Wilderness Tarpon 140 questions?

I’m about to purchase my first kayak. I have a used Wilderness Tarpon 140 that I’m really close to purchase.


Is this a good kayak for a newbie?

Is this kayak suitable for carrying on top of my car (BMW 3-series)?

Otherwise, any pointers on what to look for when buying used…


Tarpon 140
I think it is a great boat. I like the 160 better because it is faster, holds more and only weighs a couple pounds more. But I’ve had one as my go to boat for years, and if I only had one but it would be mine.

There are some problems with Tarpons. The newer style hatch covers that have hinges to make them easy to open are really bad leakers. If the boat you are looking at has these, you are not much better off than being in a low free-board canoe if the waves come up.

As far as carrying it on a BMW I think it will be fine if you get a good rack and use a bath mat on the trunk to help slide it onto the rack from the back.

Manta Ray
I own a Manta Ray 14 which look a lot like the Tarpon, but they are quite different boats.

The Tarpon is lower profile, wetter, and tracks very well (almost too well). The Manta Ray is drier (especially at my feet), and much easier to turn. Both are rock solid out on the lake and in easy moving water. Both are nice for fishing, photography, etc.


It is a great boat! I have been paddling one for 5 years and I love it.

sure it’s a good SOT
and there are others. I like Neckys Vector 13 more.

I had a '09 T140, regular model, and
sold it and bought a 2010 T140Angler, which I still own.

You didn’t mention how you plan to use the boat, but in my experience you will have to look long and hard to find a better fishing platform. Especially on open water,(Think big bays), and salt water. Stability, and tracking are excellent.

The boat is a little heavy but I’m an old guy and can load it on to the roof of my 1/2t pickup, or my old VW Bus by myself.

If I’m messing around in still quiet waters with a camera, or quiet fly fishing, or back country camping then I usually use my Wenonah Wilderness solo canoe

for the added carrying capacity.

You’ll be fine with the Tarpon it’s a great boat!

Lee, Please tell us about the Vector
Why do you like it more than the Tarpon?

I paddled Necky Vector 13
Really nice boat, dryer than the V14 and I really wanted to do business with this shop but being a tall 63 Y.O. man I just had to have the Phase 3 seat in the Tarpon 140, nothing like it! NTM the 140 is as good as any in class.

Oh, I recently tried a Vector 14. My impression, paddling solo and sans GPS, was that is was pretty efficient, for a SOT, as the specs would suggest. But, my butt! The seat was uncomfortable for my skinny behind. Yeah, it’s hard to beat WS seats.

It simply felt like a kayak
it’s weird because the hull shape looks clunky/flat but for easy paddling efforts if felt like a kayak, pivot was right where I was, felt easy to turn and didn’t feel like I was pushing water like the Tarpons. The Vector 14 is a whole different idea/execution.

It’s like they accomplished with the Vector 13 what they tried with the Dolphin.

It’s good but
if it’s the angler version you’re stuck with someone else’s idea of where things belong.I really prefer to put rod holders etc where I want them.Also the angler’s flush mount holders are to close to the water so your reels take baths.As far as car topping goes it’s a little heavy but not to bad.Otherwise they’re really nice.

I do like the WS seat system quite a bit. But, I just remembered that I’d had to improve the seat padding soo after I got my Tempest 165. The 4 or 6 ribbed plastic fasteners come out, the pad comes off… then, I got some 3/8 inch anti-fatigue matting at Lowe’s, cut it to seat shape, and fastened it all back together. Much better, and you can’t even tell it’s been modified. I think I got the idea from someone on this board.