Tarpon 140 Description

Engineered to maintain stability and glide while extending gear capacity. Great performance in the convenience of a sit-on-top.

Tarpon 140 Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on Top / Open Cockpit
  • Seating Configuration: Solo
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Where to Buy the Tarpon 140

Wilderness Systems
Tarpon 140 Reviews

Read reviews for the Tarpon 140 by Wilderness Systems as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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Excellent boat . Easy to…

Submitted by: AEMPowell on 1/3/2023

Excellent boat . Easy to track and great boat in all conditions if short or long paddle.


I love my kayak, it haddles…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/29/2022

I love my kayak, it haddles both still water and class one on a creek very well.


First, the only reason for 4…

Submitted by: CruelShoes on 11/15/2021

First, the only reason for 4 stars is I rarely give 5 stars for anything. I will add the weight is a downside. I rooftop carry and the Yakima Showboat 66 is a great tool. I can load by myself.

I have a 140 and 160. The 160 is my main ride with a little advantage over the 140; mainly space and a slightly better cruising speed.

I have been on the ocean in Maine in rough unprotected waters. The timing was in between storms. I won't say I was entirely comfortable. It is my skill that I am uncomfortable with. The kayaks are quite capable. One of my reasons for the SOT was reentry. Clap your hands together while barking like a seal and pop back in. Sorry, not quite that easy, but, I was never able to reenter my sit-in. I rather be in my kayak then to be part of the food chain.

As far as performance, my 160 has a rudder, the 140 does not. I have only used the rudder maybe a dozen times in high winds. The rudder is useful with side winds. It does weathercock and the rudder does help.

Leaks? Yes. Leaks around anything that has a hole: rails, screws, hatches. It is not a big problem. Carry a sponge.

If you are a fisherman, they are less stable than the fishing kayaks of wider width. I didn't buy for the purpose of fishing. I bought my 160 for tripping and at that, it is great. I can easily carry everything for my wife and I. I bought the 140 (used, a year or two older) as a guest kayak based on my experience in the 160. I am not disappointed. I am a casual fisherman and the kayak does suit my needs nicely.


This kayak feels great on…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/8/2021

This kayak feels great on the water. It smooth a fast for its weight. A bit of tilt but it is more stable than one thinks. Low profile is great in the wind. It holds position rather well even without an anchor.

I was hoping for a little more versatility on a larger fast moving river I float often. It doesn't take on waves very well. Water does go right through the hatches really. It did decent through side currents and fast water, but didn't feel super safe.

Its more a lake kayak in my opinion. Will be great for fishing small lakes.

I might mount a shotgun holder in the middle. It was decent to hunt ducks out of, but not super stable when twisting my body.

It does hold a good amount of weight. But adding weight does start to fill the kayak with water which decreased boat control.


We love the two 14' Tarpon…

Submitted by: paddler549037 on 8/30/2019

We love the two 14' Tarpon sit on kayaks we bought this year! I've had two knee replacements and they are easy to get in and out. Great seat adjustability. Very stable!


Although this is a very…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/12/2019

Although this is a very comfortable kayak l was very disappointed in the stability.I have owned a pungo 140 for 11 years and its been a amazing kayak so l decided to get another kayak. l got a Tarpon 140 as iam a avid fisherman to fish from but so far has been very disappointed.lm sticking with my pungo 140 stable ,quick and great to fish from!


I had been primarily a canoe…

Submitted by: rodi53 on 6/17/2019

I had been primarily a canoe paddler for 40+ years, but I retired in 2018 and moved to coastal South Carolina where kayaking is king. I used to own a P&H Capella, but I didn't want another full blown sea kayak - at least not yet. I wanted a sit-on-top because of the comfort and the ease of entry and exit. It's primary use is for tidal rivers, blackwater rivers, and protected bays. My research into which boat to buy led me to Wilderness Systems, in large part because of the seat system. A local dealer had a Tarpon 120, but I wanted a bit longer boat so I ordered a Tarpon 140 in mango. All in all, I love the boat. The adjustability of the seat makes it extremely comfortable. I have no problem spending several hours in it. Great job by WS! The boat is stable, fast enough for my purposes, and has decent hatches and fitment. It's no speed demon, but I wasn't expecting it to be. However, it easily keeps up with my friends' SOT's so it' all good. The only reason I don't give it five stars is because of the center hatch. While it is a nice feature, there are no bulkheads and whatever you put in there can end up anywhere inside the boat. Easily solved by putting stuff into a small drybag before stowing, but a bulkhead would have been nice. I have no ideas if the hatches prevent water entry, but I won't be paddling the type of water where that's a critical factor. The only other drawback is the weight. The Tarpon 140 is listed as 65 lbs. and I wouldn't be surprised if it was heavier than that. However, I have a trailer so I don't have to manhandle it onto the roof of my Outback. Anyway, I'm quite happy with the boat and would recommend it to anyone whose requirements are similar to mine.


The Tarpon 140 is an…

Submitted by: paddler461883 on 8/24/2018

The Tarpon 140 is an excellent sit-on-top kayak because of its comfortable seat and ample storage capability with a large rear cargo area equipped with bungee cording and two under-deck compartments with hatches. Two water bottle compartments located just in front of the seat which are equipped with partial rubber covers keep water bottles in place while making accessing them while paddling very easy. It is very stable and easy to paddle in more challenging conditions due to the optional rudder kit which effortlessly keeps it on the desired course. It will occasionally take water over the bow in larger swells, but it empties out the scupper holes without any problems so there's very little accumulation in the recessed areas. It seems to be a little faster than comparable kayaks due to its narrow 28" width. Pro's - Comfortable adjustable seat, storage, paddling ease. Con's - Weight


I bought this kayak…

Submitted by: JDL on 8/13/2018

I bought this kayak second-hand not knowing much about kayaks or kayak fishing. It happened to pop up on Craig's list when I was looking for a boat. I am glad it did. I really love this kayak for its speed, maneuverability and cargo capacity both in the rear tank well and inside the hull. I have tried various pedal boats but found them to be more work than paddling the Tarpon as I would constantly need to adjust the rudder to keep on track. The Tarpon tracks straight as an arrow with little input from the foot controlled rudder. Paddling is effortless. It is only 28" wide but very stable although I would not attempt standing in it. Inside, I can easily store 10 rods of any length when on the road and the tank well holds a standard size crate and a wheeled cart with room to spare. There is more than enough storage space for a multi-day trip if you are so inclined. Lots of gear track fore and aft as well. I have had this in the ocean and it handles the waves very well. One nitpick: the hatches could be a little more water tight but I am normally on lakes and small rivers so this is not a major issue for me. I also wish it had a replaceable keel plate at the back as it gets pretty scuffed up when car-topping. It can bee a little unwieldy car-topping by yourself due to its length and lack of handles between the bow and middle. I added a handle on the upper part of the center "console" just in front of the foot pegs. I trailer it now so this is no longer as issue. All in all, I was considering getting into a pedal boat but, after trying many, I am sticking with the Tarpon.


I bought a used older model…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/6/2018

I bought a used older model 140, mfg 2004. This is my first kayak. I purchased it to fish and duck hunt the flats of the Tx Gulf coast. It paddles easy and tracks well. My complaint is with the stability. Sight fishing the flats requires a stable base one can stand in to observe fish activity. The Tarpon 140 gives up stability for speed and trackability. Probably why mine did not come with a stand-up assist rope. My fishing buddies stand easily in their cheaper models and Hobies.


I bought my 1st kayak used…

Submitted by: FreeSpiritPaddler on 2/12/2018

I bought my 1st kayak used from an Outfitters, i had tried several different kayaks, but went with this one. although at 70 lbs you i hang back from those in the lighter kayaks, but its a steady smooth ride. I feel confident in it to get me where I need to be. It has plenty of storage space, a comfortable seat w/ back support that comes in handy on longer outings (though i will sometimes use a small towel to protect bare skin) I have thought about going with a lighter boat, but the durability and handling and stability i cant give up. If I were to buy another Kayak, it would be the Wilderness brand, and very likely another 140 or maybe 160 Tarpon. This Yak wants to stay straight and true, and while going against the wind or current, it just pulls along. Worth every cent. Would definitely recommend .


