Melvin Gray, Murphy, NC
Matt & Sue at Aardvarks are great. We rented and went on tours several times with them. We had decided on Eddyline(your reputation speaks for itself) but were not sure which model would work best for us.They let us try any model we wanted to. In the end the fathom won out. My wife and I love our yaks. I am not saying that lightly as I had to go back to work for a year to purchase them!!!! We previously paddled poly yaks for several years and wow what a difference. Thank you for making such a great product.
Eric Slough, Toledo, OH
I know you already know that the Fathom is a great kayak. It’s light, fast and a gear hauling machine. So far this summer I took first place in the coveted Paisly Vest race at the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium. A few weeks later I took first place in the 6 mile distance in the Ohio State Canoe and Kayak Championships and last weekend, out pacing British racing kayaks with paddlers using wing paddlers. I also just returned from a 9 day kayak/camping adventure on Isle Royale in Lake Superior. Thanks again for a great product. My buddies are still amazed that I can carry that much gear, and can haul a$$.
Chris Schimmel, Hillsborough NC
I met with Richard from Black River Outdoor Center at Jordan Lake in the Raleigh area. I would have driven to SC to do a demo,but they made it very easy for me. I had already decided on your boat, it was just a formality to demo it and it fits like a glove. Can’t wait to get with fellow paddlers tomorrow night for our 6 mile paddle. I don’t think I’ll be in the back.
Cory Wong Harrington Park, NJ
I waited a long time to find a kayak like the Fathom. Everything finally came together: I needed the kayak to have the following specs: a. Sea worthy, b. tracks well, c. have good speed, d. responsive, e. weight to be near 50 lbs f. Easy to maintain, and g. Eco friendly. I tested the Fathom at Empire Kayak (Island Park, NY)in Sept ’10 and was sold. Great Job!
Steve Tew – Madison, MS
I was very impressed with the manufacturers response. The boat was built and shipped in time for a race in Ocean Springs, Ms. The fit and finish blew me away when I first inspected it at the store. The next day, My solo voyage was a ten mile race, which gave me the opportunity to get to know the boat quickly. The cockpit fit like a glove and the comfort of the seat is excellent. Carving the turns was easy and predictable. I averaged 4.3 MPH (per my GPS), keeping in mind that I had not trained or worked out through the winter and I’m 54 years old. I finished 51st out of 119. I’m looking forward to getting in shape and really utilizing the design of this boat. …Job Well Done, Eddyline!
Ed Nievas – Winter Haven, FL
This has to be one of the best looking kayaks I’ve paddled.
David Schultheis – Cleveland, OH
The person that put me on to eddyline was a dealer in the FL Keys. While on vacation I spoke with several dealers in the keys. I am new to kayaking but have been boating for 40 years power and sail. Your product stood out above the rest, the dealer in the Keys was very good at presenting the product. I left for home before I could purchase. Mike and his staff at Evergreen in NY were equally knowledgeable and helpful. Mike spent several hours in the store than took the two final eddyies to the lake for a personal trial. Can’t get much better than that!!! Have been out several times, the Fathom gets a lot of attention, but better yet its a great fun boat. Thanks for all your efforts.
Elizabeth Greer – Los Gatos, CA
We chose Eddyline for the Carbonlite material. As a woman, I wanted something lighter, and stiffer, than my current rotomolded kayak, but without the fragility and cost of carbon fiber, fiberglass or kevlar. The Eddyline Fathom seemed like a great all round boat, with amazing secondary stability. I demoed a lot of kayaks (I like the Nighthawk a lot, too), and the Fathom was the first real sea kayak my husband had ever sat in. It rocked and then almost went over. He had no idea how to recover, so he leaned on the edge, with water pouring into the cockpit. I could see the entire bottom. Thing came back down. Never seen anything like that before in my life. A nice lively boat, with a lot of storage space (we spend summers at Lake Tahoe, and I like to do grocery shopping and errands in my kayak – farmer’s market is right on the beach so kayak parking is ideal – and I needed some volume and decent sized hatches). On-line customer reviews raved about Eddyline quality and service, too.
Terry DeField – Sacramento, CA
When I registered my new Fathom I did not tell you about great sales staff at the Penguin Paddlers where I got my Fathom. They represent you very well, and what I was told about the boat in the shop was more than true on the water. This is my fist kayak and I was surprised how stable the Fathom was under me with my lack experience in this boat. Thank you for designing a boat that is so easy to paddle for a novice. I have had a week and been on the water every day, thanks again.
