Pungo vs Necky Santa Cruze

I’m looking to buy a used Kayak and there is a Pungo 120, and Necky Santa Cruze for sale in my area. I was just wondering if one of these is better than the other, or if one of them is better for certain things. Most of my Kayaking will be flat water on day trips with maybe a little fishing here or there. Any suggestions?

I’ve not tried either
but since you have posted a couple times looking for input, I guess my opinion is as valid as the previous ones :slight_smile:

The Pungo is a currently made model, the Santa Cruz is discontinued. They are both 12’ long, the necky is 26" wide, the WS Pungo is 29" wide. Often that means the wider boat may feel more stable initially, and the narrower boat might be a tad faster. In this style of boat, I doubt that is noticeable - they are both going to be super-stable and none too fast. The Pungo has a huge cockpit opening, the Santa Cruz less so. A large cockpit might be desirable for fishing, there are optional bits for the front available for the Pungo. They were made by the #1 and #2 (market share) kayak companies, so there is likely nothing too majorly wrong in their designs. If you can see them and maybe even paddle them before buying, that’s the best.

If I were in the market for a rec. boat, and these two were my choices, either would do, and I’d choose probably by #1 price and #2 appearance (condition, personal preference for color and shape).

Don’t pay too much - around here one year old used boats are sold by rental places for 50% of new price. If you like the hobby, you’ll end up wanting to buy other, different boats. If you don’t, you’ll desire to get most of your original investment back. Either way you’ll also spend money on a PFD and a paddle, so don’t blow your whole budget on the boat.

Thanks a million. I really appreciate the incite. I have seen pics of both and both look to be in really good shape with just some minor scratches. They are asking for $450 for the Pungo and $525 for the Necky. The Pungo also comes with a paddle, so I’m leaning that way. Thanks again for the advice.

Wait until you get a personal look
at the hulls before you commit.That is where the most wear or damage will be. Scratches are no problem;gouges could be.

Tried both
My bud has a 12 ft. Pungo. My better 1/2 has had a Santa Cruz for 5 years or so. Having paddled both… Santa Cruz without hesitation. Easier to paddle , quite quick and turns very well. Oddly the Pungo has flipped more often than the Cruz? The Cockpit in the Cruz is big enough for fishing. Both are quite comfy though the narrower Cruz I find easier on the knees. The Cruz can be leaned a lot more and easier than the Pungo. The Cruz is a very dry ride when facing waves and about the same as the Pungo in following waves. The Cruz feels more “Kayak” like, less “barge” like.

If you’re flipping a Pungo
you’re doing something REALLY WRONG.

I’d recommend the Pungo as a better resale value, better all-around beginner boat, especially for fishing and swimming. Get the 14 with 2 hatches if you’re over 200lbs.