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Submitted: 01-05-2012 by marcoyoga
After several more months of 5 a week paddles I feel a little more comfortable with an indepth review of Eddyline and the Merlin LT. First off I am nearly 6' and 190 lbs. so needless to say I am on the larger side of the Merlins paddler capacity. I never once loaded anything besides my bailing sponge in the Merlin but I must say that periodic checks proved that the hatch covers did there job and both bulkheads kept the compartments dry.
The problem I had with the Merlin LT is that it just did not want to carve a tight turn like other kayaks I have had. It did track extremely true but it is a pig to push through a turn. Speed was ok but not much better if at all than a Current Design 120 and 42 lbs. is kind of heavy for a 13'5" craft that retails for over $2100. While I am sure there are those paddlers that like the fancy retractable carrying bands I feel they were excess weight and something to go wrong. I have sat in the Fathom LV and it and the Merlin LT simply don't have much wiggle room in the cockpit. I have been noticing that the Merlin is being offered at $1400 at some dealers so I am guessing this is the last year it will be produced.
While it is a nice stable kayak I just can not get over the feeling that it is also a very boring paddle, not the "responsive kayak" my Eddyline dealer lead me to believe. Legendary design, I think not and I am not alone after reading fellow paddlers that are selling their Merlin LT.
Sorry Eddyline you have a good reputation for quality and customer service which I am not disputing, but it is time to offer your more modern crafts in lighter more contemporary materials.