WS Tarpon 100


I am considering purchasing a Wilderness systems Tarpon 100. This is one of the new 2009 models. I got to test out the boat yesterday, and really enjoyed it. I invision using this boat to fish the local lakes, pond, and rivers. I would also like to take a trip out to the coast, but I have heard a larger boat is required for this. Is this the case? I am a college student, so I barely have the cash to ge the 100, and the the longer tarpons are out of the question. I did try used, but alot of the boats in my area looked pretty beat up. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.



Keep looking
Don’t know what your budget is or how soon you want your boat but you can find used very easily for a good price if you are willing to wait. I picked up a Tarpon 160i only used twice for $630 last year and a Tarpon 100 for $290 that a guy had won in a radio contest. It was still in the plastic wrapping! Just keep your eyes out check ebay and any other sites that list kayaks for sale. You might get lucky for a lot less than you can buy one from a store. As for the Tarpon 100 I think it is a good boat but seems slow after my 160i

Nice boat
For what you describe, it’s useful.

It is a ‘slow’ boat. It’s designed for the easy to moderate uses you describe. Whoever told you that you want a longer boat for coastal paddling was right on target. You’re not going to want to paddle a 10’ boat on any kind of a big water crossing. Longer boats are available for rent in many coastal regions. However, for what you describe of fishing the banks on ponds and small lakes and running down small to moderate creeks and rivers while fishing, you could do a whole lot worse than a Tarpon 100.

  • Big D

WS 100
Mike…While I have other boats, I got a WS100 this winter for fishing, and love it. Obviously there are tradeoffs with length vs speed, etc., but I appreciate the light weight, manuverability, and the fact that it fits inside my Suburban. I’ve also used it in Class II and in the surf and, though not ideal, it did just fine. I haven’t outfitted it with anything other than 2 rear flush-mount rod holders, and probably won’t. Last, you might check around to see if there are any 2008s left in stock. The 2009 does have footpegs rather than footwells, and a different hatch configuration, but it’s essentially the same boat and I got a new, shrinkwrapped 2008 on sale for $350.


Footpegs and used market
I think the footpegs vs. to molded make a 2009 worth it. I love the look of the 100 and it would be perfect for me too but I need lighter than 55 lbs so I’ve been considering a 120 only because I can get an ultralite and shave 12 lbs(I don’t need the length).

As for used markets - some people seem to have a lot of luck in the used market but I haven’t seen much in my area either. I wonder if it depends on where you live? If there are places where you can rent (also not in my area) you might try that first.

You could try posting some wanted ads in kayak forums in case someone has been procrastinating about posting their boat for sale. Worth a shot if you aren’t in a hurry.

Blem boats
You can also ask the dealer if they have any Blem boats. These are 2nd quality boats that generaly have some type of flaw that does not harm the handling or safty of the boat in any way. For example a torch is used to give the plastic a shine. If the factory worker pauses too long in one place or or gets to close to the boat it will cause a blemish in the finish of plastic.

Wilderness Systems makes these boats avaible at a lower cost to dealers so that customers with limited funds might be able to buy a boat that otherwise they would not have been able to afford.

I looked a blem boat once and had to have the dealer show me the blemish as I could not find it. The blemish was just a slight wave in the finish on the deck. I don’t think I would have ever noticed it.

we’d say yes
my son has the tarpon 100 (old style) and I have the 120. we fish out them - love 'em. When I’m by myself, I prefer my OT Pack canoe but when he wants to paddle/fish his own boat that’s the way we go.

my son’s 12, my daughter’s 14, both and my wife prefer the 100 over the canoe or the T120.

I like the larger center hatch on the new model A LOT but don’t like the pegs - I actually prefer the footwells and wish my T120 had them. But those better hatches on the new models are very nice.

BTW we’ve used our Tarpons in both salt and fresh water, and think they are just great boats - the old saying about “you get what you pay for” certainly applies to WS Tarpons - they ARE expensive…but the hull design is worth it if you paddle other boats (we did and still do at times) - WS hulls just work better (for us)