I currently have a Pungo 120. It’s a great little boat, but I’m looking for a larger boat for weekend camping trips and also something with a little more speed. So, I’ve been looking at touring boats.
Thing is, I’m kind of a beefy dude; 5’11" and about 215lbs. Of course, the Pungo has a huge cockpit that’s just perfect for me. But today, I sat in the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140. Beautiful boat, but man I felt pretty wedged in there.
Then I just read that the Tsunami 160 has an even smaller cockpit. This was disappointing because I love both of these boats.
So, I’m wondering if someone can suggest a 15ft + boat that would be good for the beefy guy.
Thanks a lot,
is the larger cockpit version of the Tsunami 140. I think it is wider and deeper, but check the wilderness website for exact details.
I am a fan of the Tsunami. For a couple of months after my kayak was stolen I paddled a friends Tsunami 145 quite a bit. Even though the 140 was really the right fit for me I still thought the 145 handled quite well.
What’s your budget?
I suggest the Eddyline Journey or, if you can find one, a used Current Designs Kestrel in TCS. Both are made of thermoformed plastic. The Journey is the better performer. The Kestrel is unnaturally wide at 26" but has good glide for that width.
If you’re currently in a Pungo 120 you should be satisfied with something less than 16’. 16-footers often do have a smaller cockpit.
The boats that end in 5 are the larger cockpit versions. If the 145 feels tight, it won’t after a week. The 175 is the ultimate of giant camping boats. Look for a used qcc 500. You will happy.
Hurricane Tampico 140L
I’m about the same height as you but weigh more (no, I’m not bragging), and fit fine in the Tampico 140L. My friend has a 140S and I can just barely fit in it, but can’t move. I want to get some padding for the L to make the fit a bit more snug, since it doesn’t have thigh braces. Paddles well and is light.
couple of suggestions
Just for comparision, the Tsunami 160 is 19" x 34", slightly smaller than the Tsunami 140 which is 19 1/2" x 35 1/2".
The Venture Easky 17 is a great large volume boat and the cockpit is 21" x 35". Priced in the same range as the Tsunamis but a little sleeker and more nicely outfitted. Very pleasant kayaks to paddle. Here’s a tour of the boat (in Italian, unfortunately):
And a video of the 17 in the water (you’ll want to kill the sound, annoying music):
Also, a bit more expensive but super comfortable and also portable and very light (39 lbs and 44 lbs respectively), the folding Pakboat XT15 and Pakboat XT17, both with a 22" x 36" cockpit. These are also a fairly deep boat which allows for easier entry. We’ve got the XT15 and my boyfriend (around 200 lbs) is able to enter it butt first and then swing each leg in, or drift with his legs hanging over the side. Great inflatable seat for comfort and it paddles smoothly with surprising speed for a folding boat. Loading and unloading for overnight trips is very easy since the whole deck peels back. Being so light really simplifies outings – it is 20 to 25 lbs lighter than a similar sized plastic boat. Here’s a video. Notice the spacious foredeck.
Thanks so much for all the info on these other boats! I have my research to do for sure.
Waterbird, my budget is about $1300.
I'm a little confused by the WS website. It looks to me like the dimensions of the Tsunami 140 and the 145 are the same.
Cockpit Length: 35.5" / 90 cm
Cockpit Width: 19.5" / 49 cm
However, the description of the 145 does say, "Ample cockpit size and length without losing performance make this the choice for larger paddlers desiring extra gear storage capacity." Perhaps just a typo?
I see that some of the longer Current Designs boats offer the recreational cockpit, so I must take a look at those, too.
The Venture Easky 17 looks VERY nice. I will see if there's a dealer in my area. I like that it has a day hatch like the Tsunami, too.
Thanks again, everyone. I will let you know what I end up going with.
Depth is what you care about
Many WS boats have similar cockpit opening sizes, and take the same size spray skirts. The depth of the cockpit at your knees is a measurement that is important for your fit. On the WS site notice that difference, say between the 140 and the 145.
I am 5’ 11" and 205. One inch difference in depth at the knees is everything on how comfortable I am, and for how long. I can fit into all kinds of boats - I just can’t stay in a lot of them for very long.
As an example, I am long-term comfortable in a Zephyr 160, a Tsunami 145 (or 125), and Dagger Alchemy large . Not so much in a Tempest 170. Also note that not every dimension on every boat on the WS site is accurate.
