Justin Atkinson, Seattle, WA
Fantastic Boats! We love all the Eddyline models. Definitely worth the effort to have saved up the money we did to purchase boats of this quality. Keep up the good work!
John Hudzik, Metheun, MA
We are overjoyed with our purchase. We took along time – several years – picking out the right kayak. Eddyline area rep and the owner at contoocook river kayak were especially helpful – even set up a special trial of several models just for us. Helped us fit into the fathom lv. We look forward to many years of devoted service and fun from our kayaks.
I love this boat. My previous kayak, an Impex Montauk was too unstable and slow for me. I have been sea kayaking for 5 years now but still very much an amateur. The Fathom is fast and very stable. It edges like it is on rails, very solid. The skeg system works amazingly smooth. I am small at 5’6″ and 140 lbs but I prefer the full size version over the LV. It’s nice to have room to fit my feet in with boots on, impossible in my Impex with size 9 feet. I think Michael Jordan could fit his feet into the fathom. The high deck is not an issue for my low angle paddling technique either. Submitted by: Swilcox
Whenever I paddle with a very experienced friend he makes two comments about my Eddyline Fathom. First it is the prettiest kayak he has ever seen and second a Fathom saved his butt when he and his son (a professional kayaker) got caught in the wrong place and time in a bad tidal rip the San Juan Islands. I have been paddling a Fathom for four or five years now so it is about time to submit a review.
The Fathom is one of the best general purpose touring kayaks available. It may not be best at any one thing but provides a great compromise at doing everything very well. At 16’6″ it is a big enough boat to handle most conditions yet is a bit lighter and easier to maneuver both on and off the water than you might expect. It has a modest rocker that provides a compromise between tracking and turning with an effective skeg should it be needed. Hard chined, it has good primary and very solid secondary stability and edges well.
The bow appears to be a bit narrower than some equivalent sea kayaks and 4 foot waves will often result in water breaking over the front hatch. This is not an issue but compared to the Valley boats that are favored by many of our group it does seem to cut a bit deeper into oncoming waves. That being said I have yet to find any water I feel threatened by when paddling this boat. It has a lot of storage and has served me well on 7 day trips even when I had had to carry all my water. I am not a racer but some of my racer friends have borrowed the Fathom and speak very well of its speed.
I am a real fan of the Eddyline Carbonlite 2000 thermoform plastic technology. At less than 50 lbs. the boat compares well with fiberglass. It has the clean lines of a composite boat but banging it on rocks, running over oyster beds, and landing on cement ramps does no more damage than to a rotomold. Yes you can crack TF boats. A couple years ago I lost a Fathom off the roof of my car at 70 mph in 10 degree weather when one of the towers of my Yakima rack failed. If you hit TF plastic hard enough under extreme cold it will break and I punched a big section out of the bow. That being said, I replaced it with another Fathom.
Is the boat perfect? Of course not, there is no such thing. The original Fathom has a very high front deck. At 6’3″ and 190 lbs, I like that a lot. The high deck lets me get my size 11s with 35″ inseams inside without bending my knees backwards. But even I bump the deck occasionally when I paddle if I clip a water bottle there. I sit fairly deep in the boat which for my size works fine, but I need some padding to optimize boat control. There is a low volume (LV) model that might be a bit better for folks that are less longitudinally endowed.
I have over the years owned a bunch of kayaks and am in the process these days of scuttling part of the armada. If I ever get back to a single sea kayak, it would be the Fathom. Submitted by: djo
I went to a local place with another kayak in mind. They urged me to try a few other boats. Came back to shore and bought the demo model on the spot.
