Read reviews for the Falcon 18 by Eddyline Kayaks as submitted by your fellow paddlers.
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I have an 18S - plastic not fiberglass.
I FIRST got…
I have an 18S - plastic not fiberglass.
I FIRST got one with the flush hatches. They leaked some in big waves and bow splashes. Mine warped on the bottom - a problem only a few boats ever did, but it was replaced from the factory with a new boat, another modulus, with round, rubber hatches replacing the flush hatches. Much better. Both boats tracked well with the skeg up, but with side winds, or cornering winds, or cross currents, the skeg keeps it straight. very nice.
At 50lbs for an 18footer it's light, virtually indestructible, and has a nice high cockpit to break waves. I find the knee braces not too high at all, and like the room inside the seat with a wetsuit. Seatback is higher than some boats for greenland or laid-back rolls, but lifting your hips up puts you on the back deck fine.
I saw at least 15 of these at the Ski to Sea race in Bellingham, WA last spring. Fast, light, lots of cargo room, very maneuverable with the right techniques out of the cockpit. FUN FUN FUN boat. Great company.
The Falcon was a boat I...
The Falcon was a boat I considered when searching for a Kayak. But, I decided on a Necky Chatham 18 which is similar. At 6'4" 205 lbs. I like the Chatham because the fairly high fwd deck facilitates entry and comfort. The Falcon is similar but the deck is much higher. So much so that I only had the pegs about 1/2 way back. That has NEVER happened before. The problem is bending your knees enough to reach the thigh pads. It feels like your knees are in your face, and your diaphragm is constricted. It also feels like a less stable position than with your legs farther out.
I have a fiberglass...
I have a fiberglass version that is about 3 years old. I have taken it on several trips of a week or more and paddle it around the lake I live on. Overall I am very pleased with the Falcon. It handles well without a rudder or skeg in ordinary conditions. In following seas you need to edge it significantly to keep it from broaching. You also have to edge it significantly to turn it, which can be somewhat scary to new paddlers since it has very low initial stability. It is fast and resistant to weathercocking. Paddling with a small amount of edging handles any weathercocking well. In fact the boat seems to lean almost by itself in those conditions. If you happen to capsize it is easy to roll. On the negative side ... It came with Keepers footpegs, which are a piece of sh***. I replaced them with Yakima aluminum. The back support never worked well for me and, as others have reported, is prone to breakage. I replaced it with an IR backband and am very happy. I was concerned that the small hatch covers would make it difficult to pack stuff but as it turns out I have never had a problem. My gear tends to be back packing size and weight so YMMV. I do not recommend this as a first boat. If this is a "move up to" boat, then do a lot of practice turning with a J-lean (of course, be sure you can roll when you capsize). Eddyline customer service is first rate.
I have owned my 1997 glass...
I have owned my 1997 glass Falcon 18 for a little over a year now. I am 6'4" and 210 lbs. and fit very comfortably. In fact the foot pegs and bulkhead placement leave room for an even taller paddler, if not wider. I am on the water 2-3 times a week on average but didn't want to post a review until I had taken it on at least one long trip (Just returned from a week in the Apostle Islands).
Things that are good about the boat.
1) The boat is fast. 2) It tracks very well, especially loaded, weathercocking only slightly in quartering winds. I had fewer problems holding course than the paddlers I was with that had rudders. 3) It is surprisingly responsive to edging when surfing; I had little trouble riding 4-5 foot surf at Wrightsville Beach, NC. It broaches slow and controlled in surf and doesn't throw any quick surprises at you. 4) The only boat I have been in to date that feels better on edge is a Nordcapp. 5) Even though I bought it used, Eddyline has stood behind it 100%. (They had a new seatback to me within 3 days of sending them an e-mail that it cracked).
Things that aren't so good.
1) It is a wet, wet ride in big water. The same long straight hull that makes it fast and gives it a low profile to the wind make it punch through every wave when they reach 2 feet or more. 2) When surfing bigger surf the bow buries. I was careful to lean back as the green water shot up the deck to a depth of about and inch or so on steeper waves. 3) I agree with the previous reviewer that it is not an expedition boat. There is enough storage for 1-2 week trips if you are a minimalist, but it rides even lower in the water. It also takes a bit of planning to get all of your gear into the 9" round hatches. 4) I have had the nylon hatch rims on and off 3 times trying to find the leaks and now think that the leak may be in the deck/hull seam. One problem is that almost no adhesives seem to want to adhere to the nylon hatch rims.
