WS Tempest RM 165 vs. 170

I hope to be able to demo paddle both boats soon, but I won’t be able to paddle them with the same dealer or the same day.

I’m 5’-10”, around 180 lbs and when sitting in the 165 barefoot, the foot braces extend just far enough that I think I’ll be comfortable, not sure how it’ll be with booties on. I take it the 170 (haven’t sat in one yet) has more legroom?

If I fit and feel comfortable in the 165 and the 170 during the demo paddle, what differences in the two am I going to notice that would likely sway a decision towards one and not the other. Is the 165 going noticeably faster or more nimble? Would be able to tell if the 170 tracks better, turns slower?

Sure do appreciate feedback form those who’ve paddle both boats.



We Can Talk… Maybe
I only weigh 160 - 165 pounds. I feel much more “part of the boat” in a 165 as opposed to the 170. I also find it much easier to handle a 165 in high winds.

If you can paddle them on very windy days in some lively water it will help you decide which one is for you. Paddle at various angles to the wind with special attention to how it paddles with the wind somewhat behind you.

Another thing to consider is how much you’ll likely be carrying. I’m a day tripper so I don’t need much volume. If you’re going to be loading your boat with camping gear, the 170 might be a better choice. In fact you might want to simulate your probable load with some old milk jugs of water when you go to demo.

I think you’re better off with the 170…
at your height and weight. First, you’re not going to be paddling barefoot. Also, if you have any intention to paddle in cold weather you’ll want to wear a drysuit or wetsuit which will take up more room. The 165 will be a bit more manoeverable but you’ll probably have to remove or replace the rail for the foot pegs (not a big deal). I paddle a 170 and I’m 5’9" 215lbs.—Rich

My style of paddling makes me strongly prefer the 165. Neither kayak is fast, both are fast enough. You are not too big for the 165. Demo both, buy what feels most fun for ya…go put a thousand miles on it.

agree completely with Salty
I am 200 and 6 ft and love the 165. will love it even more when my wife lets me buy one…:slight_smile: 5 boats in a year is a bit much she thinks…

silly woman.


Tried them both today…
Got to test paddle both the RM T-165 and 170 today. I really liked the165 more than 170. I was surprised how easy it turned for a 16’ 6” boat. It felt more responsive and lighter than the 170. The 170 felt much longer than the 6” it had over the 165. One thing, with the skeg up, the 165 didn’t track well at all, something the 170 did well. Stop paddling or slow down and the bow would veer to the left or right. If I dropped the skeg 1/3rd down on the 165, it’d track well and still turned well too. We’ve paddled some twisty/turning estuaries and the likes, where I think this boat actually do quite well.

Tried edging the 165, which is something new for me. Started to get the hang of it… pretty cool. Then I leaned just a bit too far on the left… started taking on some water, panicked, braced off the paddle to the right, overshot, took on more water (much more), but didn’t dump it. Got a few inches of water in the cockpit, a wet but and entertained the wife for a few seconds.

I like the T-165 a lot, but wish it’d be faster than it is. Are there any other plastic boats comparable to the T-165 that I should look into as well? Maybe the RM Capella 166?


plastic boats comparable to the T165
Have you tried the poly Valley boats? The Avocet, Aquanaut LV, Nordkapp?

The poly Capellas are good boats and worth trying.