Submitted: 06-27-2000 by TimW
My spousoid and I bought a Loon 100 after her brother took an icy swim Easter weekend, trying to borrow my Wilderness Systems Alto. We'd thought we would get a Wildsys Rascal as our guest boat, but found the cockpit too tight for big butts. I won't say who provided the test butt. The Rascal is a high-performance pumpkin seed, but the bigger cockpit of the Loon made our decision for us.
The scary comments about stability in a couple of reviews here worried me. I have since checked the boat out. Here is my report: Initial stability is low for a small kayak. Bear in mind that this is really more of a partially-decked solo canoe. If you want the speed of a slimmer hull, you will lose tabletop stability. However, if you don't freak out at the initial tip, the secondary stability is adequate. After a couple of wobbles when I was purposely careless embarking, I found I could lean right over and dunk the gunwale without overbalancing. Ten feet is pretty short. This will compromise seaworthiness. A willing paddler can learn to make anything work, but a short, stubby boat with a big cockpit and catchy bilges is sort of the worst of both worlds, neither excellent in current nor born to big water. Appreciate the Loon 100 for what it is: compact, convenient, inexpensive and fairly versatile on small water and benign waves. If your paddling skill leads you to enjoy conditions beyond that, you have done well at mastering this simple craft. If you hate it after trying it, just try a different one. It's nobody's fault, not yours or the boat's.