Checked the product reviews for Eddyline Merlin LT and Nighthawk kayaks, in Carbonlite, and no reviews have been posted for a couple of years. Are they just low production boats, or is there some other reason why so few posts? Most remarks seem positive, but have they fallen into disfavor?
I think has marginalized themselves by completely switching to a material that is not as good as fiberglass or kevlar composites. The carbonlite is cheaper, but it is harder to repair, and the repairs don’t look as nice. I know i’ve said this before.
One guy keeps saying he’s got pictures of the process to make the repair look as good as a fiberglass, but then strangely never sends the pictures.
I’m not necessarily in love with composite materials, but for the amount of money you spend on a kayak, it is the best material.
Also eddyline changed all of their kayak designs that were worth paddling, the falcon was a sweet kayak 20.5" wide and 16’ long with a very straight keel, no one made a kayak like that, it was a great kayak. Now no one makes one like that. The nighthawk 18 used to be more like the falcon, and I think was even called the falcon 18, that was a rocket.
Falcon 18’s a nice boat
Demoed one 2 years ago. Up there with Explorer, Caribou, and some other favorites - but even faster. Would be happy to end up with one as a rental option somewhere/sometime.
falcon or nighthawk
"The nighthawk 18 used to be more like the falcon, and I think was even called the falcon 18, that was a rocket."
I paddled a Falcon or Nighthawk (fiberglass)in Costa Rica. Very fast and easy to turn. However, the fine bow would tend to pearl when surfing. So, it would be a kayak I would personally stay away from even though it was a lot of fun. But, for a kayak used to support trips and possibly need to do quick rescues the kayak would be perfect!
Why would repairs of Carbonlite
be an issue? Repairs of sea kayaks are not that frequent, even in composite boats.
Of course, as a mainly WW boater, I don’t much care how a repair looks. Repairs are a kind of theft insurance. Stupid people are less likely to steal the boat.
I respect Tom and Lisa for choosing NOT to sell to the several giants that have approached them in the past few years. People get nostalgic about certain industry heros., but forget that these guys sold out for the $$$. In these cases Canadian jobs were lost. Some Canadians worship these guys, buy boycott these now American brands??? go figure? It’s their hero’s who sold their companies and the jobs to America!!! Eddyline has made a decision to stay small and privately owned, and to support the specialty dealers, which they can afford to do because they don’t have huge overhead to feed. I respect them for being innovative with thermoformed technology, and make no mistake, they are the best at this. Some of what drives this is an environmental ethic. I think they make good kayaks that appeal to a broad range of paddlers, and they stand behind the product. Time will tell if their strategy will pay off, but I admire this company. These are folks that could be quite rich had they made other choices, but they’ve got some soul I think. The big guys make some good stuff for sure, but this is a perfect example of a company that is choosing a different approach, and I think they deserve some respect for that.
for me have to work aesthetically I guess, I’m anal. And simply superglueing the boat back together falls somewhat short of that aesthetic goal.
I think It’s The Marketing
Here in the east, every shop has Perception, most have CD and s few other brands. Few shops have Eddyline. However, everyone I’ve spoken to who has one (myself included, and I speak to myself often) is very pleased with their boat. My guess is, if there isn’t anyplace nearby where a person can see and try one, that person will buy some other good boat.
As a small paddler, I’ve paddled the LT a good number of times and found it very nice, however, it was a little wide for me, and I couldn’t get enough hip control. The Night Hawk is what I purchased. I’ve had it for a few years now. It has some superficial scratches, but still looks quite nice.
If there is a dealer near you, Eddyline is worth a look.
1) Eddy line hasn’t come out with any new designs for quite a few years now.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Why change anything if it’s already perfect?
But that might account for the lack of new reviews. Most boats got reviews when they first came out and full of marketing buzz. After that, the interest wanes somewhat.
Eddyline boats still hold their own pretty well. But the market has evolved and the competition has stiffen up considerably:
2) Eddyline USED TO occupy a nitch for people who wants the durability and slick look but not the pricetag of fiberglass. Now, there’re quite a few other brands coming out with similar kind of material. That also thin out the following, too.
