in winds less than
10 knots, small waves, boat and ship wakes for surfing.
RS 6' 2", 185-pound
male. Day trip in winds to 35 knots, seas 2 feet, confused chop with 6- to
8-foot ocean swell.
MH 5' 10", 190-pound male. 4-day trip, swell to 5 feet
with clapotis and wind waves. Rock gardens and surge channels. 60 pounds of
"The Looksha is one of the
cleanest looking plastic boats on the market. Faux-granite plastic mixture
seems to ease the 'Tupperware' look that many plastic boats suffer from" (TS).
Like the Looksha II (SK August 96) it has a double chine.
The Looksha balances well for a solo carry. The 65-pound
weight of the Looksha was not too difficult for our reviewers to manage. For a
two-person carry the toggle placement is too far in from the ends for easy
handling. The placement of the stern toggle is required by the rudder, but the
inboard placement of the bow toggle also causes the bow to "bump into your leg
while you carry it" (RS). RS and TS thought placement of the grip at the tip of
the bow would be an improvement.
Looksha's deck layout is "functional"(TS). Our reviewers especially liked the
recessed deck fittings. The cockpit is "a nice size for easy entry and exit"
(MH). RS would like a "snugger fit and a slightly lower deck" and both he and
TS note the need for some custom padding.
The seat is comfortable and
long enough to provide some good thigh support. The back rest was comfortable
but is "quite high, sticking well above the cockpit, making laying back for a
screw roll impossible" (RS). There is an option for a lower seat back. The
thigh bracing was usable but did not offer a secure grip: "They could stick out
farther and offer more purchase" (RS) or be padded out by the owner.
webbing/ladder lock slider system for the rudder pedals "is infinitely
adjustable and works reasonably well though it does require a little patience
to get it perfectly trued" (TS). As with most rudder pedals the system has a
"fair bit of give" (TS) when the rudder is retracted. The rudder seems "pretty
indestructible" to TS, while RS thinks it could be a bit "beefier." When
deployed it works smoothly and drops back down after riding over
On the water the Looksha IV "has a very comfortable stability
range. Without being a barge, the initial and secondary stability are good"
(TS). "Stable enough to fish from, yet it felt nimble and very responsive"(MH).
"Stable enough for most beginners but it turned like a dream when I got it up
on edge" (RS).
Although the Looksha has a rudder, our reviewers
preferred paddling with it retracted. "Putting this baby up on edge was my
favorite thing about the Looksha. It cranks surprisingly quick turns for a
17-foot touring kayak, pivoting like a shorty play boat" (RS). "It was a blast
in the rock gardens. Super maneuverable and fun" (MH). The Looksha also tracked
well with the rudder retracted. Its quick response to carved turns makes it
easy to hold a course. Only MH noted the Looksha, without a gear load aboard,
had slight tendency to weathercock in moderate winds, easily corrected by
edging the boat. In the strong winds RS encountered "it handles as you might
suspect: like most kayaks it was a struggle to keep on course in gusts of
The Looksha has a
dry ride in moderate conditions as its bow "has a moderate tendency to rise up
over small chop. In bigger water the ride got much wetter" (RS). "It was dry
until I got crazy in the rocks" (MH).
While not exceptionally fast the
Looksha "does accelerate and hold its speed well"(TS). "I was able to sprint
and catch swells easily" (MH). The Looksha handles well for surfing wind waves
and boat wakes. "The boat's maneuverability made it easy to [ride] wind waves
without falling off into a broach" (RS). "Course correction on shorter steeper
boat wakes was a breeze with the rudder in action" (TS). "Bow tends to plunge
in large steeper waves. Side surfs smoothly for controlled broaches"
There is enough room for a week's
worth of gear in the bulkheaded compartments. The hatches consist of an
unattached neoprene cover and a tethered plastic lid. None of the reviewers
reported any leakage after rolling or rough-water paddling. The bulkheads are
made of foam glued in place. With a load aboard the Looksha IV had additional
stability and kept its "excellent" (MH) handling qualities.
likable kayak. I would recommend it to anyone who wanted the advantages of
cost, recyclability and impact resistance of a plastic boat that doesn't
compromise on greater touring performance" (TS). "Beginners should be satisfied
with its relative stability and solid cruising characteristics. This is a
maneuverable and responsive kayak for skilled paddlers to play around in on day
trips, and it'll haul plenty of gear. All things considered, the Looksha is a
good all-around touring boat" (RS). "Often when testing kayaks I find myself
wishing I were in something else. I didn't want to get out of this thing. The
best plastic kayak I've ever paddled" (MH).
