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Reviews for Twin Otter Kayak by Old Town Canoe


Rated: 8.55/10 Based On: 22 Reviews

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07-05-2011
Submitted by: lsuttonSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My wife and I bought this kayak used from a local canoe rental company. It was approximately 10 years old. It is still solid; the only thing wrong with it is a small bubble in the outer layer of plastic from sitting in direct sunlight for all that time. We bought it as a 3rd boat that we would probably never use accept when we took our little boy out with us. Now after just one summer it has replaced our Emotion Edge.

The boat tracks well in most water conditions however I have found myself getting more than a little damp in rapid water. The Twin Otter is comfortable for short to mid range trips I have taken it on one 16-mile trip and it was fine. It is pretty maneuverable too; I took it through some flooded islands this spring and was able to paddle right with my friends who were in single kayaks.

I give this boat a 9 because it lacks some of the creature comforts of some newer more expensive boats like padded seats, cup holders, and dry storage, but I think that all came on later models.

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06-17-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have Twin Otter (14'long; at the time when I was buying 16' was not available) for more than 5 years. I always go with my wife and we love this kayak.We paddling only on lakes and last season I started fishing from it. This kayak is stable, easy to maneuver and fast enough.
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06-15-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I bought this kayak to paddle flatwater with my wife. We rented one initially to paddle below the Hoover Dam for a day trip, she is a beginner, I am advanced. The rental basically sold me on the idea we needed this boat.

It is a great boat, we wanted a tandem kayak with the ability to paddle solo as well, so she can paddle on a lake near a whitewater river I am paddling or with friends when she works weekends. I am 6'4", 290, she is 5'4". We can both adjust the rear seat to a solo paddle position no problem, so I wonder what the other people are doing different. I would recommend this boat to friends.

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07-15-2010
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Never paddled a canoe since my first time in a kayak in 1993. You'll paddle this Twin Otter once and your canoeing days are history.

My wife and I paddled a pair of Keowees by Perception for a few years until our pooch out grew sitting on back (a matter of a few months). I bought a Twin Otter in August of 2000 thinking that it would be perfect. NAAAA...pooch wants to be a bow rider. Hauling her in and getting a bath and shower every time, grew old really quick. Get this, she doesn't like the water either. I built her bow railings of rope and pvc pipe. Great Idea! The pooch hasn't gone overboard for nearly 10 years now.

Like it's kin (the one person Otter)it is very stable maneuvers well and is good in up to class II rivers. Unlike it's kin, it tracks well and is so much faster. Heck, I had to buy my wife a 13' 4" Perception America to keep up with me and the pooch. I have dragged it over stones and rocks, from the truck to water everywhere because it is heavy for this oldtimer. You younger guys'n'gals should make play of it. I just sold it and the buyer was surprised with it's good condition. So, yes, it is durable and passes the test of time.

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05-31-2008
Submitted by: MI PatrickSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I just rented an Otter Twin this weekend and I was impressed. Paddled 4 miles (calm inland lake) with a 40 pound kid in the front. Storage space was good, very stable, tracked well, seemed pretty fast also. No problem keeping up with the single seat Loons or the 2-man Pelican Apex. First time paddlers kept it straight and fast also, I'm unsure what the people in these other reviews were doing. Perhaps balance issues? Ive got a lot of sit on top and canoe experience. Paddled fine solo also. I liked it so much, I'm going to buy one. Gave it 8 out of 10 for 3 reasons:
  1. Rear foot pegs not usable, but not needed because of the front seat
  2. You should be able to move the rear seat all the way up to the middle, but it ran into something. Still handled fine
  3. $700 price tag. Steep for a plastic shell, I'll find me a used one!

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05-28-2008
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Recently purchased the twin otter, being a very new beginner, I found it a very good kayak. Found I could not adjust the seats and foot pegs to center the weight in the kayak properly. Being 6'2" at 225 lb and my granddaughter only 6 years old. I could not move her forward enough for her to use the foot pegs. With some modifications I will be making, it will work out perfectly, by replacing the side rails with longer ones.

I find the overall weight very comfortable in handling solo in transporting to and from the truck, or putting away at the end of the day. But I am in pretty good shape, someone else may need help.

I found the tracking was very well with beginners. My daughter went out with the granddaughter, both beginners also, they found it was fun to paddle around and enjoy nature.

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02-29-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     The kayak is great for myself and my kids (10 and 12). With the wide bottom and the lack of tipping, they and myself are very comfortable in it. With two people in the Twin Otter (the 3rd is in a Voyager that I bought at the same time) it paddles and tracks very well for a kayak with a wide and almost flat bottom. With a little effort the kayak will slide sideways on you instead of tracking - but it's not that bad.

However, as good as it is with two people, I have a hard time paddling it solo. I'm a large man (5'10 and 275#) and I cannot get the rear seat forward enough, nor the front seat back enough for me to balance the kayak well. As a result one end of of the kayak lifts out of the water and it tracks terribly. What I have done to compensate for this is that I will kneel on a boat cushion in the middle of the kayak where I need to be. This is fine for short trips, but uncomfortable for a medium to long trip. This season, I'm going to try sitting where I need to be with one of those folding stadium seats with a back rest.

