Help me decide on a new kayak - Delta or Eddyline

Hi All, looking for some help in making a decision. I’m looking to upgrade from a cheap rec kayak to something I could use for longer paddles and some kayak camping; probably 3 day/2 night trips. I am 50 years old, 5’11”, and 185 lbs. I’m not looking to break any kayaking speed records, but want to keep pace without feeling I’m working overly hard. I don’t have a ton of storage space, so would like to keep the boat 15’ or less.

Have been looking at the Delta 14 and Eddyline Sitka LT. They seem very similar and both seem to be excellent boats. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive—it’s hard to find anything bad about either. The Sitka is slightly longer (6”), has hip pads, and a skeg. The Delta (available to me) has a rudder, which gives a bit more space for packing, and the hatch covers seem a little nicer. Seats both seem comfortable, and foot braces seem identical, save the rudder mechanism in the delta. The eddyline looks like it may sit a bit lower in the water and looks a bit more sleek.

They are different in price, and what I’m not seeing is why the Eddyline is $600 “better”. If the value is there, I’m willing to pay for it. I’m interested in opinions, especially from anyone with experience with these. Or if anyone can point out anything I’m missing. Right now I’m slightly favoring the Delta based on my intended usage. But again I’m coming from a plastic rec kayak, and don’t have experience with these nicer kayaks. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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My friend Sig has an Eddyline Sitka LT and I have paddled it a few times. He and I both have had a few problems with the adjustable seat slipping. I have an older Fathom that was made before their new seat was used by Eddyline, and I like the old seat a lot more.
As for myself I like the skegs better then the rudders, but the rudder can be very nice to have at times. So if you like rudders the Delta may be a better choice.

I have no personal experience with the Delta kayaks, but I have heard a few complaints that the combing is too shallow and doesn’t hold a spray skirt very well in rolls and even in hard edge turns so take that for what it cost you (nothing) It’s 2nd hand info and may not even be true but I have corresponded with 3 people in 3 places that all tell me the Deltas have combings that are just not deep enough to hold well. That is NOT a problem with the Eddyline kayaks.

Not much info here , but some and it may be helpful (I hope)

Thank you! That does help and yeah the Eddyline does seem to have a much more defined edge for holding the skirt. That’s something I hadn’t considered. Appreciate your reply!!

Are you able to test paddle either?

I love my 16 and my new seals skirt hild very well. The Delta skirt would pop easely

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Unfortunately I probably won’t be able to try them ahead of time. Planning to buy at REI so I think I could return it if I really didn’t like it (but have no guarantee the other would be better in any case).

@packymn longer is going to be generally faster.

Now I know you said you’re not looking at speed, but let me point this out faster is also easier slower.

I race, but I don’t do that exclusively, and do kayak camp so 15-30 mile runs (camping island to island.) can be fairly normal, and a boat with a hull speed of 6.2 mph will be easier to paddle over those distances than a boat with a hull speed of 5.2 mph.

So now the next question is what;s the intended purpose.

I initially bought my Tsunami 175 (Rudder.) because I went camping and needed the carrying capacity to store as much of my gear internally as possible.

When I got invited to come racing that the Axe I had and that’s what I used. For me 4.9mph is a good cruise speed though when with Others I drop it to about 4.5.

My son who wanted to go camping, wanted a boat and I would have bought him the same thing but he didn’t want a long boat. I finally talked him into a Tsunami145 which will also be great for Kayak camping, but he brought it racing and was smoked by me. (He did well for that boat and being a junior.) So now he wanted a longer boat, and I got him a Tempest 170.

His response to the Tempest was dad this thing is fast. Now granted some space is taken up by the skeg box, so he could use it also for kayak camping he’d just have to pack it more carefully.

So now onto the Rudder VS Skeg question, neither. I generally never use my Rudder in the Tsunami 175, nor Skeg in the Tempest 180 or his 170. unless its quite windy and I’m having weather cock issues.

The rudder gives more control not just adjusting for weather cocking, but aiming the boat since the wind can push you off course you can use the rudder to continually adjust you poiny of landing if your being pushed off course.

The skeg is just going to keep you from weathercocking and you;ll have to paddle adjust if you are being blown off course from where you want to land.

That being said, a rudder is going to slow your speed more than a skeg will.

Maybe that’s why P&H’s Scudder appeals to me as you have both worlds at your disposal. But I digress.

The Delta Looks to be a Soft chined boat, so a little less primary stability, than the Eddyline which appears to be a hard chined boat with a better defined v-keel than the delta, so better primary stability.

the better defined V-keel of the eddyline will provide better tracking than the less defined keel of the delta.

