Help with Old Town Kayak please

Looking to purchase (2) Old Town Cayuga’s that have barely touched the water from a guy in the mountains of NC that stopped me when he saw my boats on my rack.

He took these as a trade - I have been researching on this forum, and discovered that Sunrise

– Serial # XTC25201L506, Oven 9, Model # CAY146 S TEQ1 POL BKS AS

would mean a June of 2006 boat. Would this be the POLYLINK3 era of manufacturing? If so then I buy these 2 at 900.00 :slight_smile: If not, I probably will not.

Thanks in advance!


don’t know
your best bet is to contact the Old Town company directly—I’m sure they would be happy to tell you

One consideration. If you subject
the Cayugas to hard use, holes in single layer poly would be easier to hot weld than holes in the 3 layer stuff.

I have an Old Town 2006 brochure
and the material is noted as “Variable Layer Polyethylene”. 2007 catalog also notes the same material for the Cayuga, but for an Adventure XL PolyLink3 was used

If it were Polylink 3, the interior of the boat would be a tan/cream color and have small flecks of a darker color.

FYI: Noting the weight differences between Polylink3 and Variable Layer Polyethylene, the later is a bit lighter.

Either way, Cayuga’s can be a fun boat if you find it fits you. Should you have the opportunity, give it a spin before purchasing.

Best wishes on your endeavor to find the one for you.

That’s probably the easy indicator
My polylink 3 Old Towne has the tan interior along with a forest green exterior. So if all polylink 3 was made that way? If it has a different colored interior, you know it wasn’t single layer.

Just ask the guy what color the interior is. Polylink is beige inside, as others have said. The exterior is shinier than regular rotomolded plastic, with little black flecks in it.

There’s a huge difference in quality between Polylink 3 and the current soft plastic that Old Town is using. The Cayuga 146 in Polylink 3 was the best rotomolded kayak I owned, among quite a few, before moving on to thermoformed. The material is quite stiff and I liked the hull design a lot. This for me was a stable kayak in rough water and a good camping boat. Hatches were waterproof. Decent speed. Seat was good in its day but there are better now.

I had one problem with the Polylink 3. A hole in the stern around the rudder pin admitted water inbetween the layers of the material or into some cavity. The kayak gained quite a bit of water weight, permanently. The water was sealed in by the repair. Lesson: don’t cinch the bow and stern down too tightly. (In this case it was an auto mechanic at a garage who did it, thinking tighter must be better. I tried to explain to the garage what a rare item they had ruined, but they didn’t get it.).

There’s more to look at.
No matter whether the boats are single layer, or foam cored, you need to check the keel line to be sure the boat is straight. If the boats are straight and haven’t been run hard and put away wet, they should certainly be worth the money, no matter which way they are built. The Cayuga might be a little different than what you are used to–in that they are pretty good trackers and might at first be a little reluctant to turn. A bow rudder technique can fix that. If the boats have rudders, they might be handy at times, but like I said, the Cayugas do pretty well without them.

No rudder needed
I almost never used the rudder on my Cayuga 146. It did a good lean turn.

In my opinion, the plastic on the current Cayuga is much inferior to the Polylink 3.

Photos in the literature show both
types as being ‘tri’ layers, but it appears that the Polylink3 was thicker in some areas as opposed to the multi-vinyl in others. FWIW, our boats have a label saying Polylink3.