Old Town Adventure XL 125

I’m thinking of purchasing an Old Town Adventure XL 125. After reading the reviews here I’m undecided. Some reviewers seemed to think there are hull design problems.(Poor tracking) I need the short lenth as I paddle smaller rivers and creeks. Anyone have any experience with this boat?

Old Town
My wife wanted a stable user friendly easy paddling 12 to 14 foot boat for her family’s camp. We looked at the Old Town and the word I got from two dealers selling that boat was if you are going for an Old Town Adventure, bump up to the XL 139 because they put too much rocker in the XL 125 making it quite slow and not a strong tracker.

The XL139 we considered strongly till a Necky Manitou 14 showed up on sale which we did purchase. You might want to give a look at the whole Necky Manitou series as well.

My opinion
I have an Old Town Castine which is 12’9" i believe.

I use this boat as a river runner and fishing. The polylink 3 plastic is extremely durable. It is approx. 4 years old and it’s seen a number of river trips with it’s share of gouges and scrapes. This boat is going to last a long time. As far as having too much rocker i wish the Castine had more. Sometimes it tracks too straight for river trips when you need to make those quick turns. I like the Old Town boats. It would be nice if you could try before you buy that is not always possible. I’ve been totally happy with the boat. How the Castine would compare i’m not sure. Just my thoughts.

Old Town Adventure XL 125
Thanks for the info. I tested an Old Town Cayuga 146 and a Necky Manitou 14 and they both were great kayaks, but were too long and had to small a cockpit for what I do.(Fishing mostly). Sadly I can’t test paddle the Adventure 125 before I buy it. Thanks again!!!

OT Adventure XL 139
I cannot speak ffr the 125, having never seen it, but my father paddles an OT A XL 139. I wold tend to concur with a prior respondant, the 125 seems like it’d be short. I think the 139 is a good boat–it is wide hulled and made of indestructable plastic and would serve well as a fishing boat. I cannot imagine it being shorter, though. and it has a 160 model that is used by a paddler in my paddling group, Dale1323.

So, for a dowdy rec kayak that is slow but stable on flatwater with a large cockpit, the OTAXL 139 is a winner. The 125 seems short.

C ya.

Take a look at the smaller Necky Sport
It’s only 11’10 and highly versatile for a small “rec” boat. Besides ponds and lakes, I even use it on things it’s “not recommended for” (like Class I & II rapids) with a neo skirt (did that today–while it rained!) The v-hull is tough and performs like a champ. I’m mainly a whitewater guy, and of course I use other crafts for the more serious Class II-IV stuff, but I got this as my usual everyday boat for fishing/going out by myself/touring with my wife on the quieter waters. No real use for long yaks where I live here in the mountains. (No really huge lakes, not near an ocean.) I won’t kid you, rolling it is not easy, but not impossible either (I know, I know -it’s a “rec” boat, I’m not “suppose” to roll it.) The big plus is that at 44lbs, the Manitou Sport tosses right in the back of my light pick-up/compact car top. However, if you’re anywhere over say 6’ tall/210 lbs./or have a shoe size above 11 – take a look at another option.

Stingray 12

– Last Updated: Nov-15-07 9:24 PM EST –

If the larger cockpit for fishing is the biggest requirement then this boat might work for your needs.


Although it is now marketed by Heritage, it was originally a Liquid Logic hull till Heritage absorbed the rec touring line of Liquid Logic boats. If you can find it locally being sold as a Liquid Logic Stingray 12 you might find it on sale as a "discontinued" hull even though it is the same hull now marketed by Heritage.
Being a swede form hull it will have a little speed and the straight keel line that runs its' full length should make it track well. It will be plenty stable for fishing.

Some of the other Heritage boats are liked by fisherman and you might give a look at them as well. The other company marketing heavily to fisherman is

Consider the
Old Town Dirigo 106 or 120. They have a few more features the Adventure series boats, they track reasonably well for their size, but are also very maneuverable. Also they are very comfortable, and have really open cockpits which would be ideal for fishing out of. My friend has two 106’s, and loves them, they are fun to paddle if you like the feel of a more open boat.

You stated in an earlier post you wanted to stay away from smaller cockpits - otherwise I’d recommend the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 120 or 125. But a good Wilderness Systems boat to look at it with an open cockpit like you want would be the Pungo - either a 100 or a 120. Both have a great hull design with good tracking, excellent stability, and excellent maneuverability. The Phase3 outfitting is very comfortable and very adjustable.

Good luck in your search!

5 different OT’s
We have 5 different Old Town models. Cockpit opening sizes are in parenthesis after the names of those in our fleet. Otter (19"X38"),

X-wave(17"X34"), Castine(17"X34"), Loon 111(18"X55"), and the Adventure XL125(18"X40").(By the way, the Adventure XL139 cockpit opening is 17"X43".)

My son is 5’9" and likes the Loon for fishing. I am 5’3" use the ‘125’ in the winter as it’s easier to get out of (for me) than the smaller cockpit. All except the Otter (9’6" but very stable) track fairly well.