NWShetz – 06-11-2008 paddling.net
I recently purchased an Eddyline Fathom from the Sea Kayak Shop in Anacortes, Washington. After so many demo’s (and re-demos) in so many different manufacturer’s boats, I realized I had found the kayak I’d been looking for during those many months. This was the last kayak I would purchase, so I wanted to get it right. I’ve been sea kayaking since 1992 when I moved to the northern Puget Sound region… couldn’t imagine living in such a beautiful area surrounded by water without a kayak! Until I picked up the Fathom, I had been “driving” a glass Eddyline Wind Dancer…or “The Barge” as I fondly refer to her. Her many attributes includes a very stable platform for photography, fishing, and the volume necessary to accommodate extended trips to the outback. But with all that comfort and convenience she weighs a bit much. So, when I began the quest for my last kayak, I wanted a boat with attributes similar to those of the Wind Dancer but in a more agile, scaled down, less weighty design. And I found them in the Fathom. First Glance. The finish, lines, deck-rigging placement, hatches and craftsmanship of the Fathom pop out at you. One knows immediately this is one seriously designed sea kayak. The Carbonlite material appears identical to a fiberglass/Kevlar-finished boat. My kayaking cohorts asked, “We thought you were going to pick up a plastic boat.” I simply replied, “I did.” Then I started explaining what Carbonlite was and its advantages… tough stuff and lighter. Fit. At 6’2″ and nudging 200 lbs, I initially thought the keyhole cockpit was going to be too much of a tight fit. It isn’t. Using the paddle to stabilize the kayak, I simply sit on the rear combing, swing my legs into the cockpit then slide into the seat. The fit feels good, reliable and secure with enough wiggle room for comfort and to stretch those legs while on the water. I opted for the backrest seat vs the back band and it is very comfortable… with height adjustment. The substantial thigh brace pads under the deck are placed perfectly and add to the overall feeling of security. Of all the kayaks I’ve tried, the Fathom fit epitomizes the kayaking adage, “Be one with your boat.” Performance. Simply put, a joy. The initial stability (static) is rated “medium” and secondary (underway) “high.” I found it initially a bit “lively” compared to my Wind Dancer (24.5″ vs 22″ beam), but I expected that, especially with the single hard-chined, deeper V hull of the Fathom. After one outing didn’t even notice. I’ve continued my photography and caught some nice bows for the camp grill… and my cohorts’ stomachs. She really shines when it comes to her secondary stability! It’s what makes the Fathom such a joy to paddle. Leaning, carved turns are a breeze and one can spin her on a quarter with the moderately rockered hull. She tracks beautifully with very good speed and in contrary winds dipping the skeg keeps her tracking on line. The four-point bungees behind the cockpit work well in securing a paddle float outrigger for reentry, and rolling is virtually effortless… and even fun in the Fathom. Tripping. I had no problem packing the Fathom for a comfortable seven-day camping/fishing excursion to the upland 25-mile long Ross Lake. I downsized my gear somewhat and was more frugal compared to what I used to pack in the Wind Dancer. And the deck didn’t look like the “garage sale” I thought it would! The skeg housing does take up a little space but packing smart made it a non-issue. Even with a heavy load the Fathom performed wonderfully and responded extremely well. And so… I would highly recommend anyone looking for a performance-oriented kayak to take the Fathom for a spin. I’m confident you’ll be as pleased as I’ve become. I selected the Fathom as my last kayak for many reasons. It meets my requirements for what I like to do while I’m on the water, whether it be taking pictures, fishing or in conjunction with multiple day tripping. With its true tracking, speed and agility it’s also a fantastic workout boat. Always nice to take her out on my local waters and run some sprints just to work up a sweat… exercise made fun. Another fundamental reason… the Eddyline reputation for innovation, quality, reliability and service. They sure did real good when they designed and built the Fathom.
Rating: 10 of 10
Joe Matthews – Stanwood, WA
I purchased a new Fathom recently and must say I love this boat. The build quality is superb. I sold Boston Whalers for a few years and Eddyline’s quality is on a par with Whaler… every nook and cranny is finished in perfect detail. I’m fortunate to live within a half hour’s drive from the Eddyline factory and have had the opportunity to visit with both Tom and Lisa more than once. They’ve both been very friendly and helpful. It’s obvious they have a passion for their boats and paddles, and are not just running a business to make money for money’s sake. What a great company!
Jeff Solof – North Andover, MA
I’m one of the ERBA guides — have been working for Ozzie and Sandy since 2005, and they all (and Chris, the store manager) paddle Eddylines and are huge advocates. I’ve been paddling a plastic Tempest 170 for the past few years and love the boat, but it’s so heavy, by the time I load all my guide gear in it, my fellow guides were complaining every time we had to carry it! So I was looking at a demo kevlar Tempest they have in the store, but in considering the wear and tear that impact a guide boat, I felt that an Eddyline would be the better choice. I don’t want to have to baby my boat — I just want to enjoy it. I paddled ERBA’s demo Fathom a couple of weeks ago, and I was sold on the spot. I’m also very impressed by your build quality, and the fact that when I open the hatch covers, I’m not overcome with toxic fumes. The kevlar boat smelled positively poisonous.
Just unpacked the boat this afternoon — I can’t wait to get her on the water!
