First kayak ???

-- Last Updated: Jun-30-12 7:10 AM EST --

After much "research" I have narrowed down my choice for my first kayak to 2 boats:

1. CD Isle 18: Hard chine, nice looking boat. Cockpit felt O.K. Possibly a bit large. I cannot paddle it as there are no demos in my area.

2. Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5: Softer chine, nice look. I get to paddle it today.

Re: materials: The Eddyline is Carbonlite. I have heard of no problems with this type of plastic. Yes it is 5 pounds heavier but this is not an issue with me. As I understand it I need not cringe if I approach logs, rocks etc. Sure I'll try to avoid them but stuff happens.

Of course the reviews on both kayaks are good.

The cockpit in the Eddyline just feels right. Snug yet not tight. As I mentioned the Isle felt a little big. I'd like to sit in the Isle again but its a 2 hour ride.

RE: the chines. Does it matter at my level, beginner. Would I be better served getting the Isle with the harder chines and outfitting the cockpit for a snugger fit? Correct me if I am wrong but the hard chine allows for a more defined stability point. Is this important?

At first i was turned off by the rubber hatch covers on the Eddyline and really liked the flush hatch covers on the Isle. Now after sleeping on it Ifeel the opposite.

I know Ill love either kayak just want to make the better choice. If there is a "better" choice.

It's Sunday morning and I am not so keen on spending 4 hours in the car to sit in the Isle again. As mentioned; no demo possible.
I could always outfit the Isle for better fit.

This is so much mental masturbation and I really do need to make a choice.

How does one become more objective and pull the trigger or is it more a matter of being more subjective?

I have made a plus/minus list for each boat and really the only big plus for Eddyline is the Carbonlite construction. I have no negatives for either.

Any thoughts aside from "just buy a boat already!!"

As a beginner
myself I would go with the boat that already fits right. Not that you couldn’t outfit the other one but you would have to know your skills at that kind of stuff. Some people can do it easily others are lost as a goose in snow storm.

The softer chine, if I understand what I read, has sort of a continuum through the stability range. I equate it to a dimmer switch on a light. The hard chine would be more like a on/off switch in that it hits a very stable point and then can go past that point pretty quickly. Bear in mind I’m a complete newbie with a soft chined kayak that I can flip over in a heart beat.

If you can paddle at least one of the kayaks now as a trial I would do that at the very least.

I don’t know the CD Isle 18
so I can’t really comment on that. But get the Nighthawk. It’s a simple, beautiful, basic boat. You’ll be glad you did.

The Carbonlite is a selling point. It’s ABS, the same as snow boards or skis, and looks really sharp. I wouldn’t be surprised if your luck with the ladies picks up dramatically! :wink: Joking aside, it does look nice, and it’s tough, and shares most of the advantages of fiberglass (it’s smoother through the water, nicks inwards instead of getting burs, and is repairable). I had one and really enjoyed it. Only got rid of it because it was too big for me.

Re the chines, it is a very reassuring boat. Because of it’s size, there’s a lot of surface area to drop the boat onto when you put in on edge.

Just buy the boat already. Pull the trigger. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be paddling, and you know you won’t regret it. Get red! :wink:

Bowrudder re color
Red?? I thought the white on white was nice. This would allow me to sneak up on the polar bears. No, i’m not going to shoot them, just play with them.

Seriously, color is still another thing. The yellow is sharp as well.

I do agree with you: BUY THE BOAT !!

So you liked the Nighthawk, Bowrudder? Was it the 16 or 17.5?

No oil canning, cracking etc?

Last kayak was an Ocean roto 10 years ago. it was like paddling a wad of play dough, but easy to get back in. Gotta love that SOT thing. I’m trying to get my head wrapped around a "plastic’ boat. But hey, Glock is plastic and it holds up well.

I’m overweight (230 on a good day). No oil canning. I tend to buy my boats used, and this one was used. The guy before me had cracked the bow by doing the old “bow line under the front wheel of the car” trick. He wanted to get rid of it for cheap because of that. But Ethan what’s his name – the west coast Eddyline distributor – did a glass repair on the inside, with white marine putty and sanding on the outside. Cosmetically, you could hardly tell it had been damaged, and functionally it was completely restored. I used that boat for at least a year and loved it. Only got rid of it to fund the purchase of a different, smaller boat. But it would be a great boat for a big guy.

If the NH175 cockpit

– Last Updated: Jun-30-12 9:49 AM EST –

felt snug on you then you really do need a big guy boat. I want to try the CD Isle if you thought its cockpit felt a bit looser compared to the NH175.

I feel I have plenty of room in my NH175. Having paddled it for about 6 years now, I find there are few other boats I would want to own, the ability to actually fit in more than 4 or 5 other SINKs out there in the market notwithstanding.

The carbonlite material is tough. Really tough. Not poly tough, but more so than composite. My NH175 is a Modulus construction boat. Eddyline doesn't make those any longer. However, having paddled the carbonlite versions, they are about equally stiff, but not quite as light. Their skegs are trouble free, hatch covers work very well, construction is topnotch. They are easy to clean too if you must have a shiny white hull.

Eddyline's balanced designs result in a good seaworthy boat that works well on flatwater but I find my NH175 really comes alive in wind and waves when seakayaking. I think that is the advantage you will find with the NHs softer chines vs. the Isle's harder ones. The Isle may feel better on flatwater because of its primary, but if you are in any way worried about feeling stable in the NH175, fret not. Plus, it edges really well with smoothness through an almost infinite range. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is an ideal boat to learn proper edging technique. Having come from WW paddling, I do like to edge my boats hard.

The Isle sounds like a good boat and I want to try one just for the differences. A good deal on a used one is tempting. But there is no way I would give up my NH175. I've been too many places, too many miles, and too many pleasant days asea in it. I'd readily buy another one if there was a good local deal on a used one.

Re: toughness of Eddylines carbonlite the review of the Falcon 18 in the reviews section here, the one that had a tree limb fall on it. I also accidentally torpedo launched mine off the roof onto tarmac one time when loading it. Besides a few scratches that polished out, and near cardiac arrest for me, it came through fine. I wouldn't want to try that with a composite boat.

White over white is a lovely color.

re ABS boats
I like to rock garden, and I feel more vulnerable around rocks in an ABS boat. More nervous than I would be in my polyethylene Sirocco. But just as vulnerable as I would be in a fiberglass boat. And I’ve been stranded high and dry on a rock in my Eddyline with no ill effect. It’s just, with large flat areas, with ABS or fiberglass I fear you could punch a hole. But you have to be looking for trouble. And they’re both repairable. And it’s never happened to me yet (a damaged boat).