Submitted: 09-09-2009 by John Clapham
I recently bought two polyethylene Sea Lion Eclipse's used, in good condition. They are bullet proof, I have taken them to the Channel Islands National Park (Southern California) several times and they are very stable; especially when fully loaded with gear. The only negative with having a bullet proof kayak is that they are heavy compared to fiberglass kayaks of the same size. It is impossible to move these kayaks with out the assistance of another person or a wheel device at end of it.
I got a good deal on both of them for $1,600.00 with carbon fiber paddles and some safety gear (pumps, paddle float and tow line). The kayaks excel in these types of conditions. I am only a beginner paddler, but the confidence I have with the durable and seaworthy Perception Eclipse Sea Lion has not prevented me from exploring a major portion of the Channel Islands with them. The hatches have a soft neoprene cover with a hard polyethylene cover for durability. I am planning to take these kayaks for extended touring around the Channel Islands and Catalina.
They were the right purchase for me, since I was scared that if I hit a sea cave wall hard in an unexpected ocean swell I wouldn't worry about the kayak failing. I have not seen a single fiberglass kayak at the Channel Islands, I suspect because the conditions are so harsh (rocky coast). The rudder is an option that I rarely use because of kelp in ocean and because it slows you down somewhat. Ensure the ferry operators (Island Packers) pay particular attention to your rudders and put your kayaks on top. This will prevent rudder damage when other kayaks are loaded. Island Packers are friendly to kayakers and have done a good job at making the National Park accessible to public.
I am 6' 190lbs, my girlfriend is 5'4" 120 lbs., we both like the Perception Sea Lion Eclipse.