I have been out several times now including a ten mile trip with head winds. Very little weather cocking. Easy to correct. Half dropping the skeg was enough to control this. Very little splash when hitting the waves. I actually found the boat to be a lot of fun when the water picked up. I recently broke my femur and have a very weak leg But I have had no difficulty with comfort or control. The sear and seat back have adjustments so you can really fine tune the fit. Important since I am 4’10” and 60 years old. Really happy with this beauty. (Note: the members of my kayak group were also impressed) Submitted by: ninacnm
Robert Schoborg – Johnson City TN, 11-08-2010
My wife bought a Fathom LV last spring at the Charleston Kayak festival. She loves it! I primarily paddle an Epic18x but I bashed in the bow on a night paddle in September. Being a supportive spouse, my wife has let me use her Fathom LV to train in over the last 2 months. I generally paddle 2-3 times/week on our local lake for a total of 30-50 miles/week. I also recently took the Fathom out for a 70 mile, 3 day camping trip down the Congaree/Santee Rivers to Santee State Park in South Carolina. So I have had ample chance to get a feel for the boat.
I find the Fathom LV to be surprisingly fast – in my rather inexpert hands, over the same measured 20 mile course, the LV is only about 0.2-0.3 mph slower than the Epic (which is a racing boat) at a similar effort level – although I have to add the disclaimer that I am not nearly skilled or strong enough yet to utilize the 18x’s full potential. Both I and my wife (who just started paddling this year) find the Fathom LV to track well and to be very stable. My wife was initially concerned that it was “tippy” but was comfortable in the boat after 5 minutes of paddling it!
The Fathom also maneuvers well – both loaded with camping gear and empty. The fit and finish of our boat is good, although it had a few dings and scratches when we bought it (as you would expect on a demo boat). It seems very tough – it survived an accidental fall from the top of my Ford Explorer (> 5 feet) onto a concrete boat ramp with only a few scratches. It is an excellent weekend camping boat – by traveling light (ie backpacker style) you could do a week-long solo trip. Of course, if you go with a group, you can share common gear and have more room for other stuff. By the way, I find that two 1 gallon Gatoraid jugs (for water) fit perfectly in the day compartment behind the cockpit with room left over for 3 days worth of food and a jacket– this places those heavy water containers near the center of the boat.
The hatches are smaller than those on my Epic and I find that I have to put my gear in smaller dry bags. My only significant complaint is that the rubber hatches are a pain to get seated correctly. However, on the up side, I have not observed even a drop of water in any of the compartments – even after the boat has sat on top of my car for hours in a pouring rain.
The seat and pegs are easy to adjust and the cockpit feels like it was made for me (5-6; 160 lbs). I have been in the boat for 6-7 hours straight and with no back, butt or leg pain.
Overall, the Fathom LV is not an expedition boat but is a great boat for short trips (week or less) and day paddles. In particular, I recommend it for new paddles who want a more performance oriented boat that they will not immediately outgrow.
Finally, note that an “8” is a really good review from me – I refuse to give a perfect 10 because all boats (all products for that matter) have some design compromises and are not suited for all uses. This is a great boat and if you buy one you are unlikely to be disappointed. Rating: 8 of 10
Max Johnson – Brutus, MI
I love my Night Hawk, but after doing a demo in the Fathom LV this summer I couldnt get it out of my mind. I stopped in the store the other day for some dry socks and left with a new kayak instead. The fit is perfect and I use a lot less energy paddling. I went out today in 20+mph winds and went around a pointe where I was no longer covered. Usually I turn around at that point rather than fight wind and waves. The Fathom cut through the white caps with no bow bounce and and with the high deck I didn’t take on any water as I didn’t use a skirt. At the age of 64 and after four other boats I believe this is my ultimate and last boat.
I purchased my Fathom LV from the good people at Sweetwater Kayaks in St. Pete in May of 2008 and have paddled both on freshwater rivers (the Silver River being my favorite), Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico several times. This boat gets sweeter as my sea kayaking skills improve. Last weekend I paddled inside Mullet Key, Ft. DeSoto, at the mouth of Tampa Bay, practicing directional control, edging and bracing and didn’t even bother utilizing the smooth operating skeg when the wind picked up and changed direction. Blue/green water over the bow and spray in my face and I loved every minute of it, heading into the wind didn’t seem to slow me down at all.
