First of all, I know that no one boat can do it all but I'm still searching for one anyway. I am a 6' 220lbs intermediate level paddler and own an Acadia 12.5 and Prodigy 10 EXP. I am happy with these boats for the most part but was wondering if anyone had thoughts on the new Carolina 12 or any other boat that might be THE perfect boat for the type of paddling I do. I paddle slow rivers (James in central VA) and fish mostly but also like to play in I's and II's some. Thanks.
mobrien’s response to this post:
Looks like the Carolina may not be the boat you really want for that class II. Have you considered a WS Tsunami?
Thanks for the reply. I know my expectations are high (maybe unrealistic at times) The Tsunami 120 looks like a possibility. A little more $ than the rec boats I currently have. Hey, if I can find the “perfect” boat, I can get rid of the others…right?
Carolina 12 ~ Previous Umiak
I barely fit into the Umiak, predecessor to the C12, which I got for my kid. I am 5’3", 140 lbs.
You’re probably thinking of the C-14.
For sizing info
I own the Tsunami 120 - and absolutely love it. I am 5’10" 165 lbs and of an average athletic build, I’m a 32" waist and 40 reg off the rack.
The 125 is usually a similar price but with a slightly bigger cockpit and 6" longer for “larger” paddlers.
My thoughts on the WS Tsunami 120 are…I love the boat! It is very comfortable, great ability to adjust the seat just right, and comfortably padded without being bulky. Dry hatches are great, hatch covers fit tight and securely, but are still easy enough to get on and off. Also has 2 dry bulkheads, nice feature. What I really love about the boat is how it handles, great tracking with the keel down, but this boat has killer secondary stability, put it up on edge and you can maneuver it something awesome. This provides great tracking and great turning ability. My 120 is faster them my friend’s Dirigo’s but they are barges compared to it so I’d expect that. Not sure how its speed compares to anything else yet. At 53lbs it is a bit heavy, however I am able to get it up and down of my Yakima hullraisers on my Ford Explorer by myself, and am also able to get it up and down from the rafters of my garage on my own. For a fit/size reference I am 5’10" 165lbs with an average athletic build and find the boat very comfortable and not restrictive. I can stretch out in it for relaxation or lock myself in tight for better performance. I’m holding off on posting a review until I spend some more time in different water conditions and hone my own skills a bit to see what I can really do with the boat.
My dilema is I am 6’ 220lbs. I have an Acadia 12.5 that I have been very happy with but am looking to go to the next level. I am relatively new to paddling yaks (2 years) after mostly paddling canoes but am now totally into it. I am well within the weight limit of both the 120 and the 125 but I am wondering if I am pushing it on the 120. I would prefer the shorter boat but I guess I will just have to demo and see how they do. Unfortunately, I was at Demo Days at the ARC in VA this past Sat. but missed the Tsunami. I have been so hell bent on finding a sub 12’ yak that I’m sure I missed some great ones in the 12-13’ range. I think the reality is starting to sink in that to get a yak that meets most of my criteria, I am going to have to spend a little more $ and it is probably going to have to be in the 12-13’ range. Heck, I guess the 12’ 4" length on my Acadia really isn’t too bad.
I feel your pain
when I was shopping for my first boat, which is the Tsunami, I wanted something around 10’ because I thought that going above 10’ would sacrifice maneuverability and make the boat too heavy. After test paddling boat after boat after boat I realized how wrong I was. Everything around 10’ were basic rec boats that didn’t have the fit I wanted, or were whitewater boats which I knew weren’t suited for my paddling.
Once I started looking at the right boats in the 12’ range I realized how maneuverable something that long could be. The key is something like the Tsunami that has the multi chined hull with lots of rocker, makes putting the boat on edge and turning so easy. Yet the boat tracks great because of keel fore and aft.
As far as fit - sit in the 120 and the 125 before you decide. It seems like the 120 could be a bit tight for you, but only you can decide what is comfortable. Realistically you aren’t going to lose maneuverability from the 120 to the 125. It is hard to tell at the current Wilderness Systems website, but the dimension differences between the two boats is not that big, but I’m sure it makes a difference in the volume inside the boat and how it feels.
The fit of the Tsunami and their maneuverability sold them to me, I like to be able to “wear” the boat more, which I couldn’t do in the rec boats. Also the Tsunami cockpits are small enough that neoprene skirts are available, unlink most rec boats.
If you were in S NJ/SE PA I’d offer to meet you so you could take my 120 for a spin :).
Good luck and happy paddling…
Tsunami 120 or 125?
Thanks again for all the good feedback on this. You are right, the WS web site leaves off quite a bit of info. Fortunately, I have an 07 brochure I picked up at Demo Days Sat that has all the specs listed in the back. There isn’t that much difference between the two but there are some.
Width: 120-25.5" 125-26"
Depth: 120-14.75" 125-16"
Weight:120-53lbs 125-54lbs (same as my Acadia)
Max Cap:120-275lbs 125-300lbs
me know how you make out and what you finally decided to go with. Even if it isn’t a Tsunami
Go test paddle and have some fun!
I think that this would be a great boat for you. I work for aldercreek kayak and canoe in Portland Oregon. The Keel line starts at the bow and conitues to the stern. This boat also has a squared stern allowing this boat to perform like a 16’ boat. With the hard chines this boat could also handle class 2+ white water. The 120 is great, but you need to get into something with a longer hull to support your size.
All the feedback is good. I do appreciate. Not sure I can bring myself to buy a 14’ boat. I know I can be hard headed. How about the TSU 125? That has a 300lb user weight.
125 is fine
I think that it could work fine using a 125. This boat is 1/2" wider and 6 inches longer. The length in hull will help support you. The other issue is that you need to be sitting perfectly straight up. if you lean backwards when paddling you will lift the bow up and have more issues. the longer boat for your size will allow you to not have to be over the boat. This becomes very important in wind.
There 125 will handle more like a 14 foot boat and should be alot of fun. I would suggest finding three different boats and trying them on the water one after the other.
…I absolutely won’t purchase until I test drive.