The Isle Au Haut boasts lots of speed while maintaining a nice level of stability for a comfortable paddle. Designed for acceleration and glide, the Isle Au Haut is a terrific choice for someone looking for power and efficiency on both day trips and longer expeditions. This sleek and sexy sea kayak is a great choice for everything from a quick evening paddle to a multi-day tour through the Deer Isle Archipelago, where it's namesake sits prominently in the distance.
Read and submit reviews for the Isle au Haut.
Fiberglass & Kevlar - two layers of fiberglass and one layer of kevlar to combine lightweight, stiff and durable construction with affordability.
I'm starting my second season with an Isle au Haut, and I am in heaven. I paddle nearly every day out and around Vinalhaven, in Penobscot Bay, and this boat earns its name. In calm conditions it glides quickly and responds very nimbly. In heavy swells (yesterday off Heron Light) she feels very light but (once you learn to trust it) very stable through the rise and fall. Last week I took her through some breakers crashing over a ledge on a rising tide, and what a thrill. Like riding a butterfly in the wind. Managed to rip everything off the deck (water bottle, cell phone sack, etc.) in one large wave that crashed over my head, but the boat just cut right through and stayed on track. No regrets.
After many false starts, I did not find my perfect boat until LC&K redesigned the Isle au Haut with a slightly larger cockpit and improved seat. I am just now getting to know this boat, and so far I am very happy with my purchase. It is light, tracks well, and the seat is comfortable (no more back stiffness after kayaking!). I have bought and sold three previous boats. . . this one is my keeper. Previous issues, for me, included excessive weather cocking (Borealis Ellesmere), leg numbness (Necky Eliza), and seat issues (P&H). I would recommend this company to anyone looking for a light, sea-worthy boat.
I purchased a used, older style kevlar Lincoln Isle Au Haut, it was heavily used (abused) as a demo boat and by a Main coast kayak guide. It had several gel coat cracks as well as cracking of the hull/deck tape/seam. Kevlar is a very light weight material but is also flexible. The gel coat cracks were in the hull adjacent to the hatches. The kajaksport hatches are very stiff to put on if not treated w/303 lubricant. It appears that w/repeated forcing on of the stiff hatch covers the hull was flexed creating the gel cracks.
After purchasing the boat I consulted w/Lincoln, I reinforced the hull and deck w/fiberglass, I also had the gel coat and hull tape repaired. The boat is still very light but it is now stiffer. I would caution anyone purchasing a kevlar only boat for this reason.
I am 5'9" 170lbs the Isle Au Haut fits snug, I have done 4 day camping trips, careful packing is essential. The hull has very little rocker, this makes for good tracking but slow turning - I would not recommend this boat for rough water or surfing where a more rocketed hull and fuller bow would be necessary. It also has a fair amount of weather helm, paddling in a cross wind is tiring requiring the use of the skeg. The bow could use more volume as it tends to submerge when surfing or in a following sea.
The New Isle Au Haut has a different deck and cock pit design, Lincoln has also added options for carbon etc for construction which would improve the strength. This is a good boat for coastal day and weekend touring. Lincoln makes a high quality kayak that is light and durable.
It is easy to carry especially after a long paddle when you are tired. It follows a line easily and performs well whether using a regular touring paddle, a wing paddle, a bentshaft paddle, or a greenland style. The chines make it very stable (great for rescues of others). I don't weigh very much, yet I find that it tracks well regardless of wind, wave, and other conditions even without a rudder or skeg. Before I have to deal with weathercocking, others have lowered their rudders or deployed their skegs.
I have raced in it and found that it wasn't quite as fast as some of the 15' boats, and without a rudder very difficult to turn a quick hard hairpin turn needed sometimes in racing.
I would prefer to have a few of the extras found on the Eggamoggin (day hatch and special cockpit storage). My biggest complaint comes in the back band/rest assembly. It just doesn't work as installed or even changed. I would suggest that the rear of the coaming be lowered to allow easier greenland style rolls and to change the backband/rest to a different model and installation.
After bouncing around in it in 1-3' chop and 15-20 knot winds, I was left with the impression that this is a very capable sea kayak. Since my time in the boat was limited, I cannot speak to it's durability but I haven't heard of any problems with Lincoln boats. If I were in the market for a new boat, I would definitely give the Isle au Haut serious consideration. I'd say that it compares very favorably with the CD Gulfstream, which is a similar design. The only reason I'm only rating it an 8 is that I haven't spent enough time in it to give it a thorough test.
BTW, I also paddled the Eggimoggin briefly and it felt quite similar, but it has much higher volume.
For reference, I paddle a Nordkapp HM and also own a Walden Passage and a CD Slipstream (my girlfriend's boat). I've paddled at least 30 other models of sea kayak, mainly glass and wood designs.