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Submitted: 01-16-2006 by REAJR
Purchased the Dirigo 140 for recreational/family purposes, i.e., exercise, day touring of our local lakes, occasional fishing and short recreational outings with my daughter.
I found the Dirigo 140 to be a definite winner in its class as an all-around family recreational boat. It is exceptionally stable (you would have to aggressively assist this boat in order to tip it). It tracks and glides quite well, in fact, I find it to have decent speed too (I'm 5'-8" and weigh-in at 165 lbs. for reference purposes). It actually performs quite nicely into the wind. On a recent 5 hour tour of some local lakes, the wind kicked up to approx. 15 knots with at least a 1 ft. chop, the Dirigo performed beautifully (I could however sense that secondary stability as I expected, would be questionable in choppier coastal conditions - the standard cost for having exceptional primary stability).
The Dirigo 140 is TRUE to Old Town's renowned craftsmanship - it is a beautifully crafted boat from its hull, deck design and finish to its rear watertight storage (bulkhead) compartment. Old Town's easy to open "space hatch" is ACTUALLY watertight. The large open cockpit design makes entry and exits a breeze and allows for exceptional ease for fishing and stowing of your equipment, etc. The included child seat I find works quite nicely, remove it and again you've got a nice open space for a relatively good sized tackle-box. The small dashboard waterproof compartment is a really nice feature too for your wallet, keys, cell, etc. Old Town's new open cockpit control panel design really allows for a great deal of comfort, flexibility and control of the boat. I added a “Seals Sneak Spray Skirt” for my day/tour outings to keep dry – the large cockpit design does lend itself to paddle drip inside the cockpit. Personally, I also found the fully padded "Extrasport" seat with its on-deck adjustment controls to function extremely well - it provides adjustably great support and comfort. The Dirigo is also equipped with a generous amount of functional deck bungee rigging.
In closing, my only reason for not giving the Dirigo a rating of 10 is due to what I presume was an arguably rare flaw in the foam thigh control pads - approx. a week after receiving my new Dirigo (shipped directly from the factory) I found the foam thigh pads were deteriorating. I called "Old Town" direct - they informed me they would promptly ship replacement pads but I was courteously instructed to place a warranty claim through the retailer I purchased my Dirigo (Cabelas). Cabelas' great customer service dept. contacted Old Town directly on my behalf and my replacement pads were shipped - I've since replaced them and they're holding up fine to date. Although the boat was shipped well wrapped by Old Town, it did arrive with the gratuitous shipping and/or pre-wrap dents and scratches, however I must say that Old Town's Poly Link 3 material does display a great deal of resiliency (it's unquestionably highly-durable).
The Dirigo 140 is definitely a winner in its class!
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