I am very interested in an Eddyline Fathom in the next few months or sometime next spring.
I am looking for any feedback from anyone that has experience with this kayak, and all “pros and cons” I can get. I am 5’ 6" tall (short) and I am heavy for my height at 190 pounds. I am not at all fat, but very solid and muscular so I have short thick legs and that means I like thigh hooks that are “inboard” quite a bit so the hooks don’t dig into the top of my legs instead of coming around the top past the 12:00 position. Because my legs are short the angle of my bend knees is greater then most other men of my weight. Because of my short legs and 37-38" waist I fit into cockpits made for smaller paddlers well, but the boats they are made in are not large enough for a 190 pound paddler and gear enough for 3-4 days of touring. My body and working load come to about 230 pounds so I don’t like kayaks that I sink into the water deep enough to feel the displacement of water enough to slow it down notably. From what I read the Fathom seems about perfect, but it’s not a kayak I have ever seen in person yet, and if I am going to spend around $3000 I don’t want to be disappointed. I have spoken to 2 owners in California and Alaska and both say they are sure I would like it, but one is 5’ 11 and one is 6’ 1" and I out weight both of them buy a small margin (180 and 185 pounds ) so I am not sure of myself yet.
So I am interested in the opinions on either side, pro or con.
Because of where I live, getting to sit in one and paddle it are not realistic options, so it seems so far anyway. Just driving to a place to do so is going to cost me about $390 at the low end in gasoline, and a loss of work worth about $800-$900 minimum, so paying close to 1/2 the cost of the kayak just to go see one is unreasonable for me.
I have been told by one lady that some of the P&H boats may be better choices and they are a bit less money. I am all ears and will gladly consider advice from anyone that has real experience with the Fathom or any of it’s competitors. Tell me what you can about the Fathom and any other kayak in the 15.5 to 17 foot range you’d recommend. I am not locked into anything yet, but I’d prefer a skeg to a rudder.
A good used kayak is fine also, as long as it can be shipped to me but the cost of that shipment has to be within reason too. So for many kayaks on the used market today, going to one of the coasts is not likely to happen because the cost of shipping by truck is less then me going to get one. The closest ocean shore to me is still 1030 miles, one way. So a 2100-3000 mile round trip is likely to cost more then the kayak would be worth. If the seller is unwilling to help by making a crate for it, or by wrapping it up for me somehow it would be a deal breaker. A brand new Eddyline Fathom ordered from one of the dealers will run me about $3140 including the truck shipment to me, so that’s the base-line I figure down from.
I am willing to drive up to one full day in any direction and one day back, but 2-3 days each way is not realistic for me unless the kayak I was going to buy was REALLY inexpensive.
Interstate 80 goes from border to border of Wyoming, so one thought I’ve had when dealing with a man in California/Nevada border (Lake Tahoe) was for me to pay the shipping to anywhere on I-80 inside Wyoming. The truck only needs to get the kayak into Wyoming and I can pick it up from there. Such a shipment would need to be certain as far as when and where I’d meet the truck, but that’s all. I could do the same for some of I-90 through Montana too.
My last kayak was from a man who helped me a great deal. He drove my Necky Chatham17 part of the way and I met him and paid him. We switched the kayak from his SUV to my pickup and we were both happy with the deal. So I am open to ideas.
The time for me to buy is probably going to run from around October to around May of next year, so I am not desperate to buy immediately, but I want to start gleaning any good information I can now and that gives me time to make a better informed decision (I hope)
Ladies and gentlemen…fire away.