Looksha IV vs Tempest 170

I’ve been looking for a inexpensive way to get back into a touring boat… I’ve found two good deals on boats that will fit my needs… The Looksha IV is an almost new boat in fiberglass, while the Tempest has more miles on it and it is poly. I’ve had Necky’s in the past and like the Looksha design. However, the Tempest is bit less $$'s, is a newer design and has more bells & whistles (day hatch, trick outfitting, etc.)

I’ve paddled these boats but in the past, never side by side and not recently. I will not have the opportunity to paddle them again before I need to pick.

I like the sporty handling of the Looksha and I’m thinking that it will be worth a few hundred more for a glass boat. Anyone owned both or atleast paddled them back to back… I loved to hear some other opinions. How does the speed compare between the two? Is the Tempest as maneuverable as the Looksha?

Thanks in advance for any comments!

I used to own an L-4 and now own a T-165. I like the T better, particularly in wind.

T vs L
Thanks for the response. How’s the plastic on the Tempest? Does it seem to resist oil-canning?

While the Looksha design is a bit old now, I like that design… The Tempest is probably a better all-around design. I’ll be happy with the performance of either boat. One of my biggest concerns is poly vs glass.

we have had very little problems with the Tempest hull form and keeping them straight.

a glass Tempest would rock. :wink:


L4 vs Tempest
Both are awesome boats. A tip though, I found the cockpit fit of the Looksha IV significantly more tight than the Tempest 170. I think the cockpit of the T165 is more comparable to Looksha IV. At 5-11 and 200 the Looksha cockpit literally was in contact with my hip bones when in the rough stuff whereas the T170 has a really nice comfortable fit. In those days I always took a Looksha vs. an Eskia off the rack because it is a much sporty boat. The other big thing is skeg vs rudder and I have no intent of going into that water but it is something to think about.

The Looksha IV is a very maneuverable boat and takes the edge very well although the hard chine gives it a different feel. As far as speed I would think they might be comparable. In my paddling group, there have been long journeys in both with no issues.

You can’t loose with either as long as it fits.

I have paddled…
an ‘02 L4 in Kevlar, and a new T170pro. So it may not directly answer your inguery.

Both are fine, enjoyable boats. The L4 seems to me to be a somewhat lower volume boat, and rides rather low in the water.

My L4 is not particularly comfortable, I’m 6’ 185#, size 10 feet, but I’m not at all sore at the end of the day, either. The newer T170 was far more comfortable, but the hatches harder to use.

I have paddled the L4 in 2-2.5’ of chop, and 25 mph quartering winds, and find that I NEED the rudder down in these conditions. The demo paddle of the T170 offered no such opportunity.

The L4 handles twisty, narrow spring runs with amazing grace. I found the T to have decent manuverablity, and maybe it could do the same.

The L4 works for me, for what I do and where I go, but I haven’t paddled your waters. Nor do I know if you mind a bit of a wet ride or not. If both were available to me at the same price, I’d have bought the T170, but I’ve not paddled the poly version.

Something to think about.

Thanks for the replies…
Lot’s of good insights, thanks all!

Funny thing is, the things that are often mentioned as liabilities about the Looksha actually appeal to me. I spend most of my time in very little (Sub 8’) surf specific boats where I am really wedged in. Not only that, I have a three point seat/thigh belt to harness me in for maximum control. I really like a tight fit. With the surf boat, you also have very catchy, sharp rails… I kinda like the feel of a hard chine boat. Once you really get the feel for the rails or chines, you learn to use them.

I paddle a ‘99 l-4
and noticed what looked like changes in the 07’-08’model hulls. does anyone know if its so? I also began kayaking in the surf thats what attracted me to the lookshas hard chined hull its really easy to control breaching on a wave as opposed to a keeled boat. It is also very stable and fast in seas in my experience of 4-6 feet.with whitewater boat like performance in stiff current. the tradeoff is some weathercocking in quartering seas. just get two and be done with it. lifes too short for compromised fun.

I haven’t had an L-4 out in much wind. How bad is the weathercocking issue? Is it something that is easily countered with the rudder down, or does it go beyond that? Thanks again

rudder down
good to go.

Mike Neckar designs kayaks to be used with rudders. They are generally quite loose and maneuverable AND the additional rocker lowers the wetted surface and makes 'em fast. but they are weather friendly only with the rudder deployed.

stood on a beach in the mid '90s and discussed this at length with him. btw- he used the f-word alot.