I do quality inspections and have trained several others for a major corporation and I know quality when I see it and the Eddyline boats have it. The hardest decision I had to make was deciding between the Fathom LV and the Nighthawk 16 because they are both awesome kayaks. Some day I’ll have a Nighthawk too.
Rating: 10 of 10
Lisa grossman Lawrence KS
My main interest was finding a boat that fit a woman’s body and one that I could shoulder. I’m 5’4″ 135 lbs. This boat seems to fit all of my requirements and it’s beautifully made.
My entry level boat that I’ve paddled for about 4 years is a Carolina 13.5 which I’ve been very happy with but was ready for a sleeker, lighter, faster upgrade. Can’t wait to get the Fathom out again tomorrow, Thanks,
Jan Sheehan, Annapolis, MD
First of all I love my Fathom LV. It is faster than any boat I have been with yet. I just completed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Swim (about 35 kayakers kept the swimmers in between the bridge spans during the race). We also plucked the ones (135 out of about 600) that didn’t make it by having them hang on our bows while we paddled them out to the power boats (beyound the spans) for pickup. I was on the Bay for about 5 hours total. On the trip back, from the Eastern Shore to Sandy Point, the current was extremely strong so I just took off to keep my momentum going. I was so far ahead of everyone else. When we reached Sandy Point, several men said they wanted to buy a boat like mine. I took a lesson the other day, on edging the boat during turns, etc. and the instructor said I had a nice setup and that the boat was sexy.
Submitted by: jpbfrompa paddling.net
I purchased the Fathom LV in May, 2008 from Oak Orchard in Rochester, NY and have about 40 outings with it in all kinds of water. I paddled a Impex Mystic prior to this boat. The Mystic was a fine, well-built boat but it just lacked enough foot room. I tried out several boats in the 15 to 16+ range. My criteria was size, fit and feel in the boat, performance, quality, and weight. I believe the Fathom LV met them all, although it could be a tad lighter. The fit for me (5’6″ and 149lbs, 63 yr old male) was excellent with great foot room and a good overall fit. The boat is of high quality and built in Washington State. Nice to see USA on label. The performance is fantastic for a boat that is 15’6″ and 21″ wide. When I first paddled it I thought it was a little twitchy, esp with side waves, but I grew accustomed to its handling and now feel that it is the best, almost custom-fit boat I could have bought for any money. I have had this boat out in all types of water, flat, very rough conditions, creeks, rivers, Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario coastlines and it delivered excellent, predictable performance. The efficiency, speed, maneuverability, tracking are the best I have experienced and I have been kayaking since 1998. Thank you Eddyline for the great design.
Rating: 10 of 10
Byron Walter 05-16-2008 paddling.net
This was my second outing in my new Fathom LV. The wind was ripping the tops off the white caps and shoving them into my face. The sky was gray, the temp in the mid sixties, and there was the occasional smattering of horizontal rain. This was the strongest wind that I had ever attempted to paddle in. Hunched forward over the Fathom’s red front deck, I felt like I was trying to dig two parallel ditches through the water. Fortunately for me I was on a seven mile long inland reservoir where there was little chance of becoming one with the fish. What a nice day for a paddle in a new boat. As for the Fathom, it didn’t seem to care which way the wind was blowing. During my five mile dig into the headwind and back to the boat ramp the Fathom seemed to be gliding on an invisible rail. After getting the boat on the right heading, it tracked like a train. I never bothered to drop the smooth working skeg. After the paddle my GPS informed me that my ten mile average speed was 3.3 knots which, considering the weather, seemed reasonable. On this day the deck got a heavy sloshing of H2O but there was nary a drop inside the Fathom. By the way, in case you didn’t know, the Fathom LV is Eddyline’s compact Carbonlite variant of the full-sized Fathom. I’m five feet and six inches and weigh about one hundred and fifty pounds. The Fathom LV seemed to have been custum designed to fit me. With its thirty one inch cockpit length, a butt first entry is easy. Once in the boat it seems to meld with me. The rear deck is low and I can lay back nicely. Internal volume seems good enough for some camping as long as I cram my dry bagged sleeping bag up in front of the foot pegs. My compact two person tent easily fits inside the rear compartment (using a tapered dry bag). That leaves a bunch of room for other stuff, like rum soaked freeze dried fruit cake, which makes a great trekking food as it can last for a century or more. But going back to the Fathom, I had a list of boats with the usual suspects such as the Impex Force line and a couple of the Valley models. It just happened that the Eddyline dealer was the closest and it didn’t hurt that the Fathom was less costly to boot. I picked it up at Evergreen Outfitters in Ashville, New York. It was like buying a boat from your sister or brother. I felt so at home I felt like doing my laundry. As for the Fathom, the boat is a looker and appears to be meticulously built. Once the local waters warm up I intend to work on my mediocre rolling and head out to Lake Erie. Maybe by then I will have found some issues but until that time I’d rate the Fathom a nine or better.
