Submitted: 05-22-2009 by wackypaddle
I'm giving a low rating only due to Old Town's quality control.
My Cayuga 13 had to be special ordered as the 14'6" is the only size available at the local Sport Chalet. When the boat came in, brand new and plastic wrapped, there was a huge deformity in the underside of the hull just forward of the seat area. Much like as if someone had turned the kayak over and set a 50 lb. weight on the hull while the material was still curing and consequently leaving a large "dent". A phone call to the tech guys at Old Town only produced some reheating procedure where the hull material would be re-shaped. That was not satisfactory to me, so I returned the boat and requested a new one. Certainly a new boat would not have the same problem. Not true!!! When the brand new replacement came in, the same exact problem was present, albeit a smaller version of the first. This time I did allow the store to try the heat gun technique to re-shape the hull bottom and surprisingly it worked. Not 100% but 95%.
Since I wanted this particular shape/size of kayak badly, I decided to just shelve my feelings away and keep the boat. I don't know why the boats are being shipped out this way. No one at tech support told me that this was normal. They actually stated that it was unusual for customer to have to use heat guns to re-shape the material.
That being said, the Cayuga 13 has been an excellent kayak. The hull material is very strong and light. It is extremely easy to paddle. It has very little drag and moves through the water swiftly. The "water proof" compartments do leak a little but are still useful. I kayak in the ocean without a spray skirt. I've taken 2 ft. surf right in the chin, flooded the whole cockpit and was still able to paddle and not sink; mostly due to the "dry storage" compartments that kept the boat afloat. In very turbulent water, the Cayuga does toss and turn a little. I think a larger kayak would solve this issue as size does matter in this department.
Overall the kayak is a great boat. I just hope that Old Town resolves this issue with the hulls on special orders.