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Submitted: 10-03-2008 by zenodog

I bought my Cayuga 160 new in August of 2007, although I think it is a 2006 model. I've used it primarily for backcountry kayak camping trips in Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The Cayuga has been ideal for these trips because the front and rear storage compartments are deep and surprisingly wide. The hatch covers are big enough to easily get to my gear.

In between trips, I've done a lot of rolling practice (which included plenty of wet exits) in local ponds. The front hatch stays bone dry and the rear hatch only gets a few cups of water in it after multiple overturns. In calm water, my GPS speed averages about 7 - 8 km per hour and in choppy water my GPS speed drops to about 6 - 7 km per hour. Initial stability is very comfortable for paddling, but maybe not comfortable enough for non paddling activities like fishing. It responds nicely to edging or leaning for making small steering corrections. I do have the rudder which works well, but I've found that I only use it if there are quartering tail winds.

I would have rated the Cayuga 160 a "10", except that the seat back is too high. Since Lakes Michigan and Superior can get pretty choppy, I always need to use a spray skirt. The high seat back made it very difficult to get my spray skirt to stay fitted in place at the rear of the cockpit. I finally solved the problem for good by cutting off 2" across the top of the entire seat back.

In summary, the Cayuga is ideal if you don't have room to store a kayak that's any longer than 16 feet, but you need room for a lot of camping gear in a kayak that can handle large bodies of water.

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