Ron Martin – Hillsboro, OR
I was not in the market for a new boat until I tried the Fathom at the demo day July 30. One session in the Fathom was all it took; I went home, put one of my kayaks up for sale, and bought the Fathom the same day that I sold my boat. My biggest problem is that I have another new kayak I bought only two weeks previously, and now I don’t use it at all! Love The Fathom!
zenrider – Aug-12-08 paddling.net
Had my Fathom since April and used it a lot. It seems VERY rigid. Never noticed the slightest flex in or out of the water. Unfortunately, I have banged bottom a couple of times. And most unfortunately, when I had it over my head, I stumbled and threw the loaded boat aside just to save breaking an ankle. After smashing off the tail gate and the truck extender, it crashed onto the concrete ramp and skidded down the rocks and crashed to a stop at lakes edge. Hitting the bottom left only the slightest of scratches viewable with proper lighting. These aren’t bang them around poly boats, but they seem tough as nails. Still, I do not take this boat when I know I will be powering over river obstacles. Compared to those glass, kevlar or carbon hull, I would say you could treat this much more roughly. Not launching it off rock cliffs or dragging it on a rope down a RR grade to a put in, but the occassional bump or drag across some shelly or rocky beach won’t ruin your day and send you to the repair bench. Great boat, very fast, not sad one bit I made this choice. The Fathom is worth the money.
Patrick Geoffray – Oak Ridge, TN
I tried many, many kayaks. The Fathom was the only one large enough to fit my thighs, without being a barge. Thanks for thinking about large paddlers!
Jerry Tiner – Waldport, OR
This is my second eddyline boat and I love them both. Thanks for making great boats and having the foresight to put your customers first and provide wonderful service. I haven’t seen any better designed or built boats than the ones you manufacture. Keep up the great work!
Sally Borges – David, CA
I had my Fathom custom made with a yellow hull and Blue deck and I just love the way it looks. It gets lots of comments while on the waterand now I just need to get my paddling skills up to the point where I can show off the boats’ capabilities. On it’s maiden voyage on the American River I accidentally got caught in an eddy about 500 yards after getting in the water -the boat leaned way over to the left side and whirled me around I thought for sure I was going to get baptized, but with a quick hip flip the boat righted and I was on my way! I love my new boat! I had a P&H Capella 160 RM before which was good but WOW to my new boat!
Bevis Musk – United Kingdom
I bought a Fathom this week from your English distributor, Reed. Firstly the boat is superb, at last a kayaking product that lives up to the ads and the testimonials!! There is a lot of waffle spoken about USA versus British waters and kayak suitability. You have made a very well finished product the handles beautifully, it tracks superbly and in the first days of paddling has given me (mid fifties but still fit experienced sea goer but not too experienced paddler) much better utilsation of skills and much more confidence in high winds and tricky currents and sea conditions. Plus the finish is superb and the fit is as a custom made boat! (I also help to run a composites company making structural carbon fibre products in the automotive sector and had a business making technical scuba gear so am qualified to comment). Kayaking people often forget that composites are really plastics too and do not realise the benefits of thermoforming with the right materials and that snobbery gets in the way of considering buying kayaks like yours. Very well done and thanks!
Mary Hall and David Cole
Have been looking for over a year and had almost given up. Saw your ad in Canoe & Kayak and visited dealer in NC. The Fathom is the harmonic convergence of material, features, stability, and fit we had been looking for. We bought two immediately, with the second boat on order.
We watched your DVD that night, and are impressed with your company. We look forward to being Eddyline paddlers for a long time.
Some Observations Regarding the Eddyline Fathom
Stability: Good initial and strong secondary.
Edging and maneuverability: The Fathom supports easy edging that leads to very tight turns and very good maneuverability. In the pool, or on the pond, the Fathom turns and ‘paddles’ well just using one’s hands and edging, no paddle, to get around. This is fun and good practice.
Speed: The Fathom is faster than any kayak I have been in or paddled alongside of (P&H, NDK, CD, etc). For the most part I determined this from stroke-for-stroke comparisons when I paddle with other paddlers, where I use different stroke styles and power levels to match theirs. By the way, the Fathom is fast and tracks well going backwards, possibly even as fast as the forward speed, though I have not clocked it carefully. This is useful for getting quickly out of tight situations and it encourages back paddling that is good practice in general and a good workout for a different group of muscles. (Note, in general for the activities of most kayakers I think kayak speed is an overrated item when comparing mainstream kayaks of roughly similar dimensions).
Decks: The front deck is high – Eddyline’s purpose for this is primarily to give a comfortable seating position that sets up an aggressive paddle stance. Furthermore it gives the boat added storage capacity. The shape of the front deck facilitates blade entry that is clean and efficient, minimizing inadvertent blade hits on the deck sides. The high deck gives a dry ride. The deep sloping recessed area behind the front deck hatch can occasionally behave as a scoop in certain wave conditions that throws water at the paddler’s face. I rarely notice this, but have found that sticking a black rubber 3 inch diameter suction cup ($3 at most hardware stores) on the sloping scoop eliminates the effect. The back deck combing is also high. This does not interfere with regular paddle rolls when the seat back-band is moved forward. The high back deck combing does rule out hands rolls on the back deck. However, this makes no difference for the vast majority of paddlers who don’t bother learning the joy of hands rolling. For those who do hands rolls, forward hands rolls work fine with the Fathom. The Fathom is probably not that suited to small paddlers. They should try the low volume Fathom LV. Both models are well-balanced and light, making them easy to lift and carry.
