Equinox vs Chebeague

-- Last Updated: Oct-17-06 10:45 AM EST --

I think I've narrowed my search for a used or demo to the Lincoln Chebeague or the Eddyline Equinox. Can anyone comment on these two kayaks for my intended uses, or is there another alternative I should consider, as well?

I'm 6'2", 185 pounds, age 63, with only beginner kayaking skills. I intend to use the kayak for large lakes and coastal Maine among the islands. Mostly day trips, some weekends, but no long weeks.

I'd love a QCC400, but there are almost no used ones in my area (White River Junction, VT). I tried the Swift Caspian Sea but my feet pass the pegs and push against the bulkhead.



I don’t know the Chebeague
so can’t comment there. But think you would like the Eddyline. The Equinox is wiiiiiiiiiiiiide (= stable), something beginners like. It’s got your two bulkheads for floatation, always nice. Plenty roomy, maybe too much so (the downside of the width). But the footpegs are very nice, and I’m sure will fit. I’m 6’00" and had plenty of extra room. A little short for some overall at 14 feet. The only thing I would really change though if you buy one are the deck lines. Not the lines per se but the fittings; Eddyline deck lines have the annoying tendency to “boink” out (the sound they make) at the worst possible moment, like during a rescue. Come right out in your hands, much to the swimmer’s chagrin. Happy paddling!

Need perimeter lines

– Last Updated: Oct-17-06 12:45 PM EST –

I see no perimeter lines on the Eddyline Equinox, unless I am missing something int he picture, and partial perimeter lines up front in the Lincoln Cheabague.

You want a lotta line on the boat if you plan to paddle alone anywhere, particularly if you are going to be alone and among the islands in Maine. You want those perimeter lines for hanging onto the boat while you yourself sorted out and back in in the case of a capsize.

We spend a couple or so weeks paddling up there each summer, in the mid-coastal region, and I wouldn't say that this is exactly the same area that Sandy Martin at Lincoln would refer to as "near coastal". The Chebaegue is the bottom of the pack for the next step up, closer to how I think of the offshore areas you want to paddle in. I suggest you speak with Sandy - he's very accessible and a straight shooter. I wouldn't be surprised if he steered you one step up to the Cape Neddick for the reasons I've mentioned. You'd fit into that the boat fine at your size.

Additional option
FWIW, I had exactly the same boat parameters as you, and the Current Designs Pachena is very close to the same size and shape as the Eddyline Equinox, so is a good third alternative (14’1" by 25", fishform hull). I bought one used and have been quite happy with it (novice, 5’9", 195#). There is a lot of foot room, and it comes standard with a rudder if that makes a difference. Build quality is good, flush hatches are nice, and it has reflective perimeter lines. There are a lot of CD boats out there.

By the way, I also tried a Swift Caspian, but the CD is a better built boat IMO. I’ve not tried a QCC, Eddyline or Lincoln, but have read that the Lincolns are very nice - however, as they are a much lighter build, possibly more fragile.

Equiox not on market long.
While the used market for Equinox’s is limited there is one for sale here on p.net. Looks like a decent price and its in Ma. Something else to consider. There are a few Nighthawks available used in the Northeast area. I have paddled both but ended up buying the Nighthawk as it is more of a true Sea Kayak, although a little on the short side by some standards. It would allow more growth as a paddler, IMO, than the Equinox. Both would have excellent quality and the customer service is phenominal. A local shop (local to me) still had some leftover models left and offers good prices and service if you decide to go new. Let me know. Also if you find yourself in Western Mass and we can arrange it you are welcome to paddle my boat to try it on for size.


my wife
has the equinox, over all I think it is an outstaning kayak. An excellent beginner boat and all that you might ever need. Depending on what your longer term goals are. Not only where you intend to paddle but the skills you want to develope.

I personally have an Eddyline Fathom and love it, you might try one.

How ever when I take $5,000 worth of camera equipment on the water I use the Equinox.

Which kayak to get is a tough decision.

Good luck

I loved my Chabeaque!
I had a Chabeaque for a year, and the only reason I traded it in was because of my bad knee, and my “belly”. The cockpit opening is 28" long, and between my bad knee, and my “belly”, I had a hard time getting in and out of it. I am sort of a bigger guy, somewhat heavier than you.

I found the Chabeaque tracked well when paddling, and was a very stable kayak. I took a lot of pictures while sitting in it. I paddled it on a large river over a mile wide, and small lakes. I would still have it if it would have had a longer cockpit opening. My current kayak has a 32" long opening.

I had no trouble paddling straight, and it was easy to turn. The wind did not seem to effect it either at all. I liked that.

My only small gripe was when I was setting up to take a picture. I would like to drift towards my subject, and sit still in the cockpit. When I would stop paddling, the kayak would drift slightly to one side or the other. It did not conmtinue drifting straight. Other than this, it was a great boat. I never felt I needed a Skeg, or a Rudder on it, except a skeg would have helped for photography purposes.

changing decklines on Equinox
How do you recommend doing the changeout of existing decklines on the Equinox? Suggestions for adding perimeter deck lines fore and aft are also appreciated. Thanks

Swift Bering Sea
As a QCC 400 owner, I know that the Bering Sea is slightly larger (6") and the same/similar John Winters design. For what it’s worth, not long ago there was a used Bering Sea available at the Small Boat Exchange in Burlington, VT.

Used Chebeague listed
I just saw a listing at Charles River Canoe & Kayak in Boston for a Lincoln Chebeague - reduced from $2050 to $899:


Sounds worth the trip - carpe kayak…

WOW! $899!! Kevlar layup too!

– Last Updated: Oct-19-06 3:25 PM EST –

This is like the one I had, except a different color.

This is the lightweight model. If it is the one like I had, it is made with one layer of Fiberglass cloth, and one layer of Kevlar cloth.. It has a weight of 33 pounds! It is a super strong layup, and very lightweight. Mine weighed 33 pounds.

Don't pass this one up if you can go get it. I saw a cranberry colored one as a friend has one. It is a Pretty color, a deep red.

I wouldn't pass this one up!

Bering Sea

Thanks a lot for the suggestion. I called them, and it is still available. Sounds like a good deal. I’ll go check it out.


Boston Chebeague
carldelo and wjlatsha,

Thanks for the suggestion! I called them right away, and they told me it has two cracks on the deck behind the cockpit. That explains the low price. With this concern, it’s probably not worth the trip from White River Junction to Boston unless I somehow find out in advance that it’s a very simple repair, or an unnecessary repair.

  • eric