First I would like to thank
the anonymous testers for what I consider a very complimentary review. I would
like to respond to some of their comments. Ideally we would like to fit a boat
perfectly to everybody, but that is impossible, especially for ones designed
for high production. Our concern is that some paddlers, especially new ones,
are afraid of being trapped in the boat, hence the loose fit. To get tighter
fits it's relatively easy to glue a layer of foam and shape it for the perfect
customized fit Looksha IV was originally produced with a lower back rest, but
the majority of our customers preferred a higher one. The refit is easy, just
ask your dealer. The placing of the handles is due to my concern of picking up
some loose kelp or sea weed on the bow and not being able to get rid of it.
After you use the Looksha a few times you will find that the best way to carry
it is by holding it by the bow. Your hand fits perfectly. When it comes to
using a rudder or not, there is no doubt in my mind that it is more fun to play
in the boat without the rudder. But what we are making is a touring boat, and
sometimes you have to be plugging ahead in nasty conditions hour after hour and
using a rudder can make things easier. Mike Neckar
Options and Pricing (1996 design)
Construction: Rotomolded, Super Linear
Polymer, Metthalocene catalyst technology.
Features: Hatches, deck lines, bulkheads,
seat and back rest.
Weight: 65 pounds
$1320 with rudder, 1150 without
Kevlar: $2495 Kevlar. (MSRP in US dollars)
Through a network of dealers in Canada and
the US. Manufacturer's
Abbottsford, B.C., V2S 4N2 Canada.
Phone (604) 850-2206.
SN 5' 8", 155-pound male. Day trip in calm conditions,
overnighter in winds to 15 knots, waves to 3 feet; gear load of 45 pounds.
DA 6' 1", 175-pound male. Winds 5 to 15 knots, small chop. Paddled without
cargo and with 90-pound load.
DM 6' 1", 180-pound male. Winds 15 to 20
knots, chop to 3 feet, and clapotis.
The Hawk is a pleasure to look at:
"Unbelievable looks...like fine furniture" (SN). "A beautifully constructed and
finished boat. The quality of the workmanship is superb" (DM). The glass
sheathed, cold-molded mahogany plywood kayak has nicely filleted joints on the
inside seams. "The finish of the boat seems very hard, slippery. It easily slid
over rocks when pulling it up on shore without scratching" (SN). The 46-pound
kayak is easy to lift and balances well on the shoulder. The loops at the ends
are not equipped with toggles, so tough on the hands for a tandem carry. It is
more comfortable just to hold the ends of the boats.
bungies are rigged through holes in the deck, so there are "no fittings at all
to catch the paddle during the stroke" (DA). There are short lines at the ends
of the deck that are useful for stowing a Greenland-style paddle, but don't
provide a place to stow a conventional sectional spare paddle.
is "small but quite comfortable" (DA). There is not much room in the cockpit
for stowing gear, but the arched foredeck provides lots of foot room. The
unpadded, contoured carbon-fiber seat is "completely" (DA) comfortable. The
back band provides support, though it is positioned lower than our reviewers
were accustomed to. SN got used to it, but DA and DM thought it failed to
provide good support. It also tends to get caught under the paddler when
sliding into the boat, and requires some fussing to get it out of the way and
in its proper position. The padding glued to the underside of the deck is
"adequate [as thigh bracing] but an owner would almost certainly want to
customize it" (DM). For SN the padding provides no support but only presses
against his kneecaps. The foot braces ware solid and easily adjustable. There
is no rudder.
The Hawk has "low" (DM) to "moderate" (SN)
initial stability and "good" (DM) to "excellent" (SN) secondary stability:
"Like leaning on a wall" (DA). In calm conditions the Hawk tracks well. Though
DA thought it is slow to carve turns, SN and DM thought the Hawk turned "very
well when set on edge" (SN). It "tracks well, but is very responsive to carved
turns when put on edge" (DM). "Because of this responsiveness-among the most
responsive of the boats I've tested-the boat is a bit nervous in rough
conditions. With time in the boat, this trait would be appreciated. I found it
fun, but I had to stay on my toes" (DM). SN and DA noted the Hawk weathercocks
in winds to 15 knots. In slightly higher winds (to 20 knots), DM "found the
boat easy to control. I was able to hold the boat on any course with no
difficulty. Particularly impressive was the ability to stay on the downwind
quartering course that often results in broaching problems."
