Submitted: 09-16-2002 by MNS
I've paddled a plastic Eclipse for a little over 2 years and have (mostly) loved the boat. It's heavy (actual weight about 70 pounds, dry and unladen), making it less than pleasant for a long carry, or for loading on and off a tall vehicle. It's not as fast as I thought initially, though certainly one of the faster plastic kayaks. The fact that the hull warped downward a little over time from sitting too long tied down on the car probably hasn't helped. And it felt tippy when I first paddled it. Now I never give it a thought. In fact, it's ultimately quite stable, takes a very hard lean for turns and is quite predictable (no surprises). Other reviewers' comments about legs going to sleep and other problems with the seat must relate to specific body types. I'm of average size and weight, and consider the seat by far the most comfortable I've found in the many kayaks I've paddled. As for weathercocking, it's clearly less than the Looksha IV and other highly rockered boats. I've never yet used the rudder (figured I'd save that for a real emergency, but haven't found the occasion yet). Yet I've been out in violent gusts on mountain lakes, and sizeable wind waves on lakes and open bays.
I'm considering replacing the Eclipse as my primary boat with a Current Designs Extreme, for high speed and lower weight, but I'll certainly keep it for rock gardens, surf and generally all the places a kayak can get seriously banged around. I think it's indestructible.