Eddyline Fathom vs. Nighthawk

Just saw an Eddyline 16.5’ Fathom at a paddling show. Definitely looks different than a 16’ Nighthawk, but many of the specs for length, width, load, cockpit opening are very similar. Hull shape and deck height are definitely different. Has anyone paddled both of these boats to compare the handling?


– Last Updated: Feb-15-07 2:25 PM EST –

Paddled one for a month and really liked the boat a lot. Have not tried the Fathom, but based solely on it's dimmensions my guess is I'd prefer the Nighthawk. Of course I'd need to paddle it to be sure. The point in my response is just to say that the Nighthawk was a fun boat for me.

I own a Nighthawk.
Can’t wait to paddle the Fathom. The people at Eddyline have told me that it is “similar but different”. Supposed to be faster and a little more agile. My SO caught me dreaming about it the other day and I got “THE LOOK”. Since we are buying another house on March 1st, I don’t think I had better be longing after more boats if I know whats good for me.


Thermoformed plastic
In your month of use did your boat get used in a way to test the thermoformed plastic of the hull for durability, wear and tear and ability to take a hit? Any thoughts or opinions of thermoformed plastic compared to a fiberglass hull?

The plastic boats should be stonger on impact as they have some flex to them. Gel coat doesn’t.

Eddyline has very good quality control.

I owned a fathom, it is a new design for Eddyline with a harder chine area and a little more rocker. The kayak performed well speed and handleing with both good primary and secoundary stability.

I am 5’ 8" 155lbs. The fathom just felt a little large for me and the decks a little to high, I have a lower back injury and couldn’t lay back far enough on the back deck because of the coaming hieght to be able to roll the kayak.

I ended up tradeing it back in for a Wilderness System tempest 165 in fiberglass and am compeletely happy with the tempest, it was the right choice for me.

The reason every one keeps saying to try as many as you can before buying is because we all have different needs in a kayak.

There is a right one for you, ya just have to find it.


Yeah, it took a beating
Broke the fingers off a couple of deck fittings, which is no big deal. Boat was tough. I was suprised at how good it dealt with a lot of different sea conditions. Pleasantly suprised really, and left me with a fvorable impression. It’s a good company as well.

check Seakayker Reviews
You might want to check the Seakayaker reviews of the two boats for view of how they differ. I have not paddled the Fathom, but have a fair amount of time in the NH. The NH is lower volume and maybe more efficient, but perhaps a more specialized boat. The Fathom looks to be Eddyline’s version of a kayak to do what people expect from a Brit boat. An outrageous SWAG would be that the NH is more in the Mariner tradition and the Fathom is more in the Brit tradition in terms of what they do best.

FWIW, the Seakayaker reviewers like both.

We’ve had two
Nighthawk 16’s for two or three years and they can definitely take a beating. We’ve used them on expeditions where we knew there would be some rough landings or rough portages and they handled the abuse well. They handle well, though weathercock a bit, and have good speed for the width.