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  Posted by: apmorgan93 on Jun-12-13 8:42 AM (EST)
   Category: Kayaks 

Hello, for the last few weeks I have been researching and trying to find the kayak that will be right for me as my first boat. I'd been considering the perception conduit 13 at dicks, however I have found the opportunity to pick up a 17ft eclipse at the same price. I will mainly be exploring the local lakes and rivers, however I'm only an hours drive from Lake Erie and once I get my paddling skills up I may like to explore there. I'm 5'6" and 140lbs and I'm looking to primarily do exploring and fishing. Would this be a good fit for me?

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Messages in this Topic


  Two parts
  Posted by: Celia on Jun-12-13 9:39 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jun-12-13 11:31 AM EST --

As to good fit, when you are talking a full length sea kayak you need to give info on height and weight. Cockpit fit as well as your weight against the design weight of the hull start mattering, a poor match makes for 17 ft of a PITA to handle in wind or waves. [Oops - I responded and missed that you had done this. Sorry.]

But if fishing is a major activity, a full out sea kayak is a poor choice. The kind of room and access to stuff you want for fishing doesn't exist.

  some disagree :)
  Posted by: RubricOfRuin on Jun-12-13 9:52 AM (EST)

  Posted by: willowleaf on Jun-12-13 10:10 AM (EST)
...note that the unique hull design of the Xcite (a flat section under the cockpit so it surfs well) makes it a good fishing platform. If the OP tried to fight a sizable fish in that Eclipse, he would get a quick lesson in combat rolling.
  Eclipse 17 / Sea Lion is flattish mid
  Posted by: Yanoer on Jun-12-13 1:12 PM (EST)
  OK - so it is just me
  Posted by: Celia on Jun-12-13 11:29 AM (EST)
I am not a compact fisherman, or wasn't the last I was doing it.
  comments on the Eclipse
  Posted by: willowleaf on Jun-12-13 10:01 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jun-12-13 10:07 AM EST --

The Eclipse is very similar to some kayaks I've owned (it is a carryover by Perception of an earlier line of sea kayaks it used to call "Aquaterra") and I would caution you about buying it as a beginner boat. IF it has a rudder it would indeed be a good choice for Lake Erie once you had gained the skills and experience. But the model is said to be "tender", meaning it will feel unstable to a novice. At 23" it is fairly narrow and has a deep vee hull. Great for wind, waves and speed on a large lake but not so great for trying to sit still and fish. It is also said to have a tendency to weathercock. I had a similar but somewhat lower volume Aquaterra model and can testify that weathercocking was a big problem with it -- it was a real pain to get it to track straight, even with the rudder down. As Celia said, a sit inside kayak is not the best choice if fishing is your primary motive. Also at 56 plus pounds it is rather heavy. You are slightly smaller than I am and I dislike wrestling boats over 45 lbs. Have you considered this aspect? I think it might be somewhat too high volume for your size, too. There are over 40 reviews of the model here at (under the "gear guide" tab above) and many comment on it being a "big guy" boat. I think you would be swimming in it which is not good -- body contact is crucial in controlling a kayak. I really don't think this is the right boat for you.

The truth is you will not find a kayak that is perfect for pond and river fishing and canoodling but also competent for Lake Erie, which is essentially an inland sea. I think you need to focus on your short term immediate needs and get a boat that serves well for that. If in the future you decide that you want to try open water sea kayaking, then you can either trade up to a more capable boat or do what most of us do, pick up a second kayak specifically for that sort of outing, either by selling your first boat for an upgrade or keeping it and buying a new or used touring boat.

  Eclipse 17 doesn't have a deep V hull.
  Posted by: Yanoer on Jun-12-13 10:14 AM (EST)
"has a deep vee hull".

I've owned the Aquaterra Sea Lion and just sold a kevlar Eclipse 17 / Sea Lion and neither one has a V of any kind.

I have no idea what boat you're thinking of, but it isn't an Eclipse 17.

The Eclipse 17 / Sea Lions that I've owned are very stable and beginner friendly, even though only 22.25" wide.

