Tempest 170 vs Sirocco

Hi everyone. I am an intermediate kayaker ready to buy his first boat! Have it narrowed down to a RM Tempest 170 or Sirocco. Any ideas on which would make the best all around boat? I am 5’10" and 180 lbs. Both boats fit me well and handle nicely.

The Current Designs kayak will be better built in general and will have better hatches. The quality this year from Wildy has been pathetic so I’d stay away from anything they build.

Good luck.


I am roughly your size(6’1 180). I sat in a tempest 170 at a store and paddled a Sirocco ,2 hour rental for two hours in flat water(not sirocco’s enviroment from what i can tell). Sirocco has a way bigger fit than the Tempest 170. T170 fit me good, the Sirocco fit was much more floppy. I thought the sirocco was playful,manouverable but, in flat water felt very sluggish,and even more sluggish with skeg down. I thought the sirocco felt very well built with good rigid plastic and quality hatches with lots of room for gear. If they made a faster lower volume version of sirocco i could see myself buying one.

WS Quality
WS quality is an issue with me right now and I am not sure who is at fault. One of the reasons I am without a boat now is because the Tempest 170 (demo) that I bought from a dealer had to go back to the factory. The plastic around the skeg box was defective and someone tried to seal it with silicone (the plastic was pitted and leaking). Also, two spots on the plastic near the stern keel were so thin that I almost poked a hole through with my thumb when I pressed down. The dealer has been fair so far but I can’t help feeling like someone was pulling fast one.

I have seen dozens and dozens of similar kayaks from Wilderness Systems this year with these types of problems. The dealer I was working at received about 200 boats this year from Confluence (parent company for Wilderness Systems, Perception, Mad River Canoe etc) and over half of them were faulty.I’d be VERY wary of anything from these guys right now…best to look at designs from other builders.

good luck.


I Can’t Offer A Comparison
I have maybe 25 hours paddling rented Siroccos and found them to be good all around paddling boats. I don’t remember anything about any of the rented Sirrocos that indicated less than good overall quality.

I took an offshore techniques class a couple of months ago and the conditions were at best marginal in my mind. Two of the six boats were Siroccos and they, the boats, seemed happy in 20-25 knots of wind, large swells, and a blown away cross chop.

I am not an experienced racer but the same Sirroco has been entered into the two races that I have partisipated in and it did very well in both events.

Happy Paddling,


Where would be this lousey dealer
with very faulty boats from which you speak. I think you are not from BC but rather from BS !

ya think??
the reason the boat went back is because it IS faulty and we will replace it.

A few boats have slipped into the system that were sub-standard. we are/ have taken care of every one of 'em.

we have implimented a new QA (Quality Assurance) system with a rigerous inspection. It is up and running but will take time.

Paddle the boats and buy the one that works best for ya!


they are both fine
but you should check out a Chatham 17 for something in between.

Just to set the record straight
The boat did not go back to the WS factory. The dealer makes his own line of boats and sent it back to his factory for repair. Gee, and I thought people were passionate about politics!

shouldn’t have to take time
me thinks someone is squeezing every penny out of labor to have such blatant booboos get shipped to begin with. It shouldn’t be up to the dealer to finish quality control.

facts straight
so… you have a plastic Tempest that got sent to someones personal factory for repairs?

man we must have some awesome dealers I don’t even know about.

If the boat was actually as described, it would be waaayyyy easier to just get a NEW boat.


Watch it buddy.
Hey Cliff I’ve met “outrageous” in person, i know what dealer he used to work at so why don’t you think twice before talking out of your ass.


– Last Updated: Jun-12-06 6:48 AM EST –

Seems to be a rallying point for non Tempest/Confluence users doesn't it? I can only go by experience. 3 different shops, three sets of Tempests and Tsunamis...every one in great shape.
Confluence has admitted to start up issues and some quality control. They are not trying to hide anything. They stand behind their work and have actually made great progress. Remember the Focus in 2000? Still lots and lots driving around and great cars for their owners. How many quality issues? Or any other car manufacturer who opened up a new factory or launched a new model?
Geez folks. You get a bad widget from the store you bring it back. It happens. The true test is what the store does after being brought back the widget. In this regard Wildy/Confluence has been top notch. Just read the forums or other sources.
Confluence and other big shops are vital to the paddling communities growth. Sea kayaks and specialty boats comprise a very small percentage of the paddling world but benefit greatly from the overall sales as it allows for research and development and people like Flatpick and others who have the qualifications and experience to help develop better and better boats.

As consumers we should be checking out every boat we are intersted in buying. People make mistakes, issues get ironed out. But this rabid snapping at Confluence doesn't seem to be accomplishing anything more than mental masturbation for those that delight is talking about other people.

And before you get up on your morally indignant horse about how you have a duty to save the poor uneducated consumer from themselves, take a look in the mirror. Awareness is one thing folks. vitriolic commentaries based on "I heard" or "I have a friend" are another.

end of rant


200 boats 1/2 of em faulty…

– Last Updated: Jun-12-06 8:32 AM EST –

And HIS factory fixed them all !!! Sorry I just don't believe it. That's over 100 boats at at least $500 bucks apiece $50,000 worth and he fixed them himself and didn't exchange them for new ones. You expect me or anyone else to belive this? Now that really is OUTRAGEOUS!

On the other hand if I am wrong two possibilities could exist.

The "dealer" with his own factory could have bought up WS rejects to fix them and re-sell as demos.

The other possibility is that I could have a mutual benefical relationship with this dealer. Please furnish his name and address either here or via e-mail. I see where I can already save him at least $50K quite easily. Totally OUTRAGEOUS !

vitriolic commentaries
sorry, WS has covered a huge end of the rec/touring spectrum to where a shop might get 75% of their sales from Confluence,and if said shop has to send back 1/4 of their delivered boats or tell customers who’ve put money down on a composite boat that it’ll be 4-6weeks and it’s 3months before they are told the order is lost or it can’t be made yet then it sucks, it puts the dealer in a very tight position for THEIR integrity.

And makes large volume dealers more attractive. It makes direct to customer manufacturers more attractive. Neither of which is good for paddling shops.

Your experience is positive because a dealer made sure it was positive, the stories you dismiss as second or third hand are because they are second and third hand to you. To some closer to retail the evidence was sitting in front of them.

didn’t say
that some of the stories may not be true. What I said is that the stories we are reading are not from the persons buying the boats with the exception of two that I can remember. Everything else has been third hand, or fourth.

If someone is picking up defective WS boats and then selling them as demos I can assure you that WS would know about it as there are some very real liabilities involved. I shudder at the thought of someone deliberately buying a defective boat that WS would replace, take it back to a shop and with a heat gun and some melted plastic sell it as a demo model (or whatever). Even WS doesn’t do that and what guarantees do you have then? Now that is scary!


does seem…
a little fishy, eh?

his own ‘factory’ that fixes CWS boats by the hundreds.


except for a few shipping damage issues most of the QC issues we have are easily fixed by a good dealer. The dealers who aren’t capable to fixing boats…IMO aren’t a very good dealer.

whew…and I’m soooo glad we are moving forward and things ARE getting better!!!

thanks for the support and nice post Paul. thanks



manufacturing liability insurance is VERY strict when it comes to repairs and changes made to the ‘basic’ model.

It is wayyy easier for us to replace and this is where the supply/demand issue has been biting us in the @$$. It’s tough going large w/o a few growing pains. :frowning:


tough for who?
the investors behind Confluence with a well diversified portfolio or the shop with the bulk of their sales connected to Confluence?