Pamlico vs Pungo whats the DIff

Okay you guys are talking me into considering a 12 foot over a ten but why when maneuverability and stability are at the top of my list over speed? Also does anyone know the difference between the Wilderness Systems Pamlico and Pungo 100 and 120 respectively?? (BTW I promise all your advise is going to heart)

Pungo faster and handles chop better
Pamlico shallower draft and slighty more stable

For your size/needs, stay with pungo

– Last Updated: May-05-10 10:31 AM EST –

Like you, I'm 6'2", 260, solid (not all beer!). The Pamlico has a lower deck and flatter bottom. It is more "recreational" in nature, meaning less storage and more water in the cockpit if things get choppy, as said in the previous post. Flatter bottoms are a bear in the wind as they just don't want to track straight. The Pamlico is better than some other rec boats, but not much. The Pungo120 is considered a high-end recreational boat. It does have a large cockpit, but it also has a nice keel providing excellent tracking for a boat in this class. This provides benefits in two areas. First, on windy days, you can track straight rather than becoming a waterborne windvane, and second, if you're paddling with others in touring or sea kayaks, you will have a better chance of keeping up with them. The Pungo comes with a "dashboard" that has some storage and a watertight hatch for a camera or food. It removes easily if you want to put a skirt on. As for stability, you'd have to really work at flipping a Pungo, and for comparison it is as stable as a Pamlico with better features, speed, tracking, and load capability. I have a Pungo120 that I purchased as a second boat so that my wife or friends could join me. I paid a little more for the Pungo, but selfishly, I didn't want to have to deal with a partner in a rec boat that couldn't even begin to keep up, or handle any wind or chop. The Pungo is so easy to paddle that any beginner will feel comfortable, but it's got enough going for it that even a seasoned paddler can enjoy a day in the boat, as long as they aren't interested in rolling or heading out into big open water.
Hope this helps. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions. I've had the Pungo for two years and recommend it highly for what you want to do. If you plan to go down rivers with some whitewater, put a float bag up front (remove the useless little foam piece) and use a skirt.

I had a pamlico 100 as my first yak since it was the biggest boat I could drag up 3 flights of stairs in my downtown apartment back in NC. Yeah it’s not gonna be quite as fast or track as straight as the same length pungo, but the maneuverability in tight places and shallow draft came in handy for tooling around swampy estuaries. For your purposes you might want to consider skipping the rec boat phase and go for a 14-15’ day touring boat. You will quickly get tired of even the pungo’s speed and easily get used to balancing in a skinnier faster boat. Or you can take my route and keep buying and quickly outgrowing progressively longer boats(6) before arriving at a serious sea kayak.

As I said in your other thread…
I’d still get the Tsunami125 rather than the Pungo120, especially for camping and fishing. I’ve had my Tsunami down some narrow rivers and have run some hairy class II/III and was VERY thankful for the two bulkheads and smaller cockpit. It’s a transitional touring boat that you can live with a little longer than the Pungo if you move beyond what your profile says and venture into bigger water or two to three night trips. The Tsunami145 might also be worth looking at, although it’s a bit of a barge in comparison. I’ve gone down the Androscoggin River in New Hampshire in a 145 outfitted with a rudder (waste) and found it to be a little more cumbersome in tight spots. Carries a lot of s**t though!

Pungo… says it all…

since we are discussing other boats
My number one recommendation would be the tsunami 14 ft series. the 140 if you fit well as I suspect you would if most of your bulk is in your chest and the 145 if not.

These are not rec boats but transitional touring boats (whatever that means) I consider them performance boats. They are nicely stable, you can grow into them and won’t be likely to outgrow them quickly. I can roll them easily, they track well, handle chop well, carry lots of stuff, and are clearly steps above a rec boat. I wish I had a couple as my loaner boats!

I was going to buy a 140 but jumped directly to a tempest 170 on the advice of some so called friends :slight_smile: (one of which posted just above me here)

If it has to be between a pamlico and a pungo…pungo all the way…far superior boat. But if you can see yourself beyond what you could do in a pungo then I would strongly recommend a tsunami 140 or 145.


video clip
that clip is awesome…my bro just bought a pungo - I sent the link to him!

I stand by for needs - longer is better. no matter what you get you will love it (for a time) until you get better and figure out what you want in a boat. your physical size and intended use leans me toward the 12ft - it will be plenty “maneuverable” for you being a big guy, vs. if my 8 yr old son was in it (and he does paddle a 12fter). pack in some gear, and you made a slower 10ft boat even slower - and believe me, paddling a while and then coasting is nice…paddling a while and then resting only to quickly stop is not so nice.

If you were talking about wanting a boat to primarily creek/river and secondarily flat water, then sure, 10ft. but for easy going rec and short touring type outings, the 12 or better. basically the difference of working hard to go 3-4knots (in 10ft) vs. moderate effort to go 4-5 knots (in 12ft). may not seem like much, but after a couple miles you will know.

oh, and…
the diff pretty much is summed up by the seats IMO. basically close specs, the pungo has bigger cockpit but is eaten up by the dashboard - hull shape/keel pretty similar - try to paddle both. I never used the dashboard.

That said, the pungo is pricey I think for what you get/what it does vs. rest of class. I have only owned the pungo and never “loved” the boat - I could have very easily taken a pamilco, but when I bought I got a 25% off so price was basically a wash vs. the pamlico.


WHy is everyone pushing him to “Longer”?