I'm 5'6" and 160 lbs and found the Eclipse 17 / Sea Lion to fit just a tad loose on me.
  Generally - no
  Posted by: suiram on Jun-12-13 10:19 AM (EST)
Generalizing a lot, at your height and weight Eclipse 17ft will be a barge. It is going to be a real handful to deal with, and that is before you get it on the water.

Since you are not that far away from Cleveland, perhaps you would be interested in some offerings that has. They also have a rental place on Rocky River, roughly 1 mile of paddling before you get to the Lake Erie. Variety of boats ranging from 12 to 15 feet are available for renting. These are typically classified as transitional kayaks, there are a few sit on tops as well. If you show up on a slow day, you might be able to try a few.

Used boats can be had for a good price - check out craigslist., one of kayaking clubs in the area has classifieds as well

  It will likely feel a bit large on you.
  Posted by: Yanoer on Jun-12-13 10:21 AM (EST)
I'm 5'6" and 160 lbs and have owned both a fiberglass Aquaterra Sea Lion and recently sold a kevlar Perception Eclipse 17 / Sea Lion and found both of them to fit just a tad large for my preference, but you may prefer the fit, since you're coming from a rec kayak back ground.

They kevlar Perception Shadow 16.5 would be a much better fit for you and at 46 lbs would be much easier for you to carry and load on the vehicle.

The composite Eclipse 17 and Sea Lions are very stable and beginner friendly on flat water - I never had either of my composite versions on any rough, big water like Lake Erie, though, but they have a reputation of being very capable hulls in rough water.

The main drawback I see to the plastic Eclipse is the weight.
  thanks for the correction, Yanoer
  Posted by: willowleaf on Jun-12-13 11:35 AM (EST)
I stand corrected on the Eclipse hull profile. I was just going by various user reviews. Sounds like the Sea Lion/Eclipse models are more similar to the Aquaterra Chinook than to the Scimitar I had? Got a beat up Chinook in the armada now and it's a stable barge.
  user reviews
  Posted by: RavenWing on Jun-12-13 2:50 PM (EST)
LMAO - great just great.

not laughing at you w-leaf.

at the ppl who reviewed it, likely owned it and who don't know what a V hull is lol.

  Has slight V, but ain't a Nighthawk 16.
  Posted by: Yanoer on Jun-12-13 2:58 PM (EST)
  Posted by: apmorgan93 on Jun-12-13 11:53 AM (EST)
Ok, thanks for the info guys. I may end up just getting the conduit 13, I've asked around about it an asked ppl who have it and they all have had good things to say about it. Been searching Craigslist within a
100 mile distance for awhile (where I found the 17ft). Found a Carolina 14 but the guy said it was already spoken for >:(
  I frequently ...
  Posted by: ByronWalter on Jun-13-13 12:24 PM (EST)
...hit West Branch. I launch from the site on Rock Spring Road and you are welcome to give my boat a try. I'm almost identical to you in size and just happen to fit my 17 foot boat nicely... in fact it fits better than my previous 15 1/2 foot boat.

It all comes down to fit and intended usage and there are no hard/fast rules but that Eclipse does sound as if it would be too large for you.

Anyhow, if you want to give my boat a try, just let me know.
  Too big
  Posted by: angstrom on Jun-12-13 11:59 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jun-12-13 12:12 PM EST --

At your size, an Eclipse would probably be too big to paddle comfortably. There was a smaller version, the Shadow, which would be a much better fit. At 5'9" and 155lbs, I preferred the Shadow to the Eclipse.

You fit in the "smaller paddler" size range. A kayak that fits you will be easier to paddle well.

If you can, try to find a shop or event that lets you demo a few different boats. Another option would be to take a class that uses the type of kayak you're interested in. You'll be better prepared to paddle safely and make a good buying decision.

Sit-on-tops are the most popular style for fishing. Sea kayaks are appropriate for exploring the Great Lakes. i encourage you to get more butt-in-boat time before making a decision.

Used boats can be a great way to get on the water.

