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Reviews for Nantucket Kayak by Old Town Canoe


Rated: 7.74/10 Based On: 42 Reviews

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05-28-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I've had this kayak about 4 months now, and had it out on 4 different outings... all lakes and one overnight trip. I have nothing but good to say about it and I highly recommend the rudder! In the wind it's a lifesaver, allowing you to concentrate on power to the blades and less on force to one side or the other to counteract the wind blowing you off course.

I've loaded this thing down with a LOT of camping gear, and very little of it lightweight backpack stuff either. I've had packs of gear on the deck both front and back of me and with only 3-4" of freeboard at each side it tracked perfect, and fast too! My GF has a Dirigo 10'6" model and she's always behind and weaving all over the place, lol. She's looking for another Nantucket cause she loves mine so much.

I've added a single stainless stud just in front of the cockpit railing to mount my digital camera for videos and pics. I also added a 'sticky backed' Go-Pro mount on the left side for some action shots. I also fabricated a paddle holder and installed it on the left side as well because I like to fly fish from it and this stores the paddle safe and sound. I have a spray skirt but only use it to keep the trash out while hauling it and at camp if it rains.

The hull is solid, the water tight compartments are plenty big enough for the gear but beware that packing your camping gear in a dry bag and then trying to stuff it thru the smaller of the two hatches will result in frustration... but if you pack the bag about 1/2 full and then feed it thru the small hole it's easily packed in the space below deck provided.

I don't have a cup holder or anything like that so I'm always spilling my open soda can in the floor but a water bottle with a screw lid is safe. The stock seat lacks a little in the comfort area but I cut out a 1/4" thick neoprene pad and used contact cement to glue it to the seat bottom, butt problem fixed! I have no need for side pads and since I'm not intending to roll this thing over, I figured it was fine without them.

I'm only 5'-5" (130 lbs) and I have no issue lifting it into the back of my pickup and using a piece of foam on the cab I rest the other end on the tailgate and with some ratchet straps I can easily haul it to wherever I want to go. It's a great boat, well worth the 1/2 full retail price I paid of $700. I'm looking for another one now for my GF.

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01-31-2012
Submitted by: happy_paddlerSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have owned my Nantucket since 2001. That boat has had its fair share of rough days, it's a super tough boat. Still works as good as the day I bought it, decently priced too. I've just outfitted mine with a cheap foam kit so that I can start eskimo rolling with it (knee and hip braces). Also put a foam for the seat (the seat is kind of hard but with the foam on there, it's very comfortable).

I would recommend a Nantucket, mine tracks good (no left tracking as mentioned in some reviews). Even after 10+ years of being stored at temperature that go down to minus 30 degrees C in the winter and paddling it in temp. up to +30 degrees C in the summer, the rubber hatches as still in great shape and do not let any water in. This kayak is almost 15 feet long. I weighed it last week after I completed all the outfitting for rolling, weighs 68 pounds, kind of heavy compared to other brands but you can drag this kayak anywhere you go and it won't show much signs of wear and tear.

I'm satisfied with my Nantucket, would never get rid of it, we've been through too much together

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07-20-2011
Submitted by: robertSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     GREAT kayak!! This is my second kayak. Tracks great. I have had mine out on "choppy" water along with "glass like" smooth water and this kayak glides amazingly well through any and all types of water. I read all these reviews before just buying my Nantucket and I have used it several times. NOTE: as far as "tracking" goes, I believe its "paddlers wrong doing" I am not by any means a pro.

This kayak is amazing for Lake cruising, river gliding, ocean viewing and all kinds of fun. You will not be disappointed with this old town. If you are looking for an amazing kayak for a decent price, THIS IS THE ONE.

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08-24-2009
Submitted by: RockySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've own my Old Town Nantucket for several years and find it to be a great boat for flat water. My husband is a fast paddler in his Old Town 138 Loon and I'm faster than he is in my Nantucket. It's light enough for me to handle in and out of the water. Everything works, the dry compartments stay dry and carry the load. Overall, I think it is a great boat for flat water and ocean.
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04-26-2006
Submitted by: MarioSend Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     I had a nantucket for my first kayak when i knew noting of what a good boat was,this kayak is very heavy very slow(i was always the one behind)and the bulkheads leaks after only 1 years of use,the nan. is also VERY large boat and should be intended only for overweight person,now i'm an experienced padler and since i've discovered BOREALDISIGN procucts no need for this kind of junk
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12-24-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Be aware that the bent Nantucket still exists! I purchased two, with one being "keel challenged". I think that the Old Town quality control crew should be a little more vigilant with the boats they have going out the door. The local Old Town dealer had no problem with the return of the defective boat, but I had to wait a good month, due to supply problems at the Old Town plant in Maine, before my new "Baby Blue" model arrived.

All in all, I'd have to say the boat is good value for the money, and is extremely stable, and with the Polylink 3 construction, very durable. Being a newby, I do like having the security of a rudder.