Tom Kirkpatrick, Nickel Hills OK
My Internet research led me to Eddyline, and – because of my size (5’5″ & 135#) – to the Fathom LV. However, I live in Oklahoma City, and the nearest dealer is hundreds of miles from here. But while vacationing in Harbor Springs, Michigan this summer, I came across The Outfitter and Josh Baker. Josh let me demo a Fathom LV, and I fell in love immediately. I purchased the boat through Josh & The Outfitter, and it was drop-shipped from Eddlyline that day to me in Oklahoma City. It arrived last night, I went for a paddle today, and I couldn’t be happier.
Boxxer 03-19-2008 paddling.net
I am writing this review based on a relative lack of experience. Some of you out there have paddled many boats and have plenty of experience, the Fathom is actually my first sea kayak. I upgraded from a tandem perception. So I cannot offer the in depth comparisons that I read about this boat (which was a large part of why I bought it) Initially we were looking at getting into sea kayaking as both of us are avid backpackers and have backpacked the back woods of Michigan, and thought it would be fun to try all of our trips (Pictured Rocks, Manitou Islands, Isle Royale etc.) by kayak. The determining factors for the boats were based on:
– All around Durability- Features- Customer Service- Stability- Weight- Price
The three MAJOR deciding factors were price (we’re poor college students), weight (multiple mile portages rule out an 85 pounds roto-barge) and customer service. We decided that boats in the 45-55 pound range were what we were looking for, which immediately lead us to Hurricane Kayaks and their Tracer, after looking at a few of them and reading the reviews here at Paddling.net we both agreed that although they met most of the parameters, we read the customer service wasn’t that great and getting replacement parts was difficult, and also that their lightweight boats were fairly fragile. We decided that it would be best to take a trip outside our town to look at other dealers that carried brands we did not have here locally, this lead us to both the Perception Eclipse 17 Airalite and the Eddyline Fathom and the Eddyline Fathom LV. The Perception compared to the Hurricane was much more robust and it appeared VERY durable, but sitting in it felt like I was sitting in decent fishing boat, the thing was HUGE. I also was not very impressed with the neoprene deck covers, too complicated with too much to go wrong. The other downside with the perception was the foam bulkheads, I had the foam in my last Perception and I am not that big of a fan. This lead us to the Fathoms, gorgeous boats the fit and finish were great, they had the hard chined hull instead of the soft chine that the other two had, and also both had a model that would fit both of us (the Fathom for me, and the Fathom LV for her). The weight was on par with 50 pounds for the Fathom and 47 for the LV and the lengths of 16.5 and 15.5 didn’t make me feel like I was paddling a barge. We spent a good deal of time talking to a guy named Josh at The Outfitter of Harbor Springs and he gave us the rundown of the company as it compared to others, and how Eddyline had lead the industry in thermoforming . I mentioned that we had compared the three boats and he said that the Eddylines were far more durable and the customer service was 100 times better. He mentioned that if we lost a hatch cover he could have a replacement here in a day. Although both of the boats were significantly over our budget we both felt we were getting a better product for the money and felt confident with our purchase. Coming from my backpacking background, obviously I have had some run ins with companies who’s products had failed and their customer service departments had made all the difference. Companies like Mountain Hardwear, I snapped a pole on one of their tents and needed a replacement for another trip less than a week away, so MH overnighted me a whole new set of poles free of charge. Companies like that are the companies that I feel confident doing business with. Upon getting the boats home, we logged onto Eddyline’s website to register our boats. About an hour later we got an E-mail from Lisa Derrer (The Derrers founded and own Eddyline) welcoming us to the family. Later in the week a mysterious package came in the mail from Eddyline, It was two free hats and a postcard that was hand signed by every individual person that had built each boat. Its not often that you get contact from the owner of the company, and even more rare to see a company take the steps reach out to the customer when there is nothing wrong. Like I said before, I haven’t even had the chance to paddle the boat yet (water is all frozen in at the moment) and I am already thoroughly impressed with Eddyline as a company.
