I've been on the water all my life (hold a 50 ton USCG master's license with sailing and commercial towing endorsements). Started out as a sailor, but also have several power boats and now a kayak. I have to admit to buying the Old Town Loon 160T used from a guy at work; he no longer needed it to take the kids out because they had graduated to their own yaks.
I can't believe all the things I have missed by not going "low and slow". We use it in the creeks around us in Oriental, NC; what a great place to paddle. We have used it a lot and we love it; wife sits in the front with the dog and I paddle her around like the princess she is. Been looking for a cockpit cover, and thanks to this site, found one at Get: Outdoors.comWe originally bought a 160T in 2000 and have loved it. I've had the boat out in the middle of Lake of the Ozarks with all the big powerboats and it takes the wave just fine. My wife and I are planning a trip down the Mississippi River so I bought another one. We wanted to be able to pack camping gear and still be comfortable, each of us in our own boat. The new boat is a 2007 and isn't near the quality. The seats are cheaper and the boat doesn't feel as still as the older boat.
All in all we love the boats and they are perfect for us larger paddlers, I'm 6-3 and 300 pounds. I will probably buy another one if I can find one, since they don't make them anymore.I bought my high-visibility yellow 160T w/rudder,along with two quality light weight touring paddles, used at a great price. If I'd had to buy it new I would have in a heartbeat. It was exactly what I was looking for after considerable research.
As a 6'3" & 275 lbs. fisherman & photographer I needed, ahem, a LARGE volume vessel. I own hi-tech Mad River & Blue Hole canoes and have no problems carving turns in the 160T and neither should anyone with a little practiced technique. It tracks very easily, even in a chop. It's all about weight distribution and boat position, people Heavy? Hell yes! It's O.K. loading on the Yaks of my wife's Mazda Tribute solo. But on my Chevy Avalanche? Fahgetboutit! She loses it for large chunks of the year and drives OUR Jeep Wrangler. I love my wife. As the sign in the the bar with the greatest juke-box in the world, the legendary Green Parrot, sez; "No sniveling allowed!"I purchased a 160T last year to paddle with my 2 year old son. Although I have several other canoes and kayaks, I didnít feel comfortable taking him out in a tandem canoe until he learns to sit still. This kayak was perfect for the purpose. Extremely stable, easily paddled without a rudder from the back seat, and, best of all, close to the water. I bought him a kids kayak paddle from Bending Branches and he loves to help paddle (and play in the water). Perfect.
The kayak is quite heavy but I expected Royalex to be. I drive a 4x4 Suburban but have no trouble getting the boat on the roof after 20 years of practice with other boats. However, if I needed to carry the boat long distances I would definitely get a cart. The boat is near indestructible and should serve me well basically forever.
I canít wait to take my younger son, who will be 2 years old in June, out for his first paddle! His (now) 3 year old brother wants to show him what itís all about.I purchased my Loon 160T a few weeks ago from L.L. Bean and found it to be a great boat. It was pretty fast with two people paddling their hardest and it tracked ok, not what I expected though. My friend and I used the boat for fishing, which worked out great because of all of the gear that we had.
The weight of this boat was a big issue. My friend and i are both 5'10" and around 170lbs, and pretty strong, but still had a hard time getting the boat on top of my mom's camry. The akward weight distribution of the boat caused it to want to hang off the back end of the car, which during loading, caused me to nearly break my knee on the front bumper.
In addition, I wanted to have a boat that i could put onto the car myself and go kayaking by myself, if i wanted to. But the weight of this boat caused me to HAVE to take a someone else along, regardless if they were even going to be in the boat or not.
Another issue is the material this boat is made out of. Polylink 3 (c) is a very durable, but extremely heavy material. I scratched the bottom of the boat and though it is repairable, it takes away from the nice finish of the boat. The material is not flexible in the sense that it can't be stored in certain positions. I have to constantly keep the boat on its side in our hot garage, which even though recommended, has caused the material to droop, which has affected its tracking slightly.
When the boat arrived at my house it had tons of scrapes and scratches all over the place, mainly on the deck. And the boat's cockpit rim was deformed in several places. The black cockpit rim lining was falling off and the plastic end caps of the steel tubes that kept the sharp ends of the tubes covered, fell off. And when i tried to fix the tube holder on the left side behind the aft seat, which was slightly bent causing the end cap to fall off, i sliced my right thumb open!
