Old Town Dirigo or Necky Manatau?

For all around use, which Kayak performs best, the Dirigo 120/140 or Necky Manatau/Manatau Sport? And is there any difference in quality? I’m new at this and will be Kayaking in relatively calm lakes and rivers, but would also like to be able to take it on class II WW. Thanks for your help!!! P.S. I know I probably need to Demo both boats first, but trying one out for a day doesn’t necessary give you the whole picture.

try dagger element
Don’t know about the dirigio, but I tried both of the Manitou’s. The sport was awkward and seemed to be slow. The reg Manitou felt like driving a bus. I then tried a Dagger Element, and although it wasn’t my first choice before I paddled it, it handled great and felt very swift. But each boat is different to different people, so try to test paddle an element if you can. Note that the Manitous have better storage and felt a bit more comfy in the saddle.

The Dirigos
Are new models. If you buy one it will be your review that later people will read since there aint any yet (unless some have been added lately). The Loon 138 is a good boat. Seems to be similar. Try to test paddle everything you can before you buy. Especially new models with no history.

Good luck.

Dagger Blackwater 11.5
Thanks for the advice, I’ll try the Element. How about the Dagger Blackwater 11.5?

I am also considering the Dirigo 12, but have not paddled it. I have not seen the Necky, so I can’t comment on it. The Dirigo has a bottom hull similar to the Loon. The Polylink 3 is the nicest plastic I have seen on any poly boat.It’a a bit heavier, but stiffer and insulates better (for us cold climate paddlers). It looks much more durable for rec use. The Extrasport seat looks bulky but it’s very comfortable and adjustable. You can bend your knees and rest them on padded areas on the sides. Much nicer than the hard, narrow edge most large cockpit yaks. The hatch is also the best I’ve seen on a rec boat. I hate rubber covers! Good luck and make sure you leave a review!

Dirigo 140
A local Sporting goods store (Sports Authority) has a New Dirigo 140 on sale for $625. Seems like a good buy, but unfortunately I can’t test it first. It probably won’t last long at that price. If I’m able to demo one, I’ll be sure to give a report. Thanks for the feedback.

Just tried out both at an REI demo day
Today was my first time in a kayak, so my comments may not mean much, but I really liked the OT Dirigo series. I tried out the 140 and 120. They were very stable and had tons of room.

The Necky Manatau was nice, but I really liked the Dirigos.

As they say, go out and try to find a demo day near you. I’m going to another one in the Raleigh area next weekend before I make my decision.

Best of luck to you, though! Seems like either would be a fun boat.

OT Dirigo
I too am interested in the OT Dirigo. I just saw one at REI. The salesman said the “weakest link” was the seat. There weren’t too many adjustments, although there was some kind of dial on the outside of the cockpit which changed something on the seat. Of course we talked about that seat right after we talked of the WS Phase 3 seat, maybe that’s why he called it a “weak link.”

Also, what’s that plastic column coming down from the front edge of the front cowling, to the floor? Is that some kind of stiffener devise? Your legs would be straddling that. Wonder if it would get in the way?

OT Dirigo 140
That plastic column is a removable child seat.