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Reviews for Fathom LV Kayak by Eddyline

Rated: 9/10 Based On: 8 Reviews

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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I actually do not think the Fathom LV "rolls like a dream" (previous reviewer). Nor do I think this kayak is nimble. Yes, the kayak is quite turnable, but if you're at a symposium trying to follow a coach playing follow-the-leader in zigzag fashion, you might find that this is NOT a Romany or a Pilgrim or similar extremely maneuverable kayak. Like the other reviewer, I am 5 feet 3 inches tall, and the high back deck and high foredeck both make this kayak quite difficult for me to roll with a sweep and back deck recovery. Could the problem be the paddler? Of course. But I also find my fabulous skin-on-frame F1 hard to roll for the same reason -- high decks. The NDK Pilgrim, on the other hand, really IS a rolling machine. (And it truly is a small person's kayak.)

What the Eddyline LV excels at is comfort and cruising -- at least, in my opinion. I camped out of it for 5 days in the Everglades. It was great for that. Also, the relatively low weight for a sea kayak is a blessing -- 47 pounds versus, say, 57 for a British fiberglass kayak. And I think the Fathom LV is pretty fast. But I actually do not think the Fathom LV is the small person's boat it's cracked up to be. I'd say it's more suited for someone medium-sized -- several inches taller than I am.

My Fathom LV is a guest boat now. My F1 is my freshwater dayboat, and the Pilgrim is for the ocean and for thin water with razor-sharp oysters. And for rolling. Sometimes we just need a fleet, I guess!

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I'm 5'9", 170 lbs and this boat fits really well. I was skeptical about getting the LV version of the Fathom, but its turned out to be a great fit. It's a little unsteady standing still, but its easy to adapt to.

I'm just starting to learn more more advanced skills. Just recently I worked on self-rescues and there were no issues. I had no problem getting back into the boat with a paddle-float outrigger. Next, I will be practicing assisted rescues and hip snaps. Its obvious this boat fits the need of any paddler that has the desire to improve and expand their skill set. I opted for this over the Journey because the Fathom and Fathom LV were faster.

Downsides to this boat are it probably doesn't have the carrying capacity required for a lengthy camping trip. Also, the price keeps it out of the recreational only range, but I don't think this boat was simply meant to paddle calm lakes.

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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     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.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     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.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     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.

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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     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 costumed 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.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     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. If anyone has questions or would like to see some photos, shoot me an email.

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Submitted by: A Paddling Junky
Rating: 9 of 10

     I am more excited about the LV than I was about the first Fathom. The Truth is in the Paddling! 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 hair pin 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. (5’4” 135 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. Not so with the Fathom LV. When it is right side up it stays there, and when it us upside down it wants to come up everytime! (the paddler does have to do a little work, but not much)

I have yet to get this baby out in big water. I am hoping to do that in the very near future; after I do, then I will give the kayak a 10 out of 10 for what I am looking for in a great kayak. (that is of course if performs the way I think it will).

The only thing that I have heard negative about the kayak is the bubbled foredeck, and the lack of cargo capacity in the bow and stern. My response to those complaints, is just paddle the kayak and then I will hear what you have to say. Anyone that owns a Romany says it is not a kayak for extended trips because it has very little cargo area. As far as I am concerned, the LV is just what it needs to be for a smaller paddler that wants a kayak that performs and is reliable and functional and makes the paddler look oh so good!

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