New Kayak, Need Advice

I'm looking to buy a Touring Kayak. I have a Wilderness Systems Pungo 140 but would like a touring type. I thought about getting a Wilderness Systems Tsumami (14' w/rudder) but as I looked around I'm seeing others (better ones??) that I can buy for about the same money, but with so many choices I'm not sure what is the best way to go.....

I'm 40, male, 5'7" 160lbs I mostly paddle flat water lakes, ponds, rivers.

I would greatly appreciate ANY help, info, comments, ect.
Here is what I'm looking at, all are "Plastic".

14' WS Tsunami w/rudder
16' Necky Chatam w/skeg
16' Venture Kayaks Easky w/skeg
16' P&H Capella w/skeg
17' P&H Scorpio LV w/skeg

I'm hearing (from a P&H dealer) that P&H and Venture Kayaks are better (faster, quality, etc.) then Necky, Wilderness Systems, ect.



What a surprise…
Better, Best, Faster, blah blah… P&H makes good stuff as do the others.

Good luck.

Whats the surprise?

I don’t need the fastest boat out there but I’d like the best boat for the money, more so in quailty then speed.

I’m hearing WS and Necky are “crap” compaired to P&H…I can buy a P&H Scorpio or Capella for about the same money as the Tsumami or Necky. I like the looks of all of them but if they are better built and faster then…

I think
what Salty is saying is that at equivalent price points, the merchandise available is of comparable quality and performance for the most part.

I’m sure he said ‘blah-blah’ with reference to usual ‘our stuff is great, the other’s is crap’ comments from the dealer, not with reference to your question.

Thanks and one other thing
Ok thanks.

One other thing, I’m leaning toward the P&H Scorpio LV but I can get a regular Scorpio for the same price as the LV.

I’m 5’6" 160lbs, do I want a Low Volume boat? I understand its smaller all over and can see some advantages there…

I guess maybe I should put them side by side and see what ones more comfortable for me??

So feel free to add any thoughts or info on the LV thing.


Oldest trick in the book
Dissing other makers’ products to promote your own.

Nothing against P&H (I’ve paddled and liked their Capella 161), but always take a dealer’s sales talk with several big grains of salt. Especially if they JUST HAPPEN to have the PERFECT boat for you and their competition has the boats that they’re dissing.

There are other, less obvious ways to diss a competitor’s products, too, some of which might almost look “objective”. There is no such thing as objective when it comes to likes. You need to try all those boats for yourself. The highest quality in the world means nothing if you just plain don’t like the boat’s behavior, or if it leaves you cold.

Demo, rent, borrow. While I had good luck buying a Tempest 165 without ever paddling one–and paddled that boat for 5 years–this is probably a risky thing to do. At that time, I had already developed a reasonable notion of what kind of boat I liked, so I was pretty sure it would not be a purchase I regretted. Obviously, I liked that boat quite a bit. I sold it because I wanted a glass boat, and I wanted one that had more cargo capacity without being wider or taller.

If you’re not camping out of it
and the LV feels better to you comfort and contact wise, then the LV will likely serve you well. Definitely paddle both if you can.

At your size, it’s easy to feel like you’re swimming in a large cockpit.

But most of all, buy the boat that gets the little kid in you all charged up. That’s the bottom line.

As usual…
…your best bet is to ride out winter and plan to do a demo day in the spring where you can try a bunch of boats out. Otherwise there’s just no way to tell what will feel right for you.

One other thing… that fourteen footer is probably going to be too short for you… especially if you want to do some camping. I’m 5’6" and am wearing a boat that’s a little over seventeen feet. It’s a great fit.

Check Craigslist and ebay as well as
PNet classifieds or local club classifieds. Older touring kayaks can be had for $300-$1000 and they can be in good shape. You may need to drive a bit for a good deal and maybe have to outfit the boat a bit but you will need to do that with almost any new boat. I have picked up nice fiberglass boats for $500. If you don’t like it, just resell

Very different boats

– Last Updated: Nov-12-10 5:44 PM EST –

on your list.

I think there is enough difference b/w hulls in the same price/size segment to differentiate.

Decide if you want tracking over playfulness, stability over speed, rudder or not, loading capacity (for trips), rough water use vs. easy cruising etc.

For day/light touring, add a Tempest 165 - you are the "perfect" size for it and if you like the seat you won't go wrong with it. There is a considerable difference b/w a 14 foot Tsunamy and the 16.5 foot Tempest 165 or a Scorpop LV. There are many others since you happen to fit in the majority of kayaks out there...

You should be in the LV size for the Scorpio. That said, try as many as you can for the best fit and feel on the water for your intended use. For instance, I know I could not live with the short cockpit and the center hatch of the Scorpio LV although I am in the weight range (got long legs) and the full-sized Scorpio is just too big for my needs (and that darn hatch is still in the way).

Price-wise, when I was looking recently, the prices on the used or new boats (with duscount) were quite varied. The P&H boats were consistently at least $300-$500 more than a "comparable" Tempest or Chatham for instance. I'm not at all sure that is justified in terms of performance/durability of plastic. For plastic, where you will see a real difference is if you go with thermoformed (Eddyline or some others) vs. rotomolded - can be as much as 10-20lb difference in weight for the same length boat and that is a lot (both on and off the water). Thermoformed in general are more resilient to scratches and unless you abuse them will look like new loger than a rotomolded hull would.

Sorry, not much of specific direction but food for thought...