My overall impression is that I love the boat. I primarily use it as a workout or day trip boat and love the way it accelerates and holds speed. On 3-mile workouts on along the shoreline of a very curvy lake I can maintain average speeds of between 4.5-5mph and have sprinted up to 8.4mph (GPS readings). I have never missed a rudder and have definitely become a better paddler by having to learn to lay it way on edge to turn sharply. I originally planned to replace the factory plastic seat but instead lowered it a half an inch and kept it. The seat is more comfortable than the seats in my other boats and the stiff plastic back always stays in place on re-entry and roll.
Feel free to contact me for additional comments.
Graphite/Kevlar - owned...
Graphite/Kevlar - owned since 1998. This is a fast boat that feels great to paddle. It is ideal as a day tripper but has some flaws as a serious expedition boat. The workmanship has been less than ideal and the area where the coaming joins the hull leaks a good bit.
The hatches are small but mine have been absolutely watertight. I was able to get adequate gear for a 7 day expedition inside but it took a little practice.
I find that the Falcon broaches significantly in high winds (20+ knots) with following and quartering seas. On the last expedition I was wishing I had a rudder due to the conditions.
This is a good boat for a paddler reaching the intermediate stage who wants to develop into a better paddler quickly. What once seemed tippy now seems very stable.
Fun, fast boat but ignore the hype about being expedition worthy.
2000 Falcon 18,...
2000 Falcon 18, fiberglass. 18' x 21"@56lbs. The Falcon 18 being a rudderless design tracks exceptionally straight on flat water or following seas. The boat is hardly affected by strong crosswinds and weathercocking is very minimal requiring very little additional effort for course correction. It is also very fast and has an extremely good glide. Average speeds in open seas have been quite impressive for my 200lb bodyweight, easily maintaining 4-1/2 mph and generally averaging 5+ mph in open seas with relatively calm conditions. Initial stability is weak with a mild "V" bottom at 21" beam. Secondary stability is very good, it is a soft chined hull as the hard chines of some boats do provide a little more secondary stability. The boat rolls quite easily. The seat fit me perfectly with no additional padding, I'm 6'3" @ 197lbs. I've raced the boat in short sprint races of 12 - 14 miles and have placed from 1st to 3rd in the sea kayak class. It is an exceptional performance boat, has a beautiful appearance but has a few downsides. It is difficult to turn sharply without a good lean, typical for such a great tracker though. If used for expedition use, both hatches are small, but storage is ample. It is not a good choice for a beginner as it is quite tippy, but for an intermediate to expert paddler, or someone who plans on serious paddling and skill improvement and occasional races, it is an excellent choice. I have purchased a second Eddyline since buying the Falcon 18.
This is my second season...
This is my second season with my Falcon 18 (Kevlar). Though their are some unnusual aspects to this boat, like the compass being mounted where you would put your chart, overall it is a great boat. I am not a strong paddler yet I can go hour after hour at a steady 4-4.5 knots. Tracking is not a problem for this boat even though it does not have a skeg or rudder, it just doesn't need it. My wife has a British designed boat & the last time we came into Little Harbor (Portsmouth, NH) we had about a 2-3 ft following sea. I came straight in & she kept broaching on the face of the waves. The price that you will pay for this great tracking is manuverability. I find that I need a good 'J' lean & high & low brace turns to get it turned around. The only way I can get it turned into a strong wind is with a strong high brace turn or a forward sweep while paddling backwards. This boat had 2 seasons on it when I bought it and had been retro fitted with a back band. I found that both hatches leaked, requiring me to remove the flanges from the deck, clean & remount. I used Boat Life sealent since it doesn't harden. The only failure I have had has been with the retro fitted back band. The origanal owner mounted it with 1) 1/4 bolt on each side, no washers & these were hidden behind a foam pad. One sided pulled out while paddling in NS. I have since remounted the back band using 2 bolts/ side & large warshers. Though I have had no problems with my seat I do know of people who have. This boat will take it all, I have been in 10 -12 foot seas in a full gale (yeehaa!). I do find it to at times be a wet ride. All in all this is a great boat, but not for a beginer. It does seem to catch peoples eye on & off the water. Try it before you buy it.
Beautiful kayak, and...
Beautiful kayak, and highly recommended. The Falcon 18 can work for beginners who are willing to learn how to steer, as it requires some leaning to make sharper turns. The kayak is fast and easy to track. You will be happy not to deal with a rudder as it is unnecessary. Feels nice in waves, but requires some skill to get through the surf. The kayak is not as easy for a novice to eskimo roll as some, but easier than many big kayaks. While the kayak is well made and durable the seat is not and cracked within a few months, the seat back also cracked in half and was replaced by more comfortable broad soft ban.
Fast, straight tracking,...
Fast, straight tracking, high performance boat. Extremely well made. I have owned 8 different kayaks (boys and their toys!) and this one is, by far, the sweetest. There are times when paddling this boat seems effortless. Beginners will feel uncomfortable in this boat, but once you get used to its fine touch, you will love it. Worth every penny.