eddyline raven vs. fathom

-- Last Updated: Oct-02-12 3:08 PM EST --

A simple spec sheet would show these boats as darn near the same, but of course their shape is different. Eddyline does not explicitly address how the two are designed for different purposes, which they must be or Eddyline presumably would not offer both. Based on the available info, can someone here offer their sense of how these differ in their intended use? FYI, the Raven is not on their comparison chart yet. (Full disclosure: I own a Fathom.)

Edit: for example; the surfing video on the Raven page is cool -- perhaps the Fathom is not as well suited to that use (but could do it)??

2 of my friends have the fathom. They like it because the front deck height gives them more foot-room. I have the nighthawk & it looks like the raven has a flatter front deck like nighthawk. Not a lot of room for big feet.

back deck
the Raven has a much lower back deck than the Fathom and most Eddyline seakayaks. Facilitates rolls. The seakayakers around here who know the regional rep have been asking for this for years. Finally they got it. Nice looking boat.

Looks promissing
Looks like a nice short-ish touring kayak that would be happy in lumpy conditions. I don’t think it will be in the league of true “ocean playboats” like the P&H Delphin or the Tidrace Xtreme in terms of playfulness. From the short video of the Raven being paddled on the Skook wave, it looks like it does not have a huge bow rocker and the bow tends to slice rather than pop over (compared to something like the Delphin or the Whisky 16 for instance). Also, I did not get the impression that it was “carving” turns particularly well there, with the bow tending to cause broaching more easily than I would think someone who is in sea kayak playboat/surfing stuff would want to…

I think the Raven will be faster and smoother in wind chop and probably more efficient to paddle in a straight line than the abovementioned boats. In that respect I think it will be similar to a WS Zephyr for instance, perhaps with a bit better top speed.

What it will boil down to (price and intended use aside) will be individual fit and the relatively light weight of the Raven and the expected nice thermoformed material and quality build from Eddyline…

Of course, the above is just theoretical babling on my part and the Raven does look great -:wink:

Raven and Fathom
Being interested in these boats, I recently asked two Eddyline reps about the differences. Here’s what they wrote:

While the specs are the same as the Fathom, they are two completely different kayaks. The Fathom is considered a medium to large cockpit (in terms of volume), while the Raven is a small to medium sized cockpit. The Fathom has very little stern rocker, while the Raven has a very loose stern (more rocker) for added maneuverability. The Fathom overall follows a Northwest design culture, while the Raven definitely has Brit lines. The Fathom has a near vertical stern to aid in tracking, and a slightly raked bow to add buoyancy, while the Raven has significantly raked bow and stern to increase playfulness in rough water, while increasing the waterline length when loaded for trips.

The Raven will not be as fast as the Fathom or Fathom LV. It will be more playful and more neutral on a wave. The Fathoms are better touring boats – faster, more efficient, bigger hatch access. The Raven will fit you fine and is really a playful blast. Still, if I had to cover distance I’m going Fathom (either size). But, I’m often just playing around and the Raven is great for that and will reward your skills even more than a Fathom. I didn’t think it was possible but they are very different boats. Surfing…Raven. No questions there. Tracking…Fathom. You may find the Fathom LV very close to your Samba so if you plan to add to your quiver and keep the Samba then maybe the Raven will fill more diversity within your fleet. If I’m wearing a helmet I’m in the Raven.

(Also note that while Eddyline used the name Raven on an earlier boat, this new one is significantly different. Reviews on p.net for the older Raven won’t apply here.)

excellent (and what’s rake?)
Thanks for sharing those comments from the reps, just what I was looking for.

BTW, anybody want to help with a definition of “rake” in kayak design? (Is it another word for rocker or is it about the shape above that?) Thanks.

Raven vs Fathom

– Last Updated: Oct-03-12 1:23 PM EST –

Hi All,
I was the second quote from the reps.

