Submitted: 09-28-2009 by bhaskell
I purchased a leftover Dirigo 140 with spray skirt for $399. For the price I couldn't pass it up. I had been looking for a SINK for winter paddling, although in Florida, SOT kayaks are usually fine. This is my 6th kayak, so I have experience with several different types and styles. At 27.25" wide, the Dirigo is just slightly wider then my RTM Tempo, which is narrow for a SOT. The Dirigo is supposed to meet in the middle for recreational and touring kayaks. I believe it does a good job at both.
I've taken the Dirigo on several trips, the longest being 11 miles. I've read the other reviews and agree with some of the comments, but not with others.
The boat tracks very straight. The defined from and rear keel help this kayak maintain a good line. The only issues is that because of the hull design, your paddling technique or lack there of gets amplified. I found that sometimes using lean turns is needed to get good turning response.
The kayak layout is very good. The dashboard is functional, equipped with dry storage container, cup holder and scotty rod holder. The foot braces are functional and sturdy. The seat is pretty comfortable and highly adjustable. I have read some negative things about the seat, but have not had any problems with it. The rear storage compartment is huge and water tight. I have not used the spray skirt yet, but I did test fit it and it seems like it would do the job, although when fitted, it does cover up the dashboard. The deck bungees have come in handy several times.
Overall, the kayak is an excellent performer. Does take some extra skill to paddle, but helps develop good technique. I'm 6' 210lbs and the kayak fits me perfect and lots of storage capacity for long outings.
Nothing really to complain about, especially for the price!