need advice plz.....

-- Last Updated: Nov-09-09 9:31 AM EST --

Hi all..I have a chance to buy a used poly 1999 Perception Eclipse SeaLion 17' kayak...does anyone own one of these or has owned one and can give me a honest review of it ? how durable has it been? easy of paddling? best guesstimate weight of the boat is low 60's. how's the stability? I've been looking for a poly sea kayak "beater" boat for awhile. also any prijon Kodiak owners care to comment about the kodiak boat? is it as heavy as it looks? easy of paddling. overall stability and handling? thanks for any input

Step into my office !
I have a 1999 Perception Eclipse, and won’t part with it.



That is the start of a class III rapid in the Dan River Kibler Vally run.





That one is eight miles off Key Biscayne Nat. Park at Boca chica key, florida.

Great boat, handles well in rough water, can beat the hell out of it and you won’t hurt it.

Even though I now primarily paddle a QCC, I still use it twice a year; In the New River canoe race, and the Dan river race.

I have never had a problem with that boat, and have many thousands of miles on it.



stored indoors or outdoors
The one main issue with plastic is that it doesn’t like sun. I have a plastic boat (different brand) from 99 or 00, and it works fine. But if the boat was left outside its entire life, the the plastic could have gotten stiffer/brittler. Along with asking the owner about where it was stored, check to see if it looks faded (outside color versus inside). A boat that was stored outside in a sunny area for 10 years is likely towards the end of its lifespan.

I second everything from the first posting. Tough boat, and mine held up well over 7-8 years before I sold an upgraded. Good buddy boat. Only down side for me was the weight, it was pushing 65 lbs unloaded.

weight issue…
1st boat i ever had was a WS Cape Lookout @ 15’ … it weighed 60+ # ‘s …when i stopped paddling …it stopped moving! Ok almost stopped , it didn’t glide very far when the paddling stopped…I’m thinking the Eclipse won’t be as bad with the extra 2 feet( or so) and approx same weight. I don’t want another “barge” to paddle. Hence , my interest in how well the Eclipse glides/cuts water. A friend has the 14’ Carolina and it goes thru the water pretty well.


– Last Updated: Nov-07-09 10:34 PM EST –

Like Jack & the others, I drove an Eclipse. but have since upgraded -in my case, to a glass Valley Aquanaut.

I'm 6-0, and anywhere from 195-210#, and the boat is a good fit for me. It's probably a bit more of a handful for someone smaller than around 165#; Jack's a bit smaller than I am and it's more than fine for him. I don't know what a height limit would be for adjusting the footbraces/rudder controls, but my wife at around 5-7 found the adjustment OK.

I bought the boat used, and it was my first SINK, and it paddled darn well and took quite a bit of abuse down here on the coral rock-strewn beaches of South Florida & the Keys, especially with me at the helm, LOL! It's a very good expedition boat, as it has commodious storage, and a pretty good stock seat comfortable for extended hours of paddling.

But as noted, it is indeed a heavy boat -which was reason number 1 for my upgrade; I figure mine came in around 70-72# what with the rudder and its setup, and neoprene hatch liners, and that made it, at 17'2" in length, a handful and a half to throw on the roof of our haulers. While it's not in the class of Jack's Q700, especially with a guy like Jack paddling it, or quite as fast as my current A-Naut, it's fine for keeping up with all but the fastest of the speedfreak Jonses on group paddles.

It responds well to ruddering, but I used mine mostly for tracking in windy or confused sea conditions. I had the rudder jam once, and that made for a tough paddle across a mile stretch of open water in the Keys with a bit of a tiderace current running and a bit of a breeze up, but that was the only instance of that sort of thing I can recall. As for glide, it maintains momentum just fine; it's nothing like an anchor to paddle, nor a barge that stops immediately sans propulsion.

Stability is a personal issue... It's nowhere near as stable as my 26" beam Ocean Kayak Scupper-Pro TW sit-on-top, and it's nowhere near as twitchy as my 21" beam Knysna Isthmus 'semi-ski' sit-on-top. But the E is, in my opinion, a quite stable kayak that gets even better when conditions kick up.

We've kept ours outdoors, but shaded under the palms in the back yard for perhaps 5 or do years now, and it's held up just fine with periodic applications of 303 UV protectant, even paddling in our pretty intense South Florida sun.

Overall it is a good if heavy boat, so if it's a good fit for you, and it's a good deal, go for it. It should give you many happy miles in which to


-Frank in Miami

Perception Shadow Sealion
I’m not sure how different it is, but I had the previous iteration of the Eclipse Sea lion back when it was called the Shadow Sea lion. It was 16.5’ long and was a tad lower in volume than the renamed Eclipse, but I’m positive that the hull and paddling dynamics were the same. Yeah, it was heavy, but average for a plastic touring yak. Volume was good for camping, but not several weeks of expedition paddling. Even though it’s a tad shorter and wider than my current kayak it was both tippier and faster. The more rounded bottom was good for speed, but not stability. The fuller chines on my narrower Chatham is actually very secure feeling when put on edge. On edge, the Sea lion didn’t turn very well and it weather cocked in even light wind without the rudder. Those 2 issues irked me the most. Ultimately I wanted to get away from relying on a rudder that much and start paddling a more dynamic hull shape. It was decently fast and glided pretty well for what it is though…