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07-18-2005
Submitted by: BSESend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     After having read some of the reviews about the Nantucket I must admit I was a bit gun shy. As a larger paddler I had all sorts of difficulty tracking down anything to paddle in comfort in the 4 years I have been Kayaking. I thought I was going to be doomed to going back to a sit on top.

I have had a Perception Contour and a Current Designs Pacifica. Both great boats but I was constantly cramping up on longer paddles and had difficulty extracating myself from the cockpits.

I was initially going to have an Old Town Adventurer 160 shipped to Australia site unseen as it is not available here. I was advised by Ian Pope at Adelaide Canoe Works that he was getting in a Nantucket (NZ manufacture) and I decided to wait before outlaying the cost for the 160 up front.

When the Nantucket arrived I was surprised at the massive volume and room in the boat and decided to buy it after comunicating with DTGSK a previous reviewer.

I must say I have not had any problems with my Nantucket at all in fact I am absolutely wrapped in its performance. It is extremely stable and surprisingly fast even with my 140+ kgs. The finish is good and although I have made a couple of personal modifications it was good to go straight off the floor. Although slightly hevier as described by other reviews I can still easily handle it solo onto the roof racks.

I would highly recomend anyone of larger stature in the Australian and NZ region to take a look at the Nantucket. I would also like to thank Old Town (US) for all of their help in getting info and contact numbers here in Australia.

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05-02-2005
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I recently obtained a Nantucket with rudder by cashing in credit card miles. It was the only choice offered by the card company.

I have had to repair both control cables, as the crimped connections popped loose, one as I was setting it up at home, and the second as I first put it in the water.

My first use was therefore without benefit of foot pegs or rudder, and that, combined with my lack of paddling skill, made the tracking reminiscent of paddling an inner tube!

Yesterday I was in it for about six hours. It tracks great with the rudder in the water, less so with it out of the water. It seems to be exceptionally stable, much more so than the craft used by the firm I took instruction from a few weeks ago. I exited and reentered several times for lunch and bio breaks, at either docks or up feeder creeks on the lake I was on, and the stability made me look as if I knew what I was doing.

I think this yak will be ideal for lake and bay/estuary travel.

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03-20-2005
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     We have 2 Nantuckets and love Ďem in regards to tracking check Ďem out before you buy Ďem. If they donít look straight donít buy Ďem. Ours track pretty well and with the rudder they are perfect

A full blown sea kayak they are not but for weekend touring their, ruggedness, storage, stability, size and price makes them hard to beat. They are capable of decent size trips as long as you are aware of the limitations of any touring boat compared to a sea kayak. They will leave Arcadias and discoveries for dead but would be slow and not as seaworthy compared to a Greenlander, but also half the price.

They are heavier but living in Tassie we like the poly3 insulted hull. If you want a good stable boat with acceptable touring speed, good storage, rugged insulted hull and workmanship then have a look but check the hulls out for straightness.

Iíd get the rudder, I like it but thatís me. Other people think itís a waste of money. If your going to be out for more than 1/2 an hour get the rudder.

People have obviously suffered from quality control problems. And we are grateful for the "heads up." A good boat that is lots of fun and providing you check it out, excellent bang for your buck.

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10-21-2004
Submitted by: RFDSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I've had my Nantucket for 3 seasons now. My main initial complaint was the weight. If I remember correctly it was advertised to weigh about 50-55#. Actual weight is 65#. That is a pretty good load to get on a car rack alone. After a little use the bottom oil-canned in the entire center one third of the boat. It still was fun to paddle and on the quiet lakes I use it on it tracks great and turns really well with a leaned turn. I also have a narrow, long cedar strip that I built but except for the weight the Nantucket is my favorite to paddle.

So...I have done my best to duplicate the shape and will be building a cedar strip version of the Nantucket this winter. In duplicating the shape I also found that the keel line was not straight. Hopefully the copy will have the good qualities without the weight, the oil canned bottom, or the warped keel. The Nantucket is a great design for its intended use - it just didn't come off the assembly line as drawn. By the way - I had heard that the Nantucket was discontinued so I felt that it was not unethical to make a copy for my own use - now I see it still for sale in some places so I am not sure of its production status.

