Kayaking on the Hudson

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kayak Review: Merlin LT 13.5' by Eddyline

The Merlin LT was the original do-it-all kayak.  The first Merlins came out in the late 1990s.  I have one of the first 200 ever made.  It is an amazing design.  This kayak is 13’6” long and weighed only 35 pounds!  New Merlins weigh a bit more because they added more outfitting and a cushy seat.  The secret to the weight savings is Eddlyline’s proprietary Carbonlite 2000, which is actually thermo-formed plastic.  It is lightweight, yet incredibly stiff. 

 This kayak has virtually no rocker so the whole kayak is waterline.  This makes the Merlin incredibly fast for such a small kayak.  It can handle just about any conditions, except rocks.  Thermo-formed plastic is not quite as tough as roto-molded.
The Merlin kayak has a long water line.  Only about 6" of the length sits out of the water.

The LT model fits small to medium sized paddlers, while there is an XT version for larger paddlers.  The outfitting has been upgraded over the years and includes a cushy seat, dual bulkheads, and deck bungees.

This kayak is so versatile and so much fun to paddle, that it is one of only three kayaks that has earned a place in my permanent fleet.  Each spring, the Merlin is the first kayak I paddle to start off the season.

Pros: Very light weight, medium initial stability.  Very responsive and fast for its size.
Cons: Expensive compared to roto-molded.  Must be careful around rocks.
Best Uses: Day paddling in quiet to big water. 

See you on the water, 
Don Urmston

No comments:

Post a Comment