I plan on demoing a bunch of boats later in the summer and am now making a list of candidates.
As you recall, my main issue is size 15 feet. The rest is not too bad, but I’m tall at 6’4" and 190 lb.
The Eddyline Fathom fits me OK. The rest of the Eddyline line does not.
I am thinking that narrower than 22" would be pushing it for my height, but put one slimmer boat on the list below…
I have been checking the specs of several other boats that might accomodate my feet and the rest of me:
- NDK Explorer HV (I doubt the normal would fit comfortably, but it might).
- P&H (in this order of “good feel” about their specs): Quest, Scorpio, Sirius
- Point 65°N Sea Rover/Cruiser or the X-Ray Kayak
- QCC Q700X - very tempting, and with the current 20% off seems like a good deal for a light and fast kayak. Inability to test one is a problem though…
There are a few dealers a couple of hours away and I will demo them, but looking for relative comparisons if you have experience with them.
Realistically speaking, I will mostly use the boat on flat-ish still or slow moving water for short (day) trips and a very occasional ocen trip close to shore in rougher but non-extreme conditions.
What I want in a boat is that it is comfortable, relatively stable but not too stable to prevent advanced handling with relative ease (once mastered), to track well, and be reasonably fast to allow active paddling speeds for a few hours at a time with good glide b/w strokes.
As a reference, I currently have the WS Tsunami 145 (plastic, no rudder): it has good foot room for me but the seat is a bit too loose (can be fixed with padding). The back rest is too high even at the lowest setting (I ordered a Tempest replacement to try). I feel it is too slow and does not have a good glide at all - I have to work way too hard to maintain speed. It also is very much affected by side or rear wind (no issue going into the wind directly), so a skeg would be a good thing to have. Lastly, the seat is OK but hurts my tailbone after a couple of hours - needs more padding.
So, any thoughts on these boats above relative to each other? I tried the Tempest 170 recently and I liked how it felt and moved (a little heavy, but reasonably fast for me and stable enough), but unfortunately it does not have enough foot room for me for long term comfort. I do not want to go longer than 18’ for storage and weight either. The Zephyr 16, which I also tried is probably too playful for me - I’d rather have something with less rocker but not totally flat.
The Carbonlite material of the Fathom is I think a plus as I like “maintenance-free” things -
Cost is an issue, and the $2500 or so for the Fathom are already stretching it for me, but weight of the boat is important as well…