OT Cayuga-146 info?

I own an OT Dirago-12 which I LOVE as an all-around kayak. I have even done a week-long camping trip out of it a few times, though it will not keep up with the longer boats and cannot go upriver.
Then I tested an OT Tsunami-145 which was a bear to paddle. The U-hull design (seen from above where the hull widens really fast just past the bow) made the 145 a pain to reach hull-speed and slowed the boat immediately when I stopped paddling. I am hoping that the Tsunami-140 will be better.
I am currently paddling a CD Whistler-145 which has that wave-cutter bow and a V-hull design (seen from above) which costs storage but allows for a fast and easy acceleration and keeps the boat moving when you rest so I can easily keep up with the longer kayaks.

Now, I am thinking of getting an OT Cayuga-146 for $495 (rudder included) and want to ask some questions before I plunk down the cash.

Not yet having seen the actual boat, just photos, does anyone here have any real experience? Is the bow-hull narrow or does it widen out like the Tsunami?
Is it too wide for the length (which slows the boat)?
How does it handle up-river travel?
How about the hull-speed? do you really have to work to keep up with the narrower boats or is it easy to reach hull-speed?

I have 31 pages of reviews but none seem to address these questions.

I had a Cayuga 146 and liked it quite a lot. You have to distinguish between two generations of Cayugas. Originally they were made of 3-layer polylinear plastic which was a very stiff material. I recommend this version, though they’re hard to find because they haven’t been made in quite a few years. You can recognize this material because the inside of the hull is beige or tan, a different color from the outside of the hull. Later Old Town went with a very soft, thin rotomolded plastic that I don’t recommend.

I found that the Cayuga had very good stability and tracking even in rough water. It doesn’t really need a rudder. I didn’t find it slow. I used it very successfully for camping.

I eventually sold my Cayuga because it was too heavy. I think there are better kayaks on the market today, but a Cayuga in the 3-layer plastic for $495 would be a good buy. If you don’t like it, they’re easy to sell—I owned 3 of them and they all sold quickly.

One warning: 3-layer plastic is very durable and impact resistant, but if you punch a hole in it the kayak will absorb water and you’ll never get it out again. Water = weight.

It looks like the kayak might be an 08 model which meals single-layer.
If so, and IF I can fit the cockpit (I have long legs), I will offer $450.
I admit to liking Old Town boats though the Dirago-14 paddles like a box.

I had one. It did not have a whole lot of glide.

@RikJohnson said:
It looks like the kayak might be an 08 model which meals single-layer.
If so, and IF I can fit the cockpit (I have long legs), I will offer $450.
I admit to liking Old Town boats though the Dirago-14 paddles like a box.

If the interior is beige, it’s triple layer (Polylink 3). My Polylink had excellent glide because it’s much stiffer than the current soft, thin plastic.

Heather from across the street took her Swifty to the lake with my group (most in 14’ boats) and complained to her father that she couldn’'t keep up with us.
So he decided t buy her this boat.
When she called, he said it was an 06 model with beige interior.
So I am going out with her tonight to look it over.
If she buys it, I save $$$$.
If not, maybe I will make an offer.

The never ending search begins. My paddling group is mostly sea kayaks. I have a couple of fast 14 footers, but I can’t keep up with those boats.
I thought I had decided to let that pursuit go BUT I’m not quite ready.
Don’t tell my wife.

Since it’s a Polylink 3 I recommend it as an upgrade to your Dirigo. I think you would be happier with how it paddles. For $495 it had better be in good shape because it is, after all, 12 years old. Otherwise make a lower offer. Next start looking for a good lightweight paddle. See if you can find a used Werner Camano. That too will improve your paddling experience by about 50%.

We looked it over last night and she gave me $10 for gas.
He had put a new and really nice seat in it. Aside from the scratches on the bottom (usual), and a few holes in the hull for his fish-finder, etc, it was in really excellent shape, but…
Her hips were too broad to fit the cockpit and the cockpit was too short for my long legs.
So the search goes on for a decent 14-145 kayak.

@RikJohnson said:
The cockpit was too short for my long legs.

Do you mean you had difficulty getting in, or your knees were bent too much once you adjusted the foot pedals down as far as they would go?

trouble getting in.
I had to sit on the hack of the cockpit coaming, slide my feet in, then slide down onto the seat.
Reverse to exit.

I prefer to straddle the boat, sit down, lift my feet from the water and slide them under the deck.

I had the same problem with my Perception Carolina-145 so I sold it to a short woman and bought a CD Whistler-145.

How tall are you?

The Cayuga’s cockpit is 32" long. Barring any joint or weight issues, many (most?) people can get in a 32" cockpit. There are several ways to get in a kayak. The sea kayakers here can tell you how to get in a shorter cockpit. Perhaps post a new inquiry about this. You will get many suggestions.

If you want to “keep up with longer kayaks” you need to get out of the recreational class and at least into the transitional class. That means a shorter cockpit for safety. 32" -35" is a transitional cockpit. Anything over 35" is more recreational.

The Dirigo and Whistler have unusually long cockpits, 38" and 37" respectively. Note that offsetting the easy entry and leg room in the Dirigo, you have no bulkhead in the bow, which is a definite safety issue.