Submitted: 07-12-2010 by WaterBird
This review applies only to the POLYLINK 3 Cayuga 146 that was used on the first Cayugas. Beginning in (I think) 2007 it was changed to a single-layer plastic that is much inferior to the original material.
I owned a Cayuga 146 for 3 years and liked it quite a lot. At 14.5 feet, the Cayuga is a transitional kayak, but pretty seaworthy. Mine tracked perfectly. It had a rudder but I found I almost never needed it, even in rough water, because the Cayuga handles so well. In calm water it has surprisingly good glide. The stability is excellent. A beginner will soon feel confident with the Cayuga 146.
The cockpit of the Cayuga 146 should fit a moderately large person. The original ExtraSport seat was pretty good. The new 2010 ACS seat is even better. You can reenter the Cayuga even with the seat back positioned fairly high, as it folds down as you reenter (it's not that easy to get the back back up though).
The storage capacity in the hatches is excellent. Iíve toured up to 5 days with the Cayuga. The hatches are reasonably water tight, but not perfectly so. The dayhatch at the front of the cockpit is very handy, but it is NOT waterproof.
The biggest drawback of the Polylink 3 Cayuga 146 is the weightó56 lbs with the rudder. Itís hard to load on a car alone, but once you get it in the water the weight is no longer a factor. In fact it feels quite substantial in the water and is not easily tossed around by the wind and waves.
The Cayuga is a real work horse: stable, dependable in all conditions, and capable of carrying a large load. If the weight doesnít bother you, itís a great kayak for both day tours and long camping trips. It can handle everything from ponds to the ocean.
My rating is for the Polylink 3 version only. I personally would not buy the softer plastic version.