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Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot Kayak Review: Ultimate Power, Precision & Experience

Let's take a closer look at the Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot series in this review.



IDEAL APPLICATION: The ultimate rig for precise, hands-free positioning in waters too deep for a traditional stake pole. Think dropshot fishing or deep-running crankbaits over ledges and submerged timber in a reservoir. Jigging for snapper on a saltwater reef. Posting on a current-swept point to throw for snook. Better yet: Lazy man's magic carpet ride on any waters posted “no combustion engine.” The Minn Kota iPilot propulsion system is proven technology, and the drive that comes with this kayak was designed specifically for this kayak.

Spot-Lock technology holds your kayak in position despite wind and current.


OVERVIEW: For starters, this is a big boat, and while it may be paddled, it's probably best thought of in terms of “boat” instead of “kayak.” Most state fish and wildlife departments will classify this is a power boat, and you'll need to register it accordingly and perhaps qualify for a boater safety license. You will also probably want a trailer for it, given the weight and dimensions. You will also need to spend a few days getting acquainted with the many features accessible via the remote control. Those caveats aside, the AutoPilot 136 does things no ordinary kayak or powerboat can accomplish—and when you get it wired, we promise you will be the envy of both cultures.

Lift assist helps deploy and stow motor quickly in shallow water or when launching and landing.


The removable propulsion module is a 45-pound thrust propeller drive, powered by a lead acid or (lighter, more expensive) lithium ion cell. Company testing using a 100 amp hour battery indicates about 8 hours of typical use at full charge, 2 hours full throttle. Not only can you steer and adjust speed to get where you're going, you can hit the anchor key and “Spot-Lock” yourself exactly where you want to stay—the motor uses an internal GPS receiver to determine its own thrust and steerage to hold position. You can save Spot-Lock positions. You can also save up to 16 full tracks—meaning you could carve out productive routes on a local lake and river, and then simply hit “Go To” and select the pattern for the day.

Large open cockpit and aft tank well provides a platform that is easy to organize with plenty of room to fish!


NOTABLE: It's a one-person boat whose technology amounts to having a professional captain onboard! What else? Features out the wazoo, as they say— breathable high-low seat, gear tracks, rodholders, oversize rudder, universal transducer mount. For $3,999, this is a lot of boat. Or kayak. Check with your state fish and wildlife department or DMV for title and registration requirements. — Jeff Weakley

The 132 is the perfect set up for offshore fishing, with a stable 13'2" hull.


OLD TOWN SPORTSMAN AUTOPILOT 136





    Length: 13'6”

    Width: 37”

    Weight: 158 lbs

    Overall Capacity: 502 lbs

    Propulsion: 12V Minn Kota Electric Trolling Motor, Paddle


The 120 on the other hand is recommended for anglers who prefer to stay closer to shore or enjoy lake and river cruising.


OLD TOWN SPORTSMAN AUTOPILOT 120





    Length: 12'

    Width: 37”

    Weight: 152 lbs

    Overall Capacity: 406 lbs

    Propulsion: 12V Minn Kota Electric Trolling Motor, Paddle


www.oldtowncanoe.com








Want more kayak content?





Be sure to pick up a copy of Kayak Fishing Fun magazine available on newsstands now.



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