Kayak (maybe with rudder) suggestion?

The Castine is heavy
I had an intro level Perception Sundance that I bought 7 or more years ago. I upgraded to a used Castine which I really like.

Since my partner has really taken to kayaking (yay!) it’s time to have 2 larger boats. I’m thinking she’ll inherit the Castine (it’s nice and stable and tracks well) and I can get a new boat.

Lifting the Castine onto the car is quite a process, but one we can live with for another year or two.

Is the Perception Shadow your ‘boat of choice’?

Eddyline & Swift
Eddyline and Swift make higher-end light touring boats. Eddylines are thermoplastic, which is much lighter than polyethylene. http://www.eddyline.com/

If you’re in Western Mass, Sportsman’s Marina in Hadley is an Eddyline dealer. http://www.smihadley.com/

Swift makes rec and light touring kayaks in super-light composite layups. http://www.swiftcanoe.com/index.htm

Swift dealers: Collinsville Canoe & Kayak, Collinsville, CT: http://www.cckstore.com/

Canoe Imports, Burlington, VT: http://www.canoeimports.com/htm/kayaks.html

How convenient!
I’m heading to Collinsville CT this weekend. I’ll try out a Swift boat.

When I’m back home I’ll check out the Eddyline. I live 2 towns over from Hadley.

Any models you’d suggest (or have tried yourself)?

I very much like the Shadow 16.5 and
Eclipse 17 / Sea Lion in the kevlar construction (46 lbs and 50 lbs respectively).

The Shadow 16.5 fits me well in the cockpit, but is a bit tight on foot room for my size 8.5 feet with about any kind of shoes on.

The Eclipse 17 / Sea Lion still fits me pretty well in the cockpit and has ample foot room for my size 9 Chota Quicklace Mukluks, but is a bit more boat to keep moving and a bit less sporty for me.

I wish the Shadow 16.5 had more foot room, then I probably wouldn’t even look at another boat.

I also very much liked the Eddyline Fathom LV when I test paddled it last summer - very quick, sporty & maneuverable.

The Eddyline Nighthawk 16 and Merlin LT have deep V hulls and are way to much work to turn if you like to play around and turn quickly.

Enjoy your search.

What exactly does ‘LV’ mean?
There’s an Easky that’s LV (low volume) and it didn’t really explain it on their site - and I’m not familiar with the term.

Thanks for the info on the kayaks - it will help in the search of some good boats!

I have to say, it’s really fun to be in the market for a new kayak.

LV = Low Volume.

Eddyline Fathom LV

– Last Updated: Jun-21-12 9:06 PM EST –

Given your size/weight, you'd likely do better with the Fathom LV than the Fathom. I would check out that one and the Eddyline Samba.

In answer to your question, "LV" for lower volume can mean different things to different companies. For some, the hull is identical in terms of length and width, but a lower volume kayak will have a somewhat lower deck (less packing space, but if you're a daytripper this may be all you need). For others, including Eddyline, LV is a slightly shorter, slimmer version of the larger kayak. The LVs are designed for small-medium paddlers. The larger versions are designed for medium-large paddlers. (I'm in the medium range and can go either way.)

The Fathom LV is a fine boat. It is narrower than what you're used to, so it may feel a bit tippy at first, but once you get your sea legs under it, you will find it to be both fast and maneuverable, and it tracks well with the skeg down.

The Samba is a slightly smaller boat than the Fathom LV, similar in general concept. At 13' 10", it's lighter (which can count for a lot) and more playful than the Fathoms. A little wider than the Fathom LV, so a little less tippy. I have one of these and like it a lot. I have thought of getting a Fathom because the additional length translates into more miles covered for the same amount of paddling, but since I mostly do solo lifting and hauling, the reduced weight and bulkiness are very appealing to my middle-aged back.

Build quality of Eddylines is very high. Given a choice, be sure to get one with a back band, which is much more comfortable than their rather hard seat back.

George - thanks for the wealth of info
I wasn’t familiar with Eddyline before forum members suggested the company - and I’m thrilled that there’s a dealer literally in my backyard (and they are right on the CT River so I should be able to try it out easily).

Thanks for the explanation of LV. I even asked The Google and didn’t come up with a good definition except that it’s usually for smaller paddlers.

Looking forward to checking out the models you suggested, and yeah - the most adventurous I will get is one overnight, so the sizes should be good.

Thanks again!

The final decision (and purchase)!
I tried out an Easky 15, Perception Expression and Swift Saranac 14LV.

Loved the Swift - it ‘felt like’ a step up from my Old Town Castine. (probably because of the difference in the material).

The dealer had a used Swift from last season for more than half off - which was great. Also - the Swift is really light!

The others were really nice boats, but didn’t feel much different than my current Castine.

That should be a nice boat. We look forward to a future review after you’ve had some seat time in it.

Essex River Basin Eddyline dealer
Very highly recommend this shop for excellent service. Essex, MA.