Rating: 9 of 10
Marc Meyer, Auburn, CA
After16 years of owning Eddyline Raven kayaks, we have just recently traded these in for a couple of Eddyline Fathom LV’s. They are absolutely wonderful kayaks and everywhere we go, people remark on how well-made these boats are. Just another testimonial to a company that knows how to make great kayaks and is a pleasure to do business with.
Eric Slough, Toledo OH
Hurricane Ike blew through the western basin of Lake Erie last weekend. We were returning from a camping trip on Kelly’s Island and paddling into some serious wind and waves. My Fathom out performed every other boat in our group. With the chines, I could control every pitch and roll with a quick hip snap on our crossing back to the mainland. No other boat matched the Fathom in speed or handling on our crossing. I’ve said it before, but thanks for producing such a quality product. With a a fully packed boat I didn’t even need to drop the skeg for the boat to track straight as an arrow. My Fathom is a joy to paddle everytime I take it out
Angus Rickman, Orkney, Scotland
Having tried out several plastic kayaks I then got to try my friend Johnny’s boat and was smitten. It cut through the water so much better, was easier to accelerate, great to maneuver, light enough to carry on my own. “Should I have bought a fiberglass boat”?…only time will tell!
Have been around the North coast of Orkney mainland and the boat handled the four-foot swell and clapotis with ease. Dropping the skeg, with a following sea, means the boat picks up waves with ease and is great fun.
Frances Ennis, Valhalla, NY
The first time that I heard of your company was 8/23/08 while on 3 hour kayak trip in Long Island, NY. The trip leader had a recreational Eddyline. She bought it at Empire Kayaks. Since I was looking for a sea / touring kayak, I decided to check them out. When I called on 8/29/08 to see if they had a kayak which would fit my narrow frame, 5’7″ 120lbs, they told me about the Fathom LV. I booked a rental reservation for 8/31/08. When I sat in the boat, it fit me perfectly. I tried the Necky Eliza and the Valley Avocet LV, but the both of them just did not feel right and as comfortable when I sat in and paddled them.
Since a new kayak purchase was a big investment, I decided a try it second time before buying. After scouring the internet for any information on Eddyline and the Fathom LV, I returned on 9/1/08 for my second paddle. I brought some gear with me, to check out the capacity of the hatches (3 person tent, a sleeping bag and pad and a decent size dry bag fit nicely with room to spare for other essentials.) I borrowed a spray skirt to see if I could roll it. With my brief rolling experience, just learned to roll my white water kayak in Jan 2008, it was important to me to be able to roll it. I went three for three on my first try. Adding those two to the Fathom LV’s ease to edge, I was convinced that this was the kayak for me.
So now I am the proud owner of pearl red Fathom LV. I look forward to developing and improving my paddling skills and more importantly just having fun with my new kayak. Thank you for very positive initial experience with Eddyline.
Lorna Keleher, Snohomish, WA
I was looking for a single kayak and had the opportunity to demo the Fathom LV while helping during the NSSKA demo at Silverlake. I tried several kayaks that were just ok. Once I tried the Fathom LV, I knew this was the kayak for me. It was the perfect fit for my size and it handled extremely well. It was fun! I can’t wait to take my new kayak out! Thanks for a great design.
