GROSS OVERLOADING Handling Character

Since most Kayak Manufacturers can’t seem to get accurate weight of their boats right in their specs., what about their “estimate” of total load weight capacity?

I suspect that from the way my tandem Yak sits so low in the water, that I may be approching my boats design displacement limit. Please someone, what are the handling characteristics of a close to overloaded boat?

Most Kayaks
are rated for thier ideal paddler weight. In your case paddlers. Most of us will load some equipment and supplies onboard for the paddle which increases weight. Some of us will occationally load a day or more of camping equipment and supplies which can easily add up to doubling the weight of the paddler.

I imagine that I have loaded my boat with equipment and supplies approaching my body weight of 180 lbs. Just water for a three day camping trip at a little better than 7 lbs per gallon adds up very quickly.

The times that I have been loaded for camping I have discovered that my kayak becomes more stable. It is a bit differant cutting in directional changes, and very likely is slower. That said the boat handles fine and I would not hesitate to paddle in that configuration. Each boat will react differantly and handle additional load differantly, but designers expect that the boat will be burdoned with equipment and supplies.

Maybe someone who is more familiar with the design and manufacturing process will chime in.

Happy Paddling,


more stable
sluggish, harder to turn, wet ride, loss of glide (more friction) harder to control.

how much do you and your partner weigh? the Pam-145 IS a smallish tandem.

btw- Wildy boats that have been tested by ME are pretty friggin’ accurate.



If your payload is too much weight,
one option could be to tow another boat with your stuff in it.

We did this on our last camping trip and it worked well. We used a Sevylor trail boat (a very light weight inflatable raft).

Of course this was on flat water with no wind. In rough conditions, this may not work.

Meaning of Wildy specs
When you say accurate do you mean that say the 300# rating for the T-165 is right on in terms of how nuch total weight can be carried and still be able to paddle OK on a coastal trip. Or does it mean that is the point at which it emulates a submarine?

Max load weights seem to vary by company
This is one of the reasons why the web site is so helpful, because the shared information helps eliminate problems before they happen.

Read everything you can because information often gives you the power to make better decisions for your own situation.

Some companies don’t seem to design boats for folks with long legs, big feet, or oversized heavy bodies.

right on
w/o the sub imitations. these are conservative, you could push 'em up a bit, tho the wetted surface and glide will go downhill pretty quickly.


Manufacturer’s stated Capacity
on my Pamlico 145T is a maximum of 525 pounds. and paddler weight is 480 lbs. Is this enough to cause too low in the water sluggishness and squirly steering?

I would think a Pamlico 145 was maxed out with 400bs of paddlers

I’d like to see a 480 lb paddler that wasn’t sluggish!-)

2 [two] paddlers, no other load.

You can still tow another person
in a raft…