EddylineMerlin Lt carb.13' ? sm. fem

Hi, I have found a used kayak online. and wanted to know if you think it would work for me. small female, 105 lbs. begginner, interested in estuaries lakes and slow rivers.

would the cockpit be too big for me? thanks caspian

Eddyline sea kayak, Merlin LT, Carbonlite, 13’, 39#, 2 covered hatches, includes spray skirt and cockpit cover. Good for ocean, flat water and rivers with small rapids. About 10 years old,

I thought i start a new thread since my other one got too long. thanks for you time and help. caspian

I haven’t seen one in person
But when I see them for sale they always have a smiling smaller woman in them in the picture. I think you are within the target market for this kayak.

If it is this model,http://www.eddyline.com/eddyline-kayaks-legendary-design-merlin-lt.php

they are still made

dimensions & cockpit fit
The Merlin LT in Carbonlite and the Tampico 135S in Trylon are extremely similiar in many dimensions. Own the latter and, while 5’3" and 117 lbs, IMO the Merlin could be a good fit for you and worth pursuing for the type of paddling you describe. Both boats are very beginner friendly. Being so light the Merlin will be easy for you to load and unload on your own - a huge plus for a small paddler :smiley:

I’m assuming you are going to give this kayak a water

tryout, or at the very least sit in it. Set the footpegs so your thighs are slightly but comfortably splayed w. the balls of your feet square on the pegs.

Settle into the seat w. a slightly forward athletic posture. Then lift your thighs to the thigh braces. If there is too much distance betw. the top of your thighs and the underside of the braces you’ll need to pad out a bit w. minicell sheets - no big deal. Basically you’re aiming for split section response to get your thighs in contact w. the braces, because as your skills grow you’ll want and need that.

On to the seat pan:

If you find the seat a little too loose (say 2" or more space on each side betw. your hips and side of the seat)buy some Banshees by Planetary Gear of Colorado. I use them w. my Tampico and love them. they are also nice to have if you are loaning your kayak to a friend - adjustments can be made in a couple of minutes.

Banshees are a portable, removable saddle system - one pocket for each side of the seat - that wraps around each side. Then you fill the pocket on each w. as many sheets of minicell as you like for the fit you desire. (The sheets in different thicknesses are included).Since I needed them for the Tampico and I don’t have big mama hips my guess is you are going to need something to narrow the seat. The great thing about Banshees is they are so easily adjustable as to thickness so you can fine tune it - and also, if you are wearing thicker layers - pull out a sheet for more room. I do in the winter when I wear my drysuit, then subtract a sheet for wearing a wetsuit or other lighter paddling clothes.

Carbonlite is pretty indestructible and not subject to oilcanning in hot sun like rotomoulded plastic. Since the boat is 10 years old, evaluate it for condition. A number of scrapes on deck and hull are normal, hopefully none are very deep.

On any boat - and esp. a 10 year old one - Take the hatch covers on and off to make sure they are flexible - sometimes, if the kayak has not been cared for and the hatches dressed w. 303 protectant - the covers are so brittle they do not seal properly. You can bargain for a lower price and use the money saved to get new ones from Eddyline.

BTW the month and year of the kayak’s manufacture are the last 4 digits in the serial number: e.g. a serial number ending in 0797 was built in July of 1997. The Merlin should have a serial number usually outside on the stern or on an inner wall.

Hope this helps.

thanks for all the help and info. I think for a few more hundered dollars,I’d rather get a new one. 10 years old is too old for the price they want.

Thanks for your time and patience with me.

being so small it is always a challenge for me to get the right fit.

you’re welcome :smiley:
Glad to help. I am a small paddler as well so I’ve gone thru everything you’re dealing with.

BTW don’t be shy to barter on the used boat. Sellers expect that and go high to start. Also this is peak season for paddling and boat prices generally rise with that and drop off in the winter (esp in colder climates).

I paddle with a few Merlin LV owners
2 ladies in my seakayaking group paddle Eddyline Merlins, one an LV, the other a standard. The lady with the LV bought it from another member of our group who wanted a Nighthawk 16 for more speed, gear carrying and bigger water on Ches Bay. Both of them are dimuitive in size, less than ~5’2", your weight +/- 5 pounds (I’d better err on the ‘minus’ in case they read this!). Both of them love that boat! They report it works perfectly for fit and they can handle it themselves for loading/unloading. Not too large nor too confining a cockpit, both report the fit and performance of the boat to be ideal. I have paddled with them often in estuaries, saltwater creeks and open bay conditions in up to 1.5-2’ waves. They paddle it very well and enjoying its handling, even though neither had any real paddling experience before. It is a well designed boat.

The lady paddling the standard Merlin is slightly taller and a little heavier. She is an advanced beginner paddler and has paddled her boat on the Bay with me in Beaufort force 3 and 4 conditions several times, and on several 15-20 mile day trips. She has had no trouble handling the boat for distance, and in fact really enjoys it in heading and following seas.

