My big guy boat questions

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145

Necky Manitou 14

Old Town Adventure XL160

Want to talk about the above kayaks as one I can share with my wife. The idea being that as the kids grow, they’re 4&2 right now, one of us paddles them in the OT Loon160T, and the other paddles the single. Then we switch boats. I’m 6-4, 250, size 12 feet, active and reasonably fit for a big guy. We’ve had some recent posts from other big men, and these look like they might fit the bill for us guys. My wife is small, well at least compared to me, she’s 5-7 and 125.

I’ve paddled the Necky Eskia, how does the Manitou 14 compare in terms of stability and weather cocking. The Manitou 14 is slightly narrower. In the Eskia I was able to raise my knees and stretch my legs, and the Manitou is spec’ed out as a longer cockpit. Other posts go on about how nice the Manitou is, I’m assuming everyone is talking about the 13. How does the 14 compare? The one review here on Pnet on the 14 is favorable.

I’ve paddled the WS Capehorn 170, and for me it should be called the shoehorn 170. There is no room to get my knees up in the cockpit, and the thigh braces weren’t even close to being in the right spot. The Tsunami cockpit’s size is supposed to be bigger than the Manitou, but it looks like different manufactures measure it different ways. The Adventure XL 160 looks to be sized for me, but is it too big for my wife? She’s handled a WS Tempest 165 just fine in the ocean no less. I am so jealous. And she’s paddled the boys around San Diego’s Mission Bay in the Loon 160T, while I paddled the rented Eskia.

How bad will these three boats weathercock? I’ve paddle an Eclipse 170, an Eskia, and a Capehorn, all of which seem to get blown around more than just a little. So much so that all my strokes have been sweep strokes on one side at times. I’ve been trying to practice my strokes so I haven’t used the rudder, but I believe next time I will drop the rudder. Why does the Loon 160T not get blown around, while the Eskia gets turned sideways? We’re not even moving just talking to each other in the two boats. The wife plus two boys plus the 160T actually weighs slightly less than just me in the Eskia. Any of the above not weathercock at all, any weathercock badly? Any other thoughts on these boats?

We would be using the kayak almost like a rec boat. Paddling lakes and flat rivers. The wife would like to take photos with her SLR, after getting used to the boat. Just want to get out onto the water for a quite afternoon. But we want a boat a little more performance oriented than pure rec boat.

It would be nice if we could get one boat that would work for the two of us. So any of the above work for both of us?

Thanks, Don.

Don, I think you have raised too many
questions at one time, but maybe this little reply will get people going. Leaving rudders up, trim is important, and it can help to temporarily shift your torso forward or back to influence how the boat responds to wind. Touring and rec kayaks with stiff vertical seats can discourage or limit corrective weight shifting. I also assume you are making use of boat tilt. Most touring and rec kayaks, if tilted one way, will tend to arc somewhat the other way. And at your weight (only a little over mine), shorter solo boats should not blow around much.

I really like the design of the Manitous, although I have not paddled one. My wife paddled an Eskia in light to moderate wind and it tracked ok for her.

I think thisd is really a boad loading issue. With a light load or just a paddler it may make sense to fill a gallon zip lock bag with sand or carry a gallon jug of water. Place it in the extreme bow or stern of the boat as needed. You can tie it in place but I usually just inflate the floatation bags and that holds everything in place.

Let me focus then

– Last Updated: Jan-20-06 8:21 PM EST –

I want to get one kayak that my wife and I can both use. Me, 6-4 and 250, wife 5-7 and 125. The three kayaks I'm considering, Necky Manitou 14, WS Tsunami 145, and OT Adventure XL 160. Will any or all of these work for both of us? Which one would work best for both of us? Our experience is limited, but we have done a couple classes as well as a couple of afternoons in sea kayaks since last June.
Thanks for your thoughts, Don

I am 6’3" 245, size 12 feet… Check out the Tarpon 160, a great do everything boat, or the QCC-700 a fast touring yack…

Adventure XL-139 ??
I got into Kayaking in an Adventure XL-139. I weigh 270 Lb, and it handled my weight without a hitch. I am about 5’11" tall.

The XL-139 is 13’9" long, by 28" wide, and may be a little easier for your wife to handle than the XL-160, but I am sure it will still do a great job for you. After I used it for a year, I upgraded to a composite kayak, and my (150lb) wife learned to paddle in the XL-139 the next summer. She did well in it too.

I didn’t have a rudder on my XL-139, and I never felt I needed one. It tracked very well, but yet turned nicely.

I never paddled any of the other kayaks you asked about, but I would reccommend the XL-139 to anyone!

Happy Paddling!

I second wtlatja.
My father paddles an OT Adventure XL 139 (not 160) ad it is a fine rec boat. He weighs 210 and it has plenty of extra room for a larger paddler. I am 166 lbs, and 5’ 8.245 inches :slight_smile: and it fits me for a rec yak… nothing that I am going to edge or play with as a performance kayak, as it is not meant for that, but it is a fine rec yek. An advantage or disadvantage — depending on how you see it-- is the seat back is molded and very large. It is not good for torso rotation powerful performance forward stroke or rolling, but it is super plush and comfortable for an all day paddle. Great for photography.