I have a Tarpon 140 and an…

Submitted by: paddler236753 on 5/9/2016
I have a Tarpon 140 and an quite pleased with the design and quality of the materials used. Storage is more than adequate! I have room for myself and my two Papillons who have taken a liking to it as well. It is a bit weighty in comparison to other similar kayaks however. My friend who is petite got around this by purchasing a 10 footer instead. I am a bit taller and with pups on board will likely downsize to a Tarpon 120 which should meet all my needs.

Bought a Tarpon 140 two years…

Submitted by: paddler236680 on 3/29/2016
Bought a Tarpon 140 two years ago from Austin Kayak. Incredibly versatile boat. Fast for a SOT, great seat, tracks well, stable, and convenient design layout. Good quality of build and accessories. Sad to say I recently decided to sell it. The problem: leaking orbix hatches. Have extensively researched this problem and there is not a good fix or solution. Just got tired of having water inside the hull. Even though I always use dry bags, just got annoying to have to wipe down and dry interior after routine use. If you like open water kayaking, i.e. ocean, bays, or large lakes this could be a major problem on a long paddle. The older Tarpons do not have this problem because of solid rubber hatches with raised rims. Recently purchased Perception Pescador 12 (old Tarpon mold). Has most all the positives although seat not as comfortable, but dry storage stays dry. Again, Tarpon 140 is good all-around but leaking hatches were too much a problem for me

I am fifty years old, 5'9",…

Submitted by: paddler236522 on 9/16/2015
I am fifty years old, 5'9", 230 lbs and have been using a 2015 Tarpon 140 for six months. I fish Lake Erie three to four times a week and had been using a sit-in kayak. The Tarpon 140 is my first sit-on-top kayak which I purchased after a side by side test with the Ocean Kayak Trident 13.

I routinely carry about seventy pounds of gear and find the Tarpon 140 carries the combined 300 lbs adequately. I have factory installed scupper plugs under the seat which stays dry but do get about 1/4 inch of water in the foot wells. This may be because of a 18ah battery stored in the forward hatch. I wear neoprene boots and have never been the slightest concerned by the small amount of water.

I rarely open the center hatch on the water, never open the front hatch and as of yet have seen any sign of water entering the hull. There may on occasion be a few drops from condensation but nothing to be concerned about.

The cup holder and netting covered side pockets are handy until they fill with water and then they are the worse design feature of this kayak. These areas need drains badly because they are practically useless full of water.

The Tarpon 140 is laid out well and it is a simple task to sit side saddle to access my gear in the tank well. The track system is a blessing and each person will find there own way to utilize it. The center console is nice for mounting a fish finder GPS combo but quite a reach from the seat so I have mine installed on a ram ball extension.

The Tarpon 140 tracks well and I don't have a rudder or ever felt like I needed to have one. I've been kayaking for over thirty years and as yet have never had a rudder. Without wind I can manage seven kilometre per hour and the Tarpon 140 glides almost effortlessly through the water. In waves the Tarpon 140 can't seem to decide if it wants to ride over them or crash through but always comes out the other side in one piece.

Loaded with gear I have no choice but to move the Tarpon 140 with a set of wheels. Loading it on top of my van is achieved by strapping the inverted wheels to the hood and easily rolling the kayak onto the roof rack.

Overall I am happy with the Tarpon 140 but no drains on the cup holder and side pockets deserves at least one point demerit.


I bought a Tarpon 140 this…

Submitted by: JH30 on 9/9/2015
I bought a Tarpon 140 this past spring and it has turned out to be a great boat. I highly recommend it if you are looking for one kayak that does a little bit of everything. I have a 17 ft sea kayak and a 12 recreation Kayak and the Tarpon 140 is the one I choose to use all the time.

The big things for me is the comfort, safety and versatility of the kayak. I have a hard time staying in my sea kayak for more that 30 mins. I am 6'4" with a hip replacement so comfort of the SOT Tarpon is great. I can stay on it for 3hrs no problem. I feel safe on the Kayak. I have taken it in the open ocean, bays, rivers and lakes. I have not tipped or come close at all. I also have practiced tipping over and it is a piece of cake to turn back over and reenter. I often will go for a paddle, drop anchor, go for a swim and hop back in. The speed of the boat is decent.

The only negatives for me is that it is heavy so I got a small cart that works great to move boat and to help slide up on the car top.


I have owned my Tarpon 14 for…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/1/2015
I have owned my Tarpon 14 for over a year, this is my second summer using it. As a replacement for a cheaper, smaller entry-level kayak, I can honestly say it's like going from a compact car to a Cadillac! Night & day difference!

The stability is great and allows me to go out into more open waters of the Chesapeake Bay with full confidence in the Tarpon's ability to handle it. Tons of storage space inside and out for multiday trips and lots of room for attachments topside. My butt stays dry even on choppy days.

Now why I gave it a 9 instead of a ten...she's a heavy kayak and can be a pain to load on a car top but not so bad in a truck bed. I carry it but at 56 I'm not as spry as I used to be so a cart is in the near future. Surprisingly, I think this 14ft, 76lb kayak is pretty nimble on the water. Some have truthfully stated that a rudder makes it easier to turn but I haven't found that to be much of an issue even while fishing.

I am very happy with my Tarpon 14 and don't plan on changing makes/models. I'll be paddling this one for years to come over here on the beautiful Eastern Shore of Virginia!


I purchased the Tarpon 140…

Submitted by: paddler236206 on 5/1/2015
I purchased the Tarpon 140 about three weeks ago and found the stability lacking some. It tipped over twice within an hour caused by very small waves. I must say I'm a beginner and was not aware on how to stop a tip over. What I did was purchase stabilizers by Scottys and love them. They add lots of stabilization to the 140 and very easy to install. They are adjustable to where you can keep them several inches out of the water to prevent a drag. I think with more time I will not need them unless I'm fishing. Overall the Tarpon 140 is great especially the seat.

I love my Tarpon. I have been…

Submitted by: RedfishFever on 9/18/2014
I love my Tarpon. I have been paddling it for a year and absolutely love it. The seat is pretty comfortable and keeps your butt dry. The track mounting system makes adding new gear very quick and simple.

This kayak just glides thru the water like a missile at 4 knots. I have added a rudder to aid in turning and I would highly recommend the rudder for anyone who is planning on fishing. It just makes it easier to steer especially when the current or wind is moving you and you are trying to fish.

I started out kayak fishing in one of the cheaper model boats and if I were to do it over again I would try to find a way to start with a better made boat. The Tarpon just makes it easier and more pleasurable to fish and fishing is why I have a Kayak.


We borrowed a Tarpon for my…

Submitted by: CoachHale on 9/5/2014
We borrowed a Tarpon for my wife to use and never returned it (we did pay the guy for it though). She loves it and we have had several try it and they love it also. We did have to replace the foot braces but that is the only problem we have had.

This is a great kayak. It has…

Submitted by: paddler235927 on 9/4/2014
This is a great kayak. It has great stability for a sit on top and will carry a decent amount of equipment. I especially am fond of the seating system. It is comfortable and once adjusted stays adjusted. It keeps your bottom out of the water which makes for a much more comfortable ride. It is light enough for one person to load and unload. It is a rugged boat and in my opinion a great value for the money.

I am 6'1" and love the…

Submitted by: jimpietro on 8/17/2014
I am 6'1" and love the stability of my Tarpon 140 have taken it mainly in lakes and found no problem with waves or wakes from boats. Looking forward to fishing have just purchased gear.

My Tarpon 140 has proved…

Submitted by: paddler235841 on 8/13/2014
My Tarpon 140 has proved itself to be a very versatile vessel. It has plenty of room for all of my gear for long trips and is stable enough to handle the rough water that i sometimes fish in. It also is a great fishing yak for the lake as well. I have hit large rough boulders at full tilt but the RamX hull it quite solid yet pliable enough to absorb the collision with out splitting of puncturing. I have had it for two years now I really enjoy it!

