Submitted: 08-04-2003 by jhyoung
I just picked up my new Cape Lookout 135 from the dealer last week, and she and I are loving life! Lots of people I asked recommended larger boats, like the CL 145, which I tried, and I also tried some smaller boats, but, to quote from Goldilocks, the CL135 is just right. I paddled a comparable Perception Carolina--the 13'--and it was OK, but the cockpit felt a bit too confining. Then I found out about WS boats, and I find them to be more comfortable, and the plastic seems somewhat stiffer and lighter than Perception's (though this could be my imagination working overtime).
Tracking is at least as good as the Carolina's. Maneuverability is excellent--the CL 135 is great for the paddling I do in narrow, twisty rivers and bayous as well as protected bays and sounds. With a little more cockpit customization and honing of my own paddling/rolling skills, I'm looking forward to taking her out into more open water.
The WS Phase 3 seat in the Cape Lookout is infinitely adjustable for greater comfort, and the cockpit of the CL135 is a bit more roomy, without being TOO big, than the cockpit of the small Carolina. I don't feel too confined, yet I don't feel like I'm paddling in a bathtub either. Again, just right.
For the record, I'm 5'2" and not exactly at "fighting weight." I'm no bruiser either, but some women my height might prefer the tighter cockpit of the Carolina 13. But more padding can always be added, and, again, that Phase 3 seat can't be beat!
I could wish for a little more deck rigging than the CL has, but that's easily added. And it's nice to have both bow and stern bulkheads--I think the Carolina has both also, but a lot of kayaks in this size do not.
By the way, this rating of 8 is an honest 8--I took 2 points off for the less-than-adequate deck rigging. Other than that, I love my CL 135.