Aspire 105 vs Pungo 120

I bought the Aspire 105 to quickly get into the sport also figuring I have limited garage space to store the kayak. Now I have the ability to exchange it and started wondering that maybe I should go for a 12’ Pungo kayak (currently the limit length wise I can store in my garage). I live in Long Island am 5’ 10" and 165lbs. The 105 has a skeg so I wonder if that makes up for the extra 18" the Pungo has. Will the Pungo which is longer but has no skeg track about the same? Will the Pungo be faster? Any help is appreciated.

Where will yuo be paddling it? Long Island Sound? Atlantic Ocean? Some place else?

The Aspire is a pond and stream boat with no bulkheads or deck lines. It isn’t designed for nor safe in the ocean so forget that if you intend to venture out into the Sound. The Pungo 120 only has a single bulkhead and would need a flotation bag in the bow to be safe in deep water – it also lacks deck rigging. So NEITHER boat is a safe option for coastal use.

If you intend to stay in shallow rivers and small ponds and lakes, where you could swim the boat to shore if it capsized, then either boat would do. Tracking is probably the same though longer boats generally are faster and the hull design of the Pungo will track better than the Aspire even without a skeg. Both are very wide boats for someone as slim as you, pretty bargelike. More appropriate for sitting and fishing than paddling any distance. If you are interested in speed and tracking you need to look at kayaks 14’ or more and 25" or less in the beam. If storage is your primary constraint, there are better boats in the 12’ category, like the Eddyline Rio or you can get a folding kayak like the Oru models or Pakboat. A Pakboat Quest 150 can be stored in a closet or car trunk – set up it is 15’ long and seaworthy.

My grandson paddles my Pungo 120 like a rocket. He is about 5’5" and barely breaks 100 lbs. If you know how to paddle , the Pungo tracks like it’s on rails.
Look at the hull; it has a molded in skeg.

If you have the Aspire you know that WillowleAf is totally not familiar with the boat and disses it by calling it a pond boat and a barge.

@rnsparky said:
If you have the Aspire you know that WillowleAf is totally not familiar with the boat and disses it by calling it a pond boat and a barge.

So would a pungo 120 be considered an upgrade or pretty much the same or close enough? No ocean kayaking but the sound on a calm day, why not, have already done the sound with some chop.

Simply by being 2’ longer the P has to be an upgrade.
I’m with WL. No open cockpit rec boat belongs anywhere near wind and waves. I’ve seen chop get nasty in a hurry , like minutes.

@string said:
Simply by being 2’ longer the P has to be an upgrade.
I’m with WL. No open cockpit rec boat belongs anywhere near wind and waves. I’ve seen chop get nasty in a hurry , like minutes.

1.5’ difference, the Aspire is 10’ 6" and I was wondering if in terms of tracking, the skep makes up for the 1.5’ of the Pungo?

A step up? Probably. Appropriate for open water? Probably not without additional flotation.

Where you’re potentially exchanging this, can you take it out for a test paddle? Take either of the two boats and swamp them in water where you can just touch bottom. Try to get back in and you’ll see the reason why you’re getting the advice not to take the boat far from shore as is.

And have a good bilge pump handy. I bought my Pungo for small rivers and swamps, where they really shine.

Your question was 1. which is faster… figure the aspect ratio for both boats. Length divided by width. (Water line ). The higher number will be faster…usually. my seakayak is 8.5.

  1. Will the longer boat track as well as the skegg boat. That is too complicated. But I suspect it is the same .

Actually, overall waterline length is a very accurate indicator of top speed, while aspect ratio give you a relative idea about how much or little effort it will take to cruise at some speed which otherwise should be reasonable for both of these boats. The hull-speed formula turns out to be very accurate for most boats, whether average or barge-like, but for needle-thin racing hulls, top speed as defined by hull speed turns out to be a much “softer” speed limit, which good paddlers commonly exceed. I challenge anyone to exceed hull speed in a something more pudgy or beginner-friendly though. You won’t be able to do it.

Top speed of a boat with 12 feet of waterline length is 5.3 mph. Top speed of a boat with 10.5 feet of waterline length = 5.0 mph. It’s safe to assume that the actual waterline length of both of these boats is slightly less than the total length, but not by enough to matter much in terms of hull speed. It’s probably a fair guess that the practical top speed of each boat will be 0.5 mph less than the top speed, though maybe a greater reduction for the fatter, shorter boat. The top reasonable cruising speed will likely be a full 1.0 mph less, and again, probably with a greater reduction for the fatter, shorter boat (ballpark figures here, based on observation and experience). Neither boat is “fast” by anyone’s definition, but Pungos are well liked by many people for small waters.

Here’s something off the current topic, but I agree with the advice above about swamping either boat in water just deep enough to give you a feel for what kind of insurmountable problem that would turn out to be if it happened well offshore.