I wouldn’t worry too much about Eddyline’s Carbonlite material and the age of the boat unless it has been obviously abused. It appears to be a very durable material. I know some boats that are going on 10 years (the one standard Merlin, e.g.) that have been used a lot but if well maintained they still look like new. If you can get the Merlin LV for a reasonable price then it should serve you well. As always, paddle before you buy if possible. I watched the one lady try about 8 boats before deciding a new Merlin LV was it beyond doubt. The current owner of the Merlin LV decided to get a NH16 at the same time, a deal was made for the used one, and everyone went home happy!

Kayaks for smaller people
On the Eddyline site: “Merlin LT is perfectly suited for persons of lighter stature”

What is lighter stature? The capacity of the Merlin LT kayak is 325 lbs! I am always amused by the marketing of kayaks for smaller people. What are smaller people? With a capacity of 325 lbs, I don’t see how that is a kayak for smaller people, even though I see lots of small women paddling the Merlin LT. I guess the marketing is working.

Of course, I am biased, as I paddle very low volume kayaks. Even so, I don’t see why really small women don’t look at some of the kayaks marketed for kids, like the 12’ Current Designs Raven (max load 150#). Unless you are camping, you don’t need a bunch of extra volume. The Raven weights only 26 lbs, and it is outfitted like a larger sea kayak with enclosed bulkheads, bungies, etc. With a kayak like that, you can more easily learn more advanced skills if you ever decide you want to do that. It will be a much better fit than buying something too big and having to pad it out like crazy.

My daughter’s boyfriend, at 168#, paddles a Chesapeake 14 with a paddler suggested weight of 60-135 lbs., max load of 175 lbs. We did not tell him that it was a “kids” kayak when we gave it to him and he is happy and comfortable paddling it. I think most people are paddling kayaks that are much, much larger than they need.

CD Raven
Like you I paddle very low volume boats. So I dig your taste :smiley:

Have sat in and paddled a Raven a few times. It’s a stellar little seakayak that packs a lot of performance into 12 feet. Was considering buying one for pool/rolling practice and some mild river paddling.

Just want to point out a few things:

No thigh braces. And the cockpit is not modified ocean like, say, the CD Rumour where you just jam your thigh under the coaming and hope it works for you

OEM seat back is too high and uncomfortable. CD’s OEM

for their touring series is very nice, they should have plunked one in the Raven IMO.

Both of these features can be addressed by retrofitting. While not trying to stereotype my own gender I’ve found that women esp. beginners are very gunshy of doing their own outfitting. That does not apply to the majority of women who post here.

Deck height: I have petite feet, shoe size 5.5 and wear size 6 low profile booties. My toes just graze the top of the inner foredeck. So anyone who’s gonna paddle a Raven comfortably is prolly gonna have a kids shoe size.

Finally, the Raven is a niche boat. They are hard to find, hard to demo and rarely come up used. That said, there is a Raven demo, Red over White, in beautiful condition at Riverside Kayak Connection in Wyandotte MI for sale if someone wants to give a great small kayak a good home. (Usual disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated w. them).

Thanks friendlyfire
Thanks for giving first-hand information on the Raven. I had suggested to my sister that she try to find one. She is 5’2", about 110#, but with a size 7 shoe (too big?). The price (even new) was very attractive for a well-made f/g kayak. Personally, I’m sticking with small custom made kayaks from now on and trying to sell everything else - just keeping the Fuego and the Tchaika - all others will be low volume custom made or s-o-f replicas. BTW, my Fuego doesn’t have thigh braces, but the cockpit is short enough that my thighs end up under the deck.

Back to original poster’s question. As a comparison, maybe she should look at a CD Vision, at 13’ x 24", weight 33#, max load 225. Compare that to the Merlin LT at 13.5’ x 23", weight 42#, max load 325.

Those kayaks are too wide for my taste, but might be just fine for others. The weight of the Vision is attractive. There is a huge difference between 33# Vision vs. 42# for the Merlin LT.

In money is no object, I would recommend a look at the Impex Mystic:

Length- 14 feet

Width- 21.5 inches

Mid-ship height- 11 inches

Cockpit size (inside) 16x30 inches

Weight- Standard Glass- 43 pounds

Suggested Paddler Weight- 90-180 pounds.

Finding the right kayak can be a challenge.

Shoe size

– Last Updated: Jun-16-09 9:45 PM EST –

if your sister wears some very low profile booties
like the NSR Desperadoes or the now discontinued Teva Pro Oniums she has a good chance of clearance in the Raven deck. I wear both and tho my true dress shoe size is 5.5 in kayak booties those styles in a
mens size 7 and 6, respectively, fit very well.

If the shoe fits, so to speak, that Raven would
be a great candidate. Much as I like the Vision and the Merlin (and my Hurricane Tampico 135S) they all seem very wide to me now, although all would be excellent choices for beginners that would be fun to use right away and allow for some skill building.

The Mystic is widely praised as a full on seakayak at 14 feet. someday I may even get to try one. Never see them in Michigan. Impex boats all seem under represented here, and that's a shame. I really enjoyed the CAT 3.

You have a North Shore Shoreline Fuego - So do I!
Mine is vintage July 1997. No thigh braces either and I had to build some to bring the contact to my thighs. Love that boat, it's so rockered and playful, and the layup is bomber beautiful. Pls email me offline about yours :D