Pamlico 145T or Big Tuna?

I’m looking to get a nice tandem set up for the lady and myself; however, I would also like a nice set-up to take out with my Italian Mastiff (115 lbs). I’m drawn to the Big Tuna and Pamlico 145T as they have the size – I believe. I can also fish from them, they have storage, and option for a rudder.

Opinions? Thoughts?

It looks like the Pamlico is deeper than the Big Tuna…

Thanks in advance!

Where would you actually paddle?
You clicked everything in your profile. The short of it is that half of those environments are wholly inappropriate for a 115 lb mastiff in any kind of paddle craft, and probably two thirds of them for two people and a 115 pound mastiff in the paddle craft. Regardless of weight load capacity of said craft.

If you narrow it down to actually likely paddling places - like name a local (small) lake, it might get some useful answers. And by the way, any of the Great Lakes are equivalent to ocean, so no go there.

Using these kayaks
I would only be going out with the dog (an possibly wife) on some light currents – easy floating rivers around Missouri and Arkansas. Nothing that would be too strong or powerful. Just nice and leisurely, where we can take some rods as well. I would consider taking this kayak and the wife on some more aggressive rivers without the dog.

It’s an SOT (Sit-On-Top), and will be a bit more seaworthy in terms of handling bigger water and a big -no, make that a BIG! -dog.

SOTs are generally easier to self-rescue, especially for newer and/or less-skilled paddlers -and that goes double -no, make that TEN-fold -for getting your dog back into/onto THE boat when compared to a huge-cockpit rec boat…!

A good SOT is as good as a good touring SINK (Sit-INside-Kayak) when it comes to flotation and ‘sinkability’, and its sides are lower than the rec boats, so they’re easier to reboard -and when you reboard, they’re good to go, they don’t need to be emptied. A rec boat like the 145 can carry a lot of water which will need to be pumped out, and you’ll absolutely need to put a float bag or multiple pool noodle for bow flotation as well if you choose to go that route, which given your intended uses and places to paddle, I’d advise against.

Both boats are heavy, the Tuna heavier of the two. It’ll likely take two people to rack either boat, or an auto-loader, if you’ll be carrying it on your vehicle. One reasonably strong person could probably load them on a trailer. I don’t know about the Pamlico, but the Big Tuna can be carried downside up on plain crossbars sans saddle or Js, also an advantage both for physical consideration as in loading/unloading, and for fiscal considerations, as in savings by not having to buy them.

So, all in all, I’d recommend the SOT over the rec boat for you…

But… (and here I’d expect the single-blade brigade to chime in) …perhaps you might also consider a canoe to carry your substantial load and


That was some great info! Now I’m a sole person, so could you tell me the difference between the rec and sot (sit on top)? I initially thought about a canoe but the kayaks are appealing for storage and I thought a kayak would be more stable than the canoe. But please correct if I’m wrong, which I probably am!