This roomy, full performance kayak will carry you and all the gear you want, and carry you in style. Designed for the larger paddler, this no compromise kayak is a sea kayak supreme, with full deck rigging, bulk-headed watertight bow and stern compartments, good sized hatch covers and a retractable skeg. Our large padded seat has a fully adjustable backrest or optional backband. The large cockpit is available with or without thigh bracing. The high stability combined with a good balance between tracking and turning make this a great open water kayak.
Gary Groleau, Laconia, NH 11-24-2009
My Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5 delights me from a host of perspectives. What do I mean? Well for starters, I work in manufacturing where CAD and CNC are familiar acronyms so I have a heightened appreciation for the technological innovations behind your product. I also have a special appreciation for the manufacturing excellence business model you are clearly passionate about, enabling you to deliver quality boats on-time. From a sustainability perspective, I’m pleased knowing that producing this boat is more environmentally benign than say fiberglass or Kevlar and is recyclable. But ultimately what matters is where the hull meets the water and here again, total and complete success. Having bought my Nighthawk late in the season, I admittedly have only 30+ paddling hours on her but under adverse late season conditions in the chilly Northeast. It loads up large by the way and tracks like a dream (empty or full). It’s remarkably nimble and responsible for a boat of its dimensions and can be downright playful if you let your skills push her a bit. I dropped the skeg in a hard following wind but really didn’t need it as the lower profile rear deck seemed to do its trick. By the way, I’m 5’9″ and 235 lbs so this boat was made for me. It’s beautifully sculptured and smartly appointed with quality components throughout. Thanks for a world-class product and exceeding this customer’s expectations. Eddyline clearly understands what it is to deliver true value for every penny spent and paddle stroke taken.
Charles B 07-21-2009
After 8 years of paddling an Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro and renting some rotomolded sit inside kayaks, I bought a used Nighthawk 17.5. I was hesitant to buy such a long boat but I’ve now put over 100 miles on the boat in the on rivers, lakes and in the Gulf of Mexico. I’m 6′ even and 210 pounds. This boat is not only large enough for me but would probably fit me better if I put on 30 pounds. There is plenty of leg room. I’ve got a 32″ inseam and there is about 6 more inches of adjustment left in the foot pegs. This is definitely a boat for large and tall paddlers. I’m thinking about putting some padding on the sides of the seat to make the fit a little more snug.
My fear about such a long boat being difficult to maneuver was unfounded. Now that I’ve learned to edge, turning isn’t at all difficult. The Nighthawk doesn’t track as easily as my 15 foot sit on top but I just drop the skeg and it holds a straight line with no effort at all. On calm water I don’t use the skeg but it does come in handy paddling upstream or in windy conditions.
The primary and secondary stability are both excellent. I’ve actually put it up on edge far enough to get water in the cockpit without tipping over and I’m not an advanced paddler. The Nighthawk is not a racing boat. It doesn’t accelerate as fast as sleeker kayaks but once I get moving I have no problem keeping up with other boats. I glides along really well.
My Nighthawk is a 2006 model with a hard plastic seat and backrest (not a back band). The first couple of times I took the boat out the backrest irritated me but now it doesn’t bother me even after 5 hours in the boat. I’m completely satisfied with the backrest and have no plans to change it. The new Nighthawks come with an integrated seat pad. I might very well rate that a 10 of 10 but I give my 2006 hard seat model a 9.
Rating: 9 of 10
Mike Compton, La Conner, WA
I want to thank you and your service department, for your classy way of doing business. I bought a used Nighthawk 17.5 about a year ago, and I broke the clip that the strap from the seatback attaches to. I’m sure I was leaning back too much and at 278 lbs. that poor little clip didn’t have much of a chance.
(I broke it a year ago and I’ve also lost about 30 lbs. which helps with a lot of things.) I fixed it temporarily with a heavy duty wire tie, but a couple of weeks ago I finally called your number and a nice lady in your service department said that she would just send me one. (in fact she sent two, just in case)I replaced the clip and it works fine. I will always highly recommend your company and the Eddyline Kayaks. By the way, my Nighthawk 17.5 is a great boat. It’s very easy to get in and out of on shore, even before you lose that extra weight, and I always feel stable and secure out there. Thanks for a great design and for such great service.
Peter Cole, Manchester, NH
I wanted to thank you for an excellent job done. I just purchased a Night Hawk 17.5 from Umiak Outfitters in Stowe VT. They special ordered it for me without the thigh braces. I just took the boat out on Moore Resevoir in Littleton NH. What a pleasure to paddle, a smooth comfortable ride. Truly a boat to be very proud of owning and the workmanship is outstanding!!! I had met Tom Remsing at the Kittery Trading Post kayak show in Durham NH and he took the time to explain everything about this wonderful craft and pointed me to a number of dealers in the N.E. area. I chose Umiak on their professionalism and knowledge of your products. I want to thank all of you at Eddyline for your craftmenship and the way your company does business. A true pleasure to deal with and an honor to know that you have excellent representation in your field reps and dealers. I also want to give a great deal of thanks to Umiak’s owner Steve Brownlee for his knowledge and great staff.