The other issue I have is that foot rests were installed for both seats - but due to the rails that the seats attach too, the foot rests for the rear seat are unusable. The foot rests should have been made a little longer to compensate for the seat rails.

Other than those issues, the kayak is great for its price range. Very very difficult to tip, but once it does it goes over fast and there is no time to recover. It's very comfortable for two adults or children. I would recommend it for a recreational kayak.

The low rating is because of how it handles solo (might handle better for a smaller person) and because of the rear seat foot rests.

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08-13-2007
Submitted by: Richard CoutureSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've purchased a twin otter after having a single one for two years, marvelous. It's true I'm athletic and don't mind the weight cause I'm a construction worker and I'm only 35... I bought it to try and entice my girlfriend in kayaking. I knew that she wouldn't like a solo cause she is a bit lazy and afraid of water (lol). So she sits in it and paddles on and off, I take it like a workout. It's a very versatile boat and better suited for the kind of water I paddle than the single otter. I use both in the St-Laurence River in the province of Quebec in Canada, one of the biggest rivers in the world. The trill of having a whale come up beside you is indescribable, if a bit scary the first time...

Yes you can get a boat with better tracking but the investment is not the same and both my otters cost me the price of a better twin kayak... excuse my English, I'm French speaking.

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06-01-2007
Submitted by: dan reidSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     A great boat for us big guys. I'm 6'5 300#, needing a bigger yak for fishing/play. This beauty will carry me & my tackle box, rods, etc. for a day or even weekender solo. She turns on the lean beautifully & tracks nicely.
I added steel tie-down eyelets fore & aft for safety/car topping. I'm certain I could lug a small passenger or big dog along with me for day tripping as well.

This boat has built in flotation as well..a good plus. I'm absolutely happy with this yaks utility, build, quality & price. Fish on!

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01-22-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     At the time I was thinking about getting a canoe to go paddling with my kids, but went with the Twin Otter instead. Although I could car top this animal, there were times when thought getting on top of my Expedition by myself wasn’t going to happen (Heavy!), not that the typical canoe would have been much lighter. We had the optional jump seat that allowed all three of us to go paddling. When placed between to other seats, I found that the tracking wasn’t that great. I found tracking much improved when the jump seat was placed in front of the forward seat (which was pushed back). The person (kid) in the middle usually ended up getting a little wet from water dripping off our paddles and usually resulted in some cursing. I found that the black trim used around the cockpit opening would constantly work itself off. A tube of Aquaseal help to keep it reattached. It was a boat that back then, allowed all three of the go paddling. Now the kids are older and have their own kayaks. And, now I get to paddle my own boat too, it’s so much easier than paddling for three.
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05-05-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I'm starting my second season with a Twin Otter and I might have enough hours in to make my opinion worthwhile. First, this is a versatile boat. It's a whole different animal than its 9.5' little brother. If you only get to have one kayak, you could do worse. Very stable either solo or tandem. Kind of heavy but bulletproof. Kind of beamy, but not piggishly slow once you put in the hours to learn how to paddle it. You won't win races but you won't tip, either. Quite seaworthy in a variety of conditions. Holds a lot of creature comforts--great for solo camping. A few necessary accessories and modifications to address the problems listed previously; Solo spray skirt--Seals "Sneak". Order one for an Old Town Predator K140 and it fits perfectly. REI can help. Foot braces--Werner's from Rutabaga. Mount right behind the stock ones for solo use. Tandem skirt--Wilderness Systems Tandem Mini. Good splash skirt. As others have said, keep it trimmed level. If you have trouble with the tracking, paddle more. You'll get it.
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05-03-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought my twin because I went camping a few years back with friends and we rented 2 twins and kayaked the Ossipee River and I was hooked. I wanted a twin because I wanted 1) to be able share the world of kayaking with my Daughter and Girlfrined (now my soul mate), 2) I enjoy the company when on the water, 3) and when I have to I can move the rear seat forward, add 25lbs of ballast to the nose and I can kayak any of the rivers or lakes solo.

The main problem of tracking that some folks complained about can be minimized with proper weigh distribution. With the adjustable seats positioned correctly and I carry a small 12lb anchor under the bow, this kayak handles well. Not like a 14ft solo…but in this configuration, it still is safe for solo paddling. I got hunter green and am looking to buy a collapsible trailer for porting. All in all… a great 2 up kayak that is very serviceable for one when the need arises.