And as I said longer is faster, faster is easier to paddle, and faster is less fatiguing. So Id be leaning that way. providing both boats I could fit my fat ass into comfortably. It also looks like the eddyline is just leaning towards being more of a touring class boat.

Both are a good choice, provided you fit comfortably. But all in all I’d lean towards the eddyline.


Thank you so much for taking the time for this reply and for sharing your experience. You’ve given me a lot to think about! Seems I wouldn’t regret the extra length, especially if it pays dividends in easier paddling thereafter. And maybe the skeg box isn’t as big of a problem in practice when it come to packing? The tent is my main concern. It seems like it could only go in the back hatch, and would have to be fed in towards the stern initially. Appreciate your help and advice!

Keep in mind that depending upon the tent, the poles and stakes can be separated from the tent for packing, allowing poles and stakes to fit in narrow spaces, and the tent itself to be scrunched around and shape shifted to fit into irregular spaces, more like a sleeping bag.

I have done one trip in the San Juan Islands under tough conditions. We left out of Anacortes, WA and all three of us rented Eddyline kayaks from the local kayak shop. I don’t remember the model, but all were very seaworthy. They handled camping gear for a 4 day trip with ease. Cockpits were large and comfortable. We had some tidal rips and currents to deal with. A tide table was really important. On the last leg of the return trip we were in exposed conditions with a of wind and power boat traffic. There were confused seas. The Eddylines handled everything and I was very impressed with the boats. I always liked the Raven model, ,but I don’t know if they still make it.

If you can afford the space to store the 6” longer boat / that would be my recommendation. Everything else being equal a longer boat will track straighter and be faster/less-tiring. Assuming that you are upgrading from a rec boat for a good reason - the Eddyline is a more in the direction of where you’re heading - in moving away from a rec boat - IMHO. We have a pair of P&H Scorpios and the skegs do the job well for us.

@packymn I don’t know what tent you have but a solo tent ought to be no problem you basically start feeding in tot he back end as you would suspect then if the skeg box starts to get in the way roll the tent to the left or right up the side of the hull depending on which side the control cable comes in. There ought to be sufficient room for this.

I take my Tsunami 175 for kayak camping as it just plain has more carrying capacity than the Tsunami 170 but even my 4 person tent would pretty much fit in the the rear hatch of the Tsunami 170 Skeg Box be damned.

Now granted these are 17 and 17.5 ft boats so there’s a bit more wiggle room in the compartments. but even if the skeg gets in the way you could always just put the tent poles in separately and then just mash the tent in since the only real defining factor on how long the tent bag is, is the tent poles.

Thank you SteveA, appreciate the input. Consensus certainly seems to be forming around the Eddyline!

Thanks Craig, this makes sense! I’m probably overthinking it, as I tend to do :slight_smile:

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I have first-hand experience with the cockpit rim/coaming on a Delta kayak. The kayak was new two years ago, and it was very difficult to attach a spray skirt to the rim. The skirt would snap off the back of the rim as you pulled it forward toward the front of the cockpit. I never tried it for rolling, but I suspect it would tend to pop off the rim during a roll.

I basically solved the problem by cleaning the underside of the rim with either chlorine bleach or isopropyl alcohol. The treatment had to be repeated every three weeks or so. This indicates that some chemicals might have been exuding from the plastic material used for the hull or used during the molding process. Some plastics tend to exude or outgas chemicals when they are new. That’s partly what causes that new-car smell.

It could be a manufacturing or design error. Perhaps my kayak came out of the mold improperly and the rim was bent upward a bit. Alternatively, the coaming should have been designed to be a bit deeper, thus prividing more space for the spay skirt to fit under the rim. Regardless of the cause, I sold the kayak. I won’t buy another Delta until they solve the rim problem.

Looks like you’re getting a lot of good advice on the thread. Hope this helps.

Yes! People here have been great and very helpful. I haven’t used a skirt before (rec kayak only and not rolling it) but might be something I try with the new one. And yes, the edge does seem very shallow and rounded in the delta. I’m a little surprised by the lack of support for the delta overall. Reviews online are generally good (but some did mention difficulties with the skirt). Seems everyone here is in favor of the Eddyline. Thinking that is where I’ll end up. Thanks for the detailed input Boreal—appreciate you sharing your first hand experience!!

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Craig gave a lot of good information. This part can be less than straightforward.

"The Delta Looks to be a Soft chined boat, so a little less primary stability, than the Eddyline which appears to be a hard chined boat with a better defined v-keel than the delta, so better primary stability.

the better defined V-keel of the eddyline will provide better tracking than the less defined keel of the delta."