Originally, i stored the boat upside down on two saw horses, with the ends supporting the weight. This was just for one night and the decks already became distorted.
All in all, i liked this boat, but it was too heavy, drooped under heat, and could not be used effectivley in rougher waters. So, i am purchasing a Lincoln Two Lites tandem, which is much lighter, tracks a heck of a lot better, faster, much more durable since it is made of kevlar, can be used in a variety of waters, including ocean, and is more flexible regarding storage positions.
Though I did scrutinize the Loon 160T somewhat, it served its purpose for what it was intended to do. For that I give it an 8.This is our first kayak; we are former canoeists. We were looking for a tandem kayak that could be paddled solo. Price was a major factor, as was capacity and handling both tandem and solo. We love this kayak. The capacity is 500 lbs, and my wife and I come close to 450. She can lay back while I paddle, and it really isn't much more effort than going solo. It is VERY stable especially when compared to a canoe. We got it in red, which looks really sharp!
I followed the recommendation of many paddlers and bought a set of decent paddles. Aquabond seacludes (not seaquels) at about $120 each. The narrower blade takes a lot less effort. I have paddled many hours solo, and really enjoy it. I noticed that I like the shorter shaft solo, longer shaft tandem. Go figure.
One drawback is the weight. After two trips, I made a makeshift cart to get it from the van to the water, often a considerable distance. I've also noticed the tracking quirks that some others have posted. This is most noticeable in wind or chop, especially when paddling slowly. I'm tempted to get a rudder. That is why I did not rate it 10.
So, I really love this boat. However, If you can afford two kayaks and are able to transport them, then I would suggest the Loon 138T.My wife and I bought our 160T about 2 years ago with minimal experience in the sport. Money, as always, was a serious consideration.
Mainly we just use it to put around in the local lakes, bays, and streams. It's extremely comfortable and handles quite well, either together or solo. We've been on rather fast flowing streams and in windy open lakes and have had no problems with tracking that others have mentioned here. (Our combined weight is about 260 and we carry very little gear, so it's not like we're low in the water.)
We are, however, in the process of replacing the Loon with 2 single kayaks. The reason for the switch is weight. We're both fairly small and taking the 160 out by myself can be a little bit of a bear, but my wife simply can't handle loading and unloading the boat from the car. Overall it's been great fun, I'd have to say it was well worth the money and a very nice kayak to use.
Our Loon does not have the rudder.I just got my Loon T-160 a couple of weeks ago, and have already had the opportunity to use it twice. I did not buy the rudder with it, and have found that the kayak tracks very poorly with two people both paddling at the same time. I can get it to track with the stern person paddling, but not with the bow person paddling. I am going to get a rudder, and see if that helps with tandem paddling. Otherwise, I love it. I had an Old Town Penobscot 17 canoe before this, and find the kayak much easier to paddle for a longer period of time. If the rudder corrects the tracking deficiency, I will have to give the kayak a 10 out of 10 rating.
As a follow up to my post of last week, I purchased a rudder kit for my Loon 160T from Old Town. The instructions were a little vague, but I got the job accomplished. The results were everything I expected. My son and I were able to paddle without any frustation, and the experience was highly enjoyable. I then took my 77 year old father out in it, and we had a great time. The only gripe I have with the boat is that I am sporting a sore back from the weight of lifting it onto my truck, but I knew before I bought it that it was not a lightweight. I am really happy with the kayak now.The Old Town 160T is my first Kayak. We have a vacation home near Donner Lake and Lake Tahoe, so we were looking for a way to explore the Lakes with our 3 children. Stability, durability, and ease of use were our decision-making criteria. My wife is NOT a big outdoors person and she LOVES our 160T. It is extremely stable, very roomy, fast enough for our needs, and not too heavy. It is very durable, and I have no problem beaching it right up onto shore, but you should be careful to follow Old Towns recommendations as to how you store it (just like any polyethene canoe).
I take out my 8 & 12 year olds and 40 lb. English Bull Terrier, all at the same time! My wife and I have gone out into the middle of Donner and had an on-board picnic lunch. We don't like this kayak, we LOVE it, in fact, we're buying another one so our whole family can go out together (3 kids, 2 adults, 1 dog, and still room to spare. I don't believe this would be a good kayak for faster rivers or ocean bays though.