Old town Dirigo 120 vs 140; angler vs not

Morning. 2nd post here. Have decided to buy used first river lake kayak. Found a couple somewhat local listings online.

  • Is the 140 really that much larger in cockpit from seat to cup holder/ everything in bow compared to much closer easier to reach 120?
  • Is there any real advantage over the standard 120 vs 140 angler edition?
  • Have attached only photos from listing of the regular edition 120 local, states good condition, seller asking $275.00.
  • Could get an angler 140 for $300.00 but not sure it’s too big for central Florida river use and uncomfortable with extra large

    too large cockpit reach.

The specs say the 140 Angler cockpit is 18" x 48" while the 120 is a 10" shorter (18" x 38"). IMO, 38" is plenty big enough for easy entry/exit. The extra large cockpit in the angler would make handling tackle and other fishing gear easier, but I’d choose the smaller one for casual paddling on lakes and slow (non-ww) rivers. Capacity of the 120 is more than adequate and it weighs a couple of pounds less than the 140. A friend had an OT Cayuga with that gray seat and liked it a lot. Also, at least some 140s have a skeg. Others here like them, esp in windy conditions, but I find them unnecessary for flat water paddling and would rather not have the extra weight and maintenance.
A stable, 12’ poly (this one is 3 layers) boat is a good choice for a first boat and the 120 fills the bill as far as I’m concerned. If it is in good condition as advertised and you take reasonable care of it, you could probably paddle it a few years and recoup your investment should you decide to sell (same for the Angler at $300).

12 vs 14 can feel like a big difference in three situations: Maneuvering up close to shore, turning bends in a narrow river, and when you have a long way to go between hot spots. I have both, and I load up the one that suits the size of the lake I’m going to, and that’s the 12 80% of the time. When my mission is poking along the shore I greatly prefer the 12, and when I need to paddle more than a mile across open water or between points of interest I prefer the 14. Both of the options you mention sound good, but for a first boat I’m with Buffalo Alice, go with the 12. Unless you’re interested in covering great distances, it’s the better boat for exploring and it will also feel more responsive and engaging.

How does a prijon combi 359 12 foot compare to the 12 foot 120 Dirigo above for my uses? Sellin asking $300.00 for Prijon

Good looking boat. I’ve read good things about their durability.

Full disclosure: I have not paddled the Prijon so my comments are from specs and photos only. The Prijon’s capacity is less than the Old Town but adequate for your weight. It’s cockpit is a bit smaller and more of a keyhole shape vs the Dirigo, which should be better for thigh bracing. The Prijon has no deck lines (bungees) and its hatch cover is secured with straps vs. Old Town’s “Snap Lock”. There are fans of both styles; I have had both and for me it’s not important.
The biggest difference in my mind is the hull shape. The Prijon is marketed as being equally good on rivers as it is on lakes. To improve maneuverability on narrow rivers and/or those with obstacles, the hull appears more rounded and it has a more rocker (up-turn) at the bow to facilitate quicker turns. However, what you may gain in turning ease, you’ll probably lose in ability to track in a straight line without correction stokes (they aren’t hard to learn, but you have to pay attention). Also, the Prijon is almost three inches narrower than the Old Town, so it will likely be somewhat less stable, esp given the roundish hull.
Bottom line? In my experience, boats marketed as “do everything” have design compromises that don’t let them do anything particularly well. If I recall, your original post emphasized lakes and slow (flat) rivers. If that’s still the case (assuming the two boats are in comparable condition), I’d stick with the Old Town to start. If you get into the sport and find yourself wanting to take on faster rivers or ocean surf, you’ll want to get boats made for those uses.
Fortunately, it’s not a crime to have more than one boat or we’d all be in the slammer.

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I’m not a fan of narrow cockpits or narrow boats. I bought one at one point and never grew to like it. I would hate to see someone to buy a narrow kayak as their first boat and never grow in the sport because that specific boat turned them off to kayaking.

I’d encourage you to buy the Dirigo 120 and see what parts of kayaking you like most, and then your second boat can be specialized in that direction. You may want to own multiple boats so you can do different kinds of things with them. If cost or storage is an issue and you can only have one boat at a time, then buy the Dirigo now and you’ll be able to buy a specialized boat next time, and at this price you’ll be able to get your money out of the Dirigo very easily.

Since Buffalo_Alice brought up rocker, I am a huge fan of kayaks with rocker and drop down skegs. Kayaks such as the Dagger Blackwater can spin on a dime, but then you drop the skeg and they track very well.

Do you have the 10’.5" or 12’ Blackwater? I think I paddled a 12’ once at a demo day years ago. Nice boat as I recall.

Bought the Dirigo 120 today


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Thanks. Any idea if they make a wheeled kayak dolly that will fit in the 120 space behind the seat?

You’ll have to measure the clearances to be sure, but I use one of these with 7" wheels (KC7) and am optimistic that it would fit : https://www.thekayakcart.com/. The small wheels are easy to pop off and stash, but note that they’re not great on rough terrain. The flexible sling fits the narrower bow of my OT Camden 120 better that the stern so I attach it there and drag the boat using the stern grab handle. That may also be the case for your Dirigo. The Railblaza C-Tug is a popular choice. I think they all have 10" wheels but they still may fit behind your seat. I don’t own one so can’t comment further.