My wife and I have had this tandem for quite a few years now, installed a rudder several years ago to reduce a lack of synchronization issue. Great for flat water. But as stated in other reviews, a real problem if it fills up, as ours did once by Beaufort, NC when a large yacht went by in a narrow channel. Luckily the shore was nearby!
As we are getting older (mid-late 60's) now, the weight is becoming bothersome in getting it on/off the car or truck roof, so we are looking at selling it and getting two smaller, lighter kayaks, that can (almost) fit in the back of the pickup, and that I can maybe tie a rope between so my wife can still relax...I purchased this boat three years ago. My wife is afraid to let my grand daughter out by herself, so we take the green 138t. She loves to kayak. She sets in the front so I can lay back and take it easy once in a while. It is very stable, so my wife is good to go with the little person and me kayaking. I tried to solo in it one time.....sat in the wrong seat....I should have sat in the front.
The only thing I would change is the slide locks. They are plastic, and do not hold very well. The boat is pretty quick for what it is. I only kayak for the solitude and a little exercise, I get plenty of both with this little boat. I will be keeping this OT 138T, but I am looking for the 138 solo nextI purchased a loon 138T as my first kayak and am very pleased with my decision. I have three kids and a wife who were very skptical of even getting into a kayak and the first day out ridded them of any "kayak fears."
I looked at quite a few other kayaks and felt the workmanship and asthetics of the 138T was far superior. Other kayaks were "puckering" right in the show room and the surface finish made them look like they were already three years old.
I use it to cruise rivers in Illinois where depth varies from feet to inches and amamazed at how little water it takes to float this kayak. I took it out for the first time this year while there was still ice on the rivers. The triple layered insulated hull is quiet and insulates from the cold. In the summer, as a single paddler, you can stretch out for that sun tan and "lounge". My teenage kids love to take their friends out in it. I'm currently looking at kayaks for "great lake" type of kayaking. I will always keep the Loon 138T. It is a very good product and would highly recomend it to anyone. As a side note, get the grey smoke color, they don't show the scatches as much. Side note # 2, If you like sneaking up on wildlife, the 138T is very quite and stealthy. I only wish it had a modified skeg or rudder to steer the craft while you have two hands adjusting binnoculars. That wwould be the "cats pajamas."Well my new, bright yellow, Loon 138T has been launched!!! Her maiden "voyage" was on St. Patrick's Day… a sunny, 40-degree day in Boston with light to moderate ocean winds. The boat was stable, fast, warm, controlled GREAT and at no point did I not feel compleatly safe. I really did my homework (with the help of paddeling.net) before selecting this boat, and what a GREAT time we all had because of that!!!
So, here goes… review time… I chose the Loon 138T for a host of reasons: Foremost, it was just really important to me to always have the option of bringing a guest along, and for that reason I had to go with a tandem. Mind you, the Loon 138T is not geared towards two tall adults, but my friend and I (she's 5'4 and I'm 5'7) both fit very comfortably. However most trips out will be just the dog (a 20 lbs. Terrier) and me, so it was important that the boat not be overwhelming in terms of its size (the tandem Loon is 13 feet 8 inches.). I also really like the versatility afforded to me by the Loon’s open cockpit, i.e. on hot days I get to feel the sun and air coming off the water, while on cold days I have the option of adding a skirt for protection; what could be better!?!?! If there is a down side to the Loon 138T it’s that it is heavy, at 60 lbs I wouldn’t want to have to walk it a great distance. But hey, that’s what wheel attachments and friends are for, and frankly I wasn’t willing to pay for fiberglass or Kevlar. Which brings me to my final reason for selecting an Old Town Canoe product…affordability!!!
I really love this boat, and feel very comfortable recommending it!My family is pleased that we purchased a Loon 138 (not 138T, the tandem version). We have used Otters and Loon 120 but prefer the bigger, faster 138, clearly the flagship of the Old Town Loon line, for recreational lake paddling.
The 138 handles my 220 lbs. well but is also easily managed by my 10 year-old, 62 lb. daughter. New paddlers are comfortable getting in and out. I have used several other boats and find the Loon 138 the best for my calm lake. This boat is a classic-in-the-making, or so says I. Check out the construction and the design.
1. Tracks well, but others, like Pungo, track better
2. Very maneuverable, especially in shallows
3. Sleek, so cross-winds not a bother
4. Tough shell takes a hit--alas, I found out the hard way
5. Easy to get in and out
6. Fine recreational boat for the money
Borrow a 138, then another in its class. Let me know if you find a better recreational boat for the money. My canoe is a 85 year-old Old Town, still going strong: I have confidence in the company.
Final tip: Spring for the 138 over the 120, which has become scarce anyway. The 138 is well worth the extra money.