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Submitted: 08-07-2006 by pcovell

The Cayuga 160 by Old Town is a great boat if youíre graduating from a SOT or smaller Sit In. Iím relatively new to kayaking but was an avid racer of sailboats for my years. Iím currently 59 and at 6 ft, 185 lbs, I tired of my OC Caper very quickly. However, if I was into fishing I would still have the boat. But ex sailboat racers always have the need for speed. I did a lot of research online and visited a few dealers to get an idea of the type of boat that would meet my intended usage (day touring) and my pocket book. I also demoed or rented a few boats to get the feel of each boat. Reading about the specs of each boat is good research but you have to paddle each boat to really know what feels right to you. My price range of under $1500 kept me in the polyethylene material for a boat in the 14 to 16 ft range. I narrowed my list to Old Town Cayuga 146, Necky Manitou 14 and Old Town Cayuga 160. I really liked the Manitou 14, the cockpit was a little bigger than the other two boats therefore easier for me to enter and exit, it was stable, turned easily and it accelerated very quickly. It also had a retractable skeg that I was not able to really test. If price is an issue I would recommend this boat at $999. However, I wanted longer, faster and relatively light. The Cayuga 160 filled the bill for me. I found a dealer that had a 2007 model at the 2006 price of $1199. My maiden paddle was in Clearwater Harbor, Fl for three hours with lots of big boat wakes. The first hour was a 4 mile non stop paddle with an 8 mph 45 degree head wind. I was very pleased to average 4 mph for my first paddle without any basic kayak instruction or classes. The adjustable foot braces and thigh braces coupled with the most comfortable adjustable ĎXtraComfortí seat made me feel as though I was part of the boat. The feel of the boat, the stability, the additional speed and only 54 lbs in weight are what helped make my decision. Itís an excellent value from a company thatís been around for over 100 years. Review 9 of 10 only because of cockpit size for me.
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