Decks continued: In spite of the high front deck, the Fathom handles very well in wind and waves. When traveling downwind and at an angle to the waves/wind some slight adjustment of the skeg may be needed. That is what it is for.
Waves and surfing: The Fathom catches waves with ease and handles nicely to give long rides. Skeg fully deployed gives the best rides from my experience. An interesting thing I noted when surfing near the beach was that whenever I got caught side-on to a curling wave the back end of the boat would catch the wave more strongly. This tended to make the front end point back out to oncoming waves and let me ride off the top of the wave. This was handy since it prevented me from being pushed into the beach bongo-ride style.
Construction and robustness: Eddyline construction is very good (I have not seen better). The Fathom and Nighthawk (my other boat) are easy on the eyes. The polycarbonate material known as Carbonlite has a combination of flex and toughness that makes it extremely resilient. I am a low maintenance paddler who would rather paddle than fix. If you happen to damage the Fathom, and you would have to work hard to do that, the fixes are easy and not time consuming, accomplished with cyanoacrylate (e.g. Super glue) and/or methyl methacrylate (e.g. Permatex Plastic Weld). To illustrate resilience, last summer during a landing on a camping trip I was lifted by a wave and plunked down on top of some large rocks on the beach with my fully loaded Fathom. I heard and felt the crash and figured some repairs were going to be needed before getting back on the water. To my amazement there was no damage whatsoever and I couldn’t even locate any gouging or scratches.
As mentioned, I also have an Eddyline Nighthawk, Modulus construction, which is a Kevlar lay-up with a thin layer of Carbonlite on the outside instead of gel coat. Again, a very tough boat and easy to fix. In my opinion, the all-Carbonlite construction (Fathom) is tougher than the Modulus construction (Nighthawk) because the thin Carbonlite layer on the Modulus boats is more susceptible to tensile cracks when outwardly flexed.
Conclusions: The Fathom is very well designed and a pleasure to paddle for any skill level. The construction material, in my opinion, is the way of the future for sea kayaks.
The Fathom performed well again last week. I registered a second place finish in the Vermilion River Race. I was only 12 seconds from first place in the over 14 ft. division and overall title and 3rd fastest time out of the entire field. In the overall standings, there was one guy in the under 14ft division that edged me by one second. Both racers that finished ahead of me were in racing boats. They had about 128 racers this year, both canoes and kayaks and my time was 1:03:26 for the roughly 8 mile course. The winner finished in 1:03:15. I finished second to the same guy the last couple of years, but I made up more than a minute and a half using my new boat and I almost caught him! One bad line going though a set of rapids could have slowed me. There was also a tree that fell in the river overnight that slowed racers. This was my first outing for the year as well, and If I would have been in the water a couple of times it may have helped? At this race, they start racers one-at-a-time and a minute apart, so it’s not a mass start. Hard to tell how your competition is doing? I have the Grand River Race on April 26, we’ll see how she does against the field!
Matthew Ross – Sea Kayak Shop
This kayak is a staple boat for our instructional program. The Fathom is a fun and stable platform for learning skills, as well as having the speed and maneuverability for advancing individuals – if we could only have one model of Eddyline Kayaks this would be the choice, we are fortunate that we do not have to make that choice because we have an Eddyline Kayak for every venue and every paddler! Some of the most common comments we get are: “WOW, this is a light boat” and “This seat is really comfortable.” After lifting trailer loads of kayaks and teaching from them all week we just smile and say, “Yeah isn’t that nice”.
Dean Luplow – Province, MI
Just ordered and am awaiting arrival of the Fathom model. Fit like a glove in the showroom and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. Had an Nighthawk and was extremely pleased with it. My wife is now using it and enjoys it very much. That kayak was packed and I enjoyed 10 days on Isle Royale, MI with perfect performance. The Fathom is replacing a Valley Argonaut and am looking forward to putting it through its paces. Keep up the good work and quality. Carbonlite is definitely a wonderful material for durability and low maintenance.
Cory Smith – Traverse City, MI
We were looking for boats for sea kayak trips that involve multiple mile portages, thusly lighter boats would be required. We initially looked at Hurricane Kayaks because they were within our weight parameters but after reading some reviews we determined that they would not be durable enough for our needs. We spent a weekend out of town looking at boats in other cities surrounding us and we came across the Fathoms, the weight is perfect, the boat is BEAUTIFUL and met almost every requirement that we were looking for (only thing it didn’t meet was price) We both felt confident that we would rather go over our budget and get a boat we knew was the right boat for us, so we ended up getting two! A Fathom, and a Fathom LV. Only problem? Its now March in Michigan and all the water is frozen!! 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. Thanks for a great boat!!
