-- Last Updated: Jun-30-12 9:49 AM EST --
felt snug on you then you really do need a big guy boat. I want to try the CD Isle if you thought its cockpit felt a bit looser compared to the NH175.
I feel I have plenty of room in my NH175. Having paddled it for about 6 years now, I find there are few other boats I would want to own, the ability to actually fit in more than 4 or 5 other SINKs out there in the market notwithstanding.
The carbonlite material is tough. Really tough. Not poly tough, but more so than composite. My NH175 is a Modulus construction boat. Eddyline doesn't make those any longer. However, having paddled the carbonlite versions, they are about equally stiff, but not quite as light. Their skegs are trouble free, hatch covers work very well, construction is topnotch. They are easy to clean too if you must have a shiny white hull.
Eddyline's balanced designs result in a good seaworthy boat that works well on flatwater but I find my NH175 really comes alive in wind and waves when seakayaking. I think that is the advantage you will find with the NHs softer chines vs. the Isle's harder ones. The Isle may feel better on flatwater because of its primary, but if you are in any way worried about feeling stable in the NH175, fret not. Plus, it edges really well with smoothness through an almost infinite range. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is an ideal boat to learn proper edging technique. Having come from WW paddling, I do like to edge my boats hard.
The Isle sounds like a good boat and I want to try one just for the differences. A good deal on a used one is tempting. But there is no way I would give up my NH175. I've been too many places, too many miles, and too many pleasant days asea in it. I'd readily buy another one if there was a good local deal on a used one.
Re: toughness of Eddylines carbonlite material..read the review of the Falcon 18 in the reviews section here, the one that had a tree limb fall on it. I also accidentally torpedo launched mine off the roof onto tarmac one time when loading it. Besides a few scratches that polished out, and near cardiac arrest for me, it came through fine. I wouldn't want to try that with a composite boat.
White over white is a lovely color.