12 or 14?

I’ve tested a 10 foot and a 12 foot pungo and was very happy with both. I’m looking at used boats and have two about the same distance away. one is a 14 and one is a 12, priced within $50 of each other.

I haven’t actually tried the 14…any reason why I wouldn’t find it just as nice or better than the 12?

I plan on mostly doing tidal creek trips, black water, lake moultrie, etc. would a 14 ever be too long making the 12 a better choice?

I’m a 37 year old female, with a honda crv. I can lift 50 lbs up onto my shoulder to haul and am decently strong for a short girl, but how do I judge if I will be able to get this thing on top of my car? am I overestimating myself to think I should be able to get either on top ofmy car? I’d like to just maybe get the rollers and one set of foam to slide it up over the back. am I delusional?


if I had to choose
and given that there’s only a few lbs and few $ between the two, I would take the 14’. it’ll be faster and easier to paddle distances on lakes and flatwater.

Get the 14
My fifty year old daughter who is 5’-2" and 115 pounds has the same car, and she carries a 18 foot kayak and various other kayaks and canoes on it.

She has a Thule “Slip Stream” loader, and also a set of Yakama J cradles



Hard to say without more info
The standard advice on this board is to go longer. But there are lots of other variables. 14 foot plastic rec boats are pretty heavy. If its a struggle for you to load the boat, you’re likely to use it less often.

You don’t say anything about your size. But a 12 foot boat would work just as well for the kind of paddling you say you are interested in doing, and is probably plenty large enough. Pungos are wide, stable, and relatively slow, but good basic kayaks. If you are concerned about your ability to lift and load solo, then you might want to go with the 12.

’slow’ compared to other ‘rec’ boats! the Pungo is pretty fast due to it’s multi chined, narrow-at-the-waterline, hull. It’s NOT a typical wreck barge.

I’d go 14 unless small stream manuevering is important to ya. there’s only a couple lbs diff between the 2.


12’ should be fine for a “short girl”…
I agree with puddlefish regarding length. For your choice of paddling, the 12’ will be easier to maneuver, but long enough for occasional open water paddles. I have a 12’ and like Steve says, it is NOT slow at all. Loading should be no problem. Unless there is a chance that you will do more open water paddling, the 12 should be fine. Used Pungos are hard to find. Considering the price increase on Pungos this year, you might want to buy them both and flip one of them… :wink:

14 ft easier to slide
No, you don’t lift you slide it up. Any longer boat is easier to slide than a shorter one. Thing is, the Pungos are quite wide. So I don’t know if you are getting into too much of a bathtub to make paddling easy with the 14 footer.

12 if it’s a wide Pungo for rec & creeks

and not JUST to alternate answers…

As said above, only a couple lbs difference, but big gain in capability…

I would base the decision on the
typical trip distance and the folks you paddle with as well. If you are doing 10 to 20 mile trips with guys in sea kayaks the 14 is better. If you take it easy and stay under 10 miles, the 12 should be fine.

Both very good boats – can’t really go wrong for what you are wanting.


14’ if you really are going into

14’ easier to load than 12’
It’s easier to lift a 14’ boat up on the back of a high vehicle, than a shorter boat, the stern rests on some kind of padding on the ground during the first lift so you are only dead lifting a fraction of the boats weight for the initial lift, then you slide it up - two laws of so you are essentially getting mechanical advantage first from a lever, and second from an inclided plane. Shorter boats you end up trying to shove the whole thing on at once depending on how high your SUV is and how short your boat is.

I like the 12
To me, the 14 turns like a semi-tractor-trailer. So the 10 or 12 is far more manuverable. and I like that.

However, when I am camping, those ectra two feet of length can carrya lot of useful gear…

like a tent you can sit up in, more water, an extra mattress or blanket…

I Agree…Pungo Is Very Nice
After I picked out a boat that really did not work for her, I let Kathy pick out her own boat, and she bought a 12’Pungo because it was comfortable. It is the most comfortable kayak I have ever paddled.

I have to say it paddles much easier than anything else anywhere close to the same lenght.

Its not exactly seaworthy, but a very nice little boat when conditions permit, and Kathy never paddles on the ocean, anyway.

my 2 cents
I always say go for the longer one. You will always wish you could go faster when you need it, and the better efficiency is always nice. Just personal, not a fan of short boats

12 or 14
I have to admit that I have never paddled either boat but based on my knowledge and experience I have to say the 12’. Most people think a longer boat is automatically faster, well that’s not necessarily true, speed is mainly a function of wetted surface area. For example if you have 2 boats that are both 24.5" wide but 12’ and 14’ in length the 12’ will be a faster boat 14’ based on more wetted surface area but should track better. I discovered this when I added an Old Town Cayuga 146 to my Fleet, it was just was not as fast as My Necky Manitou 13 no matter how hard I paddled it.

It appears we could argue these
points until we are all blue in the face.

Speed and efficiency are two different things. For real speed you want a big strong guy on a long skinny boat. The serious guys are often paddling 18 to 20 footers, but they are less than 20 inches wide. Put a small weakling on the same boat and it won’t go near as fast because he has more boat than his engine can handle. Thus, he might be better off with a 14 footer at his top end pace.

As you drop down to normal everyday paddling speeds, that length is not actually beneficial anymore. A 12 footer can be more efficient that a 14 footer at lower speeds – you get more distance for your effort. Is there a huge difference between the 12 and 14 for you? Probably not. Pick one and enjoy.


I was in ur shoes leer34
I owned 2 projon Capri 12 footers. Light weight. Easy loading. Sold both for 14 ft calabria. Big mistake. Heavier. Clumsier. Not faster. No advantages for dsytripping.

Sea kayaks may be better longer and thinner. Plastic red boats better shorter.

I wish I had my Capri again.

14’ what was the question?
really I didn’t read the post past the 10 foot and 12 trial. 14 is better.


thanks for the tips
but I went with a light green 12 foot pungo. cant store a 14 unless I want it hanging out from below my roof and I didn’t want to risk it. so a 12 it is!

thanks again, and cant wait to take it out!