Justine Bunnell – Fair Oaks, CA
I paddled “Lucy” for the first time yesterday. She is wonderfully responsive, absolutely beautiful and so comfortable. Easy to adjust to paddle. I’m in love more than ever. Thanks.
Martin Lund – Orcas Island, WA
This sea creature performs like “out of this world”. I am excited beyond belief!! Eddyline has raised the bar for kayak design and construction when it comes to performance, comfort and pure aquatic joy. Industry standards are thrown out the porthole.
Eric Slough – Toledo, OH
Great product, dollar-for-dollar, Eddyline is the best value line of boats for your money on the market. I’ve seen other thermoform boats and they can’t hold a candle to your quality and attention to detail. I’m looking foward to getting my wife into a Merlin or Nighthawk in the near future!
Peter Borrelli – Eastham, MA
I just wanted to tell you folks what you already must know. You have produced a real winner with the Fathom. I recently purchased a new boat in Upstate New York and immediately went for a 20-mile paddle on the Saranac Lakes. The comfort, speed, and tracking were fantastic. The weight of the boat was a also a deciding factor, as was the price. I could not be more pleased. I will admit to having some doubts at first about Carbonlite, but its rigidity is very impressive. And then the real test came. I was paddling last week off Cape Cod on a falling tide and had to cross a shell-fishing area where there are many aquaculture cages anchored to the bottom. Just as I thought I had cleared the mine field, I ran up and over one of the cages. I felt like crying. Later when I inspected the damage I found some deep scratches and two gouges. I followed your instructions for repairs and now have a smooth bottom. It took very little effort. It is amazing. Had I done this to my former fiberglass boat, the repairs would have required the services of a boat shop. For your information, I am 6’4″ and weigh 205 lbs. I paddle regularly more or less year-round. Many designers think that what people my size need is a huge cockpit. Not so. What makes the difference is the crown of the forward deck. The hard chine also provides just enough extra room for big feet, which in most boats have to be angled sharply, placing a slight twist to the rest of the leg and hips. In the Fathom I set the foot pegs all the way down, slip in, press up against the thigh braces and I am off. I can maintain the same position for several hours without any discomfort. Once again, kudos
Jack and Suzanne Marshall – California
My wife and I each bought a new Eddyline Fathom (LV for her) and we couldn’t be any happier. What fun boats to have a blast and improve our skills! Next week we’re taking them up to Chuckanut and San Juan Island, and we can’t wait to hit the water. Suzanne’s blue Fathom LV is a beautiful color, and when I first sat in my pearl red Fathom, it reminded me of a sleek, candy-apple red soap box derby racer. Congratulations on your new design.
Charles A. Martinez
Just wanted to pass along that I really think my new Eddyline Fathom is fantastic!!! After picking it up I headed out to Lake Mead. The wind was blowing quite a bit so the water was rather choppy that morning. Not exactly the best conditions to be out with a new boat but I figured this would give me the perfect opportunity to really test the Fathom. At first there were a couple of scary moments when the waves would broad side me but the boat responded really well leaning into the waves. I’m really impressed with the way the Fathom tracked in the wind once I got the skeg adjusted. Seeing how my first boat didn’t have a rudder or skeg I was constantly fighting to keep that boat tracking correctly. Can’t believe how much of a difference deploying the skeg makes on tracking. Can’t wait to really give the Fathom a workout on the Colorado River. If anyone is considering getting a new kayak, I would highly recommend that they check out the Fathom. Thanks again Robert I think I made a good choice in choosing the Fathom. Can’t wait to get out on the water with you all again.
