Quality Control at WS

I just recently purchased a new 2007 Wilderness System Pungo 120. It replaced the Tsunami 125 that I had problems with. In lookng at it the quality is so much better than previous ones I have looked at. Looks like since Confluance bought them out and moved the production facility that they have made big improvements. I was at the Richmond, VA boat show last weekend and the Rep from Appomaxtux River said that quality was improved and I would notice it. He was right. Also found out that Confluance owns Perception and Dagger boats.

confluence has owned

– Last Updated: Jan-19-07 10:50 AM EST –

Wildy for a few years now....they just picked up perception/wavesport/dagger about 1.3 years back.....

do your homework!
1999- Wilderness Systems, Wave Sport, Voyageur, Mad River Canoe and Windrider join together to form Confluence Watersports. headquartered in Trinity NC (just outside of High Point/ Greensboro)

June 2005- Confluence purchases Watermark (Perception, Dagger, Harmony, Mainstream, A/T) located in Easley, SC. We close down the Trinity plant and move to Easley where everything but A/T now lives.

Quality was a bit of a roller coaster during the move and transition period of training SC workers to build CWS boats. Since early summer '06 we have been on pretty solid turf and while there maybe an occasional hick-up we have got the QC wired. and we’ll take care of any problems with any of our boats/ equipment.


new Tarpon
I saw a 2007 where it looked like the deck/scuppers were mismatched by 3/16". Not sure if that affects anything but it doesn’t look right.

If you want I can pick on Necky next.

Sorry to hit
a nerve just relaying what was told at the show. Rep acted like this was just happening. Glad you were able to enlighted us.

if you want to pick on necky
let me know first so I can join in.

Perception, too
there just aren’t enough old threads about that.

Kajaksport hatches
Are they putting the new hatch covers on the composite boats yet? I will be ordering a T170 soon.

since AUG.


So so
I have high standards. I think the quality is so so, probably like most of the other companies.

A guy who I paddle with bought a 2007 T165 PRO, KS hatch system, hoping to have totally dry compartments, and got a couple cups of water in each hatch after an hour of self rescue practice. Very disheartening. He resealed the bulkheads and around the skeg tube going through the rear bulkheads, with 3M 5200, and got it down to about a half cup of water in the forward compartment (I think). Did the soapy water and air test and found leaks around the joint where the hatch opening is glued to the deck. So now he needs to get some black 5200 and put a small bead on the outside around the joint. Conclusion: the glue job out of the factory isn’t so good.

(Side point: I’ve learned a lot from watching this guy ferret out his leak issues and from answers here from Flatpick. I think when I get done doing some of the same things on my 2006 T170 PRO with WS hatch system, I’m gonna be down to just water droplets, no collected water. My covers are actually pretty tight.)

The only company that seems to get consistent high marks for quality is Valley.

Paul S.

Industry trends related to quality.
Industries tend to go through phases.

Fist is the “tornado” phase. New companies and new designs are popping up left and right. Most of the innovations are in design. People want quality, but they buy from a company based on design, as the designs are largely differentiated by company, and most of the companies aren’t offering great quality anyway.

Next is the “main street” phase. Companies start to consolidate. Similar designs start to show up at more than one company. Quality and cost start to become differentiators. It seems like the kayak industry is in transition now from tornado phase to the main street phase. There’s still new companies popping up, and new design innovations, but there’s also some replication of designs, and some consolidation happening.

The customer always wants it all; design, quality, and cost. Eventually some companies innovate to the point that they can provide it all, and those are the ones that survive and flourish. The rest fall away.

I hope that Confluence is positioning itself to have GREAT quality in 3-5 years, and survives and flourishes in the future mature industry. I don’t think they’re there yet though, just as most of the companies aren’t.

Just my thoughts.

Paul S.

I Have a 'Glass 165 On Order

– Last Updated: Jan-20-07 5:59 AM EST –

Flatpick! Please tell the folks at the factory to make me a good one.

my boats blessed by the quality fairy
two old beat up tempests, one 170 ex rental and one 165 ex rental with no leakage in either of them. cheap covers? work for me.

You just gotta put them on right is all.


since I can’t nail down your EXACT boat and when it will be born I just told them to make ALL the boats REAL GOOD…so YOU wouldn’t be disappointed.

howz that for CS?



I am the person Paul is talking about with the 2007 tempest 165.

First I would like to say I think the actual construction fiberglassing the hull and deck and gel coat are excellent, no dry cloth areas no rough ares just a great contruction job. I have worked with glass as I have built a 32 foot commercial boat out of fiberglass. The tempest is built well.

But the sealing around the bulkheads, skeg cable and hatch rims just plain suck, I am still working on fixing leaks, just about have it and I will get it to be a dry boat. I love the fit and performance, actually going to be getting a secound one for the wife. But it is a little dissapionting to have to fix leaks in a new kayak. But then I have heard of similar problem with all makes.

I would like to thank Steve for all the help he has given on the forum, it has really helped me solve and fix the problems that I have had.

Will be paddling the tempest for a long time.


thanks to steve
I have kept some confidence in confluence, knowing that at least he was around to help out people kept me from writing them off wholy, as my employer has had a less than stellar relationship with them for a while know.

Looking forward to my step up from poly to 'glass.

QC on glass boats better be real good!
Maybe it’s just me but no one else seems to be outraged that you can fork over $3000 and receive product that you have to seal up yourself! That’s a lot of money to me and I would expect perfection or at least the dealer to take care of it. A composite kayak is sort of the Lexus of the kayak family and would you ever consider fixing leaky door seals on your new Lexus on your own? Or being told that “aw, it’s no big deal-they all leak somewhere-now here’s what you gotta do to find and fix it” There is no excuse for Confluence (or any other brand) to continue to make mistakes on composite product since they can find and fix any mistakes before it ever leaves the factory.If you are thinking composite please check out the Seaward products. They have it figured out and don’t seem to pass off blems as being acceptable.

Sorry Wilderness but you’ve had plenty of time (like GM and Ford) to get it right. I’ve heard that the margin on glass kayaks for manufacturing and for retailers is poor but geez-maybe if you are going to cut corners on QC you don’t belong in that arena. Stick to cheaper poly boats. As long as the paddling community advises people that poor workmanship is normal or expected and posting fixes-the companies will continue to produce such products. You can choose to play this game but I won’t.

leaking/leaker problem seems way out of proportion as compared to other manurfactures…not sure why they haven’t cracked a few heads over it…especially since the rest of the boat is fine.

It definately would shadow any thought on buying one

I don’t believe that it is at all exceptiable to deliver a boat with any leaking problems with either the hatches or the bulkheads…I feel sorry for Steve, having to make the smilley face over what I consider to be manurfacturing ineptness of an otherwise good boat.

Best Wishes


Maybe …
but incidents are more likely to be reported (and in higher numbers) for very popular well designed boats. I really don’t see that much difference with Confluence today than we’ve heard about NDK boats over the past few years and now, to some extent, Valley. It’s too bad, but I’m gald to hear these companies are working to fix problems - maybe in large part because we complain here in a public forum - and it’s reasuring to know that companies like P&H, Valley, Wildy and others have staff that pay attention and participate in these forums. That reasures me and tells me they do care and are trying to build a better product. I’m sure margins are slim and the builders are probably lower paid workers. I suspect there is a lot of turnover in the shop, and since these are very popular boats demand is high to crank them out. So, thanks to Jim, Steve, Peter and others for being here to address our concerns. It would be nice if all the products were perfect. There certainly is room for improvement, but it’s partly our fault for creating this demand and also wanting a lot of bang for our buck.

OK, I’ve put my flame shields up, so have at it.