Submitted: 06-28-2006 by Carol
I just purchased a Cayuga 146 and am new to kayaking. I tested several kayaks of similar size: Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140, and Cape Horn 150, Perceptions Carolina 14.5 and I took a 2 day kayaking course in a Current Designs Storm 17.
I found the cockpit of the Tsunami a bit confining due to the fairly large thigh braces and neither the Tsunami or Cape Horn tracked as well as the Cayuga and the phase 3 seats of Wilderness Systems kayaks immediately caused my back to ache terribly (I do have a spinal irregularity so comfort was my number 1 choice). The Carolina also caused back ache.The Storm was pretty comfortable but it is a heavy, long boat and not what I wanted to purchase. When I sat in the Cayuga 146 I immediately knew it would be much better on my back. I also found the Cayuga 146 tracked better, with no rudder, than any of the other boats I tested and it turned well.
I was able to give it a 3 hour trip in a fairly large lake. There was a light wind but still 1 foot to 18" waves. It handled very well and I felt stable no matter what direction I was going. Although several times waves washed over the boat at the end of the day the hatches were bone dry. I am a 56 year old woman and I had no trouble getting the kayak into and out of the back of a pickup truck and appreciate the 50LB weight of the kayak. So far I am very happy with my decision.