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06-22-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 7 of 10

     Thank you to Judy who pointed me to this review board when she almost bought my Nantucket. I bought the yak from LLBean 4 years ago. Being a novice and only using the yak about a dozen times, I never realized that I had a problem. My guess is that I just compensated for the left tack by using more rudder and blamed it on the wind. We sent LLBean an email after I checked the yak and found that it was out of line. They responded "No problem, bring it back.". Since we were in the market for 2 smaller yaks we loaded it up and drove the 2 1/2 hours to Freeport. We had bought the Nantucket at their Freeport outlet store 4 years ago, when all was said and done, and mind you we couldn't find the original receipt, they gave us the same amount back as a credit. So we bought our 2 Acadia 12.5s and a couple of cockpit covers with that(+ 10% off during their water sports weekend). So we ended up paying for only 2/3 of one new kayak. L.L. be praised! We did stop into the outlet store while we were there and guess what was sitting there on their used rack, that's right, another bent nosed Nantucket. We just shook our heads and headed home.
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04-01-2004
Submitted by: JH
Rating: 5 of 10

     I purchased 2 Old Town Nantucket's after a test paddle. The canoes were out of stock and it took several weeks before they were delivered. When I ordered the Kayak I was told that I could get it in a certain colour, but this was not the case. I contacted the manufacturer directly in NZ who ended up telling me this. I kind of felt this wasn't a real problem in the end.

The Kayak was delivered I took them home for the first paddle and many of the fitting were not secured. I thought not a problem, but concerns over quality came to mind.

Both Kayaks had dents in the bottom. I though these were to do with shipping and would pop out. I tried everything and contacted the manufacturer in NZ for advice. The dents are still there and cause some cavitation problems when paddling. The dents would be about 8 inches in circumference directly under the seat.

The Kayaks are heavy and the dents in the hull are still there I store them on a rack with padding to prevent the dents which return shortly after the kayak is put into the water.

I have sent e-mail to Jonson Outdoors in NZ, but there is radio silence on this. I struggle to recommend this craft because of the quality control issues I have had to deal with. this is a shame. It's a pity they didn't put as much effort into their product as they do to their web site.

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08-11-2003
Submitted by: L DanielSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     My husband and I purchased a two person sit on top Hobe Kayak. The first time out of the lake it flipped. We were able to get back on, but the trip was stressful as we had to spend our energy on balancing. I was able to return the Hobe and chose a Old Town Nantucket with rudder for my husband. I will not kayak again for a long time. He enjoys the Nantucker mainly because of the rudder. He has a smaller kayak without a rudder and he says the difference is like night and day. He is very happy with the stability and over all design of the Nantucket kayak.
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06-03-2003
Submitted by: REHSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     Decent kayak but VERY heavy and has a hard unpadded seat.
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12-05-2002
Submitted by: MDLSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I was the first to put a review up on the Nantucket (Summer of 2000) and my prime beef with the boat then was the crooked bow. Isn't it amazing, and disappointing, that this continues to be a problem, two years later. At that time I told Old Town about it and they said they'd refer it to the proper area of their firm (obviously file thirteen!). Old Town apparently just doesn't care as long as we keep buying these crooked little boats. It would have been pretty easy for Old Town to have called or written me about this, but NOOOOOO...

I'm still paddling my Nantucket, but it's disheartening to see they still don't care. My next one won't be an OT! Happy paddling.

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12-02-2002
Submitted by: PhilSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     update on the situation with the Nantucket and Old Town: Windsurfing Sports in Seabrook, Texas managed to broker a deal with Old Town to my complete satisfaction. It took about 2 months, some time and work on the part of the owner, Charlie, and the Old Town group, but the issue is behind us. MUCH thanks, Charlie for your efforts above and beyond. I would recommend Charlie and his very courteous staff at Windsurfing Sports to anyone considering a watersports purchase for professionalism, topdrawer customer service and results. Thanks again Charlie and Old Town.
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09-06-2002
Submitted by: Tim
Rating: 8 of 10

     After reading all the reviews here I still decided to purchase a Nantucket. However I had to shop around to find one with good lines. If you decided to purchase one of these boats take the time to look it over carefully. One place I went to you could really see that the bow of the kayak was distorted and that it would track to the left. I did find find a place on the cape that had Nantuckets and for some reason all their boats were in good shape. I wonder if the issues with these boats could be tracked to a certain lot number ?.

As far as performance goes the boat really needs a rudder. I took it out on the bay and it had a tough time in about 10-20 knot winds. Once I had the rudder installed it really made all the difference. One thing to remember this is not a full 17 to 19ft touring kayak. It was designed to be a recreational/light touring boat and in this catagory it performs well.

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08-01-2002
Submitted by: CRBSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I had purchased an Old Town Nantucket in mid September of 2001 and was only able to try it once during the fall. I noticed that the tracking was not what I expected but dismissed it to inexperience. In early June of this year I purchased another for the wife. The biggest draw to this kayak was the type of paddling we would be doing. Mainly on a large lake with lots of coves and inlets in northern Maine and occasional salt-water trips. Also, the construction seemed superior to others within the same price range. After a few outings I noticed I had to use the rudder a lot more then I really wanted to. The wifeís Kayak also did not track very well. Both pulled left. After reading reviews on this web site, and finding that others had the same problem, I flipped each kayak over and looked down the keel, if you can call it that on a flat bottom boat, from front to back. As described in an earlier review, the rear keel on both kayaks veered off to the right. Which when up righted would mean the kayak would pull left.