The Hawk is a
"fairly fast boat" (DM). "It accelerated and held speed with little effort"
(DA). "The ride is fairly dry, but it is easy to dig the bow into oncoming
waves, [but] there isn't anything on the deck to deflect water into my face, so
I stayed pretty dry" (DM). "The Hawk flies on wind waves. It catches wind waves
easily and is easy to control on the waves using boat lean and stern rudder
strokes. It throws much less spray when surfing than other boats I usually
paddle" (DM). "Broaches were slow, predictable and I could usually recover from
SN thinks the Hawk is an easy kayak to roll: "No obstructions,
and with the back band and low cockpit it is easy to lay back."
In the bulkheaded compartments, there is
room enough for a week's worth of gear for a careful packer. The compartments
are low and narrow in the ends. The hatches are "adequate" (DA) but "larger
hatches would make it easier to pack" (SN). The toggle closure system is
simple, but "difficult to operate with cold hands" (SN). The bolts securing the
toggles have rough ends and can snag gear bags. On the bright side, the hatches
didn't leak during rough water trials and rolling. "Not a drop" (DM). "The
initial instability is gone, [and the] speed felt good when loaded," wrote SN
of paddling with 45 pounds of cargo.
"It was a delight
to paddle this boat," wrote SN. "[It] appeared as if it would be unstable but
it ended up being very predictable and stable enough for fishing and
photography." "I liked the boat very much. It is one of the most beautiful
boats I have seen. The designer has been more successful than I have been with
my own Greenland boat in adapting the design for touring" (DA). DM expected a
bit more speed of the Hawk but it was still in the "upper 10% of the boats I've
tested. Its responsiveness makes the Hawk a fun boat to paddle, and the beauty
of the wood generated compliments from others on the water."
pleased the reviewers enjoyed paddling the Hawk. It was designed for the more
experienced touring paddler. The foremost criteria for any kayak is its
seaworthiness. The Hawk has proven to be not only a fast touring kayak, but one
that is seaworthy and responsive in rough seas. I was equally pleased the
reviewers admired our watertight flush-mounting wood hatches. Much thought has
gone into their design and construction. The flush hatches keep the deck clear
of obstruction to avoid water deflection, and a high quality neoprene gasket
assures their watertightness. Custom larger hatches are available, but I feel
the standard hatches are adequate. The latching system is secure and the rough
ends on the bolts have been eliminated.
believe kayaks should be carried by their ends and not the rope, hence the lack
of toggles on the grab loops. Spare paddle mountings are set up for Greenland
paddles only. The seating area with hip plates and back strap was designed to
offer comfort and support, and can be easily custom padded. It is important the
back strap be low enough to allow the paddler to lean back on the deck. The
paddler just needs to become accustomed to entering a kayak with a pivoting
I thank the reviewers for
their compliments on the fine craftsmanship. I take great pride in my work and
the beauty of my wood/fiberglass kayaks. Many options are available, including
a retractable skeg. To date, I have designed five touring kayaks in various
sizes, which I build in mahogany/epoxy and glass. Two designs are licensed
through Wilderness Systems for manufacture in fiberglass or Kevlar. Each design
is of Greenland origin yet serves a distinct group of paddlers. I am glad the
Hawk can accommodate those paddlers wishing to tour in a fast, seaworthy
kayak.. Mark Rogers
Options and Pricing)
Standard Construction: Cold-molded
4mm okoume mahogany plywood sealed with West System Epoxy and encapsulated in
multiple layers of fiberglass cloth.
Standard Features: Bulkheads, wood hatches fore and aft, deck rigging,
spare paddle mountings, grab loops, molded seat, hip plates, adjustable back
strap, foot braces, knee padding, lifetime warranty.
Recessed compass, $100; VCP hatches, $75;
retractable skeg, $100; day hatch with third bulkhead, $50.
Approximate Weight:44 pounds