mctec – paddling.net
I’m now looking to move up from my WS Tsunami 145 — a nice, stable transitional touring boat — to a full-on touring sea kayak. I spent an afternoon this weekend running though a series of demos. Of all of them, the Fathom struck me as the true standout. Pictures of this new craft don’t do it justice… especially regarding that unusual deckline just fore of the cockpit. In reality, it’s just a tad higher than most… but has a very nice arc that is conducive to high paddle stroke technique. Well designed and thought out — especially for the performance-oriented paddler. Build quality is absolutely first rate. The fit, finish, and outfitting are truly the best of the bunch I looked at on Sunday…by a long shot. The Carbonlite material seems like a great technical advance; it’s somewhat thinner than conventional glass layups, which gave me a little pause at first. But I got an indication of its strength and resilience by the way the dock manager and I were tossing the boat around on land. (He did it on purpose to prove the point…because I asked.) He noted that a lot of people had used that particular boat…and then asked me to look at the condition of the hull. Barely any wear at all. The finish still looked brand new. I, for one, really like the idea of a relatively carefree material with the ruggedness of poly (but without the “fuzz” factor that sets in on plastics) and the lightness and looks of composite. Seems like Eddyline has gotten that combination down right. Very impressive. On the water, the Fathom seemed graceful, responsive, and certainly fast enough for me. (OK…compared to the Tsunami 145, nearly any real touring kayak would seem fast…but this was a dramatic difference.) I was especially impressed by how well it tracked with or without the skeg…and then how well it turned when put on edge. Let’s hear it for moderate rocker and hard-chines; there’s some classic Greenland character in the Fathom, and thats another major point for performance-oriented paddlers. The stability of the Fathom really surprised me. Coming from the Tsunami’s 24.5 inch beam to the 22 inch beam of the Fathom, I expected to put on quite a ridiculous show on the water. Nothing of the sort happened — the Fathom proved to have comfortable primary stability that just let me smoothly roll it on edge with very reliable secondary stability. I didn’t test it fully because I never found the limit, but I was impressed. My one concern: that distinctive high foredeck sure seems like it would catch the wind. However, it drops steeply away toward the bow…while the aft deck is nice and low. I don’t think that weathercocking would be much of an issue with the Fathom. I’m rating the Fathom a “9” out of 10 because I really haven’t put it though its full paces. However, when I compare it to all the other kayaks I’ve tried in its class, I’m pretty confident that this would eventually be a “10” for me. Give this kayak a try. I think you’ll be impressed too. Rating: 9 of 10
Debbie S – Spring Hill, FL
The Fathom is such a beautiful boat. The quality is outstanding. I have been paddling for a year and it is one of the few exercises that I totally enjoy. I have an SOT, but I wanted a boat with a cockpit that I can use as I slowly lose weight and inches. The Fathom seems like the boat that I can grow into as I develop skills. I am so pleased! I looked for a long time as I am medium height and carry a lot of extra weight and most of it is in my hips and butt. It was so discouraging as the boats for larger paddlers seemed to be designed more for tall men who usually still have much smaller hips than mine. I am able to get in without any difficulty. The fit is snug in the hips, but I can still rotate and my legs are comfortable and the thigh braces fit “just right”…like Goldilocks once said. Getting out is not pretty…yet, but that will come in time. I feel safe in this boat and experienced my first real thrill with some big waves recently. You have a wonderful dealer with Matt Clemons at Aardvarks. He has been so helpful and he really believes in the Eddyline boats. He is an honest dealer and never says anything negative about any one else’s boats or equipment. He gives information but really lets the boats sell themselves.
Eric – Toledo, OH
I’ve had the opportunity to demo the Eddyline Fathom on two extended occasions; in addition I’ve done a lot of comparative research across almost every similar make of boat on the market. The end result is that I ended up buying the Fathom, what you’ll find below is my opinion related to this boat and my needs. The first demo was on the Detroit River in mild conditions and 50 degree water and the second demo was on the White River in Indianapolis. On the White River I was able to compare the Fathom to the Nighthawk in mild moving water with eddies and ripples. I paddle primarily open water in the Great Lakes Region and also find myself on moving water quite often. I occasionally race my kayaks and participate in adventure races that involve paddling. I’m comfortable in most situations and would consider myself an advanced intermediate paddler.
For the price and features, I’ve found the Fathom to be a good value. When I decided to upgrade I was paddling a soft chine Perception Eclipse. I was looking for a boat with hard chines, a skeg, mid to high volume, 16-17 ft in length, something lighter than my 66-68 lb tug and something that could perform like a composite boat, but still take some abus. After researching thermoform boats and looking at the Perception, Hurricane and Eddyline boats, I narrowed the search to Eddyline after reading about the company and seeing the Fathom. The boat seemed to have everything I wanted in an upgrade, it had the hull features and skeg I was looking for, it weights between 50-52 lbs, is 16’6” in length, a 22” beam, has a day hatch and nice features like the retractable grab handles and a flat compass perch molded into the hull. You’ll pay more than a roto-molded boat, but not as much as a composite boat. The carbonlite material will put you closer in price to composite boats, but I believe you get similar performance capability without having to worry about your gel coat every time you land on the beach or near a rocky shoreline. The review in Sea Kayaker Magazine featured smaller paddlers and a paddler that resembles my dimensions 6’2”, 210 lbs and the specs from Eddyline say that it’s designed for both larger and smaller paddlers. I’d encourage anyone to demo it, but in my opinion the boat will feel large on anyone under 5’9”, and that is basically because of the high volume front deck. The rest of the boat fits the specs of a mid-volume boat except the area right in front of the cockpit. The low windage rear deck is clean and low to the water. My wife paddled it as well and she’s 5’9″ and considerably lighter than I and she looked like she was sitting in a pot-hole up to her chest. The high arch deck is designed well for a paddler with a vertical paddle stroke, smaller kayakers and paddlers with a horizontal stoke may have trouble with the deck height. I think Eddyline did a good job angling the deck so it shouldn’t interfere with your stroke. The inside knee bracing is well padded and you feel locked in. The foot pegs, back band and seat padding are comfortable and easily adjustable. At my second demo, I was really able to play with the maneuverability and was pleased with the results. I loved the control the hard chine’s offered. The Fathom tracked straight and fast, and I felt I could knock off a 90 degree turn if needed by edging the boat. My current boat has soft chines like the Nighthawk and after spending a second lengthy demo in both the Nighthawk and the Fathom, I enjoyed the performance handling of the Fathom. I was on a moving river with some ripples and I could put the Fathom on edge and without a stroke, knife across the current to another eddy. Several other demo participants liked the extra volume of the Fathom. Any corrective strokes I made with the Fathom were instantly recognized by the boat (chines). I’m curious to hear what others are saying and for now, I’m looking forward to growing with my new purchase. I wish we didn’t have to rate the boats when we post reviews, because almost everyone posts a 9 or 10. Each boat needs to fit the paddler in needs, fit and capability, for now I’ll give the Fathom an 8 with the hopes that in time it will be a 10 for me.