Both kayaks had been purchased from L.L. Bean, which is just up the road from our house, so I called them and explained my dilemma. They were more then happy to take them back for a full refund or exchange. Other then the tracking problem, I do like these kayaks and Beans allowed me to look at all they had in stock for a replacement. The wife and I went through 7 kayaks, flipping them over and looking at the keel. 3 of them were straight as an arrow. The other 4 all veered to the right. Where is the Quality control ?.

LL Beans is going to looked into this further but Iím not sure what the outcome will be. So now we have 2 decent tracking boats that suit our purpose for day trips on the lake and a little island hopping in the ocean. The stability on this model, both initial and secondary, is very good. Even for a beginner like myself, though I realize speed is sacrificed by the 26" width. There is plenty of room under the hatches and so far we havenít had any leaking problems.

I realize that a kayak should be rated based on its intended use. This is not a sea kayak, nor is it a WW kayak. This one was made for day trips and seems to be geared more towards lake paddling. Which it is very well suited for. With that in mind, I give it an 8. It lost a point because I shouldnít have had to return the first ones and a 10 is unachievable. Nothing is "Perfect".

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07-22-2002
Submitted by: philSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     Just got into kayaking after many years of canoe ownership and decided that since Old Town made such a reputable product, I'd go with a Nantucket for it's looks and storage, my being a bay fisherman and needing the storage and the length for it's superior speed and seaworthiness. First trip out, it tracked to the left. I thought I just didn't know how to paddle one of these things in rough water, 2-3 foot swells. I took it onto a bayou with flat calm water and it tracked to the left seriously. I took it home and flipped it upside down and eyeballed the bottom from the bow. Not only is the bow crooked and the seam poorly done, but there appeared to be an arc from bow to stern. Couldn't happen. No manufacturer would let that get past quality control. I went to the stern convinced I was seeing things, and looked from that angle to see an arc to the right. Not a gentle arc to the bow, this sucker is like 4 or 5 inches out of line with the stern. I was amazed and cranked a letter off to Old Town. The response was get with your dealer and we are certainly interested in your problem. Well, now that I have read some of the reviews here, I know they know they have a problem. A real problem. And they keep selling them.
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07-04-2002
Submitted by: TDSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     So it's not just me! I also have a Nantucket and it pulls to the left also! I thought we had bent it somehow. I also have a wilderness systems cape lookout, tracks straight as can be. Very disappointed in Old Town....
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06-24-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     We have had our Nantuckets for over a year now and love them. Neither one pulls one way or another. We don't have rudders. It is stable and fun. I don't worry about hurting it on gravel as it is tough, thick material. I will upgrade to a narrower, longer sea kayak some day but won't give up my Nantucket for the sheer fun of taking it on play excursions.
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06-21-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 6 of 10

     Paddled many kayaks last year and finally settled on the Nantucket. As oppose to others, mine constantly pulled to the right. I thought it was me, until a more experienced paddler had the same difficulties. How can you enjoy paddling a kayak that you must skip a stroke every 4 or 5? Swift has acknowledged problems with this model, but has not been so kind as to refund me my money. I would feel guilty selling it, so it collects dust. I have paddled more serious models recently and cannot believe the difference, kayaks actually do go straight.
UPDATE 06/25/02: I would like to amend a previous rating. The Nantucket I bought does have serious tracking problems (pulls to the right), and it is slow, but plastic boats tend to be slow, and so a 2 out of 10 was perhaps a bit harsh. The staff at Swift in Georgian Bay have sinced dealt with this problem to my complete satisfaction. Thank you Scott.

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06-17-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 7 of 10

     I am the owner of an Old Town Loon 138 and am quite pleased with it. However, since I wanted something faster for longer daytrips I purchased a Nantucket in May. I was disappointed to find that it really does pull to the left, as commented on by other purchasers in the past. It's not a poor paddling stroke, since nothing else I have paddled did this. And it isn't poor packing of gear since I have only used it empty.

On the good side, it is fairly stable, attractive, and nimble. It has acceptable speed too. It is relatively comfortable for a guy that is 6'1" and 215 pounds. I even fished out of it with no problems. However, having to constantly correct for direction every three or four strokes is not an option when purchasing a touring kayak that is supposed to cover water quickly without difficulty. I was going to sell it immediately, but my retailer agreed to take it back. Thank you Cabela's for your fine return policy. Sorry, Old Town, but I think you have a problem.

