Length: 11' 1" - Width: 28.00" - Starting at: $569.99See More Details about this Kayak
And most importantly, since receiving this creative retirement gift from my family in 2003, we have acquired a total of EIGHT old town kayaks that live on our Seven Island Lake in Lincoln County Wisconsin. Our entire family from grandpa and grandma down to our youngest two-year-old grandson all ride the water in our family of Loons..
I have used the boat around the Outer Banks and Lake Erie Islands and it handles 4' waves well. I use it for long distances paddles since it carries gear very well. I can put a 30 liter bag with a 20 liter and my cooler behind the seat. In August we ran the top 65 miles of the Great Miami, the Bass Islands in Lake Erie and the 50 miles of the Tennessee Blueway. It has taken very ruff treatment over rock and oyster beds and the triple layer hull has held up. Great all around boat.
I still believe this is a great value if you can find one. The only caveat is this: I bought a bungee-style Extrasport spray skirt from OT and due to the larger open cockpit,it's a bear to put on. If your seat is in the middle of the adjustment range, it's hard to put the skirt on while sitting in the kayak--you need a helper or very long arms to attach it. On solo trips, if I need the skirt, I clamp it near the front of the cockpit with two small spring clamps and then work the skirt around and to the back. I think this is a problem with many large cockpit openings, regardless of the brand. Also, due to the long stretch the skirt has to go, water will pool a bit right in front of you as the skirt sags.
Other than that, this is a very good little kayak. I believe it's a better buy used than the new single-layer plastic offerings from OT.
I sold, rented and paddled kayaks for over a decade at a major sports retailer in Oregon, and in my opinion, OT did it right. The Polylink3 Loon is a recreational boat, not for class III waters or above, unless you're brave, adventurous or dumb, but it is a sturdy, stable and roomy boat that will last for many years. As with any plastic boat, store it out of the sun and you'll still be enjoying it ten years from now. No, I don't work for Old Town or Johnson, their parent company. I just know about kayaks. For it's intended purpose, this is a good one.
Plus: fairly light weight, 40-45#. My wife or I can lift onto car solo, verses canoe. Keeps kids entertained as their hands on the paddles, not bothering each other. Being used, I got fair price, 3 for price of 1.25.
I've only paddled canoes and a Walden Kayak. Much more fun.
I feel like I am laying down in this one, I can sit low on this yak, its stable, fun and strong. My friend has the Pelican Persuit 100, no comparison, he is a little faster but that's it, not as stable, he wiped out last week on a stretch I breezed through.
I sit all the way back, the rear sits low when I really crank on it, he says its almost underwater, might affect my speed but on down river I don't care.
-Roomy for tall big guys
-short for cockpit size
-stable, secure, comfortable(14 miles without getting out, no pain)
-Polylink is worth it
quality control - mine has a superficial crack inside, it seems like they repaired this, its a strong repair, but rotomolds are not going to be perfect, this should have been a factory second, I called LL Bean and complained, they offered a replacement, but seemed a nitpick to me so I passed.
-The seat can be adjusted on the track, doesn't always stay in place, one of the reasons I sit all the way back in the yak.
Those are my only complaints, its a great boat, not super fast, but way better than low end pelicans, non Polylink's, great for rivers, Yough, simple, a little heavy but not outrageous, and finally without any foam its got TONS of space.
It was either this 111 classic, the Loon 120, or possibly the Wilderness Systems Pungo. A friend of mine has the Pamlico and rides very low to the water (friction increased water spillage a greater possibility). So I nixed the Pungo.
I chose the Classic 111 because it was shorter and I want to be able to cruise down ANY river skinny and wide. The 120 does have a more comfortable seat though. My decision was not easy. I still wonder if I should have gone for the 120 because it may also be faster on lakes ( I live on a lake in Joisy) This is my first boat and my next one will be the Old Town Adventure Series or of the like.
All in all, I went for durability; a kayak I can hand down to my children.
