I am 5’11" and 225lbs. I currently own and paddle a Venture Jura HV and have had it for 4-5 years. ITs a great kayak but it is a bit on the heavy side. At this point I would really like to look for something that is lighter and faster. Looking for more efficiency, faster speed and better acceleration.
Most of my paddling is in saltwater bays and ocean inlets - some smaller waves and flat water with wind that is typical.
Looking for advice on what is out there that might fit my frame and give me some more speed and better efficiency.
Looking at the Delta 17 vs Eddyline Fathom vs current designs solstice GT but have not tried any of them so wanted to hear folks thoughts.
I can’t speak to the others but when I paddled a Cetus at a demo day I was in rough conditions that, frankly, were beyond my skill sit. The boat got me through it so much to my surprise I brought it home. They have an infused carbon now which is wicked light but fairly pricey also.
I’m 6’2", test rode a Solstice GT once and it was a good fit, roomy. Struck me as a good boat and, while not a racer, fairly fast with enough rocker for waves. Also has a lot of volume in case you want to pack for an expedition. I ended up getting a racer.
Of the three you listed, I paddle an Eddyline Fathom LV. No experience with Delta. Aso have a Current Designs, but it’s a Prana LV which is a very different design from the Solstice GT.
The Fathom is light weight and easy to get up to hull speed. Hard chined, it can be a bumpy ride in chop but handles beam winds well. No issues tracking with judicial use of the skeg. It’s a responsive boat and I use both my euro and Greenland paddles with it. I like having a day hatch behind the cockpit; also installed a North Water under deck bag so I can keep my deck clean.
Fathom has excellent cockpit outfitting. If possible, try sitting in one at your dealer to check the fit.
Solstice GT by a long shot. I am 6’ 240 very comfortable boat. Seat way better than an Eddyline. CD boats are way more durable than a thermoform hulls. Friend had a Eddyline Raven matter of fact 2 of them. Seats are horrible for comfort. His seats broke and his comings also broke. Construction of a glass boat is head and shoulders above a thermoform hulls. Solstice is great in rough water and calm, fast I can sprint it to just a tad under 7 mph. Cruise long distance is about 3.5 mph. Seat in my Solstice is very comfortable I use their wide base seat option which is 17" wide vs standard 16" wide. My Solstice is a 2008.
My partner owns a Eddyline Journey. Not bad for easier use but not a real sea kayak in construction. Deck lines and rigging leaves a lot to be desired.
Newer Solstice 2010 and up has changed a bit but I doubt it is anything but same excellent. I heard more playful, deck not peaked as much, cockpit slightly longer.
All have been converted to wide base seats Libra XT comes with wide seat. All upgraded to SEA-LECT pedals after removing Yakima sliders. Solstice already had Sea-lect pedals.
Extreme now called the Nomad is great also bit faster in sprint and cruising. It’s a bit more tippy as it’s thinner but longer. Accelerates faster from a stop.
Solstice is my favorite all around kayak. It’s fast, comfortable, roomy for gear and supplies. CD kayaks also are accurate in weight advertised. Gelcoated boats can be repaired and buffed shiny again unlike thermoform. I like the Kevlar layup but not the end of the world if buying used.
I paddled in the bays on South shore of Long Island all year like 30° and up. Mostly alone and my go to pick is the Solstice if rough.
If you’re near me you could try mine. I use an Ikelos 205 in Solstice & Extreme, 215 in the Libra XT, and also have a Corryvreckan 210. Usually go 5-20 miles a day. I’m 67 now. Wide base seat leaves me more room for slight rotation when driving my legs.
Have never heard a bad word about a CD Solstice. A friend just bought a second one & a cousin had one for years until he quit paddling sea kayaks 3 years ago at 77. I like CD kayaks and used to paddle a Sirocco.
Only recurring good I have heard from friends about the Eddyline Fathom is it is light. Friends have not liked it in rescue situations (high seat back & rides high in the water). when windy, or short period waves. Observing students paddling a Fathom confirmed friends comments about the Fathom.
It’s a sweet boat. Faster than my Fathom and quicker to maneuver. Probably a bit too big for me as CD rates it for the medium to large paddler and I’m small at 5’4" and 114#, but adding hip pads and building up the thigh braces gives me good contact.
A couple weeks ago I was paddling in a windy bay with a large presence of power boats (some 30+ feet). Waves were coming from all different directions but it was the first time I had fun in such conditions, thanks to the stability of the boat.
CD specs claim it has hard chines, but they’re not as pronounced as Eddyline’s. Prana is a much smoother ride in beam winds and chop.
I now keep the Fathom here at home at the inland lake where I live, paddling it when conditions on Lake Michigan are more than I want to paddle or just want to get in a couple hours on the water.
thank you all. I will have to see next year I guess if there are any places I can go to try and demo these or at a minimum sit in them. I read a bunch of ood stuff about the parana but then I read that the hatches are leaky - anybody have experience with the parana haches.
I guess for me it comes down to efficeincy. Much of what I do is straight line type stuff - not a lot of playign in waves but I would like to do more. But my area seems to have a lot of wind and sometimes the seas can be very confused. In those situations with my Jurna HV I can’t keep it straight skeg or not the waves seem to push my stern up and turn me.
I think I need something that I can jsut put a lot of miles on with low work, something that is a bit faster than what I have but that can really deal with confused seas and winds.
Yup. The Prana I purchased was a used demo. Manufactured in 2018. I paddled it in a class at a symposium and checked the hatches afterward. They all had water in them. I pointed that out and before I took delivery, the rims were removed and resealed and a pinhole drilled in the snack hatch. My stern hatch still smells like Lexel since I don’t use it. I don’t remember if the rims were screwed down when I first paddled it, but when I brought the boat home, they all were so that may have been done by the guy who did the fix.
This is my second summer paddling the Prana and the hatches have all remained dry. Even today, when I did self-rescue practice and the boat was upside down in the water. The only exception is the small snack hatch in front of the cockpit. It’s always a bit wet. Not a big deal as what I carry there is in drybags. I do regularly 303 the hatch covers and rims.
The CD rep did mention that CD was aware of the leakage problem and was changing the way it installed the rims, so boats manufactured after 2018 should not have that problem. Worth checking, though, and if there is an issue, it’s easily remedied.
I’ve been paddling a Solstice GTS for four years. Mine is a 1999, and the GTS fits my smaller frame perfectly. I own a couple of other kayaks, an Impex Montauk and a Perception Eclipse.
I just love the Solstice. Easy to control, pretty fast in a straight line, stable without feeling too stable (like the Eclipse does).
I see them come up for sale every so often locally, ranging from $1000-$2500, depending on year, condition and fiberglass versus kevlar. If a reasonable one appears, I’ll grab it and sell the Impex (which is just a bit too tippy for me, and it just doesn’t fit me right…) Always good to have a couple of good boats in the fleet. My wife uses the Perception…I think of it as the SUV of kayaks…big and stable…
Anyway, if you see a used Solstice GT for $1500 or less in your area, grab it. And if it has hatches that match the rest of the deck, versus the older version with black hatches, run, don’t walk, to grab it…