Negatives? Only, in my opinion, the rotomolded Polylink 3 or Royalex, I forget, but let’s just say it’s heavy for its size. It weighs about 60 lbs at only 13’9.00" inches. But all the boats you mention likely have this issue.

I personally paddle Prijons as they have blowmolded plastic and are lighter weight and stiffer hulls. Prijons are 60lbs at 17 feet (big difference).

My father realy enjoys his Adventure XL 139 (I think a 160 would be very heavy).

Sounds like
you need two boats to me :slight_smile: (any excuse for another boat is a good excuse)

Is the XL139 a good intermediate boat?
This is, is it half way between a pure rec boat and a pure touring sea kayak? It looks a little wider than the XL160, its 28 inches verses 26 inches for the 160. Will it help me develop more my sense of balance and my stroke? My wife has a much beter stroke than me, since she has no upper body strength and I have a lot. Therefore, I pull hard while she just swings the paddle effortlessly.

Thanks for the feed back on the boats ability to accomadate paddlers of different sizes. That info is what I’m looking for mostly. The plan is one of us will paddle the single while the other paddles the two little ones in our tandem.

Does anyone have first hand experience with the XL160 and paddlers of different sizes?

Thanks, Don

Boat fit
Check for local clubs and you may find a time when they have a scheduled outing. This would be a great time to try out different boats as some paddlers will allow you to take their boat out for a ‘spin’ and it will give you somewhat of a feel for that specific boat.

What feels right for one won’t necessarily do the same for another due to the differences in feet, arm, leg, torso lengths and girth, plus reach and paddling style.

This is why the experienced, very knowledgeable paddlers constantly reccommend, TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!

BTW, I treasure comments from other paddlers, as no matter how old one gets, there’s always something new you can learn and room for improvement.

Michigan Nana

I dont think the 139 or the 160…
…are intermediate boats. I consider them rec boats, pure and simple. Plush seating, heavy rotomolded plastic, inexpensive, and easily outgrown. But if you have your heart set on one, then I guess it would do. Honestly, my pop likes his. He does flatwater only, a couple hours at a time, and no camping, surfing, waves or bracing. Just sit and paddle. Very ideal for that.

The other boats I’m looking at.
Not set on a OT XL 160, but on paper it sure looks like a good fit for me. Although if it is a pure rec boat through and through I will try to check these other boats I’m looking at.

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 and Necky Manitou 14.

WS calls their Tsunami boats transitional touring boats. Would others consider these two boats half way between rec and sea touring boats? Something not outgrown in a year?

Thanks, Don

choices choices.
As an owner of a CapeHorn 170 here’s my 2 cents.

CH doesn’t actually weathercock near as bad as the Eskia .CH also handles open water chop and surfs boat wakes much better as well. IMHO the Eskia is a big overgrown rec boat that’s good for lake camping and not much else.

I’m 6’1 and 180 and the Tsunami 140 or 145( yes i know theyre a bit different but i cant remember which it was) i tried felt like a large person boat to me and somewhat slow-ish compared to just about any 17 footer,but generally i liked it.If you get one, AVOID DURALITE. even if you find one’s very thin,flexy and prone to warping and all those nasty things you dont want your boat to do.

Can’t speak for the Manitou 14, i thought its a nice looking boat but i don’t believe in quality of american-made Neckys(aparently canadian built boats were better, my experience with new ones tells me theyre so-so), i remember looking at a brand new Manitou 14 in the showroom and it had a distinctly crooked skeg.

If you’re set on a short-ish plastic rec-touring boat i recommend tsunami 140/145-whichever fits you best. and yes, anything that fits you will be way too lose for your wife if she wants a GOOD fit.

P.S, the thigh braces in the cape horn really ARE way out of place.

P.S#2-Wilderness Systems lists WAY,WAY wrong measurments for their cockpits. i actually measured the one in the CH and it’s roughly 2.5 inches smaller in every way than listed on their website.

I recently tried the Tsunami 145 and was quite impressed, especially by the comfort and how much the boat can haul around. I have a OT 160XL and I love it but it is a rec boat. I am 6’6" 270 with a 15 shoe. It’s hard to find anything to fit but it does well. My wife is half my weight and she can handle it just fine but she prefers my Loon 138, which also fits me just fine. I swear by the 160XL, but there are a lot of good options, each with pros and cons. Good luck.

Thanks for the ongoing comments
It appears rider that you have read my overlong opening post, thanks for the tip on the Duralite. Dale thanks for your comments on both the XL160 and Tsunami145, looks like we’re in the same boat, so to speak. Big guys with much smaller wifes. The local shop carries WS, hopefully they have a 145 for rent/demo.

Regarding local clubs. What’s the protocal for asking to try a guy’s boat, given that I currently have the just tandem Loon 160.

Cooldoctor, when you note your pop doesn’t do bracing in his XL, is related to the boat, that is the boat restricts the bracing in some way. Deck too high or wide? Or the type of places he paddles doesn’t really ever require bracing. Thanks.