I have the Aspire and owned the Pungo. Pungo is faster and tracks great, but the Aspire is more versitile, higher volume, higher deck for lakes and rivers. In more open water with waves and chop I want the Aspire.

Want to step up the features to two bulkheads, thighbraces, full deck rigging and onboard rudder (I can’t bring myself to use the Mfg. Term “Skudder”)?

I have a green demo Venture Kayaks Islay 12 that could use a home.

See you on the water,
Marshall
The Connection, Inc.
9 W. Market St.
Hyde Park, NY
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Boils down to where you plan to paddle. Pungo has a huge cockpit and so not at all apt for open water like the Sound.
The Sound, assuming you mean LI Sound, IS the ocean. It is salt water and can get big.

The Aspire has a higher deck but is no better in terms of dealing with a capsize than the Pungo unless you add float bags. And not so good them either.

Go see Marshall.Those boats he has are much safer boats for the Sound than either the Aspire or the Pungo.

The Islay that Marshall offers is s nice boat. Full disclosure: I have a Venture Easky, their model that preceded the Islays. The Islay has a vee hull, retractable skeg for tracking, dual bulkheads and deck safety lines. They also make an LV (low volume) model that is a better fit for many folks under 200 lbs (my Easky is an LV – I’m 5’ 5", 145 pounds). That would be a more competent and safe boat in coastal conditions if the OP desires to paddle off shore…

As to the debate over rec boats, OP did not expressly state intentions to paddle in Long Island Sound. But i presumed (perhaps incorrectly) the strong temptation would be there for anyone on the Island with a kayak, Perhaps the conversation would be more instructive if Avi would clarify the intended destinations.

I’ve kayaked the Sound multiple times (have a friend and paddling mentor out that way who is a kayak fishing guide). Been out in various conditions and locations and it is no place for a short rec boat: tides, surf, offshore winds, confused chop, large commercial craft and deep water. It is the Atlantic ocean, after all.

Yes, it is my personal opinion that any 29" beam kayak paddles like a barge, whether it is a SINK or SOT (you are entitled to your own opinions on the topic). I’ve paddled many such models myself (rentals and swapping boats with other paddlers) so I know what they feel like. It isn’t just the width, it’s that such models are typically designed for calm water “stability” so they have broad flattish hulls.

Also have never been on a group paddle where anyone with a boat that width (other than a tandem) could effectively keep up with the pack who are in touring kayaks (which are typically between 20" and 25" abeam). In fact, my experiences in wide boats have many times been from volunteering to swap my own touring kayak to “spell” a flagging wide-boat lagger who can’t keep up with the group. I’ve become reluctant to do that because the epiphany that the swappee often experiences at being placed in a more efficient boat often means that they take off and I am left behind to lug the “barge” to the take out.

Willowleaf, op-er says the Sound on a calm day in one his early responses to questions. So it is in his named paddling turf, just not mentioned in his opening post.
Hence my alarm when he also said not the ocean… Concern about understanding the basic environment.

Hey everyone, thanks for all the feedback. Actually on my second outing with the aspire we hit the sound, parts of it got choppy but i felt in control cutting through it. I will likely mostly do slow moving rivers but kind of feel slow with the aspire and will likely enjoy going faster. I went to a shop and got into the ws tsunami (thinking the 125) but the getting in felt difficult. Much easier to get into the aspire or pungo. I get the difference in terms of flipping and the advantages a double haul has. I may just keep the aspire, see how much i do and if i get into it perhaps I’ll upgrade later. I still think i can do the sound on calm days, i have swam the sound on calm days and pretty much know what to expect.

@Avi said:
Hey everyone, thanks for all the feedback. Actually on my second outing with the aspire we hit the sound, parts of it got choppy but i felt in control cutting through it. I will likely mostly do slow moving rivers but kind of feel slow with the aspire and will likely enjoy going faster. I went to a shop and got into the ws tsunami (thinking the 125) but the getting in felt difficult. Much easier to get into the aspire or pungo. I get the difference in terms of flipping and the advantages a double haul has. I may just keep the aspire, see how much i do and if i get into it perhaps I’ll upgrade later. I still think i can do the sound on calm days, i have swam the sound on calm days and pretty much know what to expect.

Good luck.

So thinking of upgrading and have my eyes on the tsunami 125, this will bring me from a 10’ 6" kayak to a 12’ 9" kayak. My only concern is that the cockpit is smaller and felt harder to get into and the weight goes to 51lbs. (I was hoping to go lighter). So, what are the thoughts of the Tsunami 12’ 9", safer on the sound and over all I hope it to be a noticeable improvement over the aspire 105 both in terms of speed and tracking. The width also drops from 29" to 26".