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05-28-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     At the age of 57 this is my first foray into paddling. My local dealer, who was most helpful, let me try numerous light touring kayaks. I found that the Cape Lookout and Nantucket fit my needs. The Cape Lookout had a superior seat but was a bit tight. The Nantucket was a good fit for my 5'8" 200lb frame. I used it on a pond and on the Sheepscot River, Maine. With a 4-6k current at times, the rudder was a great tool. Would give it a 10, but I have not tried every kayak. (Might steal my wife's Pungo seat)
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05-09-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 1 of 10

     I purchased a Nantucket at Canoeacopia and was very pleased with the cockpit fit, overall size and length. I was looking for a lighter kayak I could go fast in. Nantucket was recommended. I also wanted the adjustable comfortable seat, which is not offered in the other models. I can't tell you how disappointed I the first time I got into my kayak on the river and found (to my shock and dismay) it wanted to go to the LEFT no matter what I did. I tried leaning, redistributing my wieght, thinking I hadn't been out in a long time, etc. What happened was I wore my left arm, left shoulder and left side of my body out from compensating for this odd feature. I am even left-handed! I was thinking I was crazy until my paddling buddie took the boat out next time and he had the very same problem. No matter what he did, he wore out his left parts trying to have a good time too. We climbed on-line here and read some of the reviews, only to find that several others had had the same difficulties! Nantucket was also promoted as fast and it is anything but; and, talk about tippy. It won't roll you, but tip it does. Not stable enough for bird watching or anything else and heaven forbid you take your eyes off where you are going, you will end up to the left of it. It is so frustrating my buddie has agreed to exchange kayaks with me every other trip until my new Adventure XL comes in. The Adventure XL is not stocked in our store (maybe because it is new), so I had to try my buddy's to see if I liked it better (see review under Adventure XL). I must give Rutabaga credit because they so wanted me to be a happy paddler! The service (John, you are great!) and response I have received were excellent and will keep me coming back. After reading some of the other Nantucket reviews however; especially the guy who is trying to get Old Town to redesign this kayak, I felt is was my duty to report my experience with this model. Looks great, feels great, tracks lousy, is slow and makes its owner feel crazy. Old Town, please, do something. Its a lemon. To those of you who have managed to get a good one, no offense meant. My mom bought a Gremlin, it wasn't one of the good ones... Thank God for Rutabaga!
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05-09-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     Have just read the recent and previous reviews of the Nantucket and it sounds like you either get a straight and stable boat or a bent one. We ordered the Nantucket at the March Canoecopia in Wisconsin sponsored by Rutabaga in Madison and picked it up last Friday. It is primarily my wife's kayak. She took it out briefly at the shop and for an hour on Saturday. I then tried it for 10 minutes or so. Neither of us noticed any tendancy to steer left. I also didn't think it was tippy at all. With a 26 inch beam it should be a stable boat. As for speed, my only basis of comparison was an Old Town Otter. It's much quicker than the Otter, but that boat is slow. I hope to get out this weekend with our club boats and get a better comparison. I will say that the three layer polylink construction makes for a stiff and solid hull but the boat is heavy. I weighed the boat on a digital scale and it tips out at almost 65 pounds. That includes the optional rudder. I E-mailed Susan at Old Town and was told that the boat weight listed in the catalog is without the seat. I suggested that they be more forthright in their specifications; however, I suspect the practice of under listing the weight may be a common practice in the competitive plastic boat market. I will update this review once I get more time on the water.

UPDATE 06/14/02 -- I have had more extensive experience with the boat and I am pleased with the purchase. The boat is stable and comfortable. My wife uses the rudder but I find it unnecessary. Have been in heavy chop and 2-3 foot surf on Lake Michigan. In general the boat feels stable in these conditions and rock steady on flat water. I paddles 3.4 miles in 42 minutes (down stream on a slow current) the other day so the speed appears adequate. I have capsized once when running in on a wave which spit me out sideways. I wasn't fast enough with my brace and rolled in shallow water. I wet exited, emptyed the boat on shore, and went back out to the surf. No further problems.

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10-29-2001
Submitted by: GerrySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've been paddling for a couple of years now and own a Necky Looksha Sport, a very different beast from the Nantucket altogether! My wife wanted a wider, more stable boat, and found the Nantucket's cockpit very comfortable. I've paddled it a few times, mostly on the local river ( the Huron in SE Michigan) and its impoundments. At cruising speeds, I find the boat very easy to paddle and handle, and it's very stable for birdwatching and photography, and, presumably fishing and hunting as well.

However, it is not a fast boat by any means. It is much harder to paddle fast than my Looksha, but then again, it's quite a bit wider and heavier. I've also had it out on Lake Erie once. In some windy chop, it was quite stable and tracked very nicely. Since it is short boat (14'9"), I did try using the rudder to offset wind induced weathercocking. The rudder really does the trick, but is not really necessary except for the worst kind of weathercocking.

Overall, I really like this boat. It's not particularly fast, but it has great initial stability, good secondary stability, and handles fairly well. The Old Town foam sandwich construction makes for a handsome and extremely stiff boat, but also adds considerably to the claimed weight (it also makes for a warmer cockpit in cold water as it insulates quite nicely). Hatches seem quite dry, and the overall fit and finish of the hardware is good -- much better than I've seen on some of Old Town's older models.

