eddyline skylark.

im beginner looking to purchase pre-owned eddyline skylark and wanting advise.
im 6, 4" and 245 lb
would skylark be a good buy.
wanting safe stable paddle

Safe and stable?
Safe and stable are kind of relative terms. If you’re talking about flat water and you’re not concerned about speedy, the Skylark should at least get you out on the water. The safety aspect is going to be a function of where you paddle, the right pfd, etc. and how quickly you learn to handle the boat. If you’re really new to paddling, any boat will probably feel tippy at first–that will go away.

Warning: IF you stick with paddling, you will outgrow the Skylark very soon, but you might still want to keep it for some uses.

About outgrowing the Skylark quickly. If you can afford an Eddyline you should look at the Equinox and the Journey. If you want a shorter kayak, consider the Delta 12.10 (also thermoformed).

If Eddyline is your brand of choice, do not overlook the Raven. This one, you won’t grow out of in any sense of the term.

I like the Eddyline Raven, but
one problem may be that they put their small cockpit in it, not the larger 35x19 one.

Someone 6’4" and 245 may have trouble getting into and out of that boat unless they carry a lot of weight above the waist, much less sit comfortably for long paddles. I can’t get in it, and I’m only slightly heavier. I paddle a Nighthawk 175.

The Skylark is a good small boat, but a little too small for that size and weight. I’d look to the Equinox at a minimum, or better the Journey.

eddyline skylark
the eddyline skylark is fitted with the 35" x 18.5" cockpit is this large enough for 6’ 4" 245lb person

It depends on how your weight is distributedbut yes, there’s a fairly good chance this cockpit would fit you. I would say that a bigger problem is that the kayak as a whole is too small for you.

I just noticed that you’re looking at a used boat and are maybe feeling some pressure to make a decision. In that case I advise against this purchase at this time. Although Eddylines are wonderful kayaks, you would need to try to Skylark, the Equinox, and the Journey to understand the differences between them. The differences are huge and I think that once you tried the other two you would understand their big advantages over the Skylark.

Is there an Eddyline dealer near you?

OP is in UK
unless he is having a go w. us on his profile :wink:

Why not a P&H Delphin 155? Not fast (but doesn’t need to be) stable, turns well, right sized for you, large cockpit and built bomber tough.

An old school Dagger like the Magellan or Meridian would be nice and stable, come w. rudders, large cockpit, but no finding those new, of course.

The Skylark is too small for OP at OP’s height and weight, esp. as a beginner. More experienced paddlers can shoehorn themselves into smallish boats because they enjoy the playfulness (e.g. lesser stability but more agility).

Buy a boat you can (a) sit in at the shop, to check leg room and ease of getting in and out (b) take out on the water w. a properly fitted life vest and paddle.

If There’s a Dealer With Used Eddylines
Try a Merlin if you see one as well. I suspect it would be a better fit.


Same fit
The Skylark and the Merlin XT have the same cockpit opening. The Merlin XT is not a beginner’s kayak—it has poor stability for a beginner.

Eddyline Skylark
My wife and I both downsized to Skylarks and love them. We traded in our Prijon Kodiak and Perception Carolina. We like the shorter, more responsive handling of the Skylark, as we are mostly paddling narrower sloughs and tributaries. The larger cockpit opening enables us to jump out and back in easily when encountering shallows or we just feel like a break.

Wasn’t judging by specs
the Merlin was one of the first boats I ever paddled (for quite a few hours), and with very little paddling skills, I found it pretty stable, but a little too wide for my size. I could see it working well for someone larger with beginner skills. People I paddled with who had Skylarks were smaller paddlers. Ergo, my recommendation.

Wrong hull for beginner
The Merlin XT has a deep V hull. I believe that’s unstable for a beginner—needs good bracing skills. The newer Eddyline hull is much more stable. I’ve owned both.

You would know better than I then

the Merlin XT
was a fun, sporty boat for the larger paddler in surf waves or for poking about in estuaries, especially since it had their large cockpit. Wish they still made them. It was more a little brother to the Nighthawk 175 than anything else in their line.

Fathom, Journey
You don’t think the Fathom and Journey have much better hulls that the Merlin? I think Eddyline put a lot more thought into the new hulls.

I did love the Merlin in calm water. It took much more vigilence in rough water than the new hull.

I actually prefer the
soft chines and less upturned ends of the Merlin. Maybe it’s that I spent about 15 years doing WW in old school boats, Dagger’s heydays of the 90s. I found the Journey (a better direct comparison to the Merlin XT) sometimes had a little unruly characteristic in the surf zone and play waves over sand shoals, kind of a grabbiness. The Merlin is slightly narrower, I thought it edged better in a more forgiving kind of way, at least for me, and I like soft chine secondary better, particularly in a lot of choppy waves. Just my style of paddling I guess. Like flyrods, some of us still prefer the older soft action early graphite while others like newer high modulus tip casting actions. If I found a Merlin XT for sale near VA in good shape and reasonable, I’d grab it. But all that aside, my NH175 Modulus is the best boat ever made…for me anyway! I could not be more pleased.

Chines, V
I too enjoy the smooth feel of soft chines. A hard chine feels more stable to me, but I find that the bottom profile is much more important than the chine.

I think the real issue with the Merlin is the DEEP V hull. There aren’t that many kayaks that use a deep V, and Eddyline has abandoned it in its new designs. I think this has to do with marketability—that beginners and maybe even intermediates aren’t comfortable in a deep V.

I figure that when you set your kayak in the driveway and it falls over on its side like the Merlin, that’s a hint to performance on the water. I’ve owned deep V (Merlin), moderate to shallow V (Journey, Old Town, Delta, etc.), and virtually no V (Swift). In my experience the moderate to shallow V has the best secondary stability in rough water for a beginning to intermediate paddler.