Tempest 165 or 170


I’m 5’10 195lbs have tried the 170 and liked it’s fit- nice and snug, but haven’t had a chance to try the 165. Am I too big for the 165?

I had the same question…
…and spent a fair amount of time in both boats over them past two weeks. We are the same height but you out-weigh me by a little over 10 pounds. I’ll tell you my thoughts…

I need a boat that allows butt-first entry and butt-last exit. The cockpit on the 165 is too short to allow me that option.

I prefer the cockpit and deck height of the 165 over the 170, however. Not sure how much difference there really is but after paddling the 165 and then jumping into the 170 I felt like it down in a hole. I got over it, though.

I found the secondary of the 165 to be more solid, broad and give better feedback until I loaded the 170 with an additional 60 pounds of gear. Then they felt pretty much the same.

The 165 felt more responsive, as one would expect, but I preferred the bouyancy of the 170’s bow in rough water. After paddling the 170 empty for a while I started hearing what the secondary was telling me. At first, compared to the 165, it just seemed a little too light and discrete. After paddling it I understood what it was saying, though.

Both boats turn very sharp on edge and turn with little edging input. I didn’t see a big difference in the two in that respect.

I determined that for my purposes the 170 was a better fit.

you’re on the big side
it gets down to paddling it. If you paddle in high winds with an unloaded kayak more than loaded you should try out the kayaks in those conditions.

170 if those two choices.
I’m 6’2", 225 lb and have a 170. I bought it when I was 255 lb, and think the hull performs best at about 260 lbs total load.

Don’t know about your intended use. At my present weight on day trips, the combination of about 15 knots quartering wind and 2 ft chop causes the boat to weather cock excessively, even with the skeg down, for me. In 1 ft chop the skeg works fine. A better paddler may have a different perspective

If the 170 cockpit fits you well, the 165 will probably feel tight. Also I suspect that you’re above the optimum weight for the hull. I’ll be interested to hear what others say on this.

Have you tried an explorer HV?

IMO the 170 is a fine boat at my weight, and probably below, for flat river, and in ocean where the swells will protect the boat from wind. It excels in chaotic wave conditions. Catches a wave easily for surfing. Bow doesn’t dive. In large lakes or coastal inlets however, with long fetch and 1.5 – 2’ wind waves without swells, I think the boat needs more weight to be more wind neutral.

If it fits well, something like an explorer HV might be a better match for your weight.


That Dang Seat

– Last Updated: Sep-09-07 2:43 PM EST –

I moved the seat back in my 165 to get my long legs in. (I think WS might be losing sales with that seat so far forward). It took an hour or two and some work with a reciprocating saw but I got the seat back and it feels great.

I have a buddy up in the 6'2" 195 pound range who likes to paddle my T165. (I only weigh 165). Not sure how much gear it could handle with him in it.

Both sizes were more affected by the wind than, say a Chatham. The skeg on a Chatham seems like a nice thing to have from time to time while the skeg on a Tempest (either size) seemed to me like a necessary piece of equipment. Still, the hulls on both boats are really nice. Both carry extra weight with little penalty in effort.

Seat position is good…
for us short people who are very, very grateful to have the T165. If the seat position were farther back, we might have problems in the wind. And laybacks would be out of the question for some of us.

Adjustable fore/aft settings would be a nice way to handle this. :wink:

thanks for all the input.

i guess i need to find and try the 165 before i make my decision.

Tempest seat moving…
I recently bought a 165 and also had to move the seat back, i am 5-9 175lbs and couldnt get my legs in once I sat down. Damgerous, scary and a pain in the ass. I was curious as to how you moved yours back (recipricating saw??) I drilled new holes on each side of the coaming and removed screws holding in entire seat system and moved it back 2 inches.

Now what about those damn leaky hatches, rear one specifically???

The T-170 character

– Last Updated: Sep-12-07 11:48 AM EST –

Some observations about the T-170 after a decent ocean demo some weeks ago.

1) It's extremely comfortable for someone 174 lb and 5'9" (namely me.) I was able to arrange the peddles,thigh braces, and backband to get a near perfect fit.

2) Had it out on some rough water. It really did well in MOST conditions. The big exception was in a large trailing sea. Was almost impossible to keep straight even with the skeg fully deployed. Sometimes even seemed to ignore leans and "wander" all over, requiring very big sweeps and corrective strokes. I couldn't figure this out. (Yes, it could have been my technique, but I did not have this happen on other boats.)

