Submitted: 06-23-2005 by donald949
This is not the boat for a novice. This was my second time out in a sea kayak, and first time out in the ocean. The first week’s class I was given a WS Tempest 170 for use in the bay in the basic strokes/ assisted recovery class. I requested a Carolina 16 for the second week, which was quite a bit wider than both these two boats, but was given an Eclipse 17 instead. I ended up in the open ocean 3 times. For a novice the Eclipse is way too tippy. The hull is round, which makes it faster, but less stable than the WS. Three of the 4 other guys in my class told me they had similar problems, ending up in the drink more than once each, with this boat. Read through the reviews here, lots of people mention this boat’s tippyness.
I also had problems with weather cocking at the end of the day, which might have been multiplied by my tiredness. I’m a real big guy, 6-4, 250 lbs, with a large frame, but the boat seemed to fit me OK. But I’m thinking wider flatter boat for my next outing. The only good thing I can say about the experience is that I got lots of practice with my bracing stroke and assisted recovery.
If you are a paddler with strong skills, good balance, and lots of experience, you may find this to be the boat for you. But if you’re a novice look elsewhere. Be aware, that paddling in the ocean with real 2-3 foot swells is much different than trying it out in the bay or lake.