This is a very versatile boat for beginners: stable at all times, usable on large flat waters (great lakes and oceans) as well as broad rivers and impoundments (I don't think I'd use this boat on any fast moving water unless I had a lot of room to maneuver as it's not the nimblest boat), plenty of dry storage for kayak expeditions (especially if fresh water is available), and at less than 15 feet, pretty easy to store and transport (although the weight makes rooftop loading a bit difficult).

An agressive paddler would probably outgrow this boat pretty quickly, but it's a very nice boat for anyone else, and offers great value. We picked up the expedition package for $875 -- quite a bargain compared to other small expediation ready sea kayaks!

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10-22-2001
Submitted by: DougSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had my Nantucket for about a year and a half. I love it. A very stable boat, which really sold me, as this was my first kayak. I did find that without the rudder it pulled to the left a small amount. I later installed a rudder and was very happy I did. I use it solely in Buzzard's Bay (Cape Cod, MA) and have not had a problem in up to three foot swells a pretty high winds. It does slow right down as soon as you stop paddling - do to it's width, I assume. Overall very enjoyable.
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09-10-2001
Submitted by: MZ
Rating: 8 of 10

     Got the Nantucked after trying out the Old Town Castine. The Castine, despite the same size cockpit just felt a little too cramped. I must admit that the OT Castine tracked better than the Nantucket, which tends to turn left, no matter how I sit in the boat. The rudder of course helps, but a well-proportioned, symmetrically produced boat should not have a problem of this kind. I am 6'1", 196lbs and generally speaking, am quite satisfied with the Nantucket, despite the tracking issue and some leakage in the rear compartment. It is quite fast and handles well.
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08-21-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased my Old Town Nantucket A few days ago after months of pondering which Kayak would be right for me. I first thought a Loon 138 would be perfect but the width would make it hard to paddle for long periods of time. I settled on the Nantucket and from my first time out I could tell I had made the right decision. It was comfortable remarkably stable and tracked very well without the rudder (Rudder =Wasted money)There was no paddle holder as advertised but I dont have a problem putting my paddle into my deck rigging and having it stay. I did roll it once and it pops up pretty easily. I like the cockpit alot, from the comfortable seat, adjustable foot braces and the fact that even at 5'11" I can easily sit with my knees up or even with my legs out of the boat without the boat getting tippy in the process. I know I made the right decision, all around this is the perfect boat for freshwater adventure or even light coastal travel. If I were going to travel the coast more or wanted a sea Kayak I'd go to a Millineum, but they are really too much for smaller lakes and rivers.
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07-18-2001
Submitted by: SpauldSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Until recently, the Nantucket was the fastest, most expensive, most advanced kayak I've owned. It's funny how you feel about a boat until you paddle something else that's "better". I say better only because as we all know, a kayak is the epitome of trade offs. In rating my new Wilderness Systems Cape Horn 15 (on this web site), I compare it directly to the Nantucket. Even though they are roughly the same length, they are quite different boats to be sure. While I ultimately prefer my Cape Horn, the Nantucket does have it's advantages. First of all, construction of the Nantucket is far superior in my opinion. I installed rod holders on both crafts and can tell you first hand that the Old Town hull is MUCH stiffer and thicker. That was a huge selling point for me. Further more, the finish of the polyethylene and the overall appearance of the hull is much sharper on the Nantucket (or any other Old Town product for that matter). The seat is quite a bit more comfortable in the Nantucket as well and the boat has ample storage space for a weekend adventure (with enough room left over for a luxury item or two). Unlike the Cape Horn which has a so storage capacity and a short seat back that requires aftermarket products to make it comfortable.

All of these perks are good selling points for the Nantucket. So, if you are just out bobbing around on the lake, fishing, taking photos and then back to camp..... what more would you need? If, on the other hand, you plan on putting some mileage between you and the launch site, you'll most definitely want a different boat. All you need to do to convince yourself of this is rent a Nantucket one day, then rent something slightly more 'serious' the next. The difference will be apparent. A friend of mine and I recently took the Nantucket and the Cape Horn on a two-day camping trip (just 15 miles round trip) on Colorado's Lake Granby. My buddy spent most of the trip trying to catch up, and I spent most of the trip trying to let him (of course... he had to carry more of the gear since the Cape Horn couldn't!). At any rate, I give the Nantucket a 7 out of a 10 because I think Old Town could have put a little more effort into making the Nantucket a more enjoyable boat to paddle. To those who say it tracks straight, I suggest they have not paddled a boat that truly DOES track straight (again, it's a direct comparison thing). If you're still not convinced, next time you are in the store, flip the Nantucket over and take a gander at its bottom. The keel line completely disappears between the bow and stern. The hull becomes completely flat bottomed for at least half of the boats length. Paddling any boat with a hull shaped like that guarantees the need for constant adjustment of direction (I could not imaging paddling the Nantucket any great distance without the rudder down!) Again, you have to compare apples to apples.