3) 2-3ars ago, I was interested in the Nighthawk as an all around boat. There were few others like it back then. But then came the Tempest (and one other I forgot the name) that are quite similar in design (16’x22", skeg, dayhatch), that are price well below (plastic) and slightly above (fiberglass). Suddenly, there’re many more choices for people to choose from…
but the local dealers in the Chicago area don’t carry them. Rutubaga in Madison just dropped the line recently. They (and my local dealer) claim you can only carry X number of lines. Fluid Fun in Bristol Indiana has them if anyone in the Midwest is interested. I no longer see them listed at Laacke (spelling) and Joys in Wisconsin.
Paddle the Falcon S-18
I for one am very pleased with my two yeat old Falcon S-18 Modulas. Paddle mainly on the lower Potomac, Patuxent Rivers and out in the Chesapeake Bay. Boat carves nicely, tracks well with out the need for the skeg. Am able keep up with the more experienced paddlers out on the Bay. Company replaced my foot peg system at no cost to me after a year. Purchased boat at Bay Trails in Matthews Virginia. Owners provided a five hour lesson free before I left the premis. Needless to say I tried out many kayaks first before buying. Have the luxary of frequent travel to both coasts.
Agree with the writer on marketing. Current Design and Perception appear to have a lockl on the east coast. Not knocking them, but as a novice, I am going to grow into this boat, rather then have to buy up in the future.
write me directly if you have specifc questions
Yellow on white
Glass Falcon 18 - how much do u love em?
We live in southeast Michigan and my husband went all the way to Rutabaga to buy his Eddyline Falcon 18. It’s fiberglass and he’s lavished attention on it (re-did the deck seam, replaced plastic bulkheads with fiberglass, put in electric bilge pump, etc.). That boat is fast, he leaves the rest of us in the dust on trips.
That being said…somehow, some way, another boat showed up at our house. You know what that means…I’ve been whining and crying about boats in my parking spot.
So, after reading these glowing comments about the Falcon design and some wistful reminiscing about pre-carbonlite Eddylines, I’ll simply say that this very nice, highly polished, very seaworthy fiberglass Eddyline Falcon 18 is in the paddling net classifieds right now. We live on a small lake, so demos are welcome as soon as the ice melts.
Having owned two Eddylines, I’m curious as to how your boat got damaged (was it carbonlite?) and how you attempted to repair it.
I like the Eddylines because 1) they have a look that’s almost as nice as fiberglass, 2) it’s significantly less expensive, 3) it’s just as lightweight, 4) carbonlite is very tough material, 5) for the small scratches I’ve gotten on my boat, they are very easy to repair.
I don’t think I ever wrote reviews on my Eddylines - just never took the time. But I started with the Merlin LT which I liked a lot, but sold that and got the Merlin XT as the cockpit seemed too small for me on the LT (okay, I’m large-ish). The Merlins are very resistant to wind because of their low profile, track straight as an arrow, are reasonably fast, good hatches, comfortable. Hope that helps.
Eddyline Boat Consideration
Sincerely appreciated the feedback and background on Eddyline. Part of me laments the manufacturer consolidations, local boat shop closings, and mass produced, mass merchandised product lines (definitely evident in this year’s new boats). On the other hand, I understand the effects, and some benefits, of price competition. Last weekend, I had a chance to paddle the Merlin LT and Nighthawk at the CSO Demofest, sponsored by Canoesports Outfitters in Indianola, Iowa. Nice looking boats, simple and smooth, without a lot of superficial decoration. I’m just trying to advance from novice kayaker, but enjoyed both boats. Definitely less primary, more secondary stability than I’m accustomed to, with significant improvement in efficiency. Liked the fit of the smaller cockpit, low weight of the boats, and the easy footpeg adjustment. Seat and backband, as well as backband adjustment, are pretty Spartan, compared to many currently available; would probably require a seat pad, at minimum. Can’t yet justify the Merlin LT price, but haven’t found anything else with an equal combination of small cockpit size, low weight, weekend camping storage, and performance. If you have any alternative ideas, please send them along; this looks like a 2006 budget item, at best.