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It's a great kayak for cruising around or for a long trip with gear. Do not try fishing with it like I did. It then becomes a balance game with a fish on your rod and you trying not to flip .as this is not a fishing/angler kayak. Tracks very well. Used, you should pay 250 to 350 in good condition . Overall I was happy with mine. An oldie, but goody.
The only 2 negatives I can say, is: yes it's a heavy boat, compared to many newer boats of similar size and performance. The other is the foam bulkheads are not very watertight and should not be trusted. This however can be fixed with some sealant. All and all a great boat when it was made and still a nice performer today.
While the boat is very heavy, I have been able to single handed load it on the top of the last three vehicles I have had. I may look for a fiberglass version in the future, it is a great boat.
I got a good deal on both of them for $1,600.00 with carbon fiber paddles and some safety gear (pumps, paddle float and tow line). The kayaks excel in these types of conditions. I am only a beginner paddler, but the confidence I have with the durable and seaworthy Perception Eclipse Sea Lion has not prevented me from exploring a major portion of the Channel Islands with them. The hatches have a soft neoprene cover with a hard polyethylene cover for durability. I am planning to take these kayaks for extended touring around the Channel Islands and Catalina.
They were the right purchase for me, since I was scared that if I hit a sea cave wall hard in an unexpected ocean swell I wouldn't worry about the kayak failing. I have not seen a single fiberglass kayak at the Channel Islands, I suspect because the conditions are so harsh (rocky coast). The rudder is an option that I rarely use because of kelp in ocean and because it slows you down somewhat. Ensure the ferry operators (Island Packers) pay particular attention to your rudders and put your kayaks on top. This will prevent rudder damage when other kayaks are loaded. Island Packers are friendly to kayakers and have done a good job at making the National Park accessible to public.
I am 6' 190lbs, my girlfriend is 5'4" 120 lbs., we both like the Perception Sea Lion Eclipse.
It has been about six or seven years (maybe more) since it was produced. The plastic ones are very old now, not suitable for putting stress on the plastic. If you find one and want to use it for calm water, it will work. If it is in a reasonable price range (under $300), then it may be a good purchase, but anything over that is excessive.
Good boat for learning in calm water, handles well, lots of stability. Not suitable in plastic for rough water or any situation where the kayak can be stressed. The plastic breaks down over time and these, along with Narpas, Kyooks, Chinooks, etc. are ready to be put out to pasture.
Spend a few bucks more and find a newer boat.
I'm 6'4" 210 lbs with a size 15 foot. I am comfortable using the rudder foot controls in bare feet, but have difficulty wearing sandals or shoes. Otherwise the factory thigh braces and other cockpit proportions are a perfect fit.
I have taken this boat out on lake Superior into 15 knot winds gusting up to 25 with 3-4 foot swells, and occasionally areas of reflection waves. I thought the boat was extremely stable, if not super fast. The tracking was fine, and the rudder controls after 15 years worked without a problem.
My boat is a little under outfitted. I have added lifelines on the far bow and stern. The hatch covers are held down with straps and clips rather than bungees. Worst of all the foam bulkheads have 2 large 6 inch slits in each of them. The bulkheads there fore are in no way waterproof. I bought some Aquaseal to seal them up with no problems to date.
The boat is certainly not a racer, but neither is it slow in my opinion. The plastic rudder controls are a little sticky, especially when you get some sand into them, but I've never had them jam or otherwise fail to work. Anyway, the boat tracks well and the rudder isn't needed on calm days. The storage space is great, although the foreward hatch opening seems like it could be a little bigger. The seat (plastic) is comfortable, and the cockpit is roomy enough for a bit of a small stretch if necessary.
I give it an 8 because it is heavier and slower than some composite/glass boats I've paddled. (It's also much tougher. Never had any oil canning in the hull.) If you don't have a pretty strong upper body, you'll have a hard time lifting this on/off your car's roof racks. Overall, a solid touring boat which I'll keep in my quiver for years to come. I do intend to get something a little shorter (I've had to paddle my Sea Lion backwards out of small creeks) and also a glass/kevlar boat for speed -finances permitting.
More specifically, the Sea Lion has high primary stability so it really shines for beginners. In addition, it rolls easilly and responds well to leans making it fun for the intermediate paddler as well. The only area where it is quite weak is surfing. It broches right away in the surf.
My Sea Lion is made of plastic which means it weighs a ton (I'm not sure of the weight but its somewhere around 65 to 70 pounds). This makes it real painful getting the boat on and off my car. It also causes it to accelerate a bit sluggishly. However, I have lots of fun taking it into shallow, rocky places that would seriously batter my composite or folding) boats. So there are disadvantages of a plastic boat, but its important to remember the advantages as well. My Sea Lion has taught me that I always need to have at least one plastic boat in my fleet.
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