Heavy 350 pounds

I’m quite overweight but working on it. Anyways, I’d been looking at the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 and tried one last year and loved it. I decided to wait on it. The problem is, locally, the brand carried is Paluski Boats and Old Town. Paluski has nothing that will fit me. But Old Town seems to have a few boats that come close, like the Vapor 10XT The question is, they say 325 pound capacity. Do you think the fact hat I have a few more pounds then that would be too much or are the safety limits quite conservative on these boats? I don’t plan to do rapids or anything of the sort. I do want something that will work for me.

Also, I may choose to rent and the Paluski dealer has an older model made of Kevlar he thinks will work for me. It has a keel and it’s quite large. he says it’s no longer being made since everything is made of that poly… but it’s about 12 years old. It’s called a Paluski “Kiyak”. Anyone know about this boat?

Try a few models
If your dealer has rentals or demos, try them out, i found when i apddled a 10-12 foot boat then a 13-14 foot boat it made a world of difference. If they have the old towns there try the dirigo boats, they will also take the weight.

According to the specs the Vapor takes as much weight as the Dirigos even though it’s 4 feet shorter. They’re all rated at 325 which baffled me. I also am loosing weight so I know I’ll be down there eventually. I just really like the price of the Vapor, but on the other hand, I don’t want to buy and then have it break cause of the extra 25 pounds.

As for trying it out, I hope so. This dealer is not your usual kayak dealer, it’s a ski-doo, atv dealer but they carry Old Town. I’ll have to see if they’ll let me try it before I buy it.

Pungo 14 or Tarpon 14 or 16
If you are 250 or larger I’d strongly recommend these as first boats. Depending on where you paddle the sit on top may be a lot better option. No need to learn a roll or a paddle float rescue.

I’d say most boat makers strongly over-estimate the weight the boat can carry well. I think they are using the maximum weight the boat will float.

Don’t get a 10 or 12 footer if you are going out on anything bigger than tiny creeks less than 25 feet wide or small ponds. A 14 footer will paddle well enough that it may be the only boat you’ll ever need. Folks who get shorter boats usually quit paddling or buy a longer boat within a year.

Unless you are certain you can sell the boat for about what you paid for it - try before you buy! Find a different dealer or someone selling a used boat who will meet you at the water!

weight ratings…

– Last Updated: Jun-11-10 10:37 AM EST –

.. I will make a educated guesstimate here and say , the max weight capacity on a given boat is probably on the conservative side, since they tend to deliberately underrate items in an attempt to avoid liability issues. The biggest problem in overloading a boat would to change its handling traits and reduce the amount of freeboard available, maybe too dangerously, allowing the boat to sit too deep into the water, raising the risk of the boat getting swamped in the littlest of waves. have a friend come along on a test paddle and take digital pics of you in the boat to evaluate. Suggestion: If you can find a used wilderness Systems Pamlico 135T in your area ...that boat is rated @ 500#'s max .cap. I have one rigged for solo fishing, not a fast boat , more a plodder, doesn't like waves or heavy chop but it works. Another option is to find a boat and have the dealer ship it too you, which some will do. Since you can get Old Towns locally , maybe the Twin Otter with xtra seat removed might work for you. That's also rated to 500# max.

weight and kayaks

When choosing our kayaks we were instructed to buy longer kayaks due to body weight. So for the Pongo try out a 16 footer.

Hubby weighs 260 he has a CD Kestrel 14ft his cockpit is snug.He tried out my Vision 135 and rolled the kayak trying to get back out as the cockpit was to tight for him to get his legs out.

Check out web sites in regard to cockpit size and depth since you have been able to try a few kayaks out, this way you know what felt better and can compare size and styles.

check out the newer kayaks that are a crossover from river running to creeking.

Also sit on tops seem to be a good choice for weight, check out Ocean kayak brand or similar

Keep in mind you will be paddling in the summer and need to keep plenty supplies and need somewhere to put them.

Hope this helps some.

Max capacity
If your weight puts you over the top weight a boat is rated for, then you are likely going to be very unhappy paddling that boat. As another poster said, being over or very close to that top end limit affects the freeboard of the boat, which will affect its handling and stability in a big way. It will likely put in dangerous position as the boat floating that low in the water will possibly contribute to frequent capsizing. Even if that doesn’t happen, floating that low in the water will make the boat difficult to control and handle.

The recommendation of looking at tandem boats and paddling them is a good one, and maybe the only way for you to get a boat to handle your current weight.

You could look at the new WS Commander 120, it is rated at up to 400lb, 50 lbs is not much wiggle room, but you may be able to get by with it until you lose some weight as you plan to.


You could also look at the Ride 135 which is also a 400 lb capacity.


Another option would be the Jackson DayTripper 12 Elite, it has a 375lb capacity.


I think there are other options out there as well that will meet your weight requirements, and many can be ordered from online vendors for delivery to you.

Pungo 140 will work for 350 lb person
I can personally vouch for 330 lbs.

Weight 325

Currently paddling the Wilderness Systems Commander 120 and have a Future Beach Angler 160 Sit On Top (made in Canada). The Commander can handle another 100 pounds with ease. The Angler is pretty much tapped out at 325.

Also have a Perception Acadia II fourteen foot tandem that has plenty of float.

Paddled the Ride and suggest you’d better be 250 or less if you want to be happy with it.

350 is a lot for the Pungo120
Depending on how fast you plan to lose the weight a 140 would be a better choice. I respectfully disagree with FrankNC regarding 12’ foot boats. Big difference between 10’ and 12’ boats. I’ve got a 12 foot Tsunami125 that I’ve been paddling for 5 years, everything and everywhere from rivers to open water. Also have a Pungo120 for guests, wife, kids and while something longer would be necessary if I was going to take on longer open water trips, I think a 12’ boat is a reasonable minimum and a good all around size for folks who do a lot of different paddling, or for anyone who wants to venture beyond splashing around the local pond.

big boy boat
I’m in your same…“boat” in regards to weight. I ended up buying the OK Big Game and really like it. There are times I wish I would have gone with a SINK but not very often. I continue to look at the Vapor 12. I’d like to paddle it and see how it handles my weight. The 12 is rated for 375. I’ve always been told not to exceed about 80% of the max capacity. I’m not sure that is necessarily true as I paddled a small Swifty (couldn’t get my long legs in) and I didn’t sink it. I think the capacity on those is only 225.

Heavy 350 Pounds
My husband,a BIG GUY too,has an Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Sit-On-Top. He chose this one because of the ease of entry and exit. He was battling knee AND hip problems and was still able to enjoy paddling and fishing.He only got dumped in the water once because I was being overly helpful launching his kayak. It"s tough to be a BIG GUY in a little guy world but if you shop around you can find the kayak that best suits you. Unfortunately he has to sit out this years paddling season due to hip replacement surgery but he will be back year better than ever.GOOD LUCK!!