Pungo 140 vs OT Dirigo 140

Can’t decide between these two. I’m going to be using it mainly for fishing in saltwater. I see that the Dirigo 140 is designed to take a small child along for the ride? Does anyone know if the Pungo is also capable of this? My sons been looking with me so I want to take him along on some short trips. The Pungo has a pretty big cockpit but the Dirigo’s cockpit is even bigger… any advice appreciated.

Either would work fine.
You have to devise a jump seat for the Pungos as none come with. I use a restaurant booster seat I found at a garage sale for twenty-five cents and it works great and floats to boot. A seat cushion type PFD would work as well. One caution about the Dirigos: Those neat external seat adjustment knobs have metal in them and could be a problem with salt water use. Like any boat used in sea water though, a good fresh water rinse should keep the problem to a minimum; just be thorough.


Booster seat for pungo
Thanks for the info. I prefer the Pungo, but didn’t know whether I could put my son in there or not. I have a camping chair that would be perfect. Any issues paddling with a child in front of you in the Pungo?


– Last Updated: May-09-05 10:22 AM EST –

Visibility: Make sure he can see over the deck when seated comfortably. And, make sure you can comfortably see over him.
Leg room: Make sure his seat doesn't get in the way of your legs/foot pegs.

Another thought: Make sure his seat doesn't cause his PFD to ride up into his cheeks. It makes for a very unhappy paddling partner.

Cockpit size
I don’t know what the “specs” list, but I paddled both yaks two weeks ago at a demo day. The Pungo 140 cockpit has MUCH more useable space. It’s not even close.

Plus the Pungo has a better seat.

Plus, plus…the child seat on the dirigo is rather lame anyway.

It’s a no brainer…get the Pungo

It is lame
I saw the Dirigo “child seat” and it is very lame, no back to it. Is the Pungo cockpit higher (deeper)? I’m thinking of just ordering one from REI, they are on sale.

I cannot stress this enough:
If at all possible, get your backside in one before buying it…even if it means a drive. Where are you located?

I do believe the Pungo140 is deeper by an inch or so.

try them both out
I just got a dirigo 140 a week ago after trying both out at a demo day. The dirigo has a much stiffer shell and the plastic seems to be of a higher quality.

Also the dirigo has way better deck lines, and the stern hatch on the dirigo is of far better quality than the pungos. The cell phone and water holder is nice as well.

I would try both if you could, the pungo is a very nice boat and you will do well with either. Wilderness systems is a great company but the pungo seems to be older model that is due for a refit.

I would stress the importance of trying both out if at all possible. In the end they are both fine boats and you’ll be stoked with either of them. I liked the dirigo more, but I’m no expert.

p.s. the child seat in the dirigo is sort of dinky, definetly for a small child only

Thanks for the info
I will be going to a few upcoming demo days in my area this weekend to try a few kayaks out before I buy. I haven’t tried either out yet.

Pungo 140
is a fine boat but neither is really meant for salt.The large CP’s on rec style yaks and big waters is not a good mix.For that you want a small CP and a good skirt or a SOT.A SOT would be much safer in any waters with a child along.

WS Tarpon 130T
Any had any experience with this for fishing/taking little kids along?

Something to think about
I have a Pungo 140 that I use for fishing and day touring - great boat. As for taking a kid along - I’m not so sure. In order to avoid whacking him with the paddle on every stroke he would have to sit far forward in the cockpit with his legs under the front deck, which is where you need to have floatation bags or pool noodles wedged in to keep the boat from swamping in case of capsize. And the Pungo WILL SWAMP if overturned with no floatation bags because of the large cockpit/no bulkhead configuration (I’ve tested it out in my pool). You mentioned fishing in saltwater - it would be difficult to manuver around in your boat with hooks, lines, and flopping, toothy fish with a child right in front of you - and somewhat dangerous for the kid. Sudden shifting of his or your weight could throw you both overboard if a big striper or bluefish were to whack your line suddenly.

My advice - if you want to take a kid along get a tandem. It’s safer and way more comfortable for both of you.

The Pungo is a great fishing yak, by the way. It works best with a mini spray skirt to keep the drips off your feet. I also fish from a sit-on-top (ScupperPro) which I find to be even more stable and suited to fishing, but your mileage may vary.

Fishing solo
My son won’t be with me when I’m fishing from the kayak. I just want a kayak that I can fish from, and when not fishing I can cruise around with my son. I’m starting to consider a sit on top, or a cheaper sitin. I think I’m trying to get a kayak that can do everything (fishing, kids, speed, stability, not swamp/sink… haha) and thats a tough thing to find. I’m gonna test out the Tarpon 130T as well.

Tarpons are nice boats
You might also look at the Ocean Kayak Sidekick. http://www.oceankayak.com/SideKick.html

Never paddled one but it looks like it might fit your bill. About 13 pounds lighter than the Tarpon, but probably not quite as fast. If you’re looking for a great fishing SOT with some speed, check out the Prowler 15 or the Tarpon 160i. Both are premier fishing yaks with big tankwells in the back. A small kid could ride sitting backwards in the well. My kids used to ride that way in my ScupperPro. Not as comfortable as a tandem but really fun for some short rides around the harbor.

kayaks recently came out with a “Gator” bow hatch that has a child seat,small storage area,and two FM rod holders in it.This hatch fits their eXtreme,X Factor,and PE.Any of these will work great for fishing even with a kid on board.

That sounds cool
I’ll check out the Malibu website. How do people like those kayaks?

Thanks Bernie
I just checked out the Malibu website, very neat set up. I read a review here on the Malibu Explorer and the yak appears kid friendly. Yet another option.