Eddyline Nighthawk 16 v Necky Chatham 17

Seeking opinions on these two kayaks. I will be demoing each but just seeking opinions. FYI, I am 5’7" and 145 lbs. Will be using it for lakes, rivers and marsh. Mostly day trips … possibly overnight trips.

I was just out in a Ch17 today. If you have no option for testing I’d be tempted to say the Nighthawk 16. I really like the Chatham 17 and with your weight it could really be a high volume and stable touring boat with room for 75lbs of stuff even though the front compartment is small. But for day paddling I think the Nighthawk will be a little more slippery for average cruising speeds 2.5-4mph and not knock you around as much.

If you’re looking at plastic the Eddyline will be lighter and cost more, if you’re looking at composite the Eddyline will be cheaper and a smidge lighter. Unless the shop has a Chatham right there I’m pretty sure deliveries will be quicker with Eddyline.

I’m afraid this is one of those personal preference decisions.

I’m sure …
other Nighthawk owners who are better paddlers than I am will be posting with more technical input. However…I’ve had my Nighthawk for about

three years, and it has become my workhorse, “Old

Faithful” kayak. I’ve used it in symposiums on Lake Superior and paddled it on Lakes Michigan and Erie. I’ve used it on all the local lakes and have never had a problem. Hatches bone dry, skeg perfect,etc. etc. There’s plenty of storage

for day trips and weekend camping. The Carbonlite

(not plastic or glass) has held up beautifully. The Nighthawk isn’t my fastest boat, but it’s a great all-round boat.

Nighthawk 16
I was out in my Nighthawk (polycarb) yesterday for a morning paddle on Tahoe, light breeze, mostly flat other than the passing power boat wakes.


distance covered: 13 miles

average speed: 4.3 mph

top speed: 5.7 mph

Mid Swift paddle

You might use this for comparison with the CH17. I expect under equal conditions, the CH17 will be faster.

Just my $0.02

Another vote for Nighthawk…
However, if you’re thinking about only overnighters, you might consider something even shorter (and lighter), like the Eddyline Merlin LT or the Impex Mystic (my personal choice).

My husband is your size and loves his Nighthawk, but he likes the Impex Mystic and Montauk, too. We haven’t tried the Necky.

We have used our Nighthawks on trips over a week in duration carrying 100+ pounds of water and found them more than suitable. For smallish paddlers you can’t beat the Nighthawk, Mystic, Montauk, or Pygmy Arctic Tern 14 (if you like to build them). IMHO

Anyone know, is the Chatham poly heavy?