Old Town Loon 138

Hi, I’m considering picking up a Loon 138 Kayak. Have read some info here about the polylink in OT Canoes eventually warping over time… is this true for OT kayaks as well?

loon warping
I have a loon 160T, paddled it solo for years, still do. Haul it in the back of my truck, no warp

Had two Loon 138s…

– Last Updated: Jun-15-05 12:34 AM EST –

Never had a problem with either. For a while, until I purchased hully rollers & saddles for them, I just strapped them down to a Yakima bar on my pickup truck cab & a 2x4 rack on the camper shell. Put some padding under them & snugged down the straps; they did flex some, but still never warped.

My problem with them was I couldn't haul all the gear I wanted on multi-overnight trips, and I found them to be uncomfortable on long trips, in comparison to my solo canoes. The only time I ever managed to capsize one I did it on purpose, just to know what to expect if I capsized accidentally. It was a pain in the butt to get it out of the river, and frankly I think I could have gotten a tandem canoe to shore with half the effort. Purchased air bags for my wifes Loon shortly thereafter.Both paddle solo canoes now;no longer own any kayaks.


Be sure to buy a bilge pump…never can
get the water out without one. The Diragio by OT looks good too.

with the foam core, Loon is less likely to warp then some of the other plastic boats out. Just don’t overtighten the straps on a hot day.


Old Town last year…
Last year I read here on P-Net where several people got an Old Town Nantucket, and had trouble going straight. They found that from the factory the hulls were warped crooked to one side. Some of us guessed they took the kayaks out of the mold too soon, and layed them on their sides before they cooled.

Last week someone did a review on an Old Town Adventure XL-139 saying when he stopped paddling, the boat curved to the one side every time. I wrote to him suggesting he check the keel for straightness with a string stretched tight. I got his reply Monday saying he did as I suggested, and found the hull badly warped to one side. He took it to the dealer, and after showing it to the dealer he was given a new one.

I had a Old Town Polylink kayak, and some friends have some. It seems that if it is Ok when you get it, it will be OK unless you do something dumb to it.

Happy Paddling!

Loon 138. No warp/oil canning
Ours is 5 1/2 years old. No problems at all.

Had One

– Last Updated: Jun-16-05 9:57 AM EST –

OT's layup is by far the toughest I have seen. I echo the replies regarding a bilge pump and GOOD AIR BAGS. That said, it is very difficult to swamp a Loon 138. Only time I did, was when I got pinned against a bluff on the Jack's Fork River, but that's another story! WW

No warping on mine either
I’ve had it for several years and forget to take the SOT out enough these days. (Still use it, but the Loon 138 gets most of the work.) I carry mine in either J-cradles or saddles depending on the length/wind factor of the trip. Had it strapped down frequently in 90+ degree temps and no problems there. Gotta work to tip it over. Definately needs float bags if you swamp it. It doesn’t sink, cockpit rim rides even with the water surface when full, and it rolls like a hot dog on one of those motorized cookers when filled with water. Re-entry is kind of a rodeo even 1/2 swamped.


Warpage no way!!
Mine just got hauled up to Maine by a moving company. Major dents in the bottom of all three. Huge bummer for me. More major bummer for the moving guy as he thought he was going to be replacing all three kayaks. Three days upside down in my backyard and the dents disappeared. You could never tell they were there and they paddle just fine.

LOON 138
Had my 138 for about 5 years. It’s practically bullet proof. It’s like the 4 wheel drive of kayaks. Use it for fishing in a very rock filled river and never, ever had a dent or problem with it. Try it. It’s like an old dependable friend. It won’t disappoint you or let you down.

Had a Loon 100 and a Loon 138 for 19 years never warped. My Loon 126 is fine and expect it to last long enough to hand down to my grand kids. I wish I kept my Loon 138 instead of selling it.

I’ve had my 138 Loon for more years than I can remember and it is still just like new. Part of that is because I seldom use it, but it is the boat I go to for a quick trip to the lake in the winter time.

For a time, I used to think that it was not quite straight as it had a tendency to wander off course whenever I quit paddling. After a lot of testing where there was absolutely no breeze, or current, I decided that the boat could glide straight, but you have to have perfect conditions and be seated just right.

I discovered that the boat is a pretty good surfer in the right conditions. I would never take it into big stuff, but it does a nice job on small boat wakes, etc. I one tine got on a tugboat wake and nearly caught up to the tug, but ran out of room and found out why you don’t try to turn in too shallow water.

As others have said, the Loon 138 is solid and if you don’t abuse it, it can last a lifetime. Mine is always stored in my shop–waiting for the day when it’s too much trouble to take the long boats out.

I had a Loon 138 for 18 years sold it and replaced with a Loon 126. Loved it but wife said it had to go when I bought a Loon 126.