Hello, I am just checking to see if there are any other Eddyline Merlin LT owners out there that find there boat a little sluggish in the handling department. I am just an average paddler and the Merlin is a nice boat for running out to the lake for a couple hours of paddling. What has surprised me is how slow the boat is to reacting to carving leaned turns and just plain turning. It does a marvelous job of tracking straight without a rudder or skeg so I guess everything is a tradeoff. After reading so many glowing reviews on the Merlin I guess I expected a bit more though it is an aging design now replaced with the Samba. My Current Design Vision 120 actually turns easier than the Merlin and is not much slower. I will probably keep the Merlin as a good little day boat and next year pick up a more efficient fitness boat that weighs less for exercise sessions. I am just curious as to what other Eddyline Merlin LT owners think about their craft and where they think it might excel most. Thanks and happy paddling.
My experience is similar.
I’ve owned one for about three weeks and it turns much less well when edged hard than I would expect. It’s better than the Nighthawk 16 that I just sold and the QCC 400X that I am selling now, but not as easily turned as my kevlar Perception Eclipse 17 Sea Lion or my Phoenix Isere.
It definitely tracks well. I don’t have any other kayaks that length, so I can’t compare speed. It’s very stable in choppy water and easy to hold direction in the wind.
I’m selling mine for a more maneuverable boat. I don’t paddle large lakes, so I don’t need straight tracking.
The Carbonlite 2000 seems tough as nails.
Own an XT
I have a Merlin XT but have paddled my buddy’s LT and I’ve found that the XT is a little more sluggish than the LT but that’s just my observation. I feel the XT tracks better than the LT but is less maneuverable. Don’t find either Merlin to be a dud, though.
Several folks in
my group have Merlins, both LT and XT. I tried an XT many years ago and liked it, especially in the surf zone. And I think that is one of the issues about them, because the folks I paddle with report that they really “come alive” in coastal/ocean paddling where there are waves and wind, but seem a little sluggish on flatwater. I found that to be very true of the Merlin XT (and also my Nighthawk 175) in that they like and respond well in water with some movement. Flatwater is a little like paddling uphill to me though, no matter what the boat.
Also, a lot of beginner paddlers do not seem to be comfortable with leans and edging to make proper turns. This is especially problematic with a boat like the Merlin that is a skegless design built for straight tracking without a skeg or rudder. Learn to edge it hard, and it will turn nicely even in flatwater, especially so in moderate waves.