I am looking at some used Eddylines, A Merlin LT 13.5 ft, 42 lbs, and a Night Hawk 16 ft, 48 lbs.
I currently have an Eddyline Rio, which I love, but have been interested in getting a sea kayak. While the Merlin might be more manageable for me (I am pretty small - chose the Rio originally because I could car top it myself without too much difficulty) - but I am thinking if I want to move up to a sea kayak, it probably makes more sense to just go for a longer boat?
My reason for wanting to upgrade is to be able to take advantage of more of the paddling opportunities around the Chesapeake Bay area - right now I am very conservative with my paddling locations since I usually paddle alone, and stick to the less open areas of the bay, gentler/narrower parts of the area rivers, reservoirs, etc. I also like undertaking longer trips, often do 8-10 miles in the Rio, and feel like longer trips would be more feasible in a longer boat. It also would be nice to be able to go out with some of the sea kayaking groups in the area, as the outings they list look really appealing to me.
Anyway, I have only had the Rio one year, so not sure I am going to pull the trigger on what would be my third kayak in three years, but wanted to get some general thoughts. Of course, getting a sea kayak will also require getting additional training and practice, learning new skills, and probably not paddling alone as much until I gain those skills, etc. but that is something I would look forward to.
I have paddled some Eddyline boats and liked them all. I rented an Eddyline in Anacortes for a trip in the San Juan Islands.
Go with the larger boat for big water like the Bay.
I am 5 ft near 4 inches, found the froggy leg position in the Merlin LT uncomfortable right off the bat. Less clear memory of the Nighthawk but I think I found it to be an interesting boat.
If you’re planning on taking some sea kayaking lessons anyway, maybe it would make sense to wait until you’ve had some first, so you can get a better sense of what you’d like, and what fits you well, before buying.
Go 16’ if you’re looking for a sea kayak.
Thanks - that’s what I thought. Still trying to decide if want to go check out the Night Hawk on Sunday (assuming it hasn’t already been sold…)
In the odd chance you have to make a trip to Michigan in the next few months, I have an Eddyline Fathom LV for sale.
Selling only because I don’t paddle it much any more.
Very characteristic of the low Eddyline deck. I had severe hip damage from that and had to get my hip replaced. Yes, I’m serious.
Like you I paddle on a bay , in my case the Delaware , and I bought a used eddyline Falcon 18 foot to use in addition to my other kayaks, there is a big difference between your Rio and what your looking at, both of the kayaks your looking at are much more “tippy” compared to your Rio. I will say the boats your looking at are great in open water like the bay, but test paddle them if possible. A sitka or a fathom would also work but more than likely more $$$.
Also if you pull the trigger a Skirt is a must have , I was lucky my Falcon came with one.