Kestrel 140 vs Carolina 14.0?

I was thinking about getting one or the other for a decent performance/fishing boat.I like the sensible CP opening on these plus the length to width vs the huge CP’s/wideer hulls found on most rec boats like the Pungo’s etc.Anybody using these for fishing?Like to hear how you like them.

Kestrel 140 fishing
I like mine for fishing. The hull is not as fast as a Pungo 140 but it has good manners and handles well. It has a very shallow v with softer chines than a Pungo which makes it better in shallow rocky rivers and not as good in choppy lakes and bays.

I got the light version not the plastic one so it weighs about half as much as a Pungo.

I’d say it makes a better all around boat than a Pungo, but I would not say it was better for fishing.

I have a Carolina
The Kestrel looks like a nice boat – I assume you’re talking about either the “OC” or “roto” models, since the “standard” 140 is a hybrid and costs 2x what the Carolina does.

Comparing my Carolina 14 to the specs on the Kestrel, they seems quite similar – about the same length, width, and weight overall, but the primary difference seems to me to be the cockpit size.

I can tell you the cockpit on the Carolina is nice for fishing – I can keep a small tackle box between my legs with no issue, and it’s easy to move around in.

On the downside, I am new to paddling but I think I already wish the cockpit on my Carolina were somewhat smaller for general paddling – I’m 5’8" and feel like I have a hard time keeping my thighs in contact with the boat when I am power-paddling, making it more difficult for me to control direction with my weight/balance and forcing me to over-compensate with my strokes. (Keep in mind that I’m self-teaching myself right now based on a few books that I have checked out from the library…)

So – if you’re primary need is fishing, I think you may be happy with a Carolina. If you want to paddle more than fish and are similar size to me, you might want to consider the somewhat smaller cockpit of the Kestrel.

Good luck!

Carolina Thigh Brace Kit
There is a Harmony thigh brace kit for the Carolina.

I have seen them on Amazon as well.

I have never tried the Carolina with the brace kit myself but this might help you get better contact with the kayak. Also adding hip pads might help as well –

Hate to hijack the thread…
But I’ve seen both items, and figure I wil ultimately purchase one or both of the items. I’m just not clear yet how these things actually install, and whether or not I can make due with a temporary “fix” – i.e., I’ve been thinking about using a swimming “noodle” inside the cockpit to bridge the gap.

Unfortunately, the folks at Harmony have so far been less than helpful for me – I’ve sent them a couple emails already (trying to size a spray skirt since their sizing chart is way out of date) and haven’t heard back in over a week.

I should
have mentioned the Kestrel I’m considering is the roto version provided I have room enough to get my legs out for sitting sidesaddle,getting in/out in shallow water without having to beach it or whatever.I’m 6’ so it will be close that’s for sure.I know that would be easy with the OC version but I’d just go with the Pungo 140 over that one.

Frank I’m a little surprised the Pungo is faster.I had the Pungo 140 and while it was pretty fast I thought the added width/wetted surface area would make it just a bit slower and more so in wind/chop.Anyway thanks all for the replies.


– Last Updated: Aug-15-12 3:21 PM EST –

The Harmony hip pads you need a pop rivet gun and a drill. You will drill a few holes in the sides of the seat and then use the pop rivet gun to attach velcro strips. The pads attach to the velcro and also have a strap that goes around the plastic seat side wall. After that you just add or remove foam panels from the pad pocket. Easy to install overall.

I installed the thigh braces on my Axis. You have to remove the existing thigh pads. You will then have holes that to install the thigh braces to the cockpit. Should then be able to adjust to a good position then screw it down. Only need a few screw drivers and a needle nose to removed the existing thigh pad. Also, a simple install.

Shame they just don't put the install manuals online like every company should be doing these days.

Have you…
tried a SOT. Most are not gonna be a whole lot slower than the boats you’re looking at. Yes, the top speed of a SOT won’t match that of most similarly sized SINK’s…but, at a moderate paddling effort they will be pretty close. Plus the SOT will be stable enough to swing your legs over the side if you like.

You may want to at least paddle one. Just something to consider.

Good Luck.

owned a few SOT’s over the years including the Malibu eXtreme,Tarpon 160(2large oval hatch version)SPTW and Drifter.I liked them all.I’m not set on any particular boat at this point SIS or SOT.Just looking into some options.One thing I would like is to stay a little under 15’ so I can just throw it in the back of my short bed PU.I have Malibu’s “soft roof rack system” but would prefer something that fits the bed just the same for convenience.