Much of any boats handling depends on a persons height, from the seat to your shoulders, arm length, and your own personal style of paddle strokes.

One negative item regarding the ‘125’ is that I found when I used a skirt it didn’t stay on well. I had to get a skirt with Velcro™ added onto the its band and place the mating strip on the outer edge of the coaming, which works well. If you don’t need a skirt, then it’s no problem.

The ‘125’ is actually my husbands (he’s 5’8") who only paddles 3-4 times a year, and prefers “faster water”. He really likes this boat. I have used this boat and the Loons in small narrow creeks and because they’re under 13’, have had no problem turning them around in tight spaces. All the boats mentioned are very stable.

The Loon 111, per se, is not made anymore under this name, but may have been renamed since Johnson purchased Old Town a few years back. Check the web for an Old Town site. If you find an OT with “111” in its name, it just might be an off shoot. They did make a Dirigo 111 which was camo color and set up for fishing.

My apologies for going on so long, but when I look for boats, I do a lot of research and as such, have kept many catalogs and info received from different companies in my file cabinet.

Look for a local paddling club and perhaps there may be some who would be willing to let you try out their boat.

Best of luck with your research.

I have a SR 14, LL version.
Very comfortable, sufficiently efficient, and easily maneuverable on rivers. However, it doesn’t track that well (not nearly as well as my America 11) and I find it a struggle to keep it going straight. Get it going in a straight line and try to glide; it veers quickly one way or the other. I’m talking about nearly 90 degrees.

Don’t know about the 12, but tracking seems an issue, at least for me. To be fair, I’m a beginner (about 1.5 years now) and just got the SR14 late this summer, so I don’t have a lot of seat time yet. I’m hoping I can adjust to it and get better at controlling it, but the fact that it won’t GLIDE straight is what bothers me. I fish, and if it won’t glide straight, then I’m constantly trying to correct.

The 111 has been renamed as a
Predator kayak. Nice boat.

The WS Pamlico’s also fill the bill.

One for sale in classifieds!
Here is one for sale in the classifieds!



Respond to #55783 (MA) Oldtown Adventure 125 Kayak, life jacket, spray skirt, anchor, fishing rod holders,straps. $600, Taunton, MA, Cash and Carry. 508-823-4994 – Submitted by: efraga

Talk to them about this one.

Grass may not be greener!
You’ve all given me some good advice. I have an America 11 I’ve been using for a couple of years and it is an excellent boat. Especially for the price I got it for. ($300 at Dick’s) I just wanted something a little longer with front and rear bulkheads. Where I live there aren’t many places to buy kayaks, so my selections are limited.

That’s my other boat!
Absolutely cannot be beat for that price. I also got mine for $300 but I spent double that getting my LL Stingray 14 and I still take out the America 11 (also begotten at Dicks) occasionally for fishing. It tracks straight as an arrow.

You might try checking into putting bulkheads in. Or simply for safety and much less work, just get some float bags designed for that, and stuff 'em.



I notice a very slight improvement of speed in my 14 footer over the 11. Not much, and as I said above, the glide does me no good because it veers.

One question for you: are you getting oil canning right in front of where the channels end in the hull? I’ve got a nice bump there that I can get out with a little sun time, but it keeps coming back. Doesn’t affect anything, but it’s irritating.

Got two !!!

– Last Updated: Nov-16-07 8:31 PM EST –

I've got 2 of the America 11's. Bought mine 2 years ago and got my wife one last year. Her's has the Islander name on it, but it's the same boat. Mine does have some oil-canning in front of the channels. I thought it might have come from carrying it hull down on the racks on my wife's car. But, for some reason the newer boat has never developed any oil-canning, even though we carry both on the racks a lot. Now when we use her car I put the boats with the cockpit down. Like you I can get the bump out, but it comes back.

Quick hint to newbies about tracking
I have had occasions where I have noticed persons having one leg bent in the cockpit and being much higher than the other. Once upon a time, I would do this and fuss 'cause the durned boat didn’t go straight.This will shift your weight and cause your boat to track not too well. It’s also a method to help you turn your boat slowly without making a lot of correcting strokes on one side.

Try it and perhaps some of those shorter boats, that have been discussed here, will run a mite straighter.

I cann’t “speak” personally about the 125XL but several friend have them and love them.

I do have the 139XL and love the tracking and roomy cockpit. It makes a great fishing boat and “guest boat” since I normally paddle my 17 foot Boreal when not in the backwaters of Pamlico County.

Any day on the water is a great day,


I appreciate the input.
I’m not sure balanced weight is the problem with my StingRay, but I’ll certainly try to be more conscious of the possibility next time I get out. Unfortunately, the water levels haven’t come back up yet to a level where I’m comfortable that I won’t leave too much of my hull behind . . . this is when I take out the America 11, because I can afford to let it get scraped up a bit, but I want to keep the SR in a little better shape.