Thanks for the info

I just spoke with another small dealer in my area, he has a 16’ Liquid Logic Seneca w/rudder for $750 and a 17’ Wilderness Systems Tempest w/skeg and compass for $1199. Both are slightly used.

I can get either P&H Scorpio for $900, these are new but were demo boats. Can’t tell though they look new.

Looking at 2 used Necky Chatham’s, one is $650firm the other is $700 OBO. both of these have stuff with them, paddle, skirt, cover, ect.

The Ventures I can get for $800, these are new but were boats that were taken around to shows.

I do have a lot of other outdoor hobbys and would like to do some kayak camping but I have light weight hiking gear so I’m not too concerned with having enough room. I can fit everything I need (plus some stuff I don’t) for a 3 day trip into my Pungo 140.

The guy with the seneca and tempest said he would give me $500 for my pungo on trade (as long as its nice).

Chatham 16 not for your profile
Probably easier to start with what doesn’t fit your profile. I think the CH 16 is a superb outer coastal big sea touring boat. Prop my favorite to date of tradional sea touring hulls. But it’s snug / surf fit and paddling nature are not conducive to most paddlers general flat water needs.

My earlier comments were directed at the dealers BS. Graham Charles, owner of P&H would never speak that way, or blantantly diss others.

I didn’t think so either

I was reading reaviews and stuff and everything about the Chatham was pointing toward playing in surf. I thought it looked like it had a good rocker to it.

One down.

I would like to get in open waters at some point but not sure if that will happen any time soon so I wanna get something for lakes and flat rivers but also something that could handle ocean if I should happen to get there.

Most are fine

– Last Updated: Nov-12-10 6:02 PM EST –

Narrow it down to several that will meet your overall needs. Forget the speed bullshit, as they all are slow so to speak.(differences are miniscule and the store guy was telling you he was ignorant) They all float, go straight, are made of the same shit more or less, and will perform adequately even at sea. Paddle several and forget the logo's. Buy the kayak that feels right to you, is comfy, and you just enjoy paddling. You'll know it....

Then, this is CRITICAL!!: GO PADDLE IT!! Avoid the game of endless searching for a craft that will make you a better paddler, and focus on becoming a better paddler. When you do, you won't need P-net or any other internet group to tell you what to buy next...

Have fun, be safe, keep it light.

you might
try a WS Tempest 165

A few thoughts
"I mostly paddle flat water lakes, ponds, rivers." You also mention camping.

“14’ WS Tsunami w/rudder

16’ Necky Chatam w/skeg

16’ Venture Kayaks Easky w/skeg

16’ P&H Capella w/skeg

17’ P&H Scorpio LV w/skeg”

Any of these boats would do, but there is a wide variance in size and capacity among the boats on your list. So, depending on how much camping and carrying gear fits into the need, you may be able to weed out the smaller, more “day” boat’s like the Tsunami and 16’ Capella.

Or not, if load is less of an issue. If that’s the case, then you may want to remove the Scorpio, which is a higher volume expedition boat.

Some one mentioned the Tempest, which is also a nice touring\day boat.

One thing to consider is the conditions you will encounter. All the boats on your list are also more on the sea kayak side of touring, which means designed to deal with ocean conditions. A smaller “transitional” touring boat may offer you the volume for camping in smaller boat, which might be easier to paddle on rivers and ponds.

As for which boat manufacturer is better, some are better than others, but not always in the same areas. If you wanted a light weight, high performance composite, for example, one may be better at working in glass. For plastic, all of these boats will be about the same. What really matters is how the boat fits you. Only you can determine that, and only by paddling them.

slightly different perspective
speaking from experience on 2- to 7-day trips a 14’ Tsunami will hold a LOT of gear & food if you know how to pack, and it can handle some pretty big water as well as exploring twisty creeks and winding passages thru marshes. It’s an excellent and beginner-friendly touring kayak for a mix of situations that won’t break the bank. OTOH, I’m considering a narrow and more playful 15-16’ boat for day use. Once you get past 14’ the high-volume plastic boats tend to be rather heavy.

Yes but …

– Last Updated: Nov-13-10 1:14 PM EST –

... all is relative to how one person vs. another packs for the same trip.

My point is the list of boats seems to be more random than consistent with a particular set of requirements. To me, while any of these boats could work, none of them seem to me to be what you would expect to see on a list of boats for ponds and rivers, with camping as a key need.

In a way, the boat list makes a sort of sense when you consider the other thing about this situation: a dealer (or two) trying to just sell any boat to make a sale, rather than fitting a boat to the OP's needs. This list may be more of what's in inventory.

thanks, here’s another choice

Thanks for all the input. I was unsure of what to do so I decided just to wait awhile…

Yesterday I took a drive to a canoe & kayak shop to look at an old town pack and discovery 119 side by side, bought the 119. Got talking about and looking at Kayaks. He only had one touring type left. Its nice, comfy and I like it BUT there is one problem. Its a woman’s kayak, a Necky Eliza. Its new with a rudder and I can pick it up for $200 plus my Pungo 140 as a trade. I think that’s a good deal but it kinda bothers me that its a “women’s” model. The guys suggestion was put a sticker over the decals and forget about it.

Not quite sure though…


– Last Updated: Nov-22-10 8:43 PM EST –

The Eliza looks like a good boat, if it fits you, and is a good deal, that's all that counts - labels come off with a blow dryer.

A large proportion of men I've paddled with (and I) use a Kokatat MsFit Tour pfd - whatever, they fit.