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Cape Lookout Description

The Cape Lookout is a kayak brought to you by Wilderness Systems. Read Cape Lookout reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other kayak recommendations below or explore all kayaks to find the perfect one for you!

Wilderness Systems
Cape Lookout Reviews

Read reviews for the Cape Lookout by Wilderness Systems as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

Bought this used. Very...

Bought this used. Very stable; both primary and secondary. Not too heavy. Rudder is excellent and seat is very comfortable. Have had it out 10 times in smooth and 1-2 ft swells and it handled both well. Rudder makes it enjoyable even in the wind. Nice sized compartments, compass spot, roomy, higher pedal area for those with big feet (also reduces chance of breakers into kayak).
Very nice boat.

I noticed that the reviews...

I noticed that the reviews for the Cape Lookout are all about 5 years old; this boat was well built and is still going strong. I bought mine (obviously used) for $550 which included a Werner paddle. For the price, I feel I got a great deal. All I had to do was buy an inflatable seat pad and spray skirt and I have had great fun paddling around the NC coast and intracoastal marshes. So if you are looking for a cheap, well-used bargain-priced kayak, I recommend the Cape Lookout.

My wife bought my Lookout...

My wife bought my Lookout w/o rudder for me on April Fools Day, three year ago. I've been a fool for it ever since. I have a friend that has a Perception Eclipse. Very nice. I have to admit, bells and whistles are nice. So, I'm looking at the Cape Horn... yummy! But the LookOut is an awsome craft!! A friend and I just got back from Lows Lake. I experienced responsiveness, speed, and durability. All that in three to four foot waves and wind gusts of 45 mph, sustained at around 30 mph. I'm not sure I can condone this action for some one with my three years experience as a yakker but life time paddler. Waves crashing the deck of your gear loaded boat and bouncing up and hitting you in the face ...let me just want your head and hindend wired together! Anyways, we thought we did good traveling five to six miles in three hours to a campsite where we waited till the next day for the winds to subside. Also,my hatch compartments remainded dry. I'm talking "Bang For The Buck"! LookOut is nothing fancy and I don't baby it much, but I like to think I take care of it. I'm a little apprehensive about spending twice the money on the CapeHorn than I did the LookOut and not appreciate the new boat as much has I do "my gift from my wonderful wife",(how's that honey? did I spell wonderful right? Whaaaa!) I realize that there isn't a perfect boat. But let me say I stumble onto a beauty!!

I got this second hand...

I got this second hand with the intention of using it for ocean fly-fishing in Boston Harbor. I have a Loon 138 but felt this may not be the safest craft in rougher seas if I needed to self-rescue since I mostly fish alone. I was looking for a narrower craft that can be leaned and rolled but still offer initial stability for flyfishing. I demoed a WS Cape Horn and a Looksha IV along with Cape Lookout. The Cape Horn and the Looksha especially felt too "twitchy" and made me think that I may capsize with strenuous casting in the wind. The Lookout, however, felt stable but yet was able to lean on turns. The lower price of the used Lookout also came into consideration. I am new to kayaking but I paddled the Cape Lookout on most weekends for the past several months and know more about it to do a better review.

I am 5'3" and 140 lbs. As I paddled more, it became apparent that the Lookout it a wee bit big for me. This proved especially true when I tried to teach myself rolling. Without outfitting, I kept slipping out of the pedals and the knee/thigh braces. So, I started modifying after each session of practice. I added hip pads, I extended the knee/thigh braces with foam and plastic glued/taped on. I had trouble leaning back in the sweep roll because of the high back and cut that down flush with the deck. I replaced the nylon seat liner with stickon minicell foam 1/4" thick. Also, even with the foot pegs at the closest position, I felt I didn't have enough contact to brace. So, I shortened the rudder cable and now the foot braces extend about three pegs further back (towards me) than the track. With these modifications, I have been able to do "C to C" and sweep rolls, though not consistently enough to be even pool ready never mind "combat" ready. But practice will get me there. More modifications to come -- the foot braces pop out of the track on strong braces and leans. Aluminum ones are now on the way. I think I will also be adding a little more foam to the knee/thigh brace area to maintain light contact without me having to constantly flex my knee and feet to do so. This gets tiring.

After all these modifications, the Cape Lookout is pretty close to where I want it to be. On my last paddle for a couple hours, roughly 6 mile easy going trip, the boat handled well in a moderate breeze. Tracking is pretty good I think, though I know I was doing leans and sweep strokes to compensate in strong gusts. But it worked.

In practicing rolls, I found that the rubber hatches leak. When I loaded the yak onto the car upside down to drive off both hatches were letting out water that had gotten into the bulkheads. I have since backed up both with floatation bags. Also driving along on the highway, the rear hatch cover blew off. Thankfully the attached cord from bulkhead to cover get things together. However,made me think this can happen in strong wind or crashing waves. So, I added on buckle straps to hold the hatch covers down. Since I intend to use this for ocean fishing. I also added perimeter lines so I can hang on to the boat in case of a wet exit in rough sea or windy conditions.

I am pretty happy with this boat with the various modifications and think the initial and secondary stability of this boat will be fine for I want it for. I do seeing outgrowing this boat though in the future. But the hands on learning with this boat through paddling and modifications will allow me to make a more informed choice for the next one. I do see keeping the Lookout for my wife and kids when I move up.

We started kayaking as a...

We started kayaking as a family about a year ago. We purchased 2 Wilderness Systems Pungo's for my wife and I and 2 Perception Swifty's for our 13 and 1o year old children. After a few months, the kids took over the Pungo's and left us with the Swifty's. We all liked the Pungo's very much and considered buying 2 more. Before we purchased, we demo'ed 5 other kayak's including the Cape Lookout. After paddling the Perception Carolina (to slow / alot of effort needed) Perception Eclipse (Cockpit was to small) Walden (nice boat but expensive)and the Wilderness systems Cape Horn (cockpit small) we preferred the cape lookout's. We purchased 2 and took them out for a day paddle around Cape Cod. We were very pleased with the tracking and efficiency of these boats. While they are certainly not the fastest, most effeicient, lightest, etc. kayaks on the market, we believe they are a very good kayak and represent an excellent value.

I purchased my Cape...

I purchased my Cape Lookout about a year ago and have paddled it in most moderate conditions. The boat has never let me down as far as taking anything that was thrown at it. The initial and primary stabilities are both very good and the boat tracks extremely well. I have no rudder and rely on developed paddling skills. The cockpit is just big enough to eliminate that closed in feeling and the deck, although a little higher than I'd like is roomy and comfortable as well are the seats. I did trim off the seat back level to the deck which made entering and exiting MUCH easier and it did not affect the comfort of the seat. I sometimes spend 3 to 4 hours at a time in the boat before taking a stretching break. I do wish Wilderness Systems had provided solid hatches although I find the rubber ones on mine to be very dry. The boat doesn't lean to well because of the round hull, but it is possible to make a decent turn. I can't do the roll it yet but I hear that they do roll pretty well. All in all this has been a great first kayak and although I'm in the process of buying a wooden kayak the Cape Lookout will remain as part of my fleet. It will always be a great second boat for friends to use or for myself when I want to play rough.

I learned sea kayaking on...

I learned sea kayaking on this boat. It is very stable, easy to roll, tracks well. You get a lot of spray on the deck in rough seas as the bow is low. It's not real fast, but great boat to learn on.