Submitted: 03-05-2008 by S.R.
I was looking for 2 day touring type kayaks for my wife and I, everyone's reviews helped me choose, thanks.
Local stores carry only Perception Blackwater (which I read performs poorly and I did not want a skeg), Carolina (sluggish performance), and Wilderness Systems Tsunami (which I read performs very well). All these boats retail locally for over $1000. Reviews on the Carolina and Blackwater said they were similar to a log in the water, but the Tsunami was a great boat. I had narrowed it down to either a couple of Tsunami's or an Old Town Cayuga and was calling around other stores about 100 miles away and found a small store that had received some sort of an overstock and had just gotten in 4 - 2008 Cayuga 130's that they had not ordered? Got 2 of them for $1100, 1/2 price, so I couldn't pass that up.
Have not had them in the water yet but after purchase I noticed that the seat pan heights were adjustable and both boats were at different heights, I could not make that part of the seat adjust manually and was afraid I would break the bracket trying. Finally had to remove the entire seat from the boats (4 screws) and make the adjustment after the seats were removed. This adjustment cannot be made without removing the seat since there are plastic keepers which prevent inadvertent adjustment. The factory was responsive through email and suggested returning to dealer to set the seat at the lowest level, and to rest the seat pan on the hull or "the mounting bracket would break from the extra weight of the paddler." Extra weight of the paddler? (Seems to me the paddler will weigh whatever they weigh and the seat should be designed to support the paddler) This statement made me look carefully at the entire mounting system and I have to agree, although the seat is really nice and comfortable, the mounting system appears to be a weak point, 4 screws holding it to the hull, a rigid plastic ladder of notches for factory adjustment.
The smaller cheaper boats we had previously had the seat supported by a molded portion of the hull which was indestructible. I will hope for the best and have not been able to find any issues with broken seat brackets in reviews but will write a further review after we use these boats. Might be something to consider if you are looking at several different boats.
I have been working on a couple of hanging locations in my garage and lifting the boats up and down to test the fit and I have to admit they not only look streamlined but they are very slick to the touch and look and feel like they will slip through the water much more easily than our old 9.5 rec boats.