I have owned and enjoyed…

Submitted by: paddler235833 on 8/11/2014
I have owned and enjoyed three 16-foot Tarpons, one being a pre-2008 hull. I bought two 14 footers expecting something akin to the drift and nose angle of the 16. In fact it seemed the center of gravity [seat where hip points hit the hull] was a tad too far forward. Water entered the foot scupper holes. Nose seemed to be angled downward more than should have been the case. Redesign to allow aft shift of CG would probably level out the boat.

Mine were bought 6 or so years ago. I don't know if they corrected the hull and seat location to provide better drift after paddle stroke. Seat was adequate, foot stops adequate, storage o.k. Cockpit did not fit anyone over 6'1" very well without noticeable nose dip. The boat was significantly slower than the 16.

Overall fit and finish were very good. I still have the three 16 footers for self and guests. To see a cockpit with proper balance today try out a Necky Vector 14. I found two for friends and tried them out. Great cockpit for tall people, excellent hull balance front to back. The old Heritage Sea Dart II also has excellent pitch control [fore/aft balance]. It can be done.
Cheers all. Happy paddles!


I bought my Tarpon kayak…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/10/2014
I bought my Tarpon kayak about 3 months ago and I love it. I have taken it out about 10 time in the last 3 months. I was looking for a sit-on-top. Something to do some light touring with. Something not to wide and not to heavy but would also support someone like myself who is 6ft.4 and around 205 lbs. My kids are around 70 lbs and sometimes I put them in the back section. We do get a little bit of water in the back but the kids don’t care and it is fun anyway because they are just sitting there and I am doing all the work. Ok on to the things that I like.

The seat is very nice with all the different adjustments. Loading on top of my Explorer is not too bad. It tracks really well. I have only flipped once and that was when I was at Gulf Shores on a calm water day when I was not paying attention and I got sideways on a wave. Also that is the only time I have ever gotten water in my hatch. All my other trips the hatch stayed very dry.

There are only 2 things that I would recommend changing on the Tarpon 140 design. There are these little L shaped catches that hold the bungee cord for holding the paddle. For someone my size they dig into my leg. So what I did is loosen the screw and turned them sideways. This fixed the problem but now I cannot use the paddle holders. But no more pain from the L shaped catch.

The other thing that I think I have gotten adjusted to are the kayak handles on the left and right. At first my knuckles were hitting the plastic handles. Not sure what could be done about this but every now and then I bump the plastic handles.

Over all I love this kayak. It was the first time I ever purchased a kayak and I do not regret the big purchase. I plan to keep it a long time.


I have owned four yaks, this…

Submitted by: mccandrj on 7/1/2014
I have owned four yaks, this is my first Wilderness, I am very happy with the Tarpon and the way it fishes. I fish mostly saltwater bays and the ocean. I think this model is good for this type of water. The yak comes in from open ocean fine, I find, I am the problem in all cases. I have caught big blues to the low 20’s that would drag me all over the bay, and under the boat, 38lb Striper that was up to the yak in less than 20 seconds till she realized she was hooked, than another 25 mins. I only have one comment: I want another!

I bought it over 10 yrs ago.…

Submitted by: paddler235245 on 8/2/2013
I bought it over 10 yrs ago. If I had to do it again I would upgrade to the 160. You can hold more stuff and it moves better (more stable). The bottom is scratched up from oyster shells and wish they had coated the bottom with Kevlar or Teflon. The storage areas allow things to roll so don't put your water in the wrong one or you will be thirsty.

I have never rolled or flipped in it so it is stable. It needs to become more fish friendly with additional adapters for poles and bait buckets. The weight is hard to tow by yourself so get a wagon cart. The seat is terrible, so buy a cushion.


Great kayak for fishing,…

Submitted by: paddler231806 on 7/27/2013
Great kayak for fishing, cruising shoreline or drifting down river. Easy to paddle. Can be loaded or unloaded fairly easily.

Have had our 140 for 5 years…

Submitted by: boater1953 on 7/26/2013
Have had our 140 for 5+ years and still enjoy it greatly. I have used it in 25+ mph winds and 3+ foot swells with no problems. Sail rig is fun for downwind use.

The Tarpon 140 is a great…

Submitted by: YakinHick on 7/24/2013
The Tarpon 140 is a great kayak! I mainly paddle and fish on lakes and slow rivers. I believe that the 14 foot boat does just fine on big lakes, rivers, and even in tight quarters weaving between Cypress trees. I wanted a kayak that offered good speed to zip back to the landing after a long day of fishing.

This kayak is fast, easy to paddle, and tracks well due to its length. The Tarpon has good stability. The seat is comfortable and has plenty of adjustment. The plastic feels more rigid than that of cheaper boats. The boat is not light, but I am able to lift the boat onto the rack of an F150 fairly easily. The track system allows for limitless outfitting. There is a nice size hatch for storing things in the front and a very convenient center hatch just in front of the seat. Both hatches have loops inside to attach gear and keep things in place.

The only negative on the kayak is that the cup holder extends so far down into the inside cavity that I am prevented from storing paddles inside the kayak.
This is a great kayak!


This yak is extremely easy to…

Submitted by: paddler235134 on 7/23/2013
This yak is extremely easy to paddle, it's fast, tracks well. I took it out on a big lake today and I had no problem controlling it in high winds, that was, until the rudder pins broke and my rudder stopped working. Then the wind made it impossible to turn the way i wanted. I would definitely not go on the ocean without a rudder. A few ounces of water leaked through the hatches but nothing significant. The rudder I can easily fix spending 3 bucks at a hardware store.

All I can say is what a great…

Submitted by: Rnico24 on 7/20/2013
All I can say is what a great boat!!!! Well, that's not all.... Tracks extremely well. I recently paddled 120 miles over 5 day on the upper Swuannee River. Very accommodating for gear. I have been out on the Gulf scalloping. Great boat for re-entry on the water.
I would (and have) recommend this boat to anyone.

I have had my Tarpon 140 for…

Submitted by: paddler235023 on 7/17/2013
I have had my Tarpon 140 for about two months now. Purchased at Appomattox River Company in Farmville, VA. The service there is great. I got the 140 second hand and it was well taken care of. I decided to get the 140 after purchasing a 120 for my wife.

I'm 6'4" 215 pounds and this boat handles me well. I have to take the foot controls out but am fine with that. The only complaint I have with this boat is the ability to turn. It tracks extremely well which is great until you need to maneuver some whitewater. Other than that, I'd not hesitate to buy another. I do feel that Wilderness boats are a bit overpriced which is why I decided to buy a used boat.


I just purchased the Tarpon…

Submitted by: paddler235025 on 5/31/2013
I just purchased the Tarpon 14 after being a user of a WS Tsunami 145. I purchased the tarpon for fishing and am not disappointed, however I think I could have found a suitable alternative if I was just searching for a fishing kayak or just a touring kayak. The Tarpon 14 does both functions very well but isn't great at either.

As for quality and design the Tarpon fell short. Upon pickup I found 1/3 of the screws were not tight and I'm not talking 1/4 turn, most were half way out. The front hatch is a useless design, the hatch is in a depression which catches water and when you open the cover the water has only one place to go.... IN! The water on top of the cover runs down the back side and directly into the opening. The Tsunami has a 1-2inch lip that even with the rubber cover off any water trapped in the depression of the hatch doesn't go into the opening. The back side of the smaller hatch is sharp and I sliced my finger on it. A file took it down to a safe point but manufacturing details such as these are important to me as a consumer.


I bought this kayak in the…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/10/2012
I bought this kayak in the spring of 2012 in st George Florida. I had tried out a Tarpon 120 and found it to be too small( I'm 22, 6 foot 1 and 240 pounds). However I loved the layout and the seat. So I decided to buy the 140. I have used it in creeks and at the beach and I love it.

Fishing: I bought the kayak for this purpose and it has done nothing less than excel in this category! I first used it at St George with my dad and brother who both bought a Ride 135. There boats are nice and comfy however if we go a long distance I always end up front due to there slower pace. The Tarpon has all the room of the ride and even more ability to cover long distances! The only advantage of the Ride is the ability to stand. I have caught 3 red fish and a load of other fish off my Tarpon with no fear of tipping over (biggest was a 6 pound red fish)!
Excess water: I have no idea what people are doing that cause them to have this problem but I have almost no water at my feet and absolutely none in my seat and I have 2-3 rods, a 24 quart cooler with ice in it, a tackle box, a 5 pound anchor, and sometimes a gulp box! So unless they like to put their Great Dane in the front hatch then I don't get it!