Soft or hard chines or the degree of V along the bottom are characteristics that contribute to a hulls behavior, but not so much that they can be used to define how stable a kayak is or how well it tracks.

I have hard chined kayaks like the NDK Greenlander, P@H Bahiya, and Nigel Foster Legend that aren’t widely considered to have high primary stability, and soft chined boats like the Current Designs Solstice GTS and NDK Romany that have higher primary stability than those hard chined examples. Tracking can be a bit of the same bag. My Capella 169 has a fairly V’d keel line, but many folks considered it a pretty squirrely kayak, so much so that they modified the Capella as a result, but increasing the V was not part of the changes to make it track straighter. The Current Designs Stratus 18 is the most rounded sea kayak hull I own by a good margin, no defined V - all round, and it’s a straight tracker. So I can say a rounder or flatter bottom can contribute to a hulls maneuverability, but I can’t say a rounder bottomed hull is more maneuverable than a different V bottomed hull without considering every other design aspect as a whole.
So these are features, but I would argue that they are far from tell-tale design features.


I have 2 observations and 1 or both may be of no value, but here goes.

#1. In the last 4 years I have been scooping up a lot of kayaks in my travels around the Rocky Mountain States with 3 also coming from California and Nevada. To date that is a total of 36 kayaks. I have paddled most of them but not all. I am a relative newbee in the world of kayaking but took the bait hook line and sinker. But from what I have experienced so far chine and hull keel shape do make some difference in primary stability but not near so much as simple width of the hull at the water line (note, even the water line is an estimate because of both trim and load)

#2 I am trying to learn as much as I can about design because in the next 2 years I hope to start making some kayaks and I am trying to gain as much knowledge as I can before I start to minimize the number of bad mistakes I’ll make at that time. In my research into designs I find a LOT of information as details relate to speed, maneuverability and capacity, but the idea of primary stability seems to be founded on floating width even among the well established designs both modern and antique.
Am I missing something important? Probably.

But in a nut shell speed by itself is tied hard and fast to only 2 factors.

Power applied and resistance overcome. That’s it!
That’s all there is, and there is nothing more.

But therein lays the rub.

Speed is never the ONLY factor in kayak design because it’s simply not practical to omit other considerations. A kayak made with only speed as a focus is always going to be made to have as little drag as can be had. but still have to hold a paddler and one so small and so narrow that it would have an advantage over all comers would be so narrow and long that a small child would be the only one who would fit inside it, and most very small children don’t have enough power to make that kayak go fast in the first place.
The concept of design for one factor alone is super easy to draw up. But to exclude or severely limit all other factors makes for a kayak that can’t be used by “real humans”.

So looking at drag models if we want to make a “10 MPH kayak, on paper it’s easy. It’s 23 feet long has a round bottom and a short fin at the rear of only 1/16” width, has no rocker, and is 13" wide at the water line.

Now we need a 4 foot 2inch 50 pound paddler who is as strong as a 240 pound 6 foot 3 inch athletic man and has the balance of a flying sparrow hawk to power this kayak.

See? Easy. 10 MPH all day long.

But in the real world we need ALWAYS to compromise on design to make the kayak work for human beings as the truly are on this earth.

Coming back to the OP---- my belief (and I could be wrong) is that neither of the 2 kayaks listed is going to be head and shoulders over the other, and in fact may not even have a discernable difference in speed. Any difference is stability is likely to be more related to the individual paddler inside the kayak.
If rolling is in the future I for one would choose the Eddyline simply because of it’s better designed combing to hold a spray skirt.

But for their stability and speed and probably their maneuverability …I am doubtful there is a thimbles worth of spit worth of difference.

For a sea kayak used in open water a spray skirt is an integral part of the boat, not an optional accessory.

However, you should be perfectly comfortable with a wet exit before wearing one.


Whichever kayak you choose might become your first sea kayak of many. Your criteria will likely change, because of your skill level and paddling destinations, but also because of your age. In my own case, there was a time when I wanted a faster kayak - perhaps you’ll become an expedition type and want a kayak with more storage capacity or ease in rolling … whatever. Now, significantly older, I have my current favourite kayak that is light (less than 40 pounds) - important for this elder when the kayak is not floating. Further, at wind speeds below 10 knots, it doesn’t weathercock - not super important, but convenient. I prefer skegs over rudders … no real justification other than aesthetics and so on.
My less long winded approach is that this is your first kayak and could easily be the first of a long sequence … with the first kayak eventually lost in a distant memory.

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