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11-24-2003
Submitted by: C. DoubledaySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just purchased the twin Otter a week ago, and finally got it out on the water ( once ). I paddled it solo. It paddled/tracked much better than what I had been expecting. I didn't seem to have any trouble with the tracking. Yes, it is a bit heavy for loading/unloading solo, but it is a tandem yak, and thus it should be a heavier boat! Having a trailer made this even easier.
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09-19-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     We have 2 twin Otters. We have found them to be fun, easy to paddle on both lakes and streams of all size. I paddle them solo without difficulity by moving the front seat to the rear. By trial and error I found a spot where tracking is not a problem. The boat must ride level to track well. I find that speed is as good as any 14' boat that wide. We choose the 14' and the 13' 9" boats because they will fit inside of our van which makes them easy to load when we deside to go boating. Twins are a nice choise when a person wants to go and can not paddle a boat alone. Twins are fun for the whole family.
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09-18-2003
Submitted by: JaySend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     My first experience with a kayak was a Ocean Kayak Malibu 2 used at Mission Bay in San Diego, CA. That got my 7 year old son and I hooked, but I was looking for something a bit more utilitarian... the Twin Otter fit the bill. We take off every Saturday out of Marina del Rey boat harbor in L.A., and with little effort, are shortly out into open ocean just outside the breakwater. It is super stable, has room for all sorts of gear, and makes for an enjoyable family outing. Only downsides are the weight, and lack of footpad adjustment in front sufficient to accomodate my son's legs... other than that, a great investment... and we got it at the end of the summer season, so we only paid half price!
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03-03-2003
Submitted by: H.M. D.Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     We have had the twin otter for several years & it has not depreciated at all.The previous comments about poor tracking are very true for solo operation, but my wife & I find tracking totall acceptable when riding twin with our 17 lb. dog. We have noticed that we can easily outrun our friends who paddle a loon 111, a castine,& an adventurer. This seems amazing but it appears that two paddlers can go much faster than one, regardless of the shape of the boat. My wife is not an athletic type person & I am 57 years old. Total weight is around 400 lbs for us and the dog. The other paddlers mentioned are all in their 20's and younger. I now own a loon 111 also, and it seems faster than the twin otter solo, but two people paddling the wide, heavy,twin otter can sustain a much higher speed with no sweat for long distances. The twin otter is so stable I can reach over the side and retreive the pooch when over enthusiasm causes her to fall out of the boat. Thi boat hates solo paddlers, but loves a load. For recreational day use, buy it, you'll love it.Buy your own solo boat.
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12-11-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     We were new to kayaking and settled on the Twin Otter. Find it easy to track IF the load is well balanced. Our experience is that it propells best with two people paddling. We transitioned quite quickly to Loons (120 for me, 138 for the spouse) and like them a bunch. But when we want to just paddle around on the water we choose the Twin Otter.
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12-09-2002
Submitted by: S.LaneSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I purchased the Twin Otter after buying several (single) Otters for my children and a Castaway. Even though the single Otters are great little kayaks, I found the Twin version to be very hard to manuever, especially when paddling solo with a 75 lb dog in front of you. Tracking in this configuration is very, very poor and almost uncontrollable. It is somewhat better with the dog behind, but that doesn't work for us. Additionally, when paddling duel, the rear person gets continuously wet. Also there is apparently no skirt for solo operations should the need arise. Unhappy, I returned the boat for a refund...
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10-03-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     My husband purchased a Twin otter for me. After having single kayaks we needed a family boat. I do a lot of paddling in the bay with boys. having my son in the front seat to help paddle is a joy all around. My 3 yr old likes to nap on boat cushions. its nice having all that room in this boat. we paddle the Bay and find the Twin Otter tracks very well solo or with small passengers. Solo is the way to go.
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11-20-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have found my twin otter to be a great recreational boat. It is a stable boat to fish from, handles well for it's size, is easy to paddle and with the aid of a dolly isn't all that hard to transport. My 2 dogs love the space it has with the front seat removed. Adding the seat makes for an enjoyable afternoon of fun for two people. Storage is limited, but this isn’t a boat for overnight trips.
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06-11-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     My husband and I purchased the twin otter several months ago and have had it out on water several times. The boat is super stable and pretty roomy. We bought it with aspirations of our 2 yr. old son and small dog in it (although we haven't tried them in it yet). The only bad things about the boat are that it doesn't have very good tracking and would be very difficult to paddle solo, and the weight at 65 lbs. However, it can hold a lot and the seats are comfortable, you don't feel squished in at all. It takes work to paddle a small creek with turns b/c of it's size, but a larger river such as the Kankakee is easy as can be. I like the boat and we'll get a lot of use out of it, but I'm also planning to get a single (probably the Otter) that I can play in and manage by myself. Rating: 8 out of 10.
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05-22-2001
Submitted by: HughSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     We had a Twin Otter until recently. Purchased it last year. Picked a twin because my wife wasn't sure she would like kayaking. She did, in a big way. The boat was super stable, was smooth on the water and was easy to paddle. Seats are extra comfortable. The minuses are, craft weighs 65 lbs and is a handfull to put up on a roof rack. Although Old Town leads you to believe it is usable as a one man kayak, the lack of footpegs with the front seat in the rearmost position, makes it not a good ride. Also, at 66, I'm not up to carrying or loading the boat alone.

I would urge anyone considering the twin, of any make, to first consider a small single such as the Otter or the Perception Swifty. My wife, after paddling a Loon 100 and a Loon 110 in Florida, decided she wanted to be "Mistress of her own fate", so we sold the twin and bought another Otter. Once you get over 40 lbs, "stuff" gets cumbersome.

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