I love this kayak and recommend it to all!


I've owned 5 WS Tarpon…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/16/2012
I've owned 5 WS Tarpon 120-140. I loved them all, they were all I knew when it came to sot kayaks. Well I've recently tried several different brands and discovered you don't have to paddle around with an inch of water in the cockpit. I'm 215 and my wife is 120 and even she had water in her 120. They're rated for 375.....don't believe it.

I would give this boat a lower rating had I not enjoyed them so much. Also, they seem to be priced several hundred higher than a comparable kayak with a higher weight capacity. I would've tried the new Ride, but WS I feel now is over priced after looking around and shopping around.
So they get a 7 (wet cockpit, low weight capacity, overpriced)


This is a very nice…

Submitted by: paddler234567 on 6/4/2012
This is a very nice recreational kayak. Very stable, decent speed, good all around. I don't really think you could go wrong with it

After weeks of research and…

Submitted by: YakinHick on 4/30/2012
After weeks of research and reading every review that I could find,I went ahead and bought a new Tarpon 140. I am 225 lbs. and 6'1" tall and paddle mostly flat water and slow rivers. On the first outing the Tarpon met all of my expectations and eased all of my worries. The Tarpon was fast and easy to paddle, tracked straight without a rudder, and was way more stable than I had come to believe after reading a lot of reviews. I am used to a Pungo 140 and could see very little difference in performance. Yes, the T140 weighs more and one can feel it in the first stroke of the paddle. After that, it was an easy glide. I also had no trouble weaving through the Cypress knees and shallows. I was looking for a SOT with good mix of stability, speed, and handling and one that I could still store, move, and load fairly easily. The Tarpon 140 fit the bill. A bonus will be the Slide Trax rails that will be fun to rig for fishing.

Took the 140 out into the…

Submitted by: string on 10/20/2011
Took the 140 out into the salt for the first time this weekend. We were riding the falling tide out into a NE wind. It got fairly bumpy with about a 2' swell and some confused water. The boat handled it very well. We plowed several waves that put water over the bow and into the footwells. The water from the front never got to the seat, but a couple waves over the side did.

The 140 is not as fast as its' big brother the 160 but is a great boat nonetheless. Even after several submersions the forward hatch did not leak. As we were putting in, a guide for Coastal expeditions said, "that T140 is a great boat, especially with thigh straps." I had added them the day before and would not paddle bumpy water without them.
P.S. this boat is an unruly beast out of the water. Heavy as a brick and like handling a wet log.


I purchased a Tarpon 140…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/19/2011
I purchased a Tarpon 140 after my Scupper Pro was stolen. I had such good service with my previous kayak I had some concerns about making a change. The concern was unfounded. The Tarpon 140 is a great kayak. Easy to paddle and it is stable. I use it on lakes and the Gulf of Mexico.

My only negative is the hatches leak. Since I like to store cargo on trips this causes a minor problem.

I would suggest the Tarpon 140 to anyone for lake and gulf travel.


Got this yak last year in the…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/12/2011
Got this yak last year in the spring (2010 model). I outfitted it with a FF, RAM tube on the front slidetrax, and a ram ball for the Eagle FF in the center console. I also added a flush mount Scotty holder in the center console, as well as a flush mount behind my seat to fly a safety flag.

I use it primarily for a 115 surface-acre lake in NY, and it a few jaunts for stripes in the LI Sound and Hudson. The boat is stable, fast, and spacious. I could put my 3.5 year old son in the rear tankwell (PFDs for everyone of course).
Now I want a 120, maybe a Ride 115. WS Tarpons rock!


We use the Tarpon 140 and 160…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/27/2011
We use the Tarpon 140 and 160 on our kayak expeditions in Suriname, this was after we tested all kind of boats. The Tarpon is for us the best boat for jungle expeditions as it is strong and easy to paddle and can carry a lot of gear. We bring all the gear to be self-supporting for two weeks.

I have owned my Tarpon 140…

Submitted by: paddler234256 on 8/29/2011
I have owned my Tarpon 140 (2011 build) for about 6 months and it is brilliant. After a few trips of getting used to it I took it for a 3 day camping trip down the Murray river in Australia and it had plenty of room for all of my equipment. I am now looking at doing some sea kayaking and I would rather do it in this than a sit in kayak. I purchased it to have the best of both worlds, fishing and recreational and so far it is doing both perfectly. I am now waiting on our local dealer to get one in mango and I will be straight down there to buy one for my wife. She loves them too.

When loaded up with 3 days worth of camping equipment I did need to have the scupper plugs in as I was sitting a little lower than water line but I also weigh 100 kgs. This trip was also in the middle of the winter so I didn't want to get too wet.

Going out for a days fishing trip is fine as less gear results in sitting higher than water line so I would leave the plugs out and let any paddle splash drain out.

I use the slide trax system to mount a rod holder on one side and a GPS on the other side. Having the rudder and a running anchor line also makes all the difference of making this kayak one of the best.


I bought my 140 in 2009.…

Submitted by: paddler234246 on 8/25/2011
I bought my 140 in 2009. Great boat. I fly fish out of this thing 3 or 4 times a week. I get pretty wet but I wouldn't even think of getting a sit in. The only problem is the gaskets on the hatches. I store it upside down, so it really isn't an issue for me, but I can see where it might be a problem. I bought a 100 for my wife. She likes it but she likes mine better. I haven't put too many extras on it because fly line gets caught on everything. But it's a great kayak.

I bought a Tarpon 140 and a…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/19/2011
I bought a Tarpon 140 and a 120 for my wife. Great kayaks except for the new hinged front hatch. Front hatches on both kayaks leaked. Wilderness did send me new gaskets, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time until they start again.

Other than the hatch, I really like the 140, tracks well and it has a big cargo area. Big enough to be a problem, for me. I over packed on two paddle-in camping trips. Looked like I was paddling a barge, but it handled it well and still paddled great.


I bought the T140 late in…

Submitted by: paddler234021 on 5/28/2011
I bought the T140 late in 2009 which is the newly designed model. This was my first SOT kayak purchase and after a few months of paddling it, I sold my 16 ft. sit in expedition sea kayak. This kayak offers much more freedom and piece of mind, especially on solo adventures. Not only can you dive and swim and get back in the kayak without issues, the T140 will carry a ton of gear for kayak camping. I am 5'8" and 170 lbs. and carry at least 100 lbs. of gear with no problems in performance from this kayak. SOT's will get some water in them, but to plug them on ocean paddles defeats the design of them. If you do not want to get wet on the water (?) do not get a SOT kayak.

This boat is a fantastic performer in the ocean, which is the only place I paddle being in Washington state, it is very stable for a 28" width, even with gear, tracks very well with the rudder up and exceptional with the rudder down. I highly recommend anyone looking into getting a SOT kayak, to go rent one of the Tarpons and try them out for yourself, I am sure you would be impressed...


I am 5'7" and not a body…

Submitted by: kvelez on 1/13/2011
I am 5'7" and not a body builder so maneuverability is important. For years I had an OK Scupper Pro which took a lot of energy for me to paddle. After spending 3 hours on a Tarpon 160 which I liked very much, I took a Tarpon 140 for a test drive. Came back 90 minutes later convinced I would buy a Tarpon 140. A week later I bought a 2011 Tarpon 140 from South River outfitters.

Extremely happy. I can even stand on it if need be. I don't fish and tend to paddle into tight locations so I skipped the rudder but if one had to be installed it is pretty simple.


This is for the new T140. Having paddled a T160 for years,I was…

Submitted by: string on 7/9/2010
This is for the new T140.
Having paddled a T160 for years,I was a little concerned about going down in length. I bought the boat because I got a good price and had traded the 160 for a trailer.

Echoing the last reviewer,the boat is a much drier ride. It is really nice not to sit in a puddle for hours. To achieve that, the paddler is further off the water with an attendant decrease in stability, but so little it is hardly noticeable. I got caught in a couple of sudden side currents that were momentarily exciting. I'll take that loss for the dry butt.