Shawn Fitzpatrick, Pensacola, FL
Thanks for making a craft large enough for someone built like myself, 6’3”, 300lbs to be able to enjoy the activity!!
I am 6’3″ 255lbs and at a low intermediate skill level. I have owned three roto boats: the Old Town Adventure 160 XL and two Mad River Synergy 14′s. I looked for four or five months to find a Sea Kayak that would meet my needs and “FIT” me. I narrowed the search down to the Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5, the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 175, the P&H Capella 173. My waist is 42″ with a 31 inch inseam and a size 13 foot. I am 47 years old and have spinal issues. The Tsunami is a nice boat, but I did not feel it offered enough of an improvement over the Adventure XL to buy another big roto boat. So the final test was between the Capella 173 and the Nighthawk 17.5. I sat in the P&H Quest and Cetus and did not feel that the seats/beam would be comfortable enough for me at the time. I also paddled the Eddyline Fathom and was not convinced that the loss of stability and room were worth the performance advantage at the time of my purchase. When I paddled the Capella 173, I found the boat to edge better and was more responsive to turning, in all other categories it fell behind the Nighthawk 17.5. The Eddyline felt faster and more stable for me. The Eddyline really grew on me the more I used it, and I definitely like being able to be less careful when moving it or hitting the beach. The fit and finish is excellent and the hatches stay very dry. I have now put over 150 miles on the boat and am very happy with my decision. It needs 50% skeg in in strong quartering winds and it tends to pound the bow in chop rather than cut the wave as I expect the Capella would. The hardback Eddyline seat on my demo caused me some pain so I ordered mine with the back band. The back band is mounted too low for my needed low back support so I moved the mounting points up onto the lower coaming and a little forward for more adjust-ability. The seat is now very comfortable. I paddle mostly with guys who use British or Canadian composite boats or who build their own skin overs and strip boats. They all seem to be impressed with the Eddyline, both in its speed and ability to comfortably handle most conditions. The Nighthawk 17.5 seems to actually like the following seas, it will round up in big waves if you try to race it down, but for the most part it is very predictable. I plan on buying a Fathom for my wife, fortunately she so far does not realize who it is actually for. I laughed at the notion of paying decent money for a “plastic” boat. I am not laughing anymore; Eddyline makes a very impressive product and the people I have met from Eddyline thus far have really sold me on the company. For a bigger person like me who is looking for speed, quality, comfort, and stability, I strongly suggest you consider the Nighthawk 17.5 when you are looking for a boat. I am looking forward to advancing my skills and paddling through the winter. The Fathom will be a good compliment to our current boats. Rating: 9 of 10
Christian Giardina, Hawaii
Just a quick note to let you know I moved from the UP of Michigan to Hawaii this summer and shipped my 17′ nighthawk with me. Just took it out yesterday in some medium water (3′ swells) and it did absolutely great. A fantastic boat for the central pacific! I can’t wait to take it out when the water gets big. Thanks for building a super kayak.
