Fathom LV vs. Pilgrim, Avocet LV?

Kind of felt I needed to start a new thread as the old one about NDK Pilgrim seems to have died out, and I had a new question: how about an Eddyline Fathom LV as a small person’s kayak? Can anyone comment on fit and performance? For rough water? Weekend trips?

I imagine weight and price would be advantages. Any disadvantages? Fathom LV is some kind of thermofored plastic, not fiberglass or kevlar.

Appreciate any first-hand experience with this boat that you can relate. Other boats discussed earlier were the Pilgrim, Avocet LV, and Tiderace ExciteS.

Ginger in NC

Good reviews
I haven’t paddled the Fathom LV. I own the Journey, which is the same hull design except wider and shorter. I have grown to love the Journey—the material, the hull, the beauty of this line. I assume the Fathom paddles even better than the Journey.

Check the volume of the ends if you’re planning on touring—big enough for your gear?

Fathom LV
Thanks, Waterbird. I have camped out of my Impex Mystic (14 feet); you have to do it like a backpacker. I think a 15.5 to 16-foot kayak would give me a bit more room though still requiring a minimalist approach. One feature I’d love to have in a new kayak is a day hatch, which I don’t have now. I use a deck bag but would prefer a clean deck. The Fathom LV and Pilgrim have day hatches.



May have to call Eddyline

– Last Updated: Oct-05-09 7:57 AM EST –

I looked at the description on their site, and there is no depth measurement, at least as far as I could see. I would make sure to check that - the Fathom is a really deep, beeg person cockpit boat so an LV version of it could still have more depth than you want.

The one thing that seems to have come up before re this line of hulls (Fathom and Journey) from those who have paddled them is a comment that there is a tendency to weather cock. A Sea Kayaker review of the Journey also noted that the boat seemed a bit skeg dependent. Since I usually paddle a Vela these days, I obviously don't consider this to be a big problem. But some do.

Fathom LV
Thanks, Celia.

I’ll try before I buy! Eddylines are scarce as hens teeth in NC but a year ago I sat in a Fathom LV that belonged to a paddler about 50 miles from where I live. I’m going to track her down and see if I can do a more thorough try-out in her boat. Otherwise it’s a trip up to Va. for me. I do remember that the Fathom LV front deck seemed fairly high in front of me. But the cockpit fitted close on the sides. I didn’t try to roll the Fathom LV then; wish I had. No wind so I didn’t have a chance to note weathercocking.

G in NC

We have some Fathom LV’s in our rental fleet and they have been a favorite among smaller men and women. Celia is right about the depth; it is fairly deep for a low volume kayak. You stated you sat in one so maybe it works for you; paddle it and make sure.

I did not followed your previous thread so if I am about to be repetitive I apologize in advance. However, I wanted to mention the Necky Eliza. Most women I have taken on tours end up preferring it over the Fathom LV. I have no affiliation with either Eddyline or Necky . The Eliza has been our most popular women’s kayak which I guess would make sense since it was designed by women for women. We have had some smaller framed men who have also really liked the Eliza. Don’t know how many, if any, Necky’s there are in your part of the world.

Good luck with your purchase.


Liked the Eliza but…

– Last Updated: Oct-05-09 10:04 AM EST –

No day hatch :-(

Without having sat in the Fathom LV, I suspect I'd agree that the Eliza is a more enjoyable boat for myself. I briefly tried the composite version, and it felt quite nice.

But I am like ginger - I really want that thing and would happily put up with the bit of extra weight the rep told me was the reason for its exclusion.

Backpacking with your kayak
Personally I feel like I want and deserve a little more luxury with kayak camping than backpacking. You expect to suffer with backpacking, but not with kayak camping, since the boat is carrying the weight.

A backpack for 3-7 days is about 70 liters. All of that space is easily useable. Not so with the space in a kayak. So don’t be misled by thinking you’ll be fine as long as you have more than 70 liters. Compare the volumes of different kayaks.

Length is only partly related to volume. My last kayak was an Old Town Cayuga 146. It had very large carrying capacity for camping. The problem is the low ends of the Fathom/Journey line.

I haven’t camped with the Journey yet; hope to do that soon. I will do a test pack at home.

If you only have one kayak, you should buy the kayak that meets most of your needs, most of the time. If you’re only camping once or twice a year, maybe you can make do with your minimalist approach.

Any day hatch may not hold everything you need in the course of the day. I also prefer a clean deck, but my deck bag holds a lot of useful stuff.

Out of the 11 reviews at pnet of the Fathom and Fathom LV, only one mentions this skeg dependency; most others say it tracks very well. It’s possible that the Journey’s shorter length and wider width affect tracking.

Necky Eliza
Dennis, I never thought of an Eliza. I’ve read on Pnet that the composite ones are nice. And you’re right: not many Elizas, if any, in our neck of the woods. I don’t know that I’ve ever even seen one. But I’ll put it in the hopper of possibilities. Thanks!

Ginger in NC

Fathom LV is 13" deep
In case you need to know.

weather cocking
Whether a boat weather cock or not depends a lot on how much freeboard there is.

A lot of the earlier version of the so-called “low volume” boats simply aren’t low enough in volume. So you get conflicting report on whether it weather cock or not depending on who was writing the review.

When a small woman gets into one of the not-so-low volume boats, it weather cock like mad and needs the skeg down at the first puff of wind. But put a 160# “normal” paddler in it, it tracks like an arrow!

Whether that’s a “problem”? No if one doesn’t mind fiddling with the skeg from time to time. But once you paddle one that doesn’t weather cock, it makes you wonder “why did I put up with it for so long?”!

Fathom LV depth
Thank you for the measurement. Hmmmm, 13 inches. A little like a dashboard. :slight_smile:

(I will still try a Fathom LV. That and the Pilgrim at the least.) Will keep my eyes peeled for an Avocet LV and an Eliza as well.

G in NC

I’ve got a Fathom LV…
…picked it up about a year and a half ago. It’s my first kayak and I’ve had it on Lake Erie, Huron, and Superior. Spent about six days on the French River/Georgian Bay area this summer. Lotsa rocks and I wasn’t gentle with the boat but it held up just fine.

I cram my sleeping bag and mat (in a dry bag) up in front of the foot pegs in the cockpit, which leaves a remarkable amount of room for all the other junk.

I’m 5’6" @ 150 lb and the Fathom fits like it was custom made for me. I really like the long cockpit opening, which greatly facilitates entry/exits. I’m very happy with the Fathom and have nothing but praise for it.

…oh, I’ve only used the skeg for those rare times when I just want to see if it still works as the boat tracks fine for me.