The phase 3 seat is great. Lumbar support in a SOT!
Continuing the trend, the boat is heavy as a brick. It comes with tracks for adding accessories, but that does not include attachment points for thigh straps. I was disappointed that I have to add them. Paddling a SOT in rough water without thigh straps is not fun. Still, I am pleased with the boat for my intended use - small rivers and salt water bays and creeks.


It's important to note that…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/26/2010
It's important to note that the Tarpon 140 was redesigned for 2009. The newer models are much drier. Most of the reviews for this boat are for the older design. Also, the boat comes with scupper plugs now, so you can plug the holes before going out on flat water and not let any water in the boat at all. If some gets in, just remove the plugs.

I'm 6'1", 245lbs, and I find the Tarpon 140 to be fast, stable, and dry. All SOT's will let in a little water without the scupper plugs in place when you first get on the boat or when dealing with non-flat water such as breakers, wakes, etc. This boat is no exception, but you are no longer sitting in 1.5 inches of water. The water coming in is usually confined to the front of the "cockpit" area around your feet, and drains back out.

The Phase 3 seating is elevated above the deck so even if water reaches the seat area (hasn't happened to me yet), it will go up under the seat and you won't be sitting in it.

Of course part of the charm of a SOT is that you can pull fish up onto the deck with you when fishing, dive from it, or just go for an occasional swim then climb back on, so if you're too dry on your outing, you are probably missing out on some other fun SOT kayaking related activities.


I tried out the T140…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/26/2010
I tried out the T140 yesterday, that is, the new 2009 model, and I was really impressed once on the water.

It took quite a bit of effort getting it on the water though. It's quite heavy to carry or car top, in spite of excellent carrying handles. You will need a kayak trolley if on your own, and either be quite strong or have a loading aid to get it on top of the car.

Now the good stuff:
As said, once on the water all changed. Tracking was excellent and in spite of the weight of the kayak out of the water, it was very nimble and light to paddle, relative to its length.

I also tried out the Prowler 13. Comparing the two, the Tarpon feels much more sturdy and well kitted out. I was really impressed with the hatches, although I don't know how watertight they are. Compared to the day hatch on the Prowler, the Tarpon one is far more easily accessible as it doesn't need to be unscrewed. It seems to access the main storage area (I could be wrong) and any small items may get lost in the hull as a result. However, this could be easily resolved. There are also two small compartments covered with rubber matting, where additional items can be stored. Although, these need to be secured as they may fall overboard if the kayak tips over in surf. The seat is really good as well, although, I haven't been able to try it on a long journey. I'm not sure how adjustable it is either, and this may need to be checked.

Handling: Again, in spite of the kayak's weight out of the water, it handles really well once in the water. I couldn't feel much difference in getting up to cruising speed with the Prowler 13. As a 14 footer, I didn't expect it to turn as easily as a shorter kayak, and of course I was right, but again, I didn't feel there was much difference than the Prowler. The Tarpon feels/lies slightly lower in the water than the Prowler 13 and may therefore not be as susceptible to wind. In spite of being lower in the water, I didn't see any water in the boat, other than what you would expect from paddle dripping etc.

I must admit, I tried it on the river, but the problem of water gushing in through the scupper holes seems to have been resolved in this new model. All in all, very pleasantly surprised, and I think this will be my next kayak. I'm paddling a Scrambler 11 now.


I am 5'4" and 135 lb female…

Submitted by: paddler233526 on 4/1/2010
I am 5'4" and 135 lb female and have recently purchased the Tarpon 140 after paddling a 12' Phoenix SOT for the last 3 years. After my initial maiden voyage I found I appreciate the adjustable foot pegs as well as the ample storage. It tracks much better than my Phoenix and I took on NO water. My impression is that with heavier people the scupper plugs should be in place! Not necessary for us lighter folks. I tend to paddle rivers with many obstacles and hit a lot hidden stumps, etc. I know this boat will withstand the punishment!
Overall, I really enjoy it and love the hatching system locks!

I'm brand new at kayaking, so…

Submitted by: paddler233359 on 9/9/2009
I'm brand new at kayaking, so take my thoughts for what they're worth...
I've been renting kayaks for much of the summer, trying to decide what to buy. I'm calling my kayak store tomorrow to buy the Tarpon 140, probably with rudder.

I'm writing largely to respond to reports that the 140 offers a wet ride. I don't understand what folks who write that are talking about. I'm 6'4, (unfortunately) I weigh around 260. This weekend I rented the Tarpon 140 for two days. The first day I kept the scupper plugs in all day; I'd read this forum and thought that if I pulled them out I'd be virtually swimming!

The second day I decided to see what I was really in for if I bought this yak, so about an hour into my 4-hour ride I pulled the plugs out. Sure enough, water squirted up through the holes. But just as quickly as it came up it ran back out again. I ended up having about 1/4 inch of water near my feet, none further up toward my seat. And it was often virtually dry.
For a guy my size in a boat with a 375 lb rating, I think 1/4 of water is nothing to complain about.

I liked this kayak. I'm an inexperienced paddler, and it wasn't hard for me to go pretty much straight most of the time. I think it is a nice combination of speed and stability. My GPS said I was able to cruise along at 3.5 - 4 mph without much trouble; even in a river with a moderate current I was able to go around 2.5 - 3 mph upstream. And after an hour or so I was dangling my feet over either side of the boat, and even turned around and put my legs over one side without much trouble.

I can't say that I have a lot of experience with any kayak. But so far I like the Tarpon 140 enough to buy it!


The 2009 tarpon is heavier…

Submitted by: paddler233336 on 8/27/2009
The 2009 tarpon is heavier then the 2007 model. Laid out a little better, hatches, tank well moved up and seat.
Tracks and paddles the same. Much heavier.

Those who said the scupper…

Submitted by: paddler233039 on 3/10/2009
Those who said the scupper holes take on water are absolutely correct. I weigh 227 lbs. at the moment and as soon as I get in all four of the holes let water pour in. While I'm paddling there is about 1.5 inches of water in the cockpit. This is not what I expected from a boat that has a weight rating of 375 lbs. I'll try foam golf balls or rubber chair leg tips. I refuse to buy actual scupper stoppers due to the ridiculous price of them. Other than this absurd oversight in engineering the boat is great. It tracks fairly well and is reasonably fast. At 28 inches it is extremely stable. I think it could have been 2 inches skinnier, but I say that about all SOT's.

Personally I find my Tarpon…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/25/2008
Personally I find my Tarpon 140 (w/rudder) to be a real tank. It's slow to start, slow in the water, slow to turn and I'm constantly sitting in about an inch of water (I weigh 250 lbs, so go figure). I also sit up so high I have to really reach to get my paddle blades in the water, and I end up feeling like I'm paddling a log through mud. Even when the water was calm and I was near shore it felt like a whale.

I also found that besides the bow hatch, the rest of the hatches were nearly useless. The little hatch in front of the seat isn't waterproof and will soak up any water that makes its way into the hull, and while the rear dry storage compartment is quite large, it has a tiny opening, making it next to worthless.

I'm a big guy so with the scupper plugs removed the boat quickly fills with about 2 inches of water that never fully drains out. With the plugs in place I get less water inside the cockpit, but it also has no place to go, and of course removing the plugs doesn't work. ;-/

Bottom line: I'll be selling this boat ASAP


I bought a 140 & a 160 a…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/2/2008
I bought a 140 & a 160 a couple years ago.. both have worked fine in bay and inland waters. I prefer the 160 as it tracks better and is faster. The overall design is very good and is a relatively "dry" ride. As far as sit-on-tops go, I think these are the best in their class.

Purchased my T140 from Travel…

Submitted by: paddler232205 on 7/24/2007
Purchased my T140 from Travel Country in Altamonte Springs in January and have been fishing regularly in the Mosquito River Lagoon, Banana River and Indian River. My experience is consistent with what others have reported.

Pros: Stable, fast, dry (other than the scuppers issue that other large guys have mentioned - solved with foam golf balls) and comfortable for long paddles. The T140 has good maneuverability for a large SOT; I paddled the Little Econ River in May with a group of friends and had no problems steering with paddle only.