HH – paddling.net
This is my 3rd kayak – this is one beautiful kayak. Workmanship is excellent and I find the boat very comfortable and stable. Although this boat is advertised for large paddlers, I’m 5′ 10″ and about 185 pounds. I certainly don’t have any complaints about comfort. The seat is the best I’ve ever tried. I wanted a kayak to use for overnight trips and as far as I ‘m concerned, there is tons of hatch space – maybe even more than I need. Initial and secondary stability is very good and the boat is stable enough to use as a fishing boat or photography. I did a lot of research and Eddyline is, I believe, one of the best mfg. in the country. Their service and willingness to stand behind their boats is legendary (that comes from being a small private company with pride of workmanship). If I buy another kayak – it will be an Eddyline! Rating: 10 of 10
I ordered a new Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5 in their Modulus construction in March of 2004. I had done a lot of research in looking at what the various manufacturers had to offer, and felt I had made a well-reasoned purchase. The product was well-crafted, offered cutting edge technology, and used construction methods that were environmentally responsible. This was also my first kayak (FYI – I am 56 years old). I received the boat in May of 2004 and was off paddling the waters of southeast Wisconsin, mainly on Lake Michigan, soon after delivery. The boat performed very well for me and brought a lot of compliments from other paddlers. Sometime in July, the boat developed a ‘wrinkle’ on the lower hull on the starboard side, beneath the cockpit area. It didn’t affect the performance of the boat in anyway that I could detect, but was not cosmetically pleasing. I let the problem rest over the winter months. In early spring, I took a couple of digital pictures of the wrinkle and e-mailed them to Eddyline. I received a reply back from Joe at Eddyline soon after. Very matter of factly he said (I am paraphrasing here) ‘Well, we’ll just build you a new boat. We are moving into a new facility but should be able to take care of you in about 4-6 weeks.’ Well, the skeptic in me said ‘this was too easy’. But, I continued to use the boat and waited to hear back from Eddyline. And hear back I did. I received the new boat in exchange for the old in early June. Yes, I already had memories attached to the first boat – such as my first unceremonious broach, capsize, and subsequent wet exit in 3+ foot waves last August. But I am already attached to the new boat. Eddyline had also made some small production changes, for example, the new bulkheads are transparent. My point for writing this story is to record this as an excellent example of superior customer service. Eddyline should be applauded for standing behind their product. And it is not just that they did that. I did not need to make repeat calls or e-mails. I was not referred to a dealer, or passed around a labyrinth of customer service persons. They listened to me and took care of my problem. I did some research on customer service as regards kayaks warranty issues on the web. There are several manufacturers who have evidently turned a deaf ear to issues from their customers. I read story after story about people being unable to resolve warranty problems or even get someone to answer the phone or reply to an email. In fact, I found a common thread in doing this: the larger firms had (in general) more dismal feedback regarding the quality of customer service. I write this not as an advertisement for Eddyline, but rather to point out that there are companies out there that do take care of their customers, and they are one of them. In this era of constant corporate conglomeration and mergers, short term profit taking, and outsourcing, it is comforting to know that there are some firms that have escaped this and continue to build their reputation via a quality product, not on their stock price, the acquisition of their competitors, and the next quarterly earnings estimate. To end, my appreciation goes out to Lisa and Tom Derrer, founders of Eddyline and Joe at Eddyline who handled my issue. Thanks for the excellent design and construction of a boat that will do everything I ask of it.
Mark Brise, Sheboygan, WI
Thanks for the excellent design and construction of a boat that will do everything I ask of it.
Walter Lewandowski, Middle Village, NY
I have owned my Nighthawk for 3 years and have had great experiences with both the boat and the manufacturer. The Nighthawk 17.5 is a high volume boat that will accommodate large to very large paddlers with comfort and performance. I am a large paddler , 6 ft, an athletic 250 lbs and I fit snug but comfortable in the model with the thigh braces. I have also paddled the boat without the thigh braces with exceptional comfort and still good performance. The carbonlite material is very tough and will withstand a lot of abuse with very little consequence of which I can personally attest. If you do manage to damage the boat ( which I can also attest to through my own stupidity) Eddyline is a great company to deal with. They stand behind their product 100% and will go to great lengths to help you out. Now for the boat itself. The sheer line is very reminiscent of the Aleutian Island baidarkas with a long graceful bow. The boat looks great and often elicits favorable comments. The 24-inch beam gives great initial stability but the soft v shaped hull still allows waves and wakes to pass under smoothly. The secondary stability is very reassuring; you can edge the boat till water is over the sprayskirt and still feel solid. For a boat of this length and beam it is still very maneuverable. A good edge and the boat will turn, lean her over on her side and she will turn sharply. The weathercocking has a nice balance. Skeg up the boat will weathercock, skeg down the boat will tend to leecock. With various skeg trims she will track very stiff even with beam winds and or seas. I have been in boats which either tracked better or turned easier, but none with as nice a balance between the two. Beam currents seem to have the most effect on the boat, but a little edge, paddle stroke or skeg seems to handle it. Speed is reasonable, she isn’t the fastest boat, but she is no slouch either. In rough water the overall performance of the boat is very reassuring. Twice I have been in ocean inlets with opposing wind and currents and the boat did wonderfully. We had to paddle a few miles into standing waves probably 2 to 3 feet high than across close to a mile with these waves on the beam and crossed without incident.
Bill Frigge, Hallieford, VA
JUST WANTED TO CONGRATULATE YOU ON THE DESIGN OF THE NIGHTHAWK 17.5. WE’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’85. THANKS AGAIN!!
J Michael Boddell, Houston, TX
Very fine ride! Predictable (in a good way) performance and excellent ergonomomics. Carbonlite much like its cousin Lexan is probably the finest plastic ever created. And a great deal of credit has to go to the engineers that have produced such a fine craft. I’m a 230# 6’2″ 40ish helicopter/turboprop pilot with years at sea and overseas. The craft has a skeg that may be deployed at various trim for varying conditions. Thoughtful for the enginneers to place its control so convieniently! Tracking has never been a problem with the proper use of skeg trim and bracing. The Swift paddle is awesome too! My white with black trim NightHawk is incorrectly named. It should be Osprey, like the one that accompanies me on my travels in the bayou. Rating: 10 of 10
Janet Langrell, Randle, WA
Thank you for the most beautiful kayak in the world. It’s my first.
