Prowler 13, Pungo 12 or 14, OT Next hybr

Hi guys and gals! This is my first post and I need some advice. In the market for a new boat and can’t decide between these. I have been looking real hard at the Ocean Prowler 13, the Wildy Pungo 12 or 14, and the Old Town Next. I will be mostly in rivers and streams in South Carolina.and the occasional lake. I need to be able to carry gear and the toughest toy poodle on the planet. I am wondering which would be the best compromise of what I need. I would like to be able to travel long distances. I would like a nice ‘glide’ instead of something more sluggish. Anyone that has some experience with these vessels, please share your experience. Thanks.

Love my old Prowler 13
when I take it out, as it is very stable and fast for what it is.

The only difference between it and the Eddyline sit on top I have, is that the Eddy is a little bit longer, about 28 lbs lighter, and handles wake from powerboats and ski doos better coming at you from the side. The Eddyline is a little faster in some conditions, much easier to load, and the Prowler is a tough beast that can handle drought conditions like rocks all over the place.

However, the Eddyline, when the wind is really blowing, and you pick it up by the one side handle… it can act like a sail. Hence I have learned to recon the shoreline very carefully because once or twice I parked on an incline, thinking my kayak will be really easy to unload like this (yes) but the wind gusted at the wrong moment, gravity engaged, and the kayak tried coming off by itself or the wind nearly took me over trying to stop it from hitting the ground yet not killing myself on the rocks. This dance will provide amusement for the teenagers watching you to see what happens next, especially when you get to the part where you move the truck up back the slope and then chock the wheels after putting on you pfd, still carrying your paddle so they don’t think about going for a joyride. (yes, I have several times left a kayak unattended for a few moments, and had people rapidly come up to check it out - and why tempt fate…)

Lesson: if you have a slick bedliner, and you’re parked on a mix of glacial till, quartz, and serpentine and granite, in partially dried mud, wear your best grip boots before switching to water sandals.

The powerboat wake thing is interesting in that our impounded “lakes” turned into shallower canyon “rivers” by mid summer the past few years, and when a power boat goes by the waves can get really amplified bouncing back and forth between the shores of these rivers. Some people in short rec kayaks that you sit in a cockpit sans a skirt will turn green with fear when this happens, because they are in danger of getting swamped, but both these boats are actually designed for sea surf conditions and can handle it.

Always the same.

– Last Updated: Mar-17-16 9:46 AM EST –

A lot of the time when new paddlers ask for advice, they all too often leave out most of the key factors that should be considered when making a decision. Number one is how big are you? Then comes a whole plethora of questions about where you plan to paddle, what is your budget, and on and on.

In general, I think you should always opt for the longest and highest quality kayak, or canoe that fits the parameters of your search. If you are even a little bit serious about getting into the paddling sports, do not make the mistake of settling for a so-so paddle and pfd. These two items are every bit as important as the boat.

Keep an open mind when looking for a boat and if possible, try out a whole bunch of them--even if it's just sitting in them on land. If at all possible, watch for demo days and talk to as many experienced paddlers as you can.

Learn about the various materials canoes, kayaks, paddles and pfd's are made of. And even if you can never see yourself in a high-end sea kayak, at least look at them to get an idea of what to look for in any boat you might consider.

As for the boats you mentioned, the 14' Pungo would get my vote.

If the toughest toy poodle on the planet is prepared to sit still between your knees for the duration of your paddle then the Pungo is probably the best choice. The cockpit is certainly large enough, the boat has high initial stability, is quick enough and with two bulkheads it’s very safe.

If the pooch likes to wander a bit, the Next is an interesting hybrid between a kayak and a canoe though. It’s open design leads to some compromises, but could be attractive in warm weather.

As magooch says, don’t skimp on a paddle or a pfd (for you AND the dog).

That is hilarious you typed all that
then recommended a … Pungo!?