Cons: if you are planning to paddle in exposed waters in winds > 10kt, get the rudder kit. The T140 does tend to windvane downwind even in small following seas. Other annoyances include oilcanning forward of the front bulkhead while cartopping (self-corrects within 30 minutes after I take it down). Fortunately I haven't experienced any pinhole leaks and the general fit and finish is good.

Overall I would recommend the T140 to anyone who wants to take up kayak fishing. BTW I was also very pleased with my buying experience at Travel Country - they made a clerical mistake while outfitting my rig but completely honored the terms of the purchase.


I have been paddling SOT's…

Submitted by: paddler232165 on 7/6/2007
I have been paddling SOT's for over ten years now, and this boat is probably the best all-around of its kind. Being recently removed from Florida's gulf coast, I was surprised to find that Wisconsinites are not as fond of the SOT. Although I can only speculate that the weather has something to do with it, I find that getting a little wet from May through October is perfectly fine with me. Winter paddling, even in Florida, never really interested me anyway. And most of all, the right SOT can be so much more fun and completely hassle-free.

My first Wilderness Systems SOT was the 15' Freedom that was sold prior to my 1,200 mile move. It was a great design that fit me extremely well. After test paddling a Tarpon 160 prior to leaving Florida, though, I felt that it would definitely be my next purchase. Two months ago, however, I found a Tarpon 140 for $550 at a dive shop in Steven's Point, Wisconsin. It had about an 1/8" of dust on it as it had probably been there for quite some time. I never realized there was so much of a mark up! For the money I decided to settle for it instead of the 160 model. I figured that the smaller size would be more suitable for my wife anyway when I eventually did get my 16 footer.
After a couple of camping trips in beautiful northern Wisconsin, as well as paddling my local Fox River, I have found that this model is just fine for me as well. From the reviews on this site, I was already prepared to take on some water (being that I am 6'3" and 270 pounds). About an inch of water stays in the foot wells. As I mentioned earlier, though, I do not mind getting a little wet. Being on the bigger side with a higher center of gravity, I have found that I am much more stable on SOT's than in cockpit kayaks or solo and tandem canoes. I cannot imagine dumping this boat unless you are either very careless, or do it intentionally. If you do go in the drink, though, being able to get back in your boat in the middle of a 640-acre lake is an invaluable asset. After a little practice with a moderate amount of upper body strength, most people could probably be back in the boat and paddling again in less than a minute. I love the freedom to do this when I feel like taking a swim.

The 140 seems fast and tracks pretty well (although the 160 seems slightly better in both departments). As I did mention in my first sentence, this model is a great all-around boat... it is smaller and a little lighter than its bigger brother, but maybe a tad slower with a few more corrective strokes required. All-in-all, not a significant amount of difference.
I recommend this boat without hesitation. Although I still may purchase a 160 for myself, I will probably wait until I find another that has collected some dust (and a bargain-style price tag). And why not, until my wife get upset with me for using "her" boat, I am completely satisfied with it!


After doing a ton of research…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/14/2007
After doing a ton of research into finding a "good fishing SOT", I was about convinced that the Tarpon 140 was going to be my first SOT (I already owned and liked two SINKs. I just wanted to see what the SOT craze was all about). So when I stumbled onto a T140 Angler at 40% off, I jumped on it without even a test paddle (First mistake!).
My initial impressions were lukewarm. Despite all the reviews claiming stability and speed, I felt robbed in both departments. This boat was no match for either of my SINKs (Pungo Classic and Loon 138). Not that it was a slug or unstable, just not up to what I was used to. In addition, while the rudder helped. It steered like a log. It was also heavier than either of my SINKs. However, my biggest gripe was that my 220 lb. 5'8" frame, kept the cockpit flooded and my gear awash in 1/2' of water (which in turn tended to make the boat bow heavy and plow vs glide. Come on, 220 isn't uncommon for a full grown man. What were they thinking? Even when I plugged the 4 scuppers, paddle drippings kept it wet. I guess some of it is that I was expecting too much from a SOT design (as compared to my SINKs), but the flooded cockpit issue was a deal breaker. I sold it after 2 uses.

I purchased my Tarpon 140…

Submitted by: paddler231906 on 12/29/2006
I purchased my Tarpon 140 last spring and it has been everything I hoped for. I have had it out in the bay, the ocean, rivers (up to class II), streams, and lakes. I probably logged about 400 miles so far. It tracks quite well, is very stable and is easy to exit and re-enter in any water (deep, choppy, etc.). I have paddled with a group of highly varied kayaks and canoes and had no problem keeping up. If you're a strong paddler you can even stay at the front of the pack over the long haul, even with light touring kayaks. I have paddled up to 28 miles in a day and was very comfortable. The seat is great. It is quite heavy and can be challenging to car top by yourself after a long day of paddling, but it will only make you stronger. I crafted a carrying cart out of pvc that goes up through the scupper holes. It is great for long portages. When I was shopping for a kayak, I had trouble deciding if I should get a sit-in or SOT and which boat to get. I am so happy with the decision to get a Tarpon 140 for my first. I love this kayak and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good all around kayak that will do almost everything from small whitewater, to calm lakes, to ocean and bay, to small windy streams.

The 140 is the most…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/29/2006
The 140 is the most ergonomically sound kayak I have looked at or paddled. Great hatch placements and generous tankwell make it very user friendly. Tracks fairly well and is almost completely silent in the water.

Back support combined with an inset seat make for a very comfortable ride.

Takes on water that does not drain for paddlers of 200pds. In addition larger paddlers will also notice that this water causes the bow to ride to low resulting in eradic handling. Plugs for the 4 cockpit scuppers resolve both of these problems.

My wife complained of the height of the gunwales inhibiting her paddle stroke.

Overall, however, it is a solid versatile boat with enough speed to cover 10 or more miles comfortably.


I got this Tarpon 140 in May…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/5/2006
I got this Tarpon 140 in May 2006 and I have no regrets. I have had it in the ocean in Maine about ten times so far. I feel safe in it. It handles well in waves with the rudder. It is even better in flat calm water. I have not tried to push it to the limit. I have to much respect for the ocean. This boat is a keeper. I look forward to many more rides.

My wife and I got our t-140s…

Submitted by: paddler231557 on 5/10/2006
My wife and I got our t-140s in Jan and have only missed maybe 2 weekends since(its now mid may). we love them! I am 6' and go 270lbs and the boat fits my size and weight very well.

We have had them everywhere from swift rivers in PA to the flat brackish rivers of MD's eastern shore.

The only bad thing I can say about them is how much water the boat holds when the footwell is not plugged.


I am a new owner of a T 140…

Submitted by: paddler231440 on 1/16/2006
I am a new owner of a T 140 and could not be happier with it. I have been paddling around for a couple of years in a 20 year old OC Scupper I found in the back of our barn. Once I added a rod holder, installed a back rest/ pad and lashed a milk crate on top it worked well enough to convince me this was a good way to fish the Texas coast. I researched and tested every kayak I could get my hands on for a year and I kept coming back to the T140. I am 6'3" 210lb. and the T140 is very comfortable for me, but you don't have to give up the ability to turn in tight places. My first day on the bays with it were naturally cursed with high winds and muddy water, but the boat didn't seem to mind. It cuts through pretty dry, and tracks well in a cross winds. The rigid back rest is much more comfortble and secure than any after market strap on type, and when I want to straddle the back of boat and walk the bay floor while sitting, the back rest folds out of the way easily. It does need scupper plugs in the front if your a big paddler. At my size and weight it takes on 1/2 " of water, but plugs are easy to fabricate this site has many suggestions, (foam golf balls, furniture leg caps.) I don't know about smaller paddlers but for bigger built paddlers this is a hard boat to beat.

This is a follow up to my…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/21/2005
This is a follow up to my initial review of a few weeks ago (see entry of 8/2/2005):

After a second demo on the WS Tarpon 140 and a comparison demo on the Tarpon 120, I went ahead and purchased the 140. The 120 was great but I felt the 140 was just a little more stable and a little bit faster.