I kayaked faster against the wind than a couple walking (for exercise). Took it for a test run on my lake about 10 miles with and against the wind. I was very impressed!!!! I made equal time on the back 5 miles. Going the 10 miles, took me about an hour and a half but that time also included me crossing the 1/2 mile wide lake and checking out houses.
I have read reviews that it does not track well -FALSE, tracks very well. Thought I wanted the 120 for speed! but I believe you only get more leg room and a hatch but then you lose storage for foam blocks. You want speed? Get a touring Kayak that also stores more. If you get the Loon 111 Classic it is because you want to take long day trips and maybe over night it and you want to hit some skinny fast rivers. Also its great for a short day run for exercise or to explore.
Pros: Cuts through the water!
Stable in choppy water (psyched for bigger waves!)
Tons of leg room! (I'm 6'2")
Tons of storage! (no foam blocks polylink3)
Does not come with un-necessary storage hatch (dry bag it) and does not waste knee room for a cup holder like the Dirigo.
Cons: Does not offer the extra comfort seat option like the Dirigo and other Loons. Not that I care about a seat. No beer holder (cup holder).
For the purposes this boat was intended for, impossible to imagine a better design of boat. The only regret I have is that I waited this long to buy one. Now that I have, I fully intend to make up for lost time and use this boat at every available opportunity.
At the price these things are going for, if you're looking for a general-purpose light-touring recreational portable virtually indestructible playboat that behaves like a "real" kayak, well, what are you waiting for? Buy one!
All in all a great boat!
We have used them extensively for exploring lakes and wetland areas and our old canoe just sits in the basement. We find we can fit both of them securely on top of our standard Dodge Caravan and it just takes a few minutes to load/unload with some quick-release straps and foam padding. We found very good directional stability, especially in windy conditions, compared to a number of kayaks we had rented during our research. A little care in flipping the carrying handles up over the end of the boat avoids the annoyance of hearing the handle gurgling along in the water behind you. Ours are both the Polylink 3 material and it seems to be pretty durable with the exercise of reasonable care in launching, etc.
It is a great boat for little river and pond and if you want "rig" your yak for fishing it is very easy cause the polylink is a good material and make holes inside itís not a big job...(and you can save big money).
Iím a canoe racer to and I practice in this little yak with my single paddle, itís very fast and itís easy to turn on dime when I adjust my footbraces for that. Iím very happy and for the beginner or advance paddler itís a great boat and heís not heavy to put on your car...Oh the last thing, he have a great look like a real sea yak.
I canít give 10 because the perfection is not in this world but 9 itís very good.
I am 6' and 225 and am very comfortable in this boat. I have carried kids (6 to 8 year olds) with me and the boat maintains its stability very well with the additional weight.
The issues I found are minor annoyances. There is a black ring of plastic on the inside rim of the cockpit which comes loose very easily. It can be reseated just as easily, but I do not think it should have to be done regularly.
Another annoyance that I found across the board on the OT models that I looked at was that they have no drain plug. I found the part for a few dollars on the internet and will be putting it in over the next few weeks, another thing that the manufacturer could and should offer as a standard option.
The last item is that the rear T handle drags in the water which creates some extra noise when paddling. All are minor issues that are easily lived with, for the versatility and stability that we have found with these boats.
I now own a w/w boat, and am looking for another, a 17 foot long sea kayak which I'm thinking I might sell ( the loon is fine for most of my touring/exploring needs). For an all around little boat it's been a great craft. I use a bent shaft canoe paddle as my "spare"/ sneak paddle, and the typical kayak touring paddle for getting from point A to point B and beyond.
Still, Iíll probably never sell this boat. It requires next to no skill to propel in quiet water, holds one adult and one child, and is nearly indestructible. I suppose a solo canoe would be more versatile, but Iíd hate to put an unskilled guest or a rambunctious child in a solo canoe. Plus, a good solo canoe costs at least twice what our used Loon cost us. Thus, itíll always have a place in our garage as a family cruiser and/or guest boat.