3)The skeg is absolutely essential in the wind. The T-170 spun like a weathervane without it. Did pretty well with it deployed though.

4) It's got a lot of freeboard. Really sits up there when the boat is unloaded. Not sure I liked that aspect, and am considering the T-165 instead. Also now thinking about the Necky Chatham 17, because it sits noticeably lower.

5) Good secondary, though I found the primary pretty twitchy in the waves.

6) Smooth cruising, but I was still a little disappointed in the comparative cruising speed. Other boats in the class have been clearly faster and easier to paddle for me. A strong paddler should do fine with the T-170, but only with some effort and a very efficient forward stroke.

The Tempest 170 is a good boat, but it seems to have some quirks. I am taking a look at the T-165, but it looks pretty cramped for my average frame.

Might have to just keep demoing

Good luck.

Even though it looks cramped in a 165, when you rin it you dont feel that way, just great contact and unbeleivable great petfornmance in the rough water, loves a following sea and you feel almost invincible in these boats, you just keep looking for more challenging conditions because you know it wont let you don, Try this boat first. I have an Avocet also, and my girlfriend and i fight over whos turn it is to get the 165!The have gone to the good hatches anything after Aug 2006 in composite boats. I have a RM and it does let a little water in, not alot though and I sometimes wonder if it is an even exchange for the ease of opening and closing the WS hatches? Unless you were doing an expediton or long rough water paddles it doesn’t seem to be a big deal.

T165 cramped?
At 5’9", 160 lbs the T165 feels like it fits me well, and the T170 feels huge. I would not want to paddle the 170 in wind without a load.

The New 165 is Different

– Last Updated: Sep-12-07 4:15 PM EST –

I did exactly what you did to move the seat back in my old poly 165. I recently bought a new 'glass one and the bulkhead behind the seat is moved and angled way forward. I had to remove a lot of the seat pan in order to move the seat back against the bulkhead. Very, very comfortable now. Perfect volume. Perfect seat placement. Ready to paddle.

The day hatch in my old boat takes on water when I roll. I'm sure it's because I've used the thing so much that it has stretched out. My new 165 with the Kajak Sport hatch covers stays dry as a bone.

I am 6 foot and 200 plus or minus 5, and I choose the t165 over the 170. Yes I have to take out the hip pads for comfort but otherwise it fits perfectly. I love to roll it and it handles beautifully in seas. maybe my extra weight makes it less responsive but I certainly haven’t noticed it.


Got a RM 165
and am 155lbs and 5’ 10". A fellow paddler demoed my 165 and he’s same height but a little more solid. He ordered a 170 without demoing one - he felt the 165 was to tight. A different big guy paddled my 165 and liked it.

Bottom line is, it can be personal preference- so like people say demo first.

Agree with others and the Tempest 165 performs very well for me playing in surf lines. Its looks after the paddler or has an ability to ride out rough stuff and if I go over its an easy roll back up for more fun.


Just got back
6 miles in the T165 middle of Lake Murray. Pretty good wind and lots of great whitecaps and wind waves. didn’t matter what direction the wind and waves were coming from, I felt perfectly confident in this boat. I took out my flip chart for BCU 4 star and tried to push the envelope with the paddle strokes (with a GP :slight_smile: ) and had a hoot! (Ok I almost went over with rear right quarter waves trying to do a hanging draw…whooeee)

boat does want to weathercock…no question about that, but according to Steve this was purposely designed in the boat and I can tell you that a lot of the greenland boats surveyed were designed to do the same thing for safety.

I had the t170 before and I agree with a previous post. I woudl hate to be out there with it unladen in the wind.


soundz fun
we regularly run downwinders in the Columbia gorge in BIG winds. 25 miles in 4 hr…plenty of time to perfect windwave surf techniques and decide how to make the boat work!

we’re off to the WCSKS. Puget sound calls!


road trip
Just got a pop up (small one) so will have to do a road trip to your neck of the woods and see what the west coast paddling experience is all about. Probably need at least two weeks though to get some good padling in taking driving there and back into consideration.

Hmmmm…got any oysters?


months with 'R’
and that’d be SEPTEMBER???

actually I wait till OCT. cold water is necessary fer the good’uns.

I’m in SC this week. teaching empoyees how to paddle…go figure!!!



oysters…gotta love em…
Hey Flatpick-are you a reader???

got a book for you in case you have not seen it…

Mark Kurlansky’s The Big Oyster…a history of oysters in the Northeast-esp NYC…