I went with the new color for this year, Ice (blue with streaks of white) and put it in the water at home for the first time this week. As with my initial demo, it tracked well on the lake despite a steady breeze. Once off the lake, it rode smoothly and quietly up some of the adjacent creeks allowing for some great up close nature watching.

I had heard from one Tarpon owner in person (and a few others via the internet) that they had experienced problems with pin-hole leaks in and around the scuppers. Mine was dry as a bone after the take out and I examined even closer once I got it home.

I'm very happy with my purchase.


After reading the other…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/2/2005
After reading the other reviews and recently demoing a WS Tarpon 140 myself, I thought I would add a few comments. Over the last several weeks I've been shopping around and I've tried quite a few comparable models (Perception Bimini and Caster, Ocean Scupper Pro and Prowler 15). As for my perspective, I'm a fairly new paddler with a modest amount of experience (male, 5'8", 200lbs).

The Tarpon 140 is slightly heavier than some of the other models I tried but it gets moving quickly and tracks very well. I was paddling with a 230 cm composite paddle, around 24 ounces as I recall. A WS rudder kit can be added for roughly $200. I tested it near a marina in a commercial area where there was quite a bit of traffic. It was extremely stable and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it handled the wake from a large passing cabin cruiser and a tug boat. The floor of the cockpit is flat and roomy and any water that I took on quickly drained off. The standard molded seat and seat-back were comfortable even without any sort of padding. The front hatch was roomy and easy to access and the oversized rear well could handle multiple crates or a large cooler.

After testing it, I happened to run into another customer that was trading his old 140 in for a 160i. He had nothing but good comments on his old 140...he was only trading up to the 160i as he does quite a bit of fishing off shore and wanted the additional speed, stability and security that he felt the 16 foot model offered on the open sea. A great boat...I think my search may be over!


I paddled all the Tarpons.…

Submitted by: Wudnlady on 6/30/2005
I paddled all the Tarpons. Ended with the 160i and LOVE it. It is only because it fit what I needed better, like taking my golden retriever along on some paddles. We use a trailer so putting it up on my truck was not an issue. I do wonder about the 120 and 140 on how you find your dry storage. Is it dry or do you find some water? My husband has the T160 and loves it, but does like the seat changes in the 160i. Guess a paddler just can't go wrong with any of the Tarpons, regardless of length. O, I did get mine in the new color "mystic blue". Only because that is a color we do not have yet in our collection.

I read all of the reviews…

Submitted by: paddler231165 on 6/27/2005
I read all of the reviews here and other places while looking for a sit-on-top for myself and my family. I needed something that the kids could not hurt, would allow me to use it with them, yet would cruise well enough for me to take some morning paddles before the lake gets rough. After one weekend, I can tell you that this boat delivers on all counts.

You can get this kayak moving within the first 3 strokes, and from there on it is almost effortless. It tracks well and most of your directional corrections can be handled within the stroke movement. When paddling in a cross wind, I did use an occasional double stroke on one side, but it was rare. With the kids, my 12 year old daughter was paddling with ease with minimal instruction, and my 7 year old sits easily in the rear tank well for easy cruises.

I am 6 ft and 210 lbs and the 140 cruises with very little effort. It was obviously designed to go in a straight line, but it will turn when you want it to. With good technique, it will pivot.

Very seldom do you find a product that will cover a range of uses, and do all of them well. The Tarpon 140 is a very versatile boat. I was specifically looking for a kayak that could stay on the shore during the day, as to be available for the entire family, durable so that I didn't go crazy when anyone even looked at it, and enough performance for a long morning cruise and some fishing. This boat fills all of these with a very strong performance. Also, check around with your local dealers to see if they have any demo boats. Mine had ordered two that had cosmetic blemishes that I couldn't even find, but I saved over $200.


This is a thoughtfully…

Submitted by: paddler231071 on 5/11/2005
This is a thoughtfully designed boat that serves multiple purposes - touring, diving, fishing - all reasonably well. It is faster and tracks better than the 120. You CAN stand up to fish from it, but watch out for unexpected wakes! It has plenty of dry storage and it will accommodate 9' fly rods safely, dry and out of sight. Like others, I found the very wet scuppers to be an annoyance (I plug them with rubber furniture leg tips from Home Depot - cheap and easy to attach to a string). I have been surprised at how heavy and unwieldy this boat is - actually fairly difficult for me to wrestle onto a cartop, especially compared to my solo whitewater canoes.

I own two Tarpon 120's and…

Submitted by: paddler231006 on 3/28/2005
I own two Tarpon 120's and two Tarpon 140's, bought the 120's to get my wife on the water. She loved the Tarpons and wanted to have another pair to invite guests to go with us. I bought the 140's to allow for some variety. The 140's are faster and only marginally more challenging to handle. However, I should say that the 120's never fail to deliver a positive experience for first time paddlers. We have had a lot of fun with both, foam golf balls deal with the forward scuppers in the 140's if you or you and your gear weigh more than 170 lbs.

This is an excellent…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/24/2005
This is an excellent multi-purpose sit on top kayak. It tracks great, it is fast enough to keep up with almost anything, and it is very stable. The design is extremely ergonomic in that everything is placed in the most convenient places. I tested this along with the Tarpon 120, and the 160 and I ordered this one. Much faster than the 120 and tracks much better. Not as fast or good at tracking as the 160, but much easier to maneuver. I usually go alone too and did not want to have to lift the 160 by myself... great boat with no complaints at all!

I spent the afternoon in a WS…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/11/2005
I spent the afternoon in a WS Tarpon 120, Tarpon 140 as well as the OK 15'4" Prowler. I'm 6', 210lbs. I was leaning to the 140 (being a larger guy that likes to camp, fish and hunt) but now I have some concerns. The tracking was definitely affected by a slight breeze.

The difference between the 120 and 140 is small but noticeable in all the obvious ways except wind sensitivity. 10 mph breeze, the 120 was significantly less affected. This was also the impression of my buddy that was demoing them as well. When I asked him for his impressions he volunteered it so I didn't color his perception, 2 independent observations.

The difference in glide was surprisingly small but present. Ditto on maneuverability.

Another interesting observation, while the forward scuppers spouted like a fountain on the 140 with a leaning stroke, the 120 didn't seem to. This could be handled by plugs of course.

I won't bother to compare it to the Prowler here. Apples and oranges. One thing I will mention here, however, the WS boats cut better and more quietly, no water slap on the hull. Major advantage if stalking birds, game or fish is your thing. Prowler would alert them way before the Tarpons would.


So here goes. This is my…

Submitted by: paddler230792 on 9/13/2004
So here goes. This is my first kayak that I have purchased, I tried a few ocean models and liked the design and layout of the t140 better then any others. I had a hard time deciding whether to get the 140 vs. the 160, but I decided on the 140 for size and the fact that I can still get this boat on my truck relatively easy by myself. I got it used from the classifeds and this site, got a great deal and couldn't be happier with the kayak. I've taken it out a handfull of times so far and had no problems, I did notice some water coming in but solved that with some foam golf balls, now the cockpit is bone dry. Boat tracks good and very easy to manuever even without the rudder option. I love the storage space in the back, I find that my friends end up tossing there stuff into the back of my boat rather then dig into theirs. I've taken this thing out into some pretty crappy water just to see what it was capable of, I couldn't tip this boat if I tried, and with the leg braces you can lean this over as far as you want. Overall this is an excellent boat, can't wait to try it in the ocean a little more.