As mentioned on the other posts
it is not just the opening size, but how much room you have under the deck above your legs and out to the side that makes the difference.
I know there is more room inside the 145 than there is in the 140.
Of course the only way to really tell is to sit inside it yourself because everyone has their “wide” spot in a slightly different place. Additionally your comfortable leg position may mean that a boat that fits a person exactly your size may not feel comfortable to you if you like having your legs in a much different position.
Good luck finding a kayak you like.
You should check out the…
North Shore Aspect. It is 14’9" with a generous, but not too big, cockpit area. North Shore is a new company to the US, but has been around for 30 years and have recently had a huge facelift. The Aspect will give you a longer boat feel and is very comfortable and very nimble.
Another boat to take a peek at would be the Delta 15.5. It is also a very comfortable boat for your size. Try one or both of these boats if you get the chance.
I am 5’9" and 210 and these boats are great.
I will say that coming from a Pungo, it does take some getting use to to step in to a medium sized cockpit, but you will love it once you get in one.
Both have big roomy cockpits.
Nifty 430 does as well. Good quality for the price.
I am the same size as you and have a size 11 1/2 shoe. I tried many boats before settling on the tsunami 145. I am 55 and at my age comfort and ease of entry are my primary concerns. I got out of the need for speed many moons ago. I have had my 145 for a couple of years now, I use it in flat water, tidal rivers, and some protected bays and ocean. The differance in the bows deck hieght over the 140 make all the differance in the world. That extra couple of inches makes all the differance in the world getting in and out. I can enter and exit with no problems, in the 140 I always found my self struggling to squeeze my knees to my chest to get in and out. At the price point your going for you should have no problems. I got mine used for only $900.
5’11" 230# I can squezze into my wifes 140 but it ain’t easy. I can stay comfortable in my 145 all day long. Both use the same spray skirt, you’ll see the difference immediately when you look at the profile. Costs new $1,200 +Tax
Some general guidelines on depth:
15" Can feel cavernous unless you’re very large and may prevent good knee contact.
13-14" Comfortably large for someone 200 lbs.
12" and less: sea kayaks and might feel restrictive to you.
At least, those are my perceptions. Maybe others have a different take.
You can’t really trust depth measurements at websites much because you don’t know where the measurements was taken.
The comfort of the depth can also depend on whether the kayak has built-in knee braces, their shape, material, and how they’re angled. Sharp plastic angled downward can be uncomfortable. Old Towns have removeable rubber braces on some models.
For $1300 you can get a good rotomolded kayak with a rudder if desired.
. . . But you can also hunt for a good used Eddyline Journey and do some negotiating. A friend just bought one for less than $600 (lousy cosmetically but structurally functional).
My only question about the Journey is whether you would be comfortable with the depth. If you get a chance do try one just to see how it feels and handles compared to other possibilities.
The Pungo 140 is a good all around boat, that I enjoyed at 6’ 0" and 260#. I’ve dropped weight by getting into racing, but kept the 140 for swamps and creeks. At 235#, I find the Kayakpro Marlin (18’, 21.5",36#) has a comfortably wide seat and is very fast for racing. My Solstice Titan LV now feels cavernous, and if you are looking for a big touring boat, this one is hard to beat. It also takes rough water very well. However, I wouldn’t take it down any creeks.
Kayak for a big guy
I have a Necky Eskia and I like it. When I have all of my gear next to it that I am going to pack in, you would never believe it would all fit. Very stable boat. Not the fastest ship in the galaxy, but I am never in a hurry to begin with.
Glad to see some other Clydesdale paddlers my size liking the 145. I’m looking forward to checking one out, and seeing the difference between deck heights with the 140 and 160.
Thanks again, all, for all the suggestions and info. Tomorrow I will be using a Tsunami 140 and we'll see how it goes. Then I plan on at least sitting in the 145 and 160 at the shop to see if I can get a sense of fit.
Thanks for explaining that the cockpit depth is an important factor in fit.
I did find an Eddyline dealer not too far from me, so I will see if they carry the Journey.
I am also liking the look of the Necky Chatham 16, although it's a ways beyond my price range. I'll do a search for a used one.
Swift Saranac 14.5
Should fit and be quite stable, 34-40 lbs dependent on laminate chosen.