  No! Period.
  Posted by: Waterbird on Jun-12-13 11:59 AM (EST)
I found the weight of the Eclipse 17 listed variously between 60 and 68 lbs. That's close to half your body weight.

The differences between the Conduit and the Eclipse are extreme. If you're a beginner get the Conduit and upgrade later when you feel ready. The Eclipse 17 is probably the last kayak you should be considering.

Read the reviews.
People up to 6'4" and 240 lbs describe the Eclipse as a roomy fit. Those folks are twice your size.

Plus, the stability is described as "fair" or "marginal" by some experienced kayakers.


  Eclipse 17 / Sea Lion stability is very
  Posted by: Yanoer on Jun-12-13 1:10 PM (EST)
good for relatively calm paddling conditions. I never had mine in rough conditions.

The only "stability" related issues that newbies might have is getting in and out of the boat. Once in, not an issue at all.

The two I owned were composite, not plastic, so my experiences may not apply to the plastic versions.

  Just quoting the reviews
  Posted by: Waterbird on Jun-12-13 7:41 PM (EST)
here at pnet.
  Cleveland Craigslist
  Posted by: willowleaf on Jun-12-13 12:30 PM (EST)
There's a guy selling a Current Designs Kestrel for $550 near Cleveland:

Similar to the Conduit but a slightly higher quality boat (with a tad better resale value). A tad slimmer and a hair lighter, too.
  but... hatches
  Posted by: edzep on Jun-12-13 2:01 PM (EST)
If memory serves, the Conduit has 2 bulkheads and hatches, and the Kestrel does not. For the OP: dual bulkheads and hatches add flotation / safety as well convenience / storage.
  Posted by: RavenWing on Jun-12-13 2:46 PM (EST)
Composite 140 has two bulkheads and hatches.

Roto 140 does also

Roto 120 has one stern bulkhead and hatch.Float bags could be used in the bow.

  Kestrel cockpit
  Posted by: Waterbird on Jun-12-13 7:42 PM (EST)
is probably too large for this individual. It's for a rather large person.
  Heritage featherlight 14?
  Posted by: apmorgan93 on Jun-14-13 4:52 PM (EST)
How's bout this one? The reviews seem good and I can pick one up at a pretty good price. How does it stack up compared to the conduit 13. The only thing I'm not wild about is that it only has one hatch but I can overlook that I suppose.

Also could anyone give me dimensions of a j-cradle? I plan on building my own.
  Lake Erie - Wind -Waves - Fetch
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Jun-12-13 3:55 PM (EST)
Keep in mind where you launch and the wind.

FETCH - refers to the accumulated time
the wind is in constant contact with the water,
imparting energy into the waves.

  Allow me to split the hair
  Posted by: carldelo on Jun-13-13 1:01 PM (EST)
Just to be 100% accurate, fetch is a measure of distance, not time. Of course that can be translated to time = fetch / wind velocity.

But willi is right, longer fetch equals a longer time for the wind to transfer scary amounts of energy into a steadily building wave state. Being at the end of a long fetch with a steady wind can be bad medicine...
  Here's a pic of Erie...
  Posted by: ByronWalter on Jun-14-13 6:00 PM (EST)
...from last October taken from one of my paddling locations. I opted not to kayak that day:
  A "great" lake indeed
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Jun-14-13 9:37 PM (EST)
Lake Erie is 241 miles long and 57 miles wide
with spots 200 feet deep, often averaging 62 feet deep.
Plenty of potential for a rough ride
-even when relatively near the shoreline.
  It is too big for you!
  Posted by: jackl on Jun-12-13 4:29 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jun-12-13 7:29 PM EST --

I have one and I am 5'-9" and 155 pounds.
Like others above have said, the Perception Shadow which is it's little brother would be ideal for you.
My wife who is 5'2' and 112 pounds has the Shadow

With that said both of them if they are the older model plastic ones can take a likin and keep on ticking.
The only time I use my Eclipse now is in down river class I and mild II WW. They are almost indstructable

Jack L



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