Tarpon 140 vs. Tarpon 160

Ok, so I will be kayaking on the great lakes with cargo and maybe a dog sitting behind me. Which kayak would your recommend for this use, with or without the rudder, and why? BTW I’m about 5’11" and 130-140 ish pounds. I’ve done in depth research on both kayaks and just wondering others opinions.


You’re assuming that we know what
a Tarpon is. Meanwhile, we’re wondering if you know what you’re doing, paddling on the Great Lakes with a bunch of gear and a dog. Maybe you are a wind and weather psychic.

Is a Tarpon a SOT, that a dog can ride behind you?

Even though you’re light, I would recommend the Tarpon 160, unless it’s a fish.

Ignore the resident critic.
I have owned both the 160 and 140 and agree the 160 is best, but what size dog? 10 lbs, no problem. 50 lbs, I can’t visualize.Tarpons can be fine touring boats because they have a lot of room in the hull and tankwell.

Tarpon Kayaks

– Last Updated: May-15-12 7:14 PM EST –

First of all, I know what I'm doing and I've had plenty of experience in the outdoors and paddling. I'll only take my dog on little trips near the shore at let him swim around and gear will only be used when I'm by myself not with my dog (who is about 40 lbs.) does that change anything? Also, if needed, do you think I would be able to carry the kayak by myself if in an emergency situation, bothe the 140 and the 160. BTW the tarpon is a SOT kayak for those of you who don't know


I think a SOT would be hard to carry
for any distance. Unless it’s that super light composite thing Epic used to make. Maybe a little wheeled cart at once end, so you just had to support the other. Or a piece of garbage can plastic you can attach under the dragging part of the SOT so you don’t wear through the hull.

I did google the Tarpons and I still think the 16 will be better, if you’re covering much water.

Ignore string, he can’t write a decent subject line, so that’s the end of his threads.

I have a Tarpon 16
It is good with 300 pound load for 20 mile days. If it will be blowing 20 or more or you have a lot of chop, then you’ll want the rudder. The boat was designed to use a rudder so in conditions it works better with it. Without the rudder it lee cocks badly.

140 vs 160 you get a lot more room and some better speed for just a few more pounds of weight and a little more money.

Both the 140 and the 160 weigh a ton, get a cart and bring it inside the hatch. Honestly, you should not get one without a cart.

Kayak for the great Lakes
Well I was thinking. Is there a better kayak that anyone would recommend for use on the great lakes (preferably Wilderness Systems)? Just wondering but if not I will go with the Tarpon 160 SOT because of its versatility.

2nd the weight. even the 140 is a beast
out of the water. I still can’t visualize the dog.In the tankwell? How about a decked canoe ?


– Last Updated: May-15-12 11:26 PM EST –

Forget the dog if I was to go solo on the great lakes what kayak would you recommend or what length?

What about the Tsunami 145 w/rudder for the great lakes paddling? Is that a good option?

The Tsunami 145 might be too large

– Last Updated: May-16-12 8:53 AM EST –

for you. Your weight is well below the optimum suggested here for the 145 (http://www.frontenac-outfitters.com/kayaks/one_boat.cfm?ID=497)

The 140 would be better I think (http://www.frontenac-outfitters.com/kayaks/one_boat.cfm?ID=498), and you're not too heavy for the 135.

But of course the best thing is to try these boats out.

re: tarpon
I too am in the market for a Tarpon but if you really enjoy kayaking with your dog I highly recommend the Commander 140. It would probably be too much workout to cover the kind of ground you are talking about but it has to be the best dog boat I have ever used. It is so stable with my 70 pound lab in it I am actually considering selling my canoe. The other great thing is that despite its weight I can solo carry it pretty easily because the open deck rests really comfortably on my shoulder. Granted I am 6 foot 180.

Sorry, I don’t mean to thread hijack…I am actually interested in the replies because I too want a tarpon and did consider sticking her in the back storage as well. I primarily paddle lazy rivers though.

I love Tarpons. Reasonably fast.
VERY seaworthy , great all-around boats but I am 6’5" and weigh 225.

Tarpon Kayak seem versatile
Just another reason why I’ll probably get the Tarpon 160 w/rudder for the lakes and large rivers. I can cruise around on the shores fishing, or stick close to the shore with my little bro, or even go on weekend trips with it. It seems like a perfect kayak for me.

“Great Lakes” is too vague
It would be helpful if you could be more specific about what sort of waters you planned to be in. The Great Lakes is a vast region. There is a world of difference between, say, paddling around Presque Isle in Lake Erie and attempting open water crossings in the northern reaches of Lake Superior.

My kayaking area
Sorry about that, it wlll be all around Lake St. Clair, the south parts of Lake Huron and the Northwest part of Lake Erie. Hope this helps.

Have just purchased a 2013 tarpon160 and I expect delivery before Labor Day weekend. I am 5’ 11" and 250 lbs. ( yeah I’m a big guy) and I will be paddling in and around the Upper Chesapeake Bay and it’s tributaries. I am hoping to carve some weight off while enjoying myself. I am so looking forward to it. Oh, and I did purchase the rudder.