My purchase was based on four factors: quality of materials, back support, large cockpit at a good price and the Loon 111 scores on all counts. The quality of the hull seems far superior to anything else in this price range - sturdy, insulated and should survive more wear than most others. The high back seat can be adjusted fore and aft within the large cockpit - accomodating paddlers of various sizes - and well suited to life-long back problems - only the Phase 3 seating of Wilderness Systems exceeds this seat. The large cockpit allows plenty of room for my 7 year old daughter to ride with me. The salesman thought that she was near the top end of being able to ride there, but I think we will get 2-3 years of being able to ride together. The list price of this boat is currently $499, but is available through some sources at a 10% discount.
Finally, it has been mentioned that some 111s have manufacturing flaws. My model (2001) has no such flaws and tracks reasonably well. I rate the boat a 9 only because the highly stable design limits speed somewhat.
This boat has all kinds of primary stability. My kids will both suddenly lean way over, and the boat leans that direction, of course, but there's nothing those kids can do to tip that boat if I don't want to. It feels very stable, and is reasonably fast. In waves, I find that the high-volume bow hardly ever lets any water onto the deck. You'll slow down - the boat does sorta pound into those oncoming waves, as opposed to slicing right through - but you'll stay dry. That's just what I want; I usually have my camera along, and the kids probably wouldn't like it nearly so much if they didn't feel secure.
The bungees on the rear deck are perfect for shoes in case you walk through mud or sand on the way to the put-in, and don't want to get the seat and inside of the boat too dirty.
I'd originally set out to get the 138. For cartopping on my small car, I am glad not to have the additional weight and length, and I don't think I'll ever miss the length (which would offer improved speed and tracking) on the water either - I didn't buy this boat to tour.
I think I would have been equally happy with a Pungo (or better yet, the Pungo superlight/ultralight/whatever they call it) but that boat was 100 - 200 bucks more, and was not available locally on the day I was ready to buy!
Bottom line, this has proven to be the ideal first boat for me. Now I'm hooked on the sport, and am looking to get a sea kayak in the Spring, but that's a different story...
The boat tracks well. It is stable, even for a big guy like me; I'm 6'2" @ 245 or so. The high backed, movable bucket seat is great! You can adjust the trim of the boat, even underway. Properly trimmed and proplelled with decent paddling technique, this boat will haul the mail!
Due to space considerations, I shall probably go with a folding kayak. However, if I were to buy a hard shell boat, I would HEARTILY recommend the Loon 111. Due to my size, I would probably opt for the Loon 120. The Loon 111 is a great, all-round boat that'll do many things well. You can't go wrong by buying one.
Our kayak interest started a few years ago from watching the many groups of kayaks heading past our cottage on the weekends. There are so many Loons going by that I think I'm at an Old Town convention. I'd be willing to bet that 80% of them are Old Towns and most of them are Loon 111's. That should tell you something. We do have other brand dealers avilable in our area, but with all the Loons floating around, I wonder how they stay in business.
Watching this parade every week got my wife interested in trying out a kayak. My uncle had always been the kayaker in the family, so I never knew much about them. After we traveled all over the countryside looking at different makes and models, we made a trip to the Old Town dealer. As soon as she sat in the first seat, she looked up at me with a big smile and told me to bring the truck around so I could load up her new Loon 111. She loves it so much that I've lost my riding partner in the canoe. She was never much of a "river- rat" until she got her Loon. Now, she's always out there riding around.
Last weekend, my friends brought their kayaks (both Old Towns) down for a float trip. Since my wife was working, I gladly went along with hers. This was the first time I was in the thing longer than 20 minutes and on this trip we were on the water more than 5 hours before getting out of the seats. I couldn't believe how comfortable they were. Neither my back or my butt gave me any problems. So.... now that I feel so out of place in our canoe, I'm currently looking for another boat. Yea, you guessed it - it will either be a Loon 111 or the 138.
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