Pros and cons of each? I know the Alchmemy has the skeg … any other differences? Thanks!
My wife and I are new to kayaking. We tested the Alchemy 14S and 14L and Tsunami 135 and 140 before we decided on the Tsunami 135 for my wife and the 140 for me.
The Alchemy boats seemed a lot more lively and playful to us, while the Tsunamis were more stable and better trackers for our novice skills. The Alchemy 14s is a VERY tight fit, with a very low deck height. I am 6'1" and 212 lbs and I could barely fit in the Alchemy 14L, and could not fit in the 14S at all. When I tested the Alchemy 14L, I liked the feel of the boat but the deck was still to low and I could not find enough room for my size 11 feet with normal tennis shoes on.
My local retailer recommended the Tsunami 145 for me but I liked the tighter fit of the 140. The extra deck height over the Alchemy 14L makes the boat a lot more comfortable for me. My wife tested the Alchemy 14S and it fit her well, but she was more comfortable in the Tsunami 135.
I enjoyed how the Alchemy felt to paddle, but ultimately it just did not fit me well. My wife is very happy with the feel and stability of the Tsunami 135, and both the 135 and the 140 are a good fit for us on the local lakes and reservoirs.
I think I would have enjoyed the Alchemy 14L if it fit me better.
I cant answer your question directly since I have not paddled a Tsunami 140 or the Alchemy 14.0S.
My first kayak was a Tsunami 125. I paddled the boat for 3 years. After taking some lessons and improving my skills I outgrew the Tsunami 125. My biggest issue with the Tsunami was that it did not turn well even put up on edge. I recently added an Alchemy 14.0L to my fleet. The Alchemy is much more fun to paddle than the Tsunami 125. I am very happy with the speed and nimbleness of the Alchemy. The boat is great on small rivers or larger lakes.
The Tsunami series is intended to track Ok for a beginning paddler and provide a certain degree of reassuring stability. The Alchemy happens to still feel pretty stable to a new paddler, but is intended to be quite maneuverable and really shines as a boat to have a ball with in surf etc.
What is your background and where would you plan to paddle, what kind of distance etc?
I’m a novice, with all of my experience being in a friend’s Dagger 14’ Charleston. My intentions are to kayak on lakes and rivers in and around Western Kentucky. I would expect most of my trips to be day trips. For example, we did 7.5 miles today on a nearby medium-sized lake.
Thanks for the feedback.
The Tsunami is likely to feel more like the Charleston you have paddled. If you want to put it up to top speed and stay there the Tsunamis are likely going to put up less of a bow wake than the Alchemy. The Alchemy is a hoot of a boat and makes advancing skills that are about other than go-straight-fast a lot of fun.
Whatever you get is likely to just be your first boat. Go with one that gets you started and you can find used, and don’t get overly attached to it.
I Demoed the Alchemy Recently
… on flat water. The boat was designed for active water. On smooth water it’s s l o w. Check out the Tempest or the Zephyr for a boat that can do both smooth and lumpy water.
Maybe this would help
Given that once you (OPer) like kayaking a lot the first boat is rarely the last one...
If you get a Tsunami, you'll like keep it around as a second boat for company or to poke around in slower creeks etc rather than your your longer or "nicer" boat.
If you start with the Alchemy, you'll want to hang onto it because it still serves as a guest boat for smaller friends, and you'll want to have it to use in waves or if you go out to roll and do other wet work.
If you start with a boat like Kudzu suggests, a slightly longer all around boat, at some point you'll probably be looking for a second shorter boat that is easier to haul around and more fun for the above type of purposes.
I have yet to see an Alchemy that doesn't require an investment in dry bags to make it a viable boat for camping, but the hatches in Wilderness Systems' plastic boats aren't always bone-dry either. So little diff there.
I have an Alchemy and Tempest
I have had an Alchemy(S) from about the time they first came out. I also have a WS Tempest 170. Personally, I truly believe the Alchemy is a great boat for beginners because as it is forgiving enough and you will not outgrow it (maybe never outgrow it).
I really really like the Alchemy but disagree that it is slow on flat water. Sure it is no speedster boat like my Epic 16x but it is only a click slower than the Tempest. it seems. A few weeks ago I paddled 20 miles with all sorts of glass fast boats. When we had a fun sprint, I was left behind but not by much. Otherwise, I was up front with everyone.
It is a well balanced boat, lots of fun, turns great, very stable on edge, have been in the ocean with it and surfed it. My Tempest is still my go to boat for rougher water though.
As for the Tsunami 140, I just paddled one last weekend. Not very exciting. Stable and roomy for sure. But really sluggish turning it. If you intend to paddle regularly and work on skills by taking classes for certified instructors, I think you may outgrow the Tsunami pretty quick. That being said, I do paddle with a number of club members who have Tsunamis and have had them for a while.
Dagger Alchemy(S) courtesy of Subaru of America.
Good information … thanks for the feedback.