In short, the Nantucket will hold plenty of gear, it is not likely to tip over on you and will give you hours upon hours of enjoyable and stable time on the water. But.... to ensure you don't get bored, you owe it to yourself to paddle AT LEAST ONE 'higher performance' boat prior to purchasing the Nantucket. This boat (in my opinion) would deserve a ten if the hull shape was a bit more performance oriented. If you're hot on Old Town products, you may want to check out the 'Millennium 16'.

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07-17-2001
Submitted by: LauraSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is a follow-up on our beautiful Nantuckets. Now that we have had them for a few months and know a little more about paddling, we are thinking of expanding our fleet for different situations. We are looking at the 17 footers. I feel the Millenium is the most comfortable for me and DH likes the Perception Eclipse. These would be for a different kind of kayaking. The Nantuckets are still the most stable, well-built and versatile boat for mixing recreation with some touring though. We'll never sell them. They are too much fun!
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06-26-2001
Submitted by: MDLSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Following up on my 7-8-00 and 8-7-00 reviews, I can report that I used my Nantucket for the first time this season and found that the rudder was impossibly tight and just would not operate. I had previously reported that they were tight, but this was ridiculous! After checking the cable routing and the rudder hinge, and finding them OK, I took off the pedal assembly from each side and found the nylon sliding assembly bound in the extruded aluminum slide frame. I slid out the nylon slide and spread the extruded aluminum guides until the nylon piece moved freely and then put it all back in. Works great now, but just another relatively minor annoyance on top of my previously stated gripes. It's still an 8, no more, no less.
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05-14-2001
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I, in our 50's, bought our first kayaks last fall, and love them - me a Nantucket and she a Castine. We went to Charleston, SC over her spring break from teaching and went out with Coastal Expeditions for three days in their sea kayaks w/rudders. They were nice - and I would highly recommend Coastal Expeditions as an outfitter - but we both were glad to get back to our Old Towns - even without rudders. They track very well, are comfortable, we're "one" with our Old Town kayaks!. And another recommendation for eastern Virginia folks - Appomattox River Company is a pleasure to deal with - not only good prices, but well informed and helpful people.
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05-09-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased an Old Town Nantucket last week and have taken it out 2 times so far. 1'st was on a large lake with a 25 mph wind. The thing tracked very well (no rudder) and felt very stable for this first timer. Last night I took it to a river and spent about 3 hrs of bliss paddling up-stream and down....tracking was very exact and stability was perfection. The seat in very comfortable, the construction is outstanding the thing just looks beautiful. Needless to say, I am falling in love with this boat. I've been an Old Town Canoe fan for years and years, so, when it came time to look at kayaks, OT was my first choise, my local dealers all had nothing but praise for the OT's and they carry many brands. My next 'put-in' will be the Atlantic, but I expect it will be another very satisfing experience as well. I got the green one, it looks like a work of art!
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04-23-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     After months of research, shopping and noting reviews and message board comments we bought 2 Nantuckets as our first kayaks. We are in our 50's and first wanted the 138's. I really wanted a cross between a touring and recreational and was told there really isn't any such animal but if there was, this would be one of them. I love the fit and so far I have had strong winds to deal with every time I paddle. We didn't get the rudders but haven't had any trouble at all turning sharply or tracking. I'm told it will track even better when we don't have 30 mph winds. (woo-hoo) My husband thought he would be pulling away from me because he's a stronger paddler but because of our size difference our Nantuckets stay so close during a race with each other that there won't be a problem keeping together on longer excursions. I didn't expect this boat to be so smooth and fast. I suppose an elite touring craft would really blow my hair back eh? A longer boat wouldn't be practical for the exploring and river cruising we plan to do. I suspect that inexperience lends itself to ignorant bliss but I'm happy to be this pleased with our decision. They are great boats for the money!!
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01-03-2001
Submitted by: Phil MSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I purchased my old town Nantucket near the end of the summer 2000. I am a beginning kayaker and this was my first boat. I am 6' 200lbs. I tried about a dozen boats before settling on the Nantucket. Demos are a must! It seemed to have a good fit for me. I did have a concern that I needed extra back support to kayak. The old town kayaks have the largest and most comfortable seat of any I tried. Actually, with a spray skirt, the seat is a couple of inches too high, though it still fits on. Also, I liked the elongated cockpit so I could stretch out my knees. I tried the America and Acadia, but the molded in keel down the boat hit my heels and was uncomfortable. As it is, I could use a bit more foot room in the Nantucket, although I only have size 10 feet.

Because I was a beginner, I wanted a boat I could grow with. My target area of use is for flatwater in the many creeks by me and a little lake or river trips, not really openwater oceans or anything. I also wanted to use it a bit in class 1-3 white water, if I ran into some on the creeks. I liked the boats in between length of 14'9". Not too long for the creeks and still long enough to track well. I did not have a problem with the finish as mentioned by others, But the rear hatch cover seems kind of loose. I have gotten water in the rear hatch, probable from the bulkhead seal, but have not repaired it yet. As for the look of the boat, it is great. I have the red, which really looks more like a fiberglass boat, and not a cheap toy.

