Eddyline Phoenix

Would anyone recommend the Phoenix for a true novice in open water?

"True novice in open water"
I wonder if you could describe in more detail the open waters you intend to paddle? And at what stage of “novice” do you consider yourself?

I ask questions like this because being safe and happy is never just about one’s choice of boat for a particular bit of water. A great boat for all sorts of conditions one might encounter in coastal/open water means little if the paddler hasn’t the skills and judgment to handle the boat and the conditions.

I’m really glad to see that you’re so excited about getting out there in your own boat, but if you really want good advice, you’ll have to offer more specific information. And you’ll also have to consider different kinds of advice beyond just “which boat?” for this or that water.


Given your size from your other post, no. The phoenix was considered a high-volume boat, with the manufacturer giving the capacity as 400 pounds. At your weight it’d be frustrating.

I am leaving posts broad so I get a variety of view points, rather then a narrow view. My use would primarily be unprotected coastal in mild conditions until skill level builds.

Heck no

– Last Updated: Aug-01-09 3:13 PM EST –

As Angstrom said.

Seriously, what is your preparation and skill level? Like can you brace well, roll etc, do you have clothing for immersion, can you navigate off a chart... that kind of thing. The best boat in the world won't guard against a problem if the rest of the package isn't there.

It makes it hard to talk about the boat without the paddler side.

Unprotected coastal in mild conditions
Yes, you are leaving things pretty vague, and frankly, I wonder why. Being one to have pushed the envelope quite a bit over the years (especially risky when I was a “true novice”, but I did it anyway), I’d like to be able to offer the kind of advice that I probably should have listened to when I was just getting started. Looking back, I can tell you that if it weren’t for sheer will power and a fair bit of luck, I may well not have been here today.

When you’re on “unprotected coastal” waters, “mild” is often a very temporary–and sometimes deceiving–condition, because even if it looks like it will be mild all day long, are you also considering some of the perhaps less obvious conditions like currents and rips? Afternoon winds that can whip up in an instant? Thick fog that can suddenly develop and stay for hours? How about surprise encounters with sea life? How are you at handling surprise visits from whales, sharks, sea lions, etc.?

Now, it could be that your “unprotected coastal” conditions are nothing like the “unprotected coastal” conditions I regularly paddle in, and if so, more specific information would still be useful. I don’t really understand why, on one hand, you want specific advice about particular boats, but on the other hand, you’re reluctant to offer more specific details about your waters and your current state of skills? Is this a test?


Absolutely not, I am a true novice with experience only with rec yaks and limited access to boats that I really need paddle time in. I have been on the water all of my life in all kinds of boats (Virgin Islands, Great Lakes, Southern East Coast and of course intracoastal and inland lakes). I am currently using a sit on top in what we loving call Lake Atlantic (summer conditions), only about a half mile offshore. It isn’t enough for me and I want to increase skill, with proper boat, proper safety/handling instruction. I have reached out to the local sea kayaking club and hope they will be my greatest resource. I have no intention of putting safety anywhere but first as I have dependents :slight_smile: I am guessing that you guys get a lot of people that just go out there and do it without realizing what being on the water entails.

I wouldn’t recommend that boat for a novice on calm protected waters, let alone open waters.

Find yourself a dealer that offers demo’s and try several boats before you even think about buying one.

Bill H.

Absolutely not

– Last Updated: Aug-04-09 1:46 PM EST –

We've had a Phoenix in our livery fleet for 5 years. We use it for tall lanky guys who need stability but have the strength to move it around, because it's a barge. Very wide stern, apparently the designer wanted a "loose stern" for surfing, but the design is a dog and certainly not for a small-framed woman. I know, I paddled it for a while the first summer we had it.

Anyone who tries to put you in a Phoenix has probably had it sitting around for years and is looking for a sucker to unload it on.

Add another NO to the tally. nfm

Phoenix isn’t so ugly!
Folks some of you disappoint me with the lack of information, objectiveness, and your answers.

  1. As a novice paddler, if you want to commit suicide please send me the money for the boat and find an open window. Please be courteous on the way down and not hit anything or anyone.;^)

  2. I am 6"4’ 210 and a girl friend is 5"4’ 120. We both like paddling the boat. I had to modify the seat to fit.

  3. I have had the boat for 3 years and still use it. I have a Fathom, P&H Quest, and QCC700. I have some good boats to compare the Phoenix characteristics with.

