I love this boat. I’ve said this before and I’ve put it up against the Australian cruiser of choice, the Mirage 580, lots of times and it can match them. But it’s not a perfect boat by any means and I’m finding this out now. Nothing fatal, just maintenance things and if Perception make an Eco Bezhig Mk. II, they should address them.
Issue 1. There are no adequate tow points on the boat which became an issue when I presented Eco for club Grade II inspection. I remedied this with some bungee loops and stainless shackles from the local boating specialist.
Issue 2. The bulwarks are leaky. I’m not sure how this compares with other boats but it’s a real pain keeping things dry bagged. One part of the problem is the rudder line tubes which aren’t sealed properly and is pretty hard to fix. I think other boats have the same system so maybe leaking is normal.
Issue 3. The seat in the Eco Bezhig is both a strength and a weakness. It is by far the most comfortable seat on any boat. There are no sticking points and you can just slide in which makes deep water recovery a bit easier. The problem is that the foam perishes quickly under UV and Australian UV is the harshest there is. After a year, the seat is faded and beginning to crack. It is replaceable but I don’t know at what cost. Maybe Perception, who I’m sure are avid readers of this blog, will offer some advice, or a new seat. The other problem with the seat is the angle it makes you sit. The back causes you to lean back more than you would in other boats like the Mirage and this has a negative effect on your forward stroke. An improved seat which pitches your upper body forward would be a big improvement.
Issue 4. The Eco decklines are a bloody disgrace. There are no 8mm recovery lines at the back as there are on the front so rearward recoveries force you to grab the deck bungees resulting in breakages. Even these bungees are poorly terminated with just a knot in the end. This makes the boat’s safety compliance for Grade 3 a bit questionable. This issue is resolvable as are the others but at $2895 RRP (the same cost as a Mirage) quality control should be solid.
None of these issue should deter a potential buyer as they can mostly be modified with cheap bits from a chandler. The seat is a longer term problem but if spares are available, they look easy enough to replace. I’ll let you know.