Would a longer kayak work for a ?medium?

At 5’7" tall on a good day and 180 lbs I have ordered a 15.5 foot Eddyline Fathom LV, Shoe size is 9.

Now I fear that I may as well get the 16.5 foot Fathom or the Raven or something else.

Will there be an advantage other than speed for the longer one?

Advantages of the shorter one?

I don’t expect to be spending a lot of time kayak camping.

Depends on what you want to use it for

– Last Updated: Jul-10-16 10:55 PM EST –

The Fathom LV is a sweet, versatile kayak and would probably do you just fine unless you really need the volume of the huge rounded foredeck of the full-size Fathom. At your height, you would probably be more comfortable in the LV.

If it has to be Eddyline
Let it be the Raven. By far the best Eddyline and you will fit just fine.

If this would help
I am also 5’ 7" and 180 pounds and I know I fit well inside a 15 foot kayak designed for woman and teenagers(AKA smaller framed people)

Of course you will fit in any Eddyline boat. Most boats will accommodate a pretty wide range of paddlers–except for the extra tall and extra heavy. This is true of most sit inside boats, no matter which brand. Although, some are somewhat harder to get into and one of the critical dimensions is underside of deck to kayak floor at the front of the cockpit. At 5’-7", you shouldn’t have to worry about that.

There can be other advantages.
A full length sea kayak is not a gear-hauler thing. It can be, and certainly helps in that department. But keep in mind, surf skis are not built to carry gear at all. They are that length for performance without a load. Long sea kayaks are a lot the same. Any individual may or may not be capable of realizing it themselves, but I’m certainly convinced that appreciable differences are definitely there.

You will hear some say they prefer the stable feeling of their fully loaded sea kayak over the unloaded feeling. I have yet to find a sea kayak that I don’t find more agile, fun, and enjoyable unloaded than it is when loaded with camp gear. And I have an 18’10" and 19’ long kayak.

So here’s what I think can be unpredictable. I fit fine in a Cetus LV, but when paddling, I found the Cetus MV to be more agile. I’ve switched off in the surf between a play designed 14’ 10" long X 22" wide sea kayak, and a 17’6" X 21.5" sea kayak, and to my surprise, found the 17’6" X 21.5" kayak as easy to maneuver as the short one under my 6’0" and 190 lbs. Given fairly equal maneuvering, the efficiency of the longer kayak was glaringly obvious in paddling back out after the rides, and in catching waves easily and earlier on.

How could that be with the maneuverability?

Heck, I don’t know. The shorter boat obviously has to sink deeper into the water under my weight. So there’s likely some crossover maneuverability between draft or depth of sinking, and length of waterline. Of course there are other differences in the hulls, but I think deeper depth of waterline vs. shallower but longer length of waterline has some crossover point in terms of maneuverability. That’s where the concept of optimum weight loads, or acceptable weight loads, likely comes in.

Obviously you could also make a boat wider to offset the increased draft, but there’s another efficiency compromise. So I’m just dealing with length of waterline here. I’m leaving the width and general shape of the hull alone for the sake of this discussion.

So all this to say that it would not surprise me if you happened to find the larger version both faster and more agile. It wouldn’t surprise me if you found the opposite. It’s hard to know without trying. It’s also important to distinguish between windy days and calm days in determining preferences. I’m lucky enough to have many sea kayaks, and significant wind plays a role in my kayak selection. There are a lot of variables there too. A higher volume kayak can perform better in the wind than a lower volume one based upon hull design. Generally speaking, the less exposed above the water line, the less wind effect, the better. But some kayaks can have more volume, and still perform well in the wind. So one thing I personally haven’t been able to buy into is seeking out super-low volume fit. I’m much happier with comfortable room under the deck. And deck height doesn’t lead to weathercocking. Weathercocking is the result of your stern blowing downwind. If you’re weathercocking, and you lowered your front deck, you would weathercock worse. It would cause you to drift downwind with a beam wind incrementally more. But weathercocking is an imbalance in the wind that’s causing your stern to blow downwind faster, not your deck. So a bit higher deck may actually allow you to design a boat with a bit more slippery stern, like the original old Capella 169. Nice and comfy bow room and slippery as all get-out. I think the original was the best of all the Capella designs - certainly as a playboat.

Anyway, nothing definitive here, huh?