– Last Updated: May-06-10 8:37 AM EST –

If he wants maneuverable and occasional class III, he can stay with shorter boats. 14 feet, especially the ones that "track good" are hard to maneuver in moving water for most people. If he will mostly be be floating down the river then a boat like the Liquid Logic XP10 that I had suggested in the thread that disappeared will be just what he needs: stable, good volume for several days tripping, very maneuverable, tracks OK with the skeg down, serious WW boat unlike the Pungo that is pretty much like an open canoe with a low freeboard as far as I'm concerned.

The only reason I'd suggest a longer boat would be if the OP wants to cover some distance under his own power as the main objective and the Class II/II rapids will be only the occasional slide through to the next long section of flat water. In that case, anything *under* 12 feet will be limiting and feel like a slug most of the time.

I'm still not sure what the OP really needs to be honest and probably he does not know either -;) So, the "go used" should be high on his priority list so that he can swap it out once he finds out what he likes/dislikes in a few months.

Why longer

– Last Updated: May-06-10 9:29 AM EST –

First, it's only in the last reply or so among two threads on the same issue that the OPer indicated a willingness to look beyond 10 ft. That was after a bunch of folks who are his size said that he needed to go to at least 12 ft in order to match volume.

Second, if you look at his other thread you'll see that the river he wants to paddle along (Buffalo River to White) - even if just by driving to different spots and launching - covers about 150 miles with an upper portion having stretches of class II/III rapids. The middle and lower portions, the majority of the length, are flat.

The Oper has always done this before in a canoe and is trying to stay shorter in order to make it easier to carry the boat over/around log jams. The guides I found don't read as though this is a pervasive issue in the lower two thirds of the river, albeit a problem higher up. Frankly a number of outfitters run trips down this river - it must have some decent long stretches without logs in the way.

The Oper is also asking for high levels of stability to a degree that begs the question of their skills in paddling a kayak, as well as knowing what to be concerned about in a kayak to handle moving water. And they seem to be insisting on buying new.

I got to being unable to participate usefully in this thread, as well as the other, a few days ago. It's sincere, but just getting too confounding for me. For those who are still trying, a 14' boat is a reasonable suggestion (especially if used).

Longer in my opinion
based on his size and stated use. I paddled a ten footer and It was overloaded with my weight, leaving no room for gear.

Clear up some OP things.
I want short, as to paddle creeks in my home town more efficiently(width being in the twenty foot range with fast water and some slow water some times a little wider sometimes a little narrower only trees no rocks). I want stability not from being a poor paddler but i wish to fish occationally and hooking a gar or 6 pound bass could be a chore in a tippy kayak. I mentioned buying new because by the time I buy used and pay to ship it to where I live I could have almost bought new. Hopes this clears up any spats I may have started.

for what it’s worth
I’ve had a Kestrel 120 HV for a couple of years and my brother bought a Tsunami 125 a couple of months ago. I love his boat. We explore tight places and lakes at least once a week and rapid creeks/rivers (class II-III) as often as we can. I can’t imagine trying that in anything longer. The Tsunami is extremely adjustable (which mine ain’t), nimble, and stable.

Longer is better on big lakes but if you’re an explorer stay w/the 120-125. Both my bro. and I started w/10’ boats years ago. Still got them but gave them to our kids.

faster water and
shallow creeks? Pamlico. The deep ‘v’ keel line of the pungo makes it efficient and straight tracking. It’s also deep. the Pam is flat bottomed, shallow and more maneuverable.

More flatter, deeper waters ?..Pungo


for fishing
shallow rivers and twisty creeks with cobbles and ledges, I think the Pamlico 120 would be a fine choice, and it can handle your weight. But, you mentioned in another thread that you thought that the cockpit was excessively large on the Old Town Vapor, so the Pamlico and Pungo will give the same impression. For an all-purpose river kayak with a good mix of stability/tracking/maneuvering that can handle flatwater and overnight trips, I too would recommend the Tsunami 125.

When your speaking of stability for
fishing, would the 26" width of the Tsunami not be too tippy? Especially as compared to the 30 inch width of the Pamlico.

Love my Pungo 140
My first was a Pungo 120 but I wanted something a bit faster. The 140 has worked out well for me.

I like to load up the batteries to my Pentax and fill up the memory card while paddling about. Therefore the stability of the Pungo is important to me.

Furthermore I’m too damn heavy and have other mobility issues but once I’m comfortably launched in my Pungo I can relax and enjoy the scenery.

It handles chop and spray from jet skis and jerks showing off their speedboats well.

One smarty pants came really close, I was soaked from head to toe and the spray put three plus inches of water in my yak but the waves he created didn’t capsize me.

It may not be fancy or pretty or sleek but I’m pleased with it.

Well, wish me luck I’m headed to
Atlanta Sat to buy something. Maybe all will go well thanx for the help.

I don’t kayak fish but
I wouldn’t consider the Tsunami line as anything tippy; 26" is plenty wide for most paddlers, try one out if you can. I imagine the Pamlico would be better suited for fishing, just because the bigger cockpit gives you more room to maneuver, cast or stow gear and makes it easier to hop in & out if you’re fishing the shallow spots. I used to own a Pamlico 100 and previously posted a review of it.

If fishing is your primary goal then I would consult with Big_D and the rest of the fishing crowd on here; maybe you want to look at SOTs too. But for a more general-purpose boat the Tsunami is a real winner.