As a new visitor to this site and a first time kayaker I am wondering if anyone has paddled both the Loon 111 and the Perception Acadia or similar Perception. The Loon dealer is located next door to the store I work at and the Perception dealer is five miles down the road (both owners are friends) and I have now tried both but have little background to work with so any advice would be helpful. Thanks in advance, Tim
WELCOME TO A GREAT SPORT
ANY OT BOATS ARE GOING TO BE HEAVIER THAN PERCEPTION, SO IF WT IS A FACTOR, I RECOMMEND PERCEPTION. I HAVE PADDLED BOTH AND FIND THE LOONS A LOT HARDER TO TURN AS THEY ALSO HAVE A SHARPER KEEL. BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE VERY HAPPY WITH THEM. YOU MIGHT CHECK OUT THE PRODUCT REVIEWS ON THIS SITE TOO. THEY OFFER A LOT OF INSIGHT.
Cockpits, to start
What do you want to use your kayak for? I think this helps you answer your question.
The Acadia is a bit trimmer and longer, so theoretically it should be faster. It appears (from website stats) that they are about the same weight, even though the Acadia is longer.
The Acadia has a smaller cockpit, which is good if you want to avoid water and other stuff in your cockpit, but not as good if you value quick exits or being able to put your hands on gear inside the kayak. Neither are good or bad by themselves, but how you plan to use the kayak helps you decide which cockpit you prefer.
The Loon has Polylink 3 construction, which is stiffer and better insulated than the plastic in the Acadia. All else being equal, the Loon 111’s hull will avoid warping, oil-canning, and scratching better than the Acadia. I continue to read comments about the plastic trim on Old Town boats coming off. Mine will shift in my hand a little bit, but it hasn’t come loose in two years.
I would assume the maneuverability of both kayaks is similar, but I would bet the Loon turns a tad faster due to a bit more rocker (underside curvature from front to back). The Acadia should theoretically track better, because it has less rocker. My comments are theoretical here; I’ve demo’d an Acadia, and I paddle an Old Town Castaway, which is about 2.5 feet longer than the Loon 111.
This really is a tough comparison! For durability, I’d have to go with the Loon 111. One of the selling points for Old Town is the stiff, strong Polylink; I know I don’t have to baby it, store it, or transport my kayak with any special racks or gear. On the other hand, the Acadia is probably going to behave just a bit better on the water when you want to cruise from one point to another.
Good luck either way and tell us what you buy!
I’ll second what nonsense9 had to say about the Old Towns. I paddle a Loon 138 which is the 111’s big brother. Great boat, handles well and is plenty fast enough for me. Easy to enter and exit. Extremely comfortable seat, 8 hours at a time in the kayak and I’m still pretty comfortable. The Polylink 3 is tough as nails and Old Town does make a good looking kayak. I had considered the Acadia and the Pungo when purchasing my kayak. I went with Old Town as I felt I was getting more value for my money and the price was right.
REPLY TO NONSENSE9
I’M TYPING ONE-HANDED AS MY RT ARM IS OUT OF COMMISSION RIGHT NOW, HENCE THE CAPS. THE COCKPIT ON THE ACADIA MAY BE SMALLER THAN THE LOON, BUT AS COCKPITS GO I FOUND IT ROOMY FOR A BIG BOAT. WET EXITS ARE EASY FROM IT. ONE OTHER POINT ON THE LOON THAT BOTHERS SOME PEOPLE IS THE V HULL. THE 111 BEING A FAIRLY SLENDER BOAT, I’VE HEARD SOME SAY IT’S UNCOMFORTABLE ON THEIR FEET ON A LONG RUN. AS FOR TURNING, THE ACADIA IS MUCH EASIER, BUT IF YOU LEAN INTO IT, THEY BOTH DO VERY WELL. BEST BET, AS WE ALWAYS SAY HERE, DEMO,DEMO,DEMO. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.
The Loon 111 also comes in RX (Royalite 39 lbs) and Elite (Fiberglass 38 lbs) which may make a difference in your decision. Perception also has an Airlite version. These differ greatly in fit and feel than the roto versions. Bob
OT offers good value.Id go with the 120 myself for the smaller CP,better speed/glide.Not familiar with that Perception but they make good boats too.
We had a Loon 111…
…and it was a well used and beloved boat. The next boat was a Perception Swifty (9’); lighter etc. Then we added 16.5, 14.5 Dagger sea kayaks since we wanted more speed and… and… etc. We sold the Loon 111, ONLY because there were 6 kayaks and a canoe and a sailboat in our yard. I still enjoyed the Loon 111 for poking around in the little ponds/lakes. The PolyLink 3 material is very tough as stated previously. The trim around the cockpit did come loose, but a little goo glue took care of that. You won’t be sorry with the Loon 111.
A friend has a Loon 120. I can hardly tell the difference between them, as to performance. The 120 cockpit is smaller and takes a spray skirt of more conventional size. The 111 skirt is big and expensive, but worth it if it is cool-cold. But that big, long 111 cockpit has it’s advantages too! Good luck!
Thanks to everyone - I am definitely leaning towards the Loon and will advise after I make the final choice.