Dog, jump in the kayak. Dog, jump out of the kayak. Dog, be wet. Dog, be muddy. Dog, shake. Dog, lean over the side… dog, swim back over so I can grab you.

I honestly didn’t consider that! Never had a dog on/in a kayak. I would say that I prolly need the SOT. Just stopped and checked out tarpon14. Is it worth 300$ more than the prowler?

For the record, I am a very strong, athletic 160lbs and 5’9".

Depends on the dog…
Last year at a local lake I talked to a girl who was paddling with her dachshund in a Pungo 120. The dog was quite content to sit in front of her and not move much at all.

Dachshunds aren’t exactly water dogs although after their paddle she went for a swim with him in his pfd.

What’s the big deal?
It’s a toy poodle. You reach over and pick it up like a floating stick. I wouldn’t be the least bit concerned about it in a 12’ Pungo, let alone a 14’. In fact, that TP isn’t going to be much of an issue for the comfort or stability in just about any boat - unless the padder loses his head. BTDT with a yorkie. Doggie PFDs even have a handle on the back just for that.

Try sitting on both
and seeing which one is more comfortable.

You don’t have to be on the water to do this. I get along very, very well with my Prowler’s seat and where the moulded foot pegs are. I had rented them a lot before I bought it. But I sat in a LOT of other kayaks before I went with that, and I didn’t like the seats. I actually hated some of them, and they were much fancier and these kayaks cost more. At the time, I’m like, okay, I seem to be in this big fishing boat and I thought I wanted one of those sleek things with the cockpit, but I’m liking this a lot better, and besides being not as slow as the stereotype, you can swim off it. Oh, look, it’s 105º F out this afternoon. Gee, is it a problem if I get wet.

When I tried the Eddyline sit on top, the store humored me by letting me sit there a rather long time seeing if my hip would scream or my leg would go numb, it didn’t. ( I am a bit asymmetric). Great seat shape for me. I get it out on the water and the seat is prowler-like, only better, which is good for me. When I want to go fast in it (once a year) I do things with foam pool noodles to pad the seat rest and under the one knee to compensate. I can’t paddle in a position as technically “correct” as a younger person. I have dropped a lot of weight since I bought it, and more this winter, so it will be interesting to see what happens when I go out in it next time. I add a little weight to the front and back hatches/wells to make it track a bit differently (aka “better”) in wave/rapids action and wind, I don’t have to do this with the Prowler. Both steer well.

The Tarpon is going to cost more because it has the more-adjustable foot pegs. It also has the option of a rudder. To me, for where I go, a rudder is just one more thing to have to worry about fouling or breaking. I have had so many OH !!! THAT IS DIFFERENT NOW moments in the past 4 years around here when I looked down and was in really fast but now very shallow water. And this is going to happen again this year, because there is a lot more run off and snow melt coming, and there is going to be a lot of sediment, rocks and logs and what not moving around in these much higher flow releases before they cut back for the summer. So they’ve made kayaks like the Tarpon a bit faster, which is nice, but it’s more of a “big water” fishing style boat, as opposed to being versatile enough to do rivers easily without having to engage a rudder.

Go with the
pungo 14!

I have a Tarpon 160 and a Pungo 140.

– Last Updated: Mar-17-16 6:29 PM EST –

If your dog will be happy behind you,the Tarpon is fine.Most dogs want in front.
There is plenty of room in the Pungo 140 for both of you or you could put the dog in a hatch.A friend carries her Jack Russell like that. Put something in the boat so the dog can get a purchase.
PS: My lousy back loves the WS Phase 3 seat which is in both boats.

Tarpon 16
Pulling trigger today on Tarpon 16!

have to agree

– Last Updated: Mar-18-16 2:40 PM EST –

Different strokes and you're going to get wet regardless, but I'd much rather have a SOT than a SINK if I were taking a dog with me. Second choice would be a canoe.

On a related issue, on this website there really should be a FAQ section or something similar for people looking for advice on their first boat. Magooch is right, people don't know how much info to provide.