Double Duck v. Explorer 42

I’m planning on buying one of these this summer, and am looking for feedback from folks who have used one or the other, ideally from folks who have used both. Mission specs are to carry two folks (and eventually one adult plus one kid) and gear on mild rivers and river crossings. Very occasional useage with one paddler and a large load (e.g. a (dead) elk).

On the face of it the Duck seems like the better choice, with more elbow room for the person up front and bit less weight. Neither my wife nor I are very short, so space is a concern. The only thing which has me rethinking that is the thought that the extra bow volume of the 42 would keep the front person a bit drier, and perhaps help the boat float a bit higher and keep off the rocks.

Due to weight, cost, and manuverability concerns I see no reason to be interested in the Gnu.

Feedback appreciated.

Dave, I cannot offer advice. But I think Alpacka could be more forthcoming with their designs by offering comparisons. Similar loads, maneuverability and speed comparisons, for examples. But instead, the reported weights have to be treated with skepticism because here they mention seats and weights and there they do not, and they are never quite clear about where the seat weights are included with the boat weights. And the photos are sufficiently distorted as to make visual comparisons iffy.

Interestingly, when Alpacka was commenting on these boards they first said two person boats were not safe in white water and later said that with greater end flotation two person boats were stiffer than without. An unfinished discussion – and then they started producing two person boats without further comment, iirc.

The Vectran Gnu is described more completely by the German dealer than at Alpacka’s site, where use of a pump for higher pressure is considered standard:

So I don’t think the 2 person boat options have been explained at all well by Alpacka – and not well enough to make a reasoned choice as to maneuverability.

I would like to see a video of the Exp. 42 in some whitewater. I am considering buying one.

OP, I’d go with whichever has the most floatation as I think either boat is on the marginal side for the uses you present. I liked the extra bow volume on the Explorer 42.
Packraftnm, There are 2 Explorer 42’s in Pecos (one of which I sold them). They are decent in whitewater with the right rigging. We ran them up to Class 3 with no problem. I slightly prefer my extended Llama because it’s narrower in the front. Just feels a little better to me although I doubt there was any real performance issues in the NM water we have run them in.
If you provide some contact info I could have the owner get ahold of you. I can’t remember if he’s on this forum. I’ll tell him to engage if so.
Silver City, NM