Rating: 8 of 10
BH – paddling.net
First, I’ve yet to find any boat that truely deserves a 10, so a 9 is really high. For me the only down side is the odd placement of the forward hatch, sits much lower than the deck line, looks to me at least a bit odd. I found, fairly limited experience with this boat (about a 3 hour demo), that the skeg wasn’t really needed, really easy to hold on edge so it would track either upwind, downwind or across the wind without it. Did try it though and found very little drag with the skeg down. Overall a really nice boat, specially for the price, good enough I’ve got one on order Rating: 9 of 10
Anthony Marsicano – Dunnellon, FL
The fit and finish of this kayak is outstanding. Your reputation for good customer service was a deciding factor along with a fine product.
Dennis Hardenburger – Corvallis, OR
Alder Creek had just gotten in the Fathom and I fell in love with it. So, I traded my Merlin back in. All I can say about the fathom is Wow, what a great kayak.
Patricia Crow – Redding, CA
Thank you for creating this design. I’ve been waiting!
KO – paddling.net
I used an Eddyline Fathom on Silver Lake and Coldwater Lake WA in October ‘06. I’m not a slight woman, 5’3” over 50 years of age and I have a history of back injury and surgery. This is a 16 foot thermoplastic kayak with a skeg. It has a two phase hard chine design. The boat was light, easy to paddle – fit well around my hips and the side of the boat did not get in the way of my paddling as my larger Necky Arluk IV often does. The cockpit has a good sized modified keyhole design and was easy to get in and out plus the thigh bracing fit really well. The foot braces were nice, firm, and comfortable if a bit difficult to adjust at first by hand – must be my short arm reach! The seat fit well but it would be nice to have a few more up and down adjustments in the backrest and more lower back support. The skeg was necessary most of the time to keep it tracking well – both into the wind and down wind. It felt like it had good initial and secondary stability – not tippy, I could turn on edge easily, dig for my lunch and watch wildlife with binoculars comfortably. It had three storage compartments – two large, one small – with rubber hatch covers. The small hatch cover was difficult to get entirely closed. It was a fun boat and I was able to keep up with the rest of the paddlers over two days.Rating: 9 of 10
I was pretty sure I wanted to get a Merlin XT but the dealer suggested I check out the new Fathom and I thought it was too big for me and I just wanted a rec. exercise boat. I demo´s the XT and it was nice, and thought what the heck I´ll try the Fathom and as I paddled it grew on me more and more. I unconsiously began to paddle with better rotation and full body movement. I splurged and am very happy I did. Thank you.
JT – Anacortes, WA
The Fathom is great. The high deck and the placement of the thighbraces allows you to sit in a much better position for pushing the kayak forward. The high arched deck allows you to catch every stoke without hitting the deck, its perfect. I liked the glide, I traveled in currrent in both directions and I swear I could not tell a difference in speed. Turning is a breeze, and it has very high secondary when leaning into a turn. I was able to catch a ride on the back of the Army Corp of Engineers boat this morning and the Fathom accelerated quickly to catch the wave nicely. This kayak is awesome.
Jim & Caroline Murphy – Brunswick, ME
Your testimonials section was a great aid to us in coming to a fuller appreciation of the superior materials utilized in your kayaks. We had also recently looked at a number of other maker’s models and realized that even the best of the rotomolded kayaks were aesthetically less desirable and liable to easy damage. When we did try our Fathoms in Damariscotta Harbor, we discovered their beauty was more than skin deep, they are very stable, glide very well, track easily and were a joy to steer.
07-01-2016 Submitted by: PaJoe
Rating: 9 of 10
“…the kayak is the best I have paddled. Note my first kayak encounter was 65 years ago in a wood frame, canvas covered, duck hunting kayak. Several others since then, but this one is the best for me. At 49 pounds, it is still a good fit for me. The thigh braces are well placed, the adjustable foot braces are top notch and the skeg never fails. I can kayak camp for days due to the great storage available and the hull design makes for efficient paddling. I don’t have trouble ‘keeping up’ with the youngsters in my paddle club.
