2000 Eddyline Nighthawk 16 http://www.eddyline.com/eddyline-kayaks/night-hawk-16 vs kevlar 2003 Perception Shadow 16.5 http://www.perceptionkayaks.com/content/perceptionkayaks.com/assets/page/2003/shadow.jpg
I’m 5’6" and 160 lbs fully dressed and have size 8.5 feet.
- The Nighthawk 16 has MUCH more foot room than the Shadow 16.5. I can comfortably wear my size 9 Chota Quicklace Mukluks in the Nighthawk 16 and I have to stuff them into the Shadow 16.5 and then it’s very uncomfortable and I can’t use the rudder.
- The recessed deck fittings on the Shadow have a set within the range of the foot peg adjustment, which get in the way of the toes of my shoes. The Nighthawk wisely has no fittings in the range of the foot peg adjustment to get in the way of foot placement.
- Weights measured by me on a digital bathroom scale with me holding the boats: Nighthawk 16 - 49.6 lbs, Shadow 16.5 - 48.0 lbs, but the Nighthawk feels quite a bit heavier to me, for some reason.
- The Shadow seems easier for me to keep moving a moderate cruising pace than the Nighthawk, probably related to two issues: 1) Slightly longer waterline length of the Nighthawk and the accompanying increased skin friction and this particular Nighthawk has some surface abrasion to increase drag.
- Shadow feels to me to be easier to maneuver around than the Nighthawk. I seem to have to work harder to edge turn the Nighthawk than the Shadow.
- Shadow cockpit is more comfortable for me than the Nighthawk.
- Nighthawk is much more V shape and therefore trickier to enter and exit than the Shadow, but they both feel quite stable to me once I’m in the boat.
I’ve had the Nighthawk 16 since last fall and just got the Shadow 6 days ago.
I test paddled the Shadow 16.5 on Crab Orchard Lake in Carbondale, IL on a day of pretty challenging winds of 25mph to 35mph and one of the largest challenges was keeping hold of my very light carbon paddle, which I was very glad had the option of a 90 degree feather to help reduce the grabbing effects of the strong winds. Even with the 90 degree feather and length set to 215cm, I still had to be careful to keep a low angle when the wind was to the side, or the wind would get hold of it and temporarily set me off kilter.
There wasn’t enough fetch for the waves to build very large, but they were up to 18" trough to crest and white capping.
The Shadow seemed surprisingly easy to paddle against the wind, across the wind and with the wind. I didn’t use the rudder most of the time, but it was quite welcome when turning 180 degrees to go from with the wind to against it, or visa versa and when hugging the downwind shorline with the wind to my beam.
I haven’t paddled the Nighthawk in similar conditions, but did test paddle it before buying it on Lake Michigan with 15 mph to 20 mph winds with 1’ to 3’ waves (trough to crest) and it seemed to handle those conditions quite nicely.
I’ll add more as I think of it.
My impression is that if you favor tracking over maneuverability and have larger feet, you may prefer the Nighthawk 16 and if you favor maneuverability and have smaller feet, you may prefer the Shadow 16.5. They’re both more maneuverable for me than my QCC 400X and less maneuverable for me than my Phoenix Isere. Of course, YMMV.