“The Low Volume version of Lincoln’s most popular kayak has it all. At 14’6” and hosting a tighter fitting cockpit, the Chebeague LV has all the features and benefits of long touring kayaks but in a shorter, lighter weight package.” – Lincoln Kayaks
Material: Fiberglass/Kevlar or Kevlar
Deck Height: 12”
Cockpit Size: 16”x30.5”
Capacity: 95lbs to 225lbs
Weight: 37lbs Fiberglass/Kevlar, 32lbs Kevlar
Hatches/Bulkheads: Bow and Stern
MSRP: $2805.00 Fiberglass/Kevlar, $3240.00 Kevlar
Lincoln has raised the bar with the addition of the Chebeague LV to their exquisite line of kayaks hand-crafted in the Great State of Maine. The original Chebeague has been the staple light-touring kayak in the Lincoln line for quite some time thanks to its light-weight construction, solid primary stability, and true-tracking nature. However, the voluminous cockpit found in the classic Chebeague has always been a bit too accommodating for smaller paddlers like me. I always felt more enveloped by than connected to the Chebeague because of this. Needless to say, I was quite excited to try the new Chebeague LV and had the chance to do so at one of the retailers’ shows this past summer!
It takes guts to bring a classic kayak like the Chebeague back to the drawing board. In this case, I’m glad to report that the Chebeague LV retains the same hull and incredible performance characteristics found in the original Chebeague! The extended waterline helps the Chebeague LV paddle straighter and faster than many of the other light touring kayaks of its length. The Shallow V-shaped hull aides in the tracking department and provides rock-solid primary stability. Soft chines allow for a seamless and predictable transition to secondary. However, it’s the secondary stability of the Chebeague LV and how it handles on edge that impressed me most. From sculling to lean turns to draws strokes; I could literally spend all day playing in this kayak! There’s no doubt in my mind that the Chebeague LV would make a great choice for those beginner-intermediate paddlers interested in day trips and short overnight adventures on lakes and near-coastal waterways!
I was also blown away by the newly designed cockpit in the Chebeague LV and its much-improved fit for smaller paddler over that of the original Chebeague! The biggest changes can be found in the cockpit which has been updated from the traditional oval design to a longer key-hole design. This new keyhole cockpit makes a big difference for a few reasons. First, the keyhole shape actually lengthens the cockpit by 2 inches which makes entering and exiting the cockpit all that much easier. I’ve had more than a few folks mention scuffing their shins on the old oval cockpits over the years but this shouldn’t be an issue any more. Second, the old underdeck knee pads have been replaced with full-on thigh braces that allow for better control while maneuvering on edge. Couple this with a slightly lower deck (now 12inches as opposed to 14.75inches) and you have the perfect cockpit fit that smaller paddlers have dreamed of!
Overall, I’m very impressed with the performance and fit of the Chebeague LV! In many ways, the incredible performance of the Classic Chebeague hull including the lightweight construction, solid stability profile, and true-to-form tracking has been retained in the Chebeague LV! This kayak is also a great example of how improved cockpit fit can make all the difference for the smaller paddler. Don’t be surprised if the Chebeague LV ends up with a KayakDave.com Gear of the Year Award for “Best Kayak” in 2013!!!
Pros: Great tracking. Solid stability profile. Lightweight. Superior cockpit fit for the smaller paddler.
Cons: Relatively expensive when compared with other light touring kayaks in the 14’ range.
Demo Notes: The Chebeague LV was demoed by both Kayak Dave and Alex at the 2013 EORA show. This demo took place on a quiet mountain lake with light winds and negligible waves. We will update the review should we get the chance to demo the Chebeague LV in more challenging conditions.