Any feelings on the Necky Eliza?

I am moving shortly to the east coast and want to re-adjust my fleet to fit the the waters. I already invested in some sit on tops for the ocean trips but I am also looking to trade in my kayak which is geared more towards open flat water to something a little more versatile for exploring salt ponds and coves as well as rivers and inlets. I was looking at the Necky Eliza, any thoughts? Open to suggestions

looks good to me
I haven’t paddled one but Necky sure needed a sea kayak for lighter people.

my girlfriend’s experience
My girlfriend (5’ 1", maybe 110#) tried an Eliza, but ended up buying a Necky Chatham 16. The Eliza was a little wider than she liked, and didn’t feel as maneuverable or fast.

Thistleback has one.
If she doesn’t notice this thread, I’d email her.


– Last Updated: Jun-19-07 2:52 PM EST –

faster than the 16 as the LWL's are essentially the same and the Eliza has less drag. It is also very maneuverable way on edge, but tracks better than the 16. 16 is more maneuverable way on edge for bigger people who will displace too much of the hull on the Eliza.

All that is fact based, but meaningless as there was something about the 16 she preferred, and thus, she purchased the correct boat! Was it the poly Eliza or the composite? Two different boats. Composite is narrower than the 16.

plastic Chatham
She got the plastic Chatham. I am just reporting what she said - I don’t fit in the Chatham and didn’t try the Eliza.

Shopping tonight
I will be going Kayak shopping tonight and will try both for feel. I will probably wait until I get back east to make the purchase since I cannot ship something that size in my move but I don’t want to waste any more water time since I have just been sitting around waiting to move since May. Once back east I just want to find a dealer and buy. Do botht he Chatham and the Eliza come with a skeg?

Demoed one briefly
and liked it. Not exactly my style, but a nice boat that’ll make a lot of folks happy. For what you describe it’s certainly worth a demo.

And it you can get it in a really nice shade of fuschia…

My wife picked Eliza over Chatham 16
My wife tried both and decided on the Eliza. She liked the light weight and the overall fit of the Eliza better. I have also heard really good things about the Chatham 16 and wish I could fit in it. She picked the lime green instead of the pink! Also, I don’t know how far East your moving, but there is a dealer in Franklin, PA (northwest part of the state) that has prices a couple hundred less on Neckys. It’s called Weigel’s on the Water, and sits on the banks of the Allegheny River, so it’s easy to test paddle the boats.

plastic Chatham and composite Eliza
have skeg, the plastic Eliza has rudder.

Composite Eliza
If you look at the Eliza, I’d recommend the composite version - I have one and absolutely love it! It is narrower than the plastic version, and has a skeg instead of a rudder. Lightweight, well-behaved, and fun!

I really like the cockpit size, and the low back deck - getting in and out is easier, and the fit is wonderful! I’m 5’6" and 158 lbs. Don’t need any padding at this size and weight - have great thigh contact.


Maybe I should try the Eliza.
I’m 5’6" and 155.

Checked out the Necky Eliza
Went shopping last night and I was only able to check out the Necky Eliza, they were out of Chathams. The Eliza was really good and easy to pick up for someone my size, its hard to compare when you don’t have the other boat to compare it to, but I did get to check out the Prijon Catalina as well and was really impressed by that one. Its a little more expensive but has a sleaker frame and is still under 50lbs. Now I’m torn. Any pay offs with one over the other.

Smaller males
I have two male friends that are about my height - they tried my composite Eliza and really liked it.


eliza versus catalina
I’m still a beginner (not a total beginner), so as I’m giving you my findings, take them as such. I demoed a plastic Eliza (in flat water) and found it to be quite fast and maneuverable. The composite version sounds like it would be great actually (skeg is my preference over rudder), but I haven’t tried it. The fit was really good (I’m 5’7 140lbs). To me, it was actually hard to lift. I have since lifted heavier boats that I was able to pick up more easily, which could be a weight distribution thing. Then again, maybe I simply got stronger since (Elisa was my first demo of the spring).

The Catalina I tried more recently. The Prijon representative told me that the material was a superior, harder plastic than the standard RM, and also that the secondary stability of the Catalina is unpredictable. as in hard to know where the edge is when you lean. In his opinion it was a better flat water boat than ocean. He said the ride would be quite wet in choppy water because of the hull design. There were some details I didn’t like as much, like the net on the deck instead of bungees. I’m not sure it had a day hatch either, did the Elisa? The foot peg system in the Catalina seemed a bit complicated. The model I tried was a bit beat up, perhaps it was not the newest model.

I’d be interested to hear what you decided. Good luck!

Its neck and neck with the Necky
Right now I am leaning towards the Necky Eliza, its lighter, more stbale and has come with very high praise all the way around. The Prijon has more curb appeal, kind of like the corvette of kayaks, but rationally speaking, the Necky is probably better aligned with what I am looking for in a boat at this time.

(I’ll have to keep the Prijon on my “someday” list, along with the wooden kayak kit I someday intend to assemble)

Eliza’s provenance is strange
My spouse bought a composite Eliza and really likes the boat. She was understandably upset when we had a rack malfunction and two dime-sized chips came out of the gel coat near the keel. I set out to repair the boat by calling Necky (Johnson Outdoors) for a patch kit. There started the strange tale of the Eliza’s provenance. Necky, in Washington State, told me the boat is made by Old Town (also Johnson Outdoors), so I talked to Old Town, in Maine. They said they had a patch kit in “ivory” (our boat a bottom the color of old scrimshaw), so I bought the kit. The kit arrived with hardened lumps, but enough liquid, grayish gel coat to do the repair. I wanted something yellower. Calls ensued. Old Town told me to call Necky, because the boat is made in Washington! Then, after having me on hold a lot, the rep 'fessed up that the Eliza is made “off-shore”, not in Washington, and not in Maine. The Eliza really IS a nice boat, but heaven help you if you want customer service from the manufacturer, whoever that is.

Necky Eliza
I just bought my first kayak - a Necky Eliza composite with skeg. I really like it so far, only been out in it on the lake 2 times. Went to a store in Northern Indiana where you could try them out on the St. Joseph River. I did alot of research and think it was a wise choice. I’m 5’7", weigh 125. I’m not able to lift it/carry it on my own (even with strength training!) I wish I could have purchased the one in fuschia, but the store only had red and melon. I plan to take my Necky with me to this weekend’s Cincinnati’s Paddlefest and get more familiar with it. My Eliza fits me well.

Which paddle is best for the Eliza?
I’m looking to purchase a paddle for my new Necky Eliza. Any recommendations?