The best part of owning an Eddyline is the personnel at Eddyline……always helpful and promptly reply to questions. “
05-16-2016 Submitted by: TML
Rating: 10 of 10
I have paddled lots of different canoes, kayaks over the years and usually paddle weekly. I rented an Eddyline Fathom a couple times over the last couple of years to try out sea kayaks to see if the hype is warranted. I usually paddle a 14’0, 29″ sit on top kayak of decent performance.
I was worried about feeling uncomfortable on a long paddle. The Fathom was definitely a tight squeeze for me at 6′ and 200 lbs but I managed to fit inside like slipping on a shoe and I had enough room and comfort to be just fine. If you’re much larger then this isn’t the boat for you.(try the larger cockpit of the Denali by Eddyline)
The performance was outstanding even through wind and white cap chop. It’s very fast paddling with nice glide. It was predictably stable at rest and very stable paddling at speed and carved turns very well with a very nice deep secondary stability. It tracked great even without the skeg and definitely felt 1-2mph faster without the skeg deployed. The weight was ok and I managed to carry it myself over short distances to /from the water. The fit/finish is top notch. The seat is comfy and adjustable. The price is on the higher end but it’s less expensive than fiberglass/carbon and more durable than heavier poly boats.
If I was in the market for a sea kayak this would be a big contender. Great job Eddyline!”
11-02-2015 Submitted by: ChiefPaddler
Rating: 10 of 10
I’ve had my Fathom for 2 years now and it was worth every penny! I went to a demo day fully planning to fall in love with the (then new) Raven. I tested it and enjoyed the responsiveness but not the accommodations – my feet did not like the angle they were forced into. (Note: I’m 5’11” / 235 lbs with a size 10W shoe.) So, I tried the Fathom and I knew I’d found my new boat. 20 years in a Prijon SeaYak which served me very well. But, I’d always wanted a nice fiberglass boat, maybe a P&H. Now, I really have no need for such a craft.
The Fathom tracks really well, glides really well, and is very responsive to leaned turns. The skeg is nice to have for a cross-wind or following seas, but is otherwise rarely used. I’ve had it out in some 3 foot chop on a windy day and it is secure yet responsive, with fantastic secondary stability. This is a fun boat to play in!
The seat is comfortable for hours and I have plenty of room to move my feet and legs. My sprayskirt is easy to get on and off the cockpit coaming yet it stays in place while paddling with no worries. The Carbonlite 2000 is holding up amazingly well and requires very little maintenance.
If I could change anything, I would make the cockpit a bit wider to make entry and exit easier. I do plan to reconfigure the deck rigging to make it easier to use a paddlefloat, but that’s about it.
I so impressed with the Fathom that I’m seriously considering an Eddyline Caribbean 14 SOT for a warm-weather surf/swim/play boat.
09-07-2014 Submitted by: Flatwater1
Rating: 10 of 10
I just love this boat! Fast and easy to paddle with plenty of room for a week of kayak camping. Comfortable to lean and carve turns but tracks very straight with the built in skeg down. Very large day hatch within easy reach while paddling. We built a sail for this and it really flies downwind.
Not affected much by wind. I have paddled the phantom in ocean surf and on many flat water trips. After paddling some shorter wider boats, this one is highly recommended for paddlers with some experience. It’s so fun to glide along other paddlers working to keep up with the easy strokes it takes to move this boat along.
07-02-2014 Submitted by: —
Rating: 10 of 10
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.
08-03-2012 Submitted by: djo
Rating: 8 of 10
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 my 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 personally have had problems with the new adjustable seat that Eddyline put into production in that it seemed impossible for my legs to not fall asleep in 15 minutes. I have never met anyone else with this problem. My boat has a custom seat from Redfish Kayak that is perfect for me (and probably cuts 5 pounds off the weight).
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.
01-07-2011 Submitted by: Steve
Rating: 10 of 10
The Eddyline Fathom is my fourth kayak and the one I will keep. The reasons…The manufacturer did a rush job on building this white on white beauty, and shipped it to my dealer within a couple of weeks. The fit and finish was immaculate. It performs exactly as I had hoped. My speed increased noticeably over my Hurricane Tampico 140. Initial and secondary stability is predictable, making edging safe and fun. I now have plenty of storage for camping.
The biggest test came when I Paddled to Horn Island in the Mississippi Gulf. On the trip out to the Island, fully loaded with camping gear, I had to deal with 20 knot gusty winds and seas 4 to 5 feet coming across the beam. On the way back, conditions were the same except with a head wind. The Fathom performed exceedingly well. I had to hold back to keep from leaving my partner. There was no, none, zero water in the fore or aft compartments after the trip. The seat is comfortable and adjustable…and once again, the boat is beautiful. The kayak is relatively expensive but worth every penny.
Submitted by: Boxxer
Rating: 9 of 10
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.