Torn between buying a longer boat or...

Last week I was at an Eddyline Kayak boat demo and tried out the new Fathom. I just got back from a guided 1/2 day tour of Lake Superior and loved the way the CD Storm single-seater 'yak that I used handled in the lake chop. So now… I have this pipe dream that I want a longer boat - currently I have a much shorter (13’6")CD Breeze great boat but it doesnt have a bow hatch. Another reason why I want a longer boat but I’m not 100% sure if the Fathom is the right one for me. I guess the reason why I liked the fathom was that nice big hump on the bow that reminds me of my Breeze and the fish form of the boat but the way my knees sit in that yak where I feel like I’m working on keeping it at that upward angle just doesnt feel right. I even mentioned to my yak buds when we were paddling that if I had a foam block directly under my knees so it doesnt feel like I have to keep my knees up would be great. I’m a short but stocky (fat?) person - 5’2 weighing 170lbs and I have this thing in my head that I love Current Design boat styles but still have that pipe dream that I will be going back to Superior in the future to hopefully paddle to one of the islands in a guided tour/camping trip so I’d want a boat that can carry camping stuff. So… I dont know what to do - buy this Fathom or wait… the Fathom isnt cheap either - its going to run me around 2249 minus 700 - because I’m trading my Breeze in also. So what do you guys think? Should I wait and maybe buy myself a decent paddle (I have an Aquabound Stingray) instead? :slight_smile:

I’m just so torn and dont know what to do.

Any contructive advice would be welcome!


keep paddling
with your height you will find most cockpits too big and the thigh braces too far away. How did you fit in the storm? I would guess it was so stable you didn’t even have to brace,which is probably the case with the Breeze and you’re discovering that seat/thigh bracing fit becomes more important in a skinnier/longer kayaks.

The Fathom looks like a good boat. Next time get a couple Thermarest Sportseats and fold/roll them up as desired and tuck them around the seat and your thighs to see what’s optimum. Later you can glue in minicell to improve the support if you got a kayak you like but need to modify leg support.

If you’re uncertain then you can make a purchase feeling uncertain or you can paddle more until you are. At some point you’ll realize that just because there are differences and different boats that doesn’t mean the difference matters compared to how you use the paddle and sit in the boat.

I’d caution you from seeking a particular boat just because it’s longer, some models developed simply so they could show certain numbers in a catalogue and that longer length of a particular shape actually becomes a detriment to handling in waves.

There are some hulls you might like but are too deep but I bet you could raise your seat 1/2" to better clear the deck or engage thighs in thigh braces.

Other boats worth looking at are Tempest 165 and Caribou.

I like Eddyline boats
and own a Falcon 18. But I would recommend you try other boats before you decide. If you like CD boats, try a Caribou S. The question of knee position probably involves two things. One is simply getting used to the position of legs, feet and knees in a normal sea kayak. The other is outfitting the boat to match you. Few boats are going to come from the manufacturer as a perfect fit.

Thanks for the replies LeeG and Dr_Disco

– Last Updated: Sep-11-06 1:52 PM EST –

I love the Breeze mainly because that was the boat I learned to do tandem and self-rescues on, plus I like that hump in the front for storage. How did I fit in the Storm - well, I learned how to use a rudder when I was out on Lake Superior and its funny how you can almost become addicted to using that device - I felt like I didnt have to work as hard and not have to worry about bracing. As for fit, heck, of course the footbraces were shoved as far back as they could go. As for my Breeze, I dont know, I just fit well in that boat. I love it and wish it was just a couple of feet longer. I would be happy with a 15 or 16 foot yak mainly because I heard that's the minimum you'd want the length of a yak to be to safely paddle a large body of water like Lake Superior.

As for the Fathom, I did call Eddyline to see if they could drill the footbrace holes closer to the cockpit and if they could put just a little more foam on thigh braces if I ordered the boat from my local yak dealer and they said they could do that for me at no additional cost. I guess I just didnt want to pay a crapload of money for a boat that I wont end up liking as much as I love my Breeze. Heck... this is the third time I would be trading in my boat just for this year - I went from the Liquid Logic Tuxedo, CD Breeze and now, the Fathom if I go through with the deal.

Thanks for the boat suggestions. I'm checking out those two yaks now.

Don’t sell the breeze
I know nothing about the Breeze but if you were offered a boat you love for $700, I’d say snap it up.