I want to just put it into context in that I have the personal luxury of about 30 kayaks/canoes in my personal quiver and I tend to have a favorite for each job. It isn't fair to limit both of these nice designs as I may be interpreted as doing in my quote.

The Fathom can surf and the Raven can tour. But, when you own both, you develop a preference for which "arrow" to take out of the quiver.
If you have to have just one boat you will always make a bit of compromise. I've seen a lot of people buy the $5000 boat in this situation in hopes that their compromises are minimized. My only caution is that often times they don't fully investigate their personal preferences, waterways and application and may end up with overkill. However, I have some boats in this price range and I will own and paddle them for life.

P.net is filled with folks that do it all and own many boats so we all get away with less compromising situations which allow us to improve our skills and have an easier more enjoyable day on the water.

6-10 sweet kayaks still cost less than the cheapo car on the banner ad to the right of this window I'm filling up with caffeinated banter. Just saying,"sell your nice car and get more kayaks"! Thanks for looking at Eddylines. Super proud to be part of their company for the last 13 years.


1 Like


– Last Updated: Oct-03-12 7:40 PM EST –

I think it really depends on what you want to do. A lot of companies make kayaks that are "similar" in what they can do, but different in how they paddle. Examples:

Eddyline Fathom --> Raven
Tiderace Xplore --> Xcite
Valley Aquanaut --> Avocet
WS Tempest --> Zephyr
NDK Explorer --> Romany

All of the above boats are capable of surfing and they are all capable of touring... Some may say, "but the other companies' kayaks clearly have different specs..." Ok, but I think the way a boat paddles says a lot more about its character than its specs alone. Also, keep in mind that the raked bow and stern (rake = the amount of overhang) of the Raven make the actual waterline something around two feet shorter than the Fathom. I say you should go paddle them both and decide for yourself how they're different. :)

My guess is…
…that a little RockPool DNA rubbed off on Eddyline from the RP/Eddy love child Alaw Bach TCC. Also doesn’t Eddyline assist in shipping some of Sterling’s kayaks?

Mix 'em all together and perhaps you end up with a Raven? Looks great and I hope to give one a test drive next month.

good post. thank you

I replied to your newer post.

Big diff
Tried the Raven(will have one soon) and I do own a Fathom as well many other Eddyline and kayaks/canoes. Like it has been said allready, the Raven is fun in waves and turns nice. Fathom is faster in wind and flat water. If I am touring and packing the boat I take the Fathom. For a sporty day paddle I will take the Raven. Best if you thinking of one or the other, try them both and in fact add in the Fathom LV as well. Everything Happy paddler said is spot on, but always try before you buy , better yet, rent for the day. demos are good, but a few minutes in a boat doesn’t cut it for me.

I had the Fathom LV
…and was amazed by the amount of junk I could fit in that small kayak. I put my sleeping bag and sleeping pad in a dry bag and wedged that in the cockpit ahead of the foot pegs. That left tons of room for everything else.

My Eddy/RockPool makes for a tighter fit for gear than the Fathom but boy, does it ever work nicely in rougher water.

Maybe next month I’ll get to try the Raven as well and see how it holds up to my Alaw, which sets the bar pretty high.

e. Raven
I have paddled several Eddyline kayaks from their store in Anacortes. The Raven has so much rocker it doesn’t feel like other sea kayaks. It is perfect for paddling the confused seas around the San Juan Islands when the prevailing chop, wind and tides around islands, barge traffic, and ferry wakes converge. It tracks better with a load on, but I liked it immediately.

I built a Pygmy Coho but eventually sold it and went back to canoes. Sea kayaks are at their best when it gets really rough, especially in cold conditions. Bracing becomes your friend in a hurry.

Are you referring to the original fiberglass Raven? The new Raven is distinctly different and is just now becoming available to dealers.

I was thinking that too
Slap a name on it that you’ve had in the family for umpteen years, even though the two boats are nothing alike, and voila!

Instant continuity.