Performance: I have had it out probably 12 times in the creeks and have been very happy with it. I even took it out for a couple of winter runs! It seems to track well. I purchased it with the rudder, but really have not used it much. I have heard that you should learn proper paddling skills rather than relying on the rudder, I find that works for me. Initial and secondary stability are both good (as I understand their meaning). Also, I wonder if I would like a boat with more rocker to handle the occasional rapid or the faster moving water found in the spring.

One thing I decided I'm not happy with is that the boat is fairly wide 24" and has no thigh braces or knee braces. I will need to add something as my skill increases, because it is difficult to brace without them on a boat this wide. I haven't tried to roll yet (will be taking class this winter), but I think it will be tricky.

Does anyone know of a knee brace available for this boat that will attach to the coaming like other mfg's standard braces?? Please feel free to e-mail me with question or your comments.

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08-07-2000
Submitted by: MDLSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I reviewed the Nantucket earlier, but in followup, I've used the boat quite a bit and still appreciate its performance, notwithstanding the quality defects. I e-mailed OT about the hull distortions and the lack of paddle holder and, after quite some time, they responded that they had decided to not include the paddle holder and that they would refer my quality comments to the appropriate people (whoever THAT might be!) and that they were sending me paddle holder kits for both my Nantucket and Castine. I thought that was nice of them, but then noticed that they had billed me $19.98 for them!! I'm not sure they get it. But the boat floats, paddles well and's fun to use. Gues that's what I got it for, isn't it? Happy paddling!
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07-31-2000
Submitted by: William TysonSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Picked up my Nantucket about 2 weeks ago. Have tried it on glassy calm to 2 foot powerboat chop and find the boat to be very stable, very little tip. For reference, I would classify myself as an intermediate kayaker. Tracking is good without the rudder and excellent with the rudder. My boat had good workmanship and seems to be a great performer for the money. For those not familar with this boat it is currently the largest in Old Towns' "Recreational/Touring" line with front and rear bulkheads. This boat is a compromise between a true touring boat and a stable, recreational craft. I tried one roll and got it to come back up on the second try, although I would recommend not getting going over in the first place. OT seems to have hit their mark and I would recommend this boat for anyone who would like to step up from recreational day trips to weekend or possibly even weeklong outings. The hatch seal is very good and their size is large enough for most camping gear. I had reservations on not having a padded seat (i.e. like some of the Perception boats) but find the seat to be comfortable for paddles up to 3 hours so far. My boat also did not come with paddle holder as advertised and my rudder cable exits need to be reselaed. All things considered this boat paddles easily and tracks great with the rudder (i.e. get the rudder). I'm giving the boat a nine due to the lack of the paddle holder and the bad seal on the rudder cable exits, otherwise it's a ten. No problems YET on the foam bullkhoads although I know they'll need resealed eventually. Hey OT, try welded plastic bulkheads, I'd pay the extra money for that feature!
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07-25-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had my Nantucket for about three weeks. Before that, I had an Acadia. I think it manuevers and tracks great. I had to have the bulkheads resealed already and it did not come with the paddle holder as it was advertised. Of the three kayaks I've owned, this is the best.
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07-23-2000
Submitted by: icegatorSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Not a bad kayak. If you're looking for a good boat for coastal exploration, this is the one. Didn't try the rudder, buy liked the way it easily slid through the water.My only complaint is that it was a little tippy - but not very much. A nice boat!
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07-08-2000
Submitted by: mdlSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     A new Old Town design. Bottom line, paddles and maneuvers well, even without the rudder (which I have on my boat). My problem with the boat is in my initial impression of the quality, even though I know, for the price, it's a lot of boat. My hull's bottom has numerous undulations, and the bow line that flares into the hull's bottom is pretty crooked. Does not seem to affect the directional stability, but it's sure noticable! The rudder is very stiff (too stiff) at this point, but it may loosen. The rudder cable tube exits are not well sealed and will have to be redone. The bulkheads are foam, and for some reason, OT has routered raw "smiles" on one side of each, apparently to fit the bulkheads to the hull. Odd! They seem to be sealed well, with no leaks to date. The hatches remove and replace rather easily. The performance is good, with pretty good acceleration and I believe they turn better (without rudder) than our Loons. The Nantucket has ample legroom for me (6' 1" / 190 lbs), but footspace is more limited than our Loons, not surprisingly. Ours did not come with a paddle holder and I plan to add one. I don't know whether it was an oversight or not, but the catalog says they would have one. Again, I know for the money that it's a lot of boat, but the items mentioned above just leave me a little less than absolutely thrilled with it. I'm sure I'll learn to love it, however! Should be a good boat for OT.
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