Submitted: 08-09-2007 by TAG
Old Town Loon 138: this kayak is perfect for what you expect of it, and your expectations should be relatively predictable just looking at the thing. Its recreational defined.
First off, its huge... don't even see why one needs a hatch when any amount of cargo can be loaded via the cockpit. Have easily fit a rider or a dog... both loved it. You could fish comfortably from this kayak. Because of its size it doesn't displace much.
Primary stability is just average, it's a little tricky to get seated and out. Secondary stability- due to its size- is exceptional, no waves will upset this kayak.
As for tracking, this boat is average at best. Would say that it's a pretty slow boat too, although the 138 will outrace its 120 and 100 cousins. Sliding the seat forward helps speed a little. Am a little disappointed in the pace, even though I use it for recreation.
When hunting for paddles, many will advise you need a very long paddle for this wide hull. I have a 230cm and paddle high angle aggressive... I do not see why I would need more than 230cm (long armed at 5'11"). I would stick with down-the-middle paddle recommendations, 220-230cm.
Am not entirely impressed by the PolyLink, it scratches really easy. Lighter colors probably fare better than my dark green. The three layer sandwich has a lot of ways of letting water in between at the seams and screws, which is no big deal except it adds water weight to an already heavy boat. I have to carry the boat solo- by the cockpit- not the best way to carry a kayak, and it feels on the edge carried this way... consider it a 2-person or over-the-head haul.
The cup holder works well. The dead pedals are easily adjustable from your seat, and you can adjust the seat to further place your feet at the width you want down the front taper. The seat is very comfortable and relaxed in position. Lastly, you can count on staying pretty dry in this boat.
CONCLUSION: quintessential large recreational kayak, capable of carrying a passenger, comfortable and stable, great value
here is my 1-5 scale, for recreational criteria first, and for general criteria second: