Which Pungo, 12 or 14 foot?

I’m thinking about buying another Pungo. Already have a 12 footer that I like a lot. How much faster is a 14 than a 12? Is the increase in speed worth the extra weight and awkwardness. I do an occasional long paddle so faster would be nice. Thanks in advance!

The first questions are how tall and heavy are you? I have both boats.
I am 6’5" and 230. I was given the 120 but it soon became apparent that Archimedes was working against me because my weight put too much hull in the water.
The 140 gave me more room and definitely more speed. I can’t give
you a speed, but in the 140 I almost won a short race with a sea kayak.
I don’t know what you mean by awkward but I don’t find the 140 that way at all.
For distance I will always choose the longer boat.

I think differences in speed really won’t be much but the 140 is definitely a better boat for a larger - let’s say 200lbs and over - paddler. The other big difference is that the bow compartment of the 140 makes it a safer boat. When I had a 120 I always kept a flotation bag in the bow just in case I tipped it.

The downside is the extra 9lbs that the 140 weighs.

They’re both good boats that perform well in protected waters.

By awkward I mean off the water(carrying and loading). I’m 5’ 10", 150 lbs. so I don’t need a 140 for it’s size, just looking for something fast. Almost bought an Eddyline Caribbean 14 SOT but I fish mostly protected water and already have a Tarpon 120 for the rough stuff. I do a lot of fishing in the winter and would rather have a SINK for the protection. I keep reading how fast a 140 is, but I don’t have anywhere close to demo one, so I just wanted to know how much faster a 140 was over the 120. Thanks again!

Buy the 140, whats not to like? Btw 230# is not too much for the 12’.

For your size, the 120 is a good boat. I doubt anyone keeps speed data on rec boats. Wait a couple of weeks and I can tell you how fast the 140 will go.

Always go for the longer boat.

@magooch said:
Always go for the longer boat.

Depends on how much hull is in the water. My QCC 400X is 15’2" long, but the waterline length was longer than my over 17’ long kevlar Perception Sea Lion, which had quite a lot of length out of the water, even with my 160 lbs in it. The shorter 400X was also more efficient for me when cruising than the Sea Lion.

I find longer boats more of a pain to car top, since more boat sticks out behind the car.

Longer doesn’t always = more efficient, faster or better tracking. Overall hull design plays a big role.

For a weaker paddler, 12’ can be better. You have to have enough motor to realize the speed advantage of the longer boat. But I suspect the OP would be fine in the 14 footer.

@kayakbasser said:
… so I just wanted to know how much faster a 140 was over the 120. Thanks again!

Okay, just for fun let’s look at the math. The formula for calculating theoretical hull speed in knots is the square root of the waterline length multiplied by 1.34. Now this is theoretical (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hull_speed) and not practical, but it’s not a bad way of comparing two similar boats of differing lengths.

Both Pungos have a rear profile that allow their waterline length to be close to their overall lengths, so let’s go with 12’ and 14’ as their WLLs.

Doing the math gives 4.64 knots max for the 120 and 5.01 knots for the 140.

This formula doesn’t take into account many things and the 140 being actually just a little less wide than the 120 means that the 140 might be just a hair faster than what the formula predicts. Neither boat is ever going to be described as quick though.

I think the hull-speed calculations are actually quite accurate for what they are intended to depict, despite basic variations in hull shape and width. Sure, a less efficient hull design is “slower” in that it takes more effort to paddle at any speed, but the increase in paddling effort associated with an increase in speed that occurs right at the calculated hull speed is many times greater than any differences in paddling effort that occur as a result of hull shape. For hulls of basic and general design (not especially fast designs), the hull speed calculation really does give a good estimate of the speed that a strong paddler simply cannot exceed, other than slightly and for brief moments. Where the problem arises, is estimating what speed (a speed that’s less than hull speed) is a reasonable estimate of the maximum cruising speed that results from a reasonably strong effort. That’s a case where hull design becomes much more important. In fact, a boat that’s designed for speed won’t encounter such an “abrupt” speed limit at hull speed, so that for a good paddler, exceeding hull speed by a small amount becomes much more do-able.

@rnsparky said:
Buy the 140, whats not to like? Btw 230# is not too much for the 12’.

230 is fine in a 120 at low paddling speed (2-3 mph) but if pushed the hull will dig in . At least it did in my boat.

Thank you all for your replies. String, a couple years ago I bought my wife a 120. When I paddled her boat it was slower than mine and the bow, while not plowing, did feel like it was digging. Got the boats home and laid them side to side. My seat(Phase 3) was 2" farther back than than the Phase 3 Airpro in hers. I drilled some new holes 2" back, filling the empty holes with some 1/4 plastic plugs. Problem solved! I would have never thought 2" would make that much difference, but in a 12 foot boat it does.

I should mention that my wife has Wilderness Chesapeake, which is the composite precursor to the Pungo. It is 12’ long, with a very similar hull shape to the 12’ Pungo. I paddle it occasionally, and I consider it barely sufficient for my size and weight - which are 5’11" and 165 lbs. Yeah, I could be okay in it, but not at all what I would call ideal - especially if I wanted to carry any gear. My wife weighs about 125 lbs, and I think it is perfect for her. For you, KB, doing longer trips (bringing lunch? Overnight kit?), I think the 140 is a good idea. It will take more effort to turn it, but the design does respond to edging. And yeah, it will be a bit less touchy to trim.

Learn how to bow rudder and turning any boat is quick and easy. My 19’ sea kayak is all but impossible to turn almost any other way, but with the right bow rudder technique it’s a snap. Use the paddle blade reversed and angled toward the bow. Generally you can get at least a quick 90 degree turn and then rotate the paddle and finish out the stroke to maintain forward speed.

I have paddled boats (Sterlings) that will nearly do a 180 with a single application. My Sirocco can do maybe 130, or so. Lean away from the turn and it’s even more efficient.

Learn this technique and stern ruddering is reserved for surfing.

I consider a Wenonah Voyager or a Stellar S18S hard to turn. A Pungo 140 is easy by comparison.

Yeah - there is “easy”, and then there is “easier”. Bow rudder or no. Then there is “too easy”. :wink: