Carolina 16 vs Tsunami 175

Big and a Noob. Have done some kayak demos and basic and intermediate course to see if I like playin’ with these boats.

I’ve demo’d a bunch of boats like the prodigy 135, pungo 140, and Tsunami’s up to 17’5. (I’m 6’5", 320# and don’t like sit on tops :slight_smile: )

I’m going to look at the 175 again…but an acquaintance mentioned they have a Carolina 16 they may part with. The capacities look right on the Carolina… so I’m thinking it’s worth getting a look at.

I’m trying to read some reviews to compare…but since the vintages are off a bit… tough to find anyone who’s used them both.

Anyone with first-hand knowledge of the two that can say how they compare?

I have paddled both
Both are “station wagons” in regard to capacity and handling, the Tsunami has more usable storage capacity. In my opinion the Tsunami is a little faster on the water, but not by much, neither boat has great glide characteristics.

The main difference is the outfitting that reflect in the cost of either boat. WS has, in my opinion, some of the best fitting and adjustable seating for a stock entry level boat on the market.

If cost was not an issue I would give the Tsunami a shot.

definitely has the better outfitting. The Tsunami 175 is however a MONSTER boat. Get a Hullavator while you’re at it.

I have a 175
Can’t talk on the Carolina, but I have a 175. I’m 5’9" and 190 lbs and the fit is very comfortable. The boat is a little big for me but if you adjust everything to your fit you will be good, and I like all volume in the deck makes it much more comfortable for me. It is a beast but it is a pretty fast beast. I find the glide to be pretty good on the boat and I kayak weekly with a group and I’m always at the front of the pack. The boat tracts great and I find the multi chine great you can really sit on your edges and locks you in with not a lot of effort. So I would say you need to get in the boat and check the fit out for yourself but I love my 175. It is a 70lb kayak and not easy to carry, you will always need someone to help or kayak wheels.

Tsunami’s out…

– Last Updated: Aug-02-16 3:39 PM EST –

Did an intermediate class with the 175 last night. I fit, but i have a hip issue with the boat... angles just don't work for me and it's painful to sit and maintain an upright/athletic stance in the boat. Still have to try the Carolina.

after trying the carolina...which worked... i think i want to get back in the tsunami to see if i can nail down what is getting my hip joints out of whack..

Hip pain
Seems odd to me that the boat I thought would be better for your size was not comfortable.

One thing about all that adjustable outfitting is that it can be adjusted all wrong for you and make you think the boat is not right.

Imagine trying to drive your wife’s car without adjusting anything. I think that may inspire you to play with more adjustments.

And while we’re talking about glide…
What boat (or boats) would give the same initial stability as a 175 Tsunami, and more glide? (Of course, this would be inclusive of comfort and the ability to haul lots and lots of…stuff!)

have to check more stuff
my initial guess is it’s just either the seat pan width of the tsunami, or just a specific point the sides of the boat push in on the muscles of my upper thighs (not the thigh braces themselves).

Venture Jura HV
Add a Jura HV to your list. Has proven itself a good Linebacker build fitting kayak. Skeg or Inboard Rudder option. Forward adjust backhand. Big foot room with civil tracking on an even keel and more maneuverable that I would guess when heeled on its side.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

not enough weight cap on the jura
thanks for the note

played with the 175 some more
I had a chance to really play with the seat on the Tsunami to find out what was getting me in the hips.

Think it’s a combo of issues, but mainly…where the plastic seat base is attached to the top of the boat, and the seatback adjustment straps that ride over your hips/thighs right there… that is what is pretty tight for me.

We removed the seat pad and thigh lifter, and then loosened those straps out of the way. It seemed to feel better to me, and in a quick test paddle, the pain didn’t jump out at me like it did before.

we could see ways to adjust the seat base more to give me a bit more width…but obviously, not doing that until i own the boat :slight_smile:

unrelated to the hip issue, when we got the back band out of the way, i just threw a square boat cushion between my back and the combing for a rest. that worked beautifully for support and keeping me in a good upright position to paddle (not sure i could use a skirt, though, with this setup.

just fyi

Thule outriggers
Two Thule outriggers, not loading the boat when the vehicle is on a steep ramp, and loosely tying down the end of the boat that was lifted first make things easy.

However this boat must be at the structural limit of polyethylene… Always use a rack such as a Thule 835 which let’s the boat sit on its side… Not on anything that touches the water… Due to oil canning from weight.