regular rotomold vs. "duralite"?

-- Last Updated: Jul-27-08 11:37 AM EST --

not sure if manufacturers other than wilderness systems have a duralite (or comparable) line, so my apologies if i am using a proprietary term generically.

i am considering one of/and two options:

1. replacing my "sand" pungo with a brighter color, and/or
2. buying a tsunami.

my absolute favorite colour is a kiwi or lime (but not acid) green. since ws doesn't offer that in the standard material my next choice is yellow. but then i saw someone's brand new yellow pungo 110 and realized that out in the sun the yellow would really be glaring.

so i'm wondering how durlalite would hold up given that i paddle in some pretty rocky/oystery locations and really don't want to have to worry about hurting the boat. in short, i don't worry too much about scratchign the boat, think of the scars and scratches as signs of life.

the other sea kayak under consideration is a necky manitou, which does come in a nice lime-ish green...

any thoughts on the duralite or the tsunami vs. manitou option.

yes, i know i have to demo both before buying, but i'm hoping some of those more knowledgeable about boat design, or having experience with these two models, will give me some info about them and what to look for when i demo. e.g how are they different, how are they the same, etc. i'm looking at something 14-16'.

thanks in advance for your insight and expertise...

Here’s the deal. Kayak manufacturers put cool names on basic materials. The Duralite is simply a strategy to mold a thinner, lighter kayak, that affords some weight advantage for those who trade less durability for weight savings.

Get the heavier version of the Tsunami or go with the Manitou Select which is Super Linear.

The lighter poly boats make sense for some but require more care in storage and use. I say go a bit heavier and get more durability long term.

If the color is important to you, go with a Necky Manitou. The Manitou and Tsunami are very comparable kayaks. The Manitou is a little lighter if that is an issue for you. Get the 14’ if you want a kayak with front and rear bulkheads and hatches as well as a skeg. The 13’ is about 5 lbs lighter and more maneuverable but lacks a front hatch/bulkhead. The Tsunami has front and rear hatches/bulkheads in both the 12.5 and 14’ models, I believe, but runs about 5 lbs. heavier than the Manitou in either length. Also try out the seats on both models. My wife has a Pungo 120 with the same seat as the Tsunami, and I have a Manitou 13. The seats on both are comfortable for me, but some people prefer one over the other.

for the weight info…
i’ll look into it for specifics. i like the pungo seat. i have also sat in the manitou–i thought it was a 16’, but the necky site only has them listed up to 14’–on the showroom floor and pretend-paddled for while while michael did his shopping. it seemed ok as far as seats go.

come to think of it, i did the same with the pungo seat…sat in michael’s and pretend paddled around his yard. (ok, i wasn’t really moving, but the scenery was still nice.)

I’ve owned both
the Necky Manitou and the WS Tsunami 120 in Duralite.

Salty has already addressed the Duralite issue so I’ll tell you my opinions aside from that:

I like that the Tsunami has two hatches. It’s a nice boat, for sure. Comfortable, tracks well, thigh braces, nice snug fit.

But my favorite was the Manitou 13. I paddled the heck out of that boat. Only thing I didn’t like was the rear hatch. The neoprene is REALLY HARD to get onto the hatch coaming. (Don’t believe me, read the reviews!) Having said that, it can be done, it’s just a pain. But it has a quick way about it, is lightweight, looks better (IMO) and is probably faster and more seaworthy in general.

For what it’s worth…

I’s second (4th?) the rest
As Salty said, the Duralite models do appear (on the shelves at least) less sturdy than the regular ones on the WS boats: the ones I checked had wavier bottoms compared to the non-duralite, just from the way they were built and stored.

Also, if memory serves me right, some of the lighter boats seem to have an extra foam block b/w your legs to keep them in shape - may or may not be an issue.

Lastly, if floating about and fishing and taking photos and taking the dog with you is what you want - stay with a Pungo. Otherwise, the somewhat sleeker boats you mention will let you experiment a little more with paddling skills and may be a bit more seaworthy should that be required…

Yellow is very visible in low light.
I thought you wanted something closer to a sea kayak than a Pungo.

hatch covers
I’ve heard many reports about the neoprene hatch covers being difficult to put on with the Necky kayaks. So I asked the salesman about that at the paddling store before buying my Manitou. He told me that the covers are much easier to install if you wet them first. So I tried that, and it works. I first tried to install the cover dry, and it was difficult as others have found. However, after I wetted it with a hose, the neoprene cover was very easy to slip on.

Wives’ Boats

– Last Updated: Jul-30-08 1:07 PM EST –

I bought Kathy a Pungo 120 with a rear bulkhead and a "Grey thing" in front, and TsunamiChuck bought Jun a Tsunami 120.

He actually paddles it sometimes when we paddle on the ocean because its a good match for my little 13' OK Mars, which is my favorite boat.

The Tsunami does well with the surf launches that are required at Capitola Cove, at least when Chuck is paddling it ;-).

I think the Pungo is more comfortable, but the Tsunami is much more seaworthy. Kathy Loves her Pungo because it is so comfortable, but it often makes me nervous when conditions get a little rough. High Sierra lakes, like Tahoe, get pretty windy in the afternoon.

I would never let anyone in the family take the Pungo out on the ocean, but I am the only one that really does any ocean paddling, anyway.

I would buy the Tsunami, so you have a boat that can handle more challenging conditions, and maybe learn to roll it. I would keep the Pungo, too, for lazy day paddling.

As far as material, I like to keep boats at 50# or less. The Tsunami 135 in plastic is right at that. I would sacrifice the 6" in length, and stick with the plastic.

I don't know about the Manitou, but I hear its a really good boat

Yeah, also
a little surf wax on the under side of the hatch coaming. Also these ease with time, and the good news is they will never implode on you in conditions or during rescues. It’s a proven, durable hatch system.

yellow and light and pungoes and…
sea kayaks.

i like yellow, and i’d like to have a yellow boat. but after seeing how bright it is in the sun, i’m afraid it would give me a headache if i spent any amount of time in it.

yes, i am serious. even in the shade at the takeout it struck me how bright it was. i found it unpleasant to look at for any length of time.

pungo vs. sea kayak…it was an and/or scenario. i’m keeping a pungo either way. i’d end up with a pungo and maybe even new one in a different color; or the same pungo, and a sea kayak in yellow or lime.

i really like the duralite lime color, but i think i need a full-strength boat. the manitou does comes an acceptable kiwi/lime green. i’m leaning toward that over the tsunami.