Kudos to everyone who has…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/21/2004
Kudos to everyone who has reviewed this boat so far. All are very accurate and fair. The only reason I decided to review the boat is to address a couple of the issues that are mentioned. My neighbor got one recently, loves it. My wife had a T120, still new, just over a month old; paddled the neighbors T140, and I went out and got her one THE VERY NEXT DAY. That's okay, though, as the 15 y/o boy LEPT from his O.K. Scrambler to mom's T120. He LOVES the T120, and has decided to leave O.K. for GOOD. But Scott, my neighbor, and Kim, my sweetie, had the same complaint, wherein they'd hid the carry handles when paddling. From my comfortable perch aboard my own T160, I first thought that this was REDICULOUS. "Man-up, and adjust your stroke!" But then, when Kim had the same problem, who's a fraction of Scott's size, I thought there must be something to it. I wasn't gonna jump off of my kayak to paddle the T140 and solve the problem -- no, I just KNEW that KIM would figure it out. Kim has a way of solving THE most COMPLEX problems, with an un-assuming, simple and usually BRILLIANT solution. [ if you're interested in hearing a GREAT story, drop me a line and ask me how she solved the perplexing problem of installing a rudder to a tandem kayak that did NOT have the required hatch for access necessary to running the tubing and cables!] Anyway, after paddling Scott's T140 for about 20 minutes, Kim said, "I think I'd like a longer paddle." Kim and I and Scott, for that matter, all use a 230cm paddle. After paddling with me in a VERY ROUGH sea, Kim was better able to keep up with me in my T160 then she was the day before in her T120, and she LOVED the T140! [a side note: she had tried my T160 some time ago, and HATED it. I can't tell you why, and niether can she. Probably 'cause she's small?] So, the VERY NEXT DAY, I got her a BRAND NEW T140, AND a 240cm paddle. She couldn't WAIT for me to take the rudder off of her T120, put it on the T140 [I've gotten quite adept at installing rudders -- I think I'm up to EIGHT or more] and try-out her new paddle! Turns out she was right; the 240cm paddle made all the difference for her, anyway. Scott has yet to try the 240cm paddle, poor sap has to WORK during the week. He and I decided, though, that rather than him spending the dough on ANOTHER new paddle, that we'd try one of those kits that changes a one-piece paddle to a two-piece paddle -- you know, the fiberglass section that gets attached to the center. Haven't done it yet, but drop me a line, we'll let you know how THAT worked. I have to say, too, that both commented on the water that is aboard without scupper plugs in place -- commented, mind you, not complained. So, it's true, it is a wetter cockpit -- the others are quite accurate, as I've mentioned. The seat is NOT a problem wetness spot, and in the end, the water in the cockpit isn't a real problem, just something that potential paddlers should be aware of. you CAN stay dry with scupper plugs, so, no biggie. Beyond that and the knuckle banging, I'd STILL have to give the kayak a big TEN, for its' SPEED, TRACKING, MANUVERABILITY, and for its' ability to PLOW through very rough seas. Perfect for the fisherman, too. Far superior to ALL of the most popular boats chosen for fishing, Wilderness Systems will eventually win over the masses, slowly but surely. In an area where Ocean Kayak has completely SATURATED the marketplace, the word will spread that there IS someone out there who's making better and smarter boats. Once again, my hat's off to Wilderness Systems. The T140 is a GREAT kayak.

I really have to say that I…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/14/2004
I really have to say that I am quite pleased with my T-140. I purchased it after a fairly exhaustive search of boats, both canoes and kayaks. I chose the Tarpon because it seemed to have the best of most of the required elements on my list. Realizing that there is no one perfect boat, the T-140 does a very good job of coming close for me. I went with the 140 over the 160 because I do mostly creeks and rivers and the shorter length with the more pronounced rocker of the 140 won me over. I also like the tankwell; it is like a water pickup truck. I only go out for 3-4 days at a time and the dry storage along with the tankwell provide more than enough room for all of my stuff. I guess storage space adequacy depends on where you come from and coming from a backpacking mentality there is a lot of room for gear! I have found the boat to track well and turn quickly. It is stable enough without being a barge. I am 6' 3" and weigh 250 lbs and the boat does keep water in the cockpit with me. It is only about a half-inch and the seat stays dry and the day hatch is never in trouble of being submerged. I can eleiminate all of this by plugging the four lower cockpit holes with practice foam golf balls. I always leave the two holes behind the seat and in the tankwell open. I only give it an 8 because I think WS could have done a better job with the rear hatch access. It provides access to a large compartment, but the hole should be/could be bigger. Additionally, the foot brace rails come not mounted all the way forward in the cockpit. I moved mine all the way forward. It was easy enough to do, but it seems like they should have been taht way all along. I also added thigh straps, a grande thermarest seat pad, and a backrest pad. It is very comfortable for the long haul. My boat does not have a rudder and I have not missed it. It is easy enough to turn without one. I guess it is a little on the heavy side, but at this stage of my life the weight is not an issue. They say that it is possible to roll, but I have tried a bunch and have not done it yet. It certainly is very easy to get on and off and it is stable enough to stand in. Overall, a great boat.

Why get a 120? because of…

Submitted by: paddler229910 on 5/12/2004
Why get a 120? because of it's "manageable size" fits better in the garage or easier ti carry. Those are all poor reasons not to consider the 140. I paddle both and the 140 is more stable and even quicker than the 120. It's not an overnight camping boat but definately made for fishing!

wish I had never demo'd this…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/20/2004
wish I had never demo'd this yak cause now I want one.enormous tankwell ! flat cockpit that you can stand up in!and twist,turn and cast, extremly stable, crawled all over it ,sat on it sideways and access to tankwell and forward hatch was great.opened the hatch out on the water and wasn't concerned at all; dry ride ,I'm 5'8" 160lbs and didn't have water in the cockpit that others have mentioned, no wet seat here, wind was blowing 15-20knots and it was reasonably fast, and tracked well, a little slow getting it moving but once you overcame the first intial strokes it took off.heavy construction) could be used touring, camping ,diving.paddle keeper also.......what I did not like was the position of the side handles,knuckle scrappers,I'd maybe remove them. the scupper holes behind the seat seem to serve no purpose bound to become a classic,worth the price tag with the great warranty...try it you'll only have one problem ,choosing between the 140 or the 120

Purchased the Tarpon 140 on…

Submitted by: paddler230517 on 4/14/2004
Purchased the Tarpon 140 on 3-9-04 and have taken 4 trips so far. Two on flat water and two on the San Francisco Bay. It performed just as advertised; faster than the Tarpon 120 and easier to manuever than the Tarpon 160. I purchased mine w/o out the rudder and have noticed it pulls a little to the left which requires me to make a few corrective strokes. I have also gone swimming off of it and it is very easy to get back into, which is a real plus if you plan using th 140 as a diving platform. I primarily use the 140 for Bay and coastal fishing which is what it was designed for. BIG tankwell for milkcrates, live bait tanks, air tanks and yes BIG FISH. I have mine set up with two rod holders behind the seat and the one scotty rodholder mounted directly in front of me. Will add an anchor system on the bow and plan to take an extended trip on my favorite Yosemite Lake. If you are looking for a solid fishing/diving 'yak, do not buy one without test paddling the Tarpon 140. Very happy with my purchase.

I bought the tarpon 14…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/5/2004
I bought the tarpon 14 earlier this year for fishing and recreation. I'm 5'6-180lbs. I paddled different makes and sizes, the 14 was the most functional for my needs. It's heavy, but not so heavy that i can't carry it from the wrangler to the ramp or beach(the 16 was an effort, the 12 was lighter, but too small). The configuration is just what i needed(the 16 lacked the rear tank well)I added an anchor system which works great. the standard seat is comfortable, but i added a thin stick- on pad which is welcomed on a long day(have yet to try the gel type). the scuppers keep the cockpit dry and water that drips in from paddling is quickly drained. It's easy to paddle and tracks strait. I opted for a rudder, which i am in the habit of using only to control my drift and can use both hands to fish. Behind the seat are two scuppers, but the bottom of the seat itself there are none and thats why I give it a 9. Although no water has accumulated at the bottom yet, I can imagine on a choppy day or a big boat wake. the boat has good stability. The tank well is large enough for a milk crate and a small cooler, front storage is more than I need for day trips, but handy for extended trips. very satisfied with my purchase.

In the world of S-O-T's, this…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/20/2003
In the world of S-O-T's, this boat is as good as they get. It's big brother, the 160, is a bit faster but not so much faster as to make you forget about the additional weight the 160 has. The 140 handles a little better than the 160 and can take on rough water just as well.I bought this boat over the 160 not only because of weight differences but also because of significant layout differences.The 140 has an open storage well behind the seat which is easily accessible and the boat is so stable, you can stand up in front of the seat in calm water. It is fun to paddle and looks good. The rudder is indespensible, though, in rough seas.