  4. I took the Phoenix out this spring for swim support at Point Lookout at the confluence of the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay. The boat was a blast in the occasional 4-5 ft waves. The boat did not surf well in the terms of speed but tracked straight down without fishtailing. The secondary stability was awesome as usual. The boat turns quick and is easily put on edge. The down side is the boat weather cocks and the skeg is a must in very windy conditions. The boat is great for squirrely rivers and creeks because of the turning ability. The Phoenix paddles some what like the QCC 700 on flat water. Remember this is based on my size.

  5. The Phoenix helped me transition to rough water conditions because of its characteristics. It loves to rock-n-roll. The boat fit snugly (not the typical bathtub), turns easily and quickly to get on a wave front, and has great secondary stability.

  6. I was talking with Tom Derrer about the Phoenix and he told me he never surfed the Phoenix.

  7. The speed of the Phoenix is much faster than the Touryak but slower than my other boats. It is a dog compared to the QCC700 but is fast compared to the Prijon Touryak.

  8. You did not post your sizes. You need an objective person to go out with you to help you determine if the boat is for you. This involves growth as a paddle, current skills and financials to name a few. The Phoenix could be the best boat now for the money but may not meet your future boat needs.

  9. Always make sure the Phoenix skeg is working properly before paddling.

  10. Get quality information about a boat before you try-n-buy.


size of paddler
Jim, you raise a good point. In another active thread the poster gave her size as 5’1", 105 lbs and described herself as a “very small” paddler.

That is why she was urged to take the Phoenix off the list.

I agree

– Last Updated: Aug-06-09 9:36 PM EST –

The Phoenix is a great boat for the right person. It has its good points and bad points. It is not a good all-round boat, and especially not for a small-framed paddler.

Tom Remsing, the NE Eddyline sales rep, told me, in person, several times, that Tom [edit: Derrer] designed the loose stern for surfing. That's the source of my info on the design. If you can't trust the sales rep, who can you trust? (DON'T answer that!!!)

We've kept the Phoenix in our fleet because it does come in handy when we have a 6'3" 160 lb student who needs a stable boat. On the other hand, it took us 3 years to find a good home for the one we had in retail.

That's because we make it a point not to sell unsuitable kayaks to our customers. We're not getting rich, but we have a growing base of loyal customers who continue paddling and come back to us to improve their skills, even if they buy their boats elsewhere.

Size matters and so does preference
Yes she is very petite. I actually had some friends stop by to borrow my Easky 15 (original version). She could not reach the Seadog foot braces because she was so small. I suggested the Mystic, Vela, and a few CD boats. A very petite person has to find a hull and fit for efficient paddling, because their engine is small. I can site exceptions. Another question is whether the person is going to truly develop their skills as to what boat you put them in.

Currently I am not sure which boat is my all around boat. The Phoenix was my all around boat because of my requirements camping, solo paddling, oyster beds, weight, and cost.


OPer wants big water skills
Again in her other thread, about boats for small paddlers.

IMO that includes edging and allover solid boat control in conditions like surf, rolling etc. I am 5’4" and 10 pounds heavier than your SO, and find that I have a real uphill climb with this stuff when a boat is oversized for me, and with a fairly high deck (even if padded down). Does your SO find the same issue, or is she less aggressive as a paddler than you?

Big Water Certificate
Big Water Certificate

Things are starting to make sense. Yes that includes edging and allover solid boat control in conditions like surf, rolling etc. It also includes the dedication to learning and practicing those skills which is self rewarding.

As in any sport to excel one must have proper equipment, properly fitting equipment, and developed skills. This makes the kayaking journey so much fun. The big water certificate will come with time along the kayak journey. I am still working on my big water certificate and enjoying every minute.

My ESO was not into the kayak journey. The kayak was the means by which she saw birds, wildlife, seashells, and fossils. She was more concerned with the color of the kayak and how it looked on the car. A bit less aggressive… but a strong paddler. I received an earful whenever the conditions picked-up. :wink:


If Rock Hall is your place thanks for the kayak rack parts. It saved the weekend and provided a safe drive home. Hardly anyone has service like that now days. I will cover the details in another post.


Not Rock Haul, we’re OSA
Glad there’s someone else out there who’s helpful as we try to be.

We are Ocean State Adventures, Bristol, RI www.oceanstateadventures.com

Always happy to welcome P.netters :slight_smile:

guess i should put it back in my profile since I seem to be mentioning it a lot - which makes sense since it rules my life 24/7 these days…