That doesn’t mean you don’t need another boat, too.

enjoy the search
you may find your paddling style changing with these narrower boats. What length of paddle are you using? If you like the rudder go ahead and try ruddered boats but I STRONGLY urge you to get fixed rudder footbraces or retrofit your Breeze. You might like a QCC600 and add 1/2" of minicell to the seat to raise it up a notch. It’ll be a lot tippier than you are used to but a lot quicker. Check out QCCs site for demo deals.

Been there, done that
the way my knees sit in that yak where I feel like I’m working on keeping it at that upward angle just doesnt feel right.

I am also 5’2". My first sea kayak was a CD Squall (the smaller version of the Storm). Even with almost 2" of foam padding added under the thigh braces, I still had the same requirement to push my legs up and out to contact them. The front of the cockpit was too tall and wide for me (the back of the cockpit was also too high). The fact that the seat sat right on the bottom of the boat did not help matters. That boat was extremely stable for me (too stable, actually); it took a fair bit of effort to edge.

I did paddle it for three full years anyway. Obviously, it worked. However, the fact that I had to jam both knees up and out to control it resulted in me having to unlearn that habit when I later got a kayak that fit better, and then another (ditto). Where it really made a difference was in rolling, so if you anticipate learning to roll do yourself a favor and get a kayak that fits better even if it feels less stable at first.

The thought of a 5’2" person swimming inside a Storm cockpit makes me shudder. I know THAT feeling, too, because my husband owns one and I have paddled it once. There is NO body contact other than on the bottom of the butt!

Keep demo’ing other boats. There are several others that would fit a 5’2" person much better than the Storm or the Squall. If you really like CD, the Squamish comes to mind. I didn’t like it when I rented one (too wide, slower than the Squall, skeg had no effect), but it did have a lower deck with better thigh contact for a short person.

Widlerness Systems - Tempest Vs Tsunami

I had my mind set to get a Tsunami. Mainly because last year I took a couple of classes using the tsunami 140 and I loved it. However this year I gained about 12 lbs (I am 5-4 and 210 lbs now), and found it last weekend a bit cramped so I am looking for another (WS)Widerness Systems boat. Not only that but I heard I should get a longer boat, so I tought of the next step up, the WS Tsunami 160 or 165

I saw a (2005) WS Tempest 170 (plastic) on sale locally for $850. Now it seems as if the 170 is more for “touring?” faster?.. I am not sure what the difference is between the two and you seem to know a lot about boats.

If so can you help?



On another point, also being short and heavy, I was not even aware as this tread implies, that fitting in a boat to perfection is seems like a science (at least for our body types)… it complicates matters even more :slight_smile:

torn between buying a longer boat
I have the fathom and love the boat. I am 5’ 8" 160 pounds

I have the foot pegs all the way at thier shortest adjustment to get the thigh position the way I want.

For you the pegs need to be closer. Order it with the pegs closer.

You definately need to spend as much time as you can in several boats to make a decision. Fit is very important.


Look a boats that fit first
Find a boat where the coaming sits at your hips. Try those out first. If you can’t find one then look at boats where the thigh braces are as far down your thighs as you can find, (towards your torso). It sounds like you are just looking at boats that are way too big. Splash out.

Great boat in rough water and OK speed, nicely made, good company and with my 200 lbs, I am happy. Now you could go to a QCC and be really fast and broke!

That’s exactly it…
I need to take my time to do this whole shopping for a boat thing but I’m also timing it because the shop I buy all my boats at - a local company - not a Scheel’s or Sportman’s Warehouse - has a small discount on these boats. They’re letting me put a small down on the boat, trade in my old yak - they’ve agreed to let me paddle my Breeze until the new boat is paid in full and delivered next year.

I’m seriously hoping though that once I buy my first composite boat that I can settle down with it for a long time. Looking for that perfect kayak is like looking for that perfect mate - I hate “trading-in” the old ones because I didnt think through the entire process and what my needs are in the beginning. Heck, if this was a marriage, I’d be divorcing for the third time! :slight_smile:

Anyway, as for paddle length - that’s another issue - I cant find a paddle short enough to curl my fingers on its tip so I’m stuck with a 220.

Thanks for the advice guys. I think I will keep looking and keep your suggestions in the back of my head. I’ll probably throw another post out asking what short people are paddling just to get an idea.