Kathleen Dunn, Fairfield, CT
I LOVE my new boat – thanks for making such a great product. I have two other boats, and the Fathom LV quickly has become my favorite.
Johnny Johnston, Orkney, Scotland
My Eddyline Fathom LV arrived today, it is the most beautiful kayak I have seen. The standard of finish is outstanding, the features, skeg, seat etc, all first class, can’t wait to get it in the sea. Your representatives in the UK at Chillcheater are excellent to deal with, Jo Reed who sold me the kayak could not have been more helpful.
As we are about as far apart as we can get in the UK, she was a joy to do business with, as getting it all the way up here posed a few little problems! Keep up your excellent standard, I feel my Eddyline could be only the first of many to end up in the Orkney Isles.
Mike Hicks Lady Lake, FL
I’ll be purchasing a Nighthawk 16 as soon as I sell a 14′ kayak I’ve considered my training boat to learn sea kayaking skills. It was a hard choice for me between the Fathom LV and the Nighthawk 16 but the hard chine and moderate rocker won out (as well as the day hatch). I do quality inspections as well as train other inspectors for a major corporation and know quality when I see it and your boats have it. I’m looking forward to learning to roll my new Fathom LV
Chris Reeves, Cornwall, UK
Have kayaked white water for 15 years. Got into sea kayaking 2 years ago and have been looking for a low volume kayak (I am only 4ft 11” ) that is more durable than fiberglass. I love the build quality!
Candice Craggs Traverse City, MI
I was impressed by the knowledge of our salesperson at The Outfitter. My boyfriend and I had spent a few good month researching a multitude of different kayaks and both decided on the Fathom after looking at a few other competitors ( I actually purchased the LV, while he has the full sized Fathom). We both like the hard chine design, the third day hatch in the back, the comfort when seated inside and the lightweight design. We both backpack fairly often and were looking at revisiting many backpacking locations via kayak. These locations generally had decent portage areas, so being lightweight was important to us. We are both fairly new at kayaking, so I’m looking forward to getting mine on the water and experimenting with it. Thanks for a great product!
Glenna O., Illinois
I am more excited about the LV than I was about the first Fathom. It is a magnificent handling kayak for someone my size. It edges beautifully, much easier for me to get it on edge; not so much kayak to lay over. It literally does hairpin turns with a bow rudder; and sweep strokes can be just as effective with 95% of the hull out of the water. It just STICKS! The sweet spot is right where it should be for a paddler my size. 5’3” 120 lbs. Draw strokes are magnificently efficient, even against the wind. I thought the shorter length would reduce the LV’s speed significantly, but not so. I find it a bit more speedy than the Nighthawk 16 and it rolls like a dream -as effortlessly as the NDK Romany. Yet, I find the initial and secondary stability to be great! Some kayaks roll very effortlessly, but it also takes very little to capsize them as well. Thank you so much for the FATHOM LV. IT IS ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!
Steve Hayden, Laurier, WA
Love the Fathom LV. I have not kayaked in 30+ years, but stable the LV is for a 21″ beam – Love the responsiveness. Thanks
Youngvine from paddling.net
Believe it or not, I blindly ordered the Fathom LV after a wonderful Eddyline demo day on Chautauqua Lake, NY provided by Evergreen Outfitters. Even thought the kayak wasn’t even in production yet, I knew this was going to be the boat for me. I’m 5’5″ and fairly new to the sport, nevertheless, I wanted an aggressive, well built (preferably US manufactured), touring kayak for my 1st boat. I couldn’t have picked a better one! It fits me perfectly, tackles Lake Erie like a demon, and is very light. In 3-4 foot waves, the retractable skeg keeps me straight on course. I haven’t had too much need for my spray skirt either, since the water rapids spills off as the kayak slices through the water. I hope to use it in combination with a backpacking trip this fall either on lake or river.
Jennifer Martin, Crystal River, FL
I love this boat. I took my time and tried many different boats, but after I paddled this one, it was over. Felt like you had made the boat just for me.