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Submitted: 01-02-2002 by Nate
Ever wonder how your boat will hold up after years of hard use? I recently purchased a very used 1996 fiberglass Raven by Eddyline as my first sea kayak. During my research, the criteria I sought were strength-lightness of construction, quality design, service after the sale, fun paddling/handling, and value. While new to kayaking, I've canoed, owned, built, and repaired boats for over 25 years. Let me begin by saying the boat design and quality are awesome! The Raven holds a lot of gear, the interior finish is smooth and clean, and my new Swift paddle even matches the boat! Size wise, I'm 5'10", healthy, 170lbs... the fit is great in this boat...snug and comfortable. Cockpit access is easy, and the cockpit edges are smooth. The fiberglass Raven is both stable and fun! Eddyline has really impressed me with the detail and workmanship in their boats. Before buying, I demo-ed as many boats as possible over a period of 3 months from ALL the major builders and some less known designs as well. I paddled roto-molded, glass, and kevlar boats. I was not seeking a used boat, just a good boat under $3,000.
The Raven handles great, and while I consider myself a novice, the boat responds to edging well, and loves to lean and turn. Even though not used often, the rudder system is strong, simple, and predictable. If I were to make an upgrade to my boat, I'd add a new "Smart Rudder" system to enhance rigidity to the foot pedals when rolling/bracing. The seat design/placement is comfortable, and my legs have never gone to sleep as in some other designs. I love the flush hatches when crawling back into my boat after a capsize, and while the foam bulkheads can leak, I have been satisfied with the integrity of mine. The Eddyline boats have super glass work, and even after 5 years of almost constant service the gelcoat looks great, surface scratches polish out nicely. The factory/dealer is VERY responsive, and that factor alone is enough to make a person buy an Eddyline boat. While shopping other lines, I was dismayed by the lack of response by several manufacturers, even with good design, one major builder from Canada that I met personally took 3 weeks to respond to my inquiry...enough said?
I highly recommend Eddyline. Even with many, many hard miles under the keel, my Raven is awesome! I'd buy another in a heartbeat.
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