Two questions about WS Cape Horn 150

I just picked up a used, but not abused, older generation Tupperware WS Cape Horn 150 for what I consider to be a great price. I have two questions though:

  1. Where on earth is the HIN on this thing?
  2. Where can I find more information about it beyond the “it’s my first boat, it’s perfect” and “It sucks compared to my Avocet” reviews?

    Wilderness System’s “discontinued” section is a blank page and the internet seems strangely devoid of information about this boat. My understanding is that it’s a very distant relative/predecessor of the Tempest (sans the rocker, skeg and leak free hatches)

    Why buy a sea kayak you know so little about? I fit in it, I could afford it and it’s far superior to my other sea kayak, a Tempest that is currently still on the outfitter’s rack because my bank account is in pain. Better than nothing, eh?



well now…
the VIN shold be on the stern right above the seam line, either starboard or port. It’s etched into the plastic.

Distant relative of a Tempest? like a '62 Volkwagen is related to a new Porsche.

when we designed the Tempest we took no ideas from the horn, except the name Wildy. sorry.

The Horn’s a decent boat for tripping in a straight line but playful she ain’t.

hope this helps. have fun with it save your $ and someday get a Tempest. You’ll see the difference.


It’s always best to get the story “from the horse’s mouth”. Thanks for the info.

All in good time,


a quick review
I paddled a Cape Horn 150 for 4 years – first two years in lakes, next two in the ocean, including plenty of 20 mile trips. I still paddle it when guests use my newer boat, and I still enjoy paddling it. Be sure to fill the hole where the bow loop goes through the hull with Goop or Aquaseal or 3M 5200 – the hole goes right through to the interior. Also, seal around the day-hatch. I never once used the rudder – the hull has a built-in keel that keeps it going pretty straight even with beam wind or seas. I ended up removing the rudder when I started messing around in surf, since it seemed like a hazard for re-entries in rough water. As Flatpick said, it’s not the most maneuverable boat, but one benefit is that it forces you to learn to really edge aggressively for turning. Similar for rolling – not the easiest boat to roll, but once you learn, other boats seem effortless. The only real major limitation I found was in side-surfing – the keel will trip you up quickly. Probably the best boat ever built for getting window-shaded quickly. But, that’s fun, too.

Day hatch lid…seal missing?
I noticed the day hatch lid appears to have no rubber seal of any kind, but there’s a blob of old glue right in the middle. I take it I’m missing a part?



Cape Horn 150 Since 2001

– Last Updated: Aug-05-08 10:23 PM EST –

My wife has had her Cape Horn 15 since 2001, and still loves it. We're just finishing a VOLKSKAYAK for her, but the Cape Horn definitely is staying in the fleet - Chris will still use it occasionally, and it's a perfect boat for introducing new folks to the sport; very stable and forgiving, and the seating is really comfortable.

The rudder has never been deployed, except for occasional testing. Boat tracks well, turns relatively easily, and behaves nicely in moderate conditions - we don't seek out the rough stuff. About the only faults I can find are that's it is a tad slow, and the hatches do leak. It's a real nice looking craft, too - love that flat rear could do a lot worse for a starter kayak...

day hatch
I don’t think you’re missing a part. I’m away from my boat right now, but I think the blob of glue originally just held a useless piece of white insulating foam. If I recall, there is no seal other than the pressure of the plastic on the lid being held down by the screw-thread engagement. But I don’t think that leaks much. The leak is around the edge of the socket that the lid screws into. I am not 100% sure of this - I read about this possibility on one of the reviews, added sealant, and it seemed to reduce leakage into the rear compartment by a quite a bit.

we should mention one reason
flatpik’s praising the tempest so much- well, he designed it.

Well of course…
And I’d surely chose a Tempest over a Cape Horn any day, except the former is currently beyond my means. I’d very much rather have a playful boat that can be straightened up with a skeg than a straight as rails boat that needs a rudder. Oh well, if I can edge my Dagger Blackwater, I probably can the Cape Horn as well.