Chris Esser, Red Bank ,NJ
To start with, I am 6’5″ and 270lbs with a 36″ inseam. This boat is designed for a big paddler. I got the boat with the Carbonlite construction and couldn’t be happier with the material. It is plenty rigid, supports my weight very nicely when getting in and out of the boat. The finish is smooth and bright, most everyone thinks this is a composite boat. The cringes when I raft it up onto shores and ramps are always amusing. This is a carbonlite material, not polyethylene. One of the nice things with it is you can do a repair in a similar fashion to a fiberglass boat, with polyethylene it is a stickier proposition to repair any hull damage. Handling; this boat has a 24″ beam, which on paper had me hesitant. Out on the water however, this boat handles really nicely. It’s plenty lively, edges very well and knee dragging will easily cover for any wind. Because of the beam it has excellent primary stability and with the soft V hull design beam currents and waves still pass nicely under the boat. The secondary stability is also quite high on this boat. After a few outings with it I can essentially just drop it onto its sides, it’s very reassuring and this makes for much more relaxed leaned turns and maneuvers Cockpit comfort; the cockpit volume in this boat is massive. I have a 36″ inseam and fairly large built legs. I can still cross my legs easily at the knee inside the boat. On the last peg my legs are in a just barely bent and fully relaxed position. Finally a boat with enough reach to the pegs I can actually make use of a few positions. The cockpit opening is very large and is a bit tricky to find a skirt for as most outfitters don’t have this boat listed yet. Snapdragon’s XL deck size fits it perfectly, I have the Ocean Tour neo skirt and it works very well. The NRS “Monster” is several inches too small just to save people some time. The ’9′ is because the stock hard plastic seatback isn’t all that great over long trips. I replaced it with a backband and it now feels like a Barcalounger. I’ve done two trips each in the area of 5hrs without any comfort issues at all. With a 40″ waist and large legs I still could use some minicell for thigh hooks and hip pads. I would be willing to bet this boat would handle someone up to 350lbs no problem. Manners in the water; I haven’t had it out in truly advanced conditions but I have had it out in 2′ and larger chop with 15+ knot winds and it was just fine…I could sit with my arms folded without any trouble. I’ve had waves breaking over the bow and wind stiff enough to blast spray back up and the boat just keeps on tracking. The skeg works very well, it’s great to have for longer crossings to keep you on course in winds or currents. Storage volume: Huge, I think I could ice down two cases of beer in the back hatch and the hatches are watertight. If you like to camp, this boat will haul it all. This is a great confidence inspiring boat for the big paddler. It is plenty fast enough to keep up with Perception Eclipse or CD Storms and numerous Valley boats that I’ve been out with, yet it’s also stable enough that you can enjoy the ride when things get whipped up. I’d buy it again, if I hit the lottery I might even spring for the Kevlar reinforced “Modulus” layup next time. Rating: 9 of 10
Leonard Reistetter, Southington, Ct
At the Connecticut show I had the opportunity to try two of my three “short list” kayaks and was overwhelmingly pleased with the stability, maneuverability and comfort of the Nighthawk 17.5. I was able to test ride the boat on choppy lake water with some whitecaps in a stiff breeze (30 knots with a highewr gusts according to the weather forecast) and like the handling of the Nighthawk. Needless to say, I never tested the third boat in my “short list” and would have to believe that I would have to be a phenomenal craft to “outscore” the Nighthawk 17.5 using my scoring system.
Steve Rogers, South Bend, WA
I am so enjoying my Nighthawk 17.5. I can’t imagine a better craft for my size and experience. I did a lot of research and paddled a lot of kayaks before settling on the Nighthawk. Good move. I’m 59 and weigh an eighth of a ton and find this vessel comfortable and so easy to handle. I joke with my friends that you designed it with me in mind. I’m one with the water when afloat. I live near water and am out a couple of evenings a week this time of year. Such fun.
Pat Moran, Danville, VT
Thank you. I can’t say it any better than that. I have a new Night Hawk 17.5 sitting on top of my car that I have paddled a few times in the last week. All I have left to say is thanks. Thanks for making my boat. I started with a 9 foot bath tub a few years back and then and 11 then a Necky Zoar Sport that I really was quite fond of until I paddled my Night Hawk. I plan on racking up some serious miles in it. I find it very comfortable and it glides beautifully.