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Name: tlb

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Over a 17 year period, I have owned five Pungo 140 kayaks: a solid Home Depot orange, a yellow lighter version that flexed a bit. Both had the old rubber snap-on hatch covers. (So if a used boat you are considering fits this description, you have an idea of its age) Since 2010 all my Pungo 140's have equipped with hinged gray Orix hatch covers. 2018 was the last year of production of the 140 - discontinued probably because the 120 version outsold it. There is a new Pungo 125 length marketed as a larger paddler's kayak which might be more manageable than a 14 footer but I would not paddle it to the 2KR Buoy. (I sold one Pungo to a 300 lb. buyer and I thought that was pushing the limit) This kayak took me to where I wanted to go, even into open coastal waters in winter, of course weather/tide permitting. The 140 is not the fastest, but is the most stable/straight tracking kayak I have paddled. I caught stripers, bluefish, mack's, sand sharks, shad, and smelt etc. - it has room for fishing gear and always got me to my favorite spots on time. I paddled the NH coast in winter but with extra care as waves tend to splash water over the bow into the cockpit, In January 2010, I was paddling the Portsmouth back channels when I found a man who had killed himself with a shotgun on the rocky shore facing where he had lived on a boat, years before.
I always paddled my Pungo 140's for a few seasons and sold them for $525 - $625. Now that this kayak is discontinued, it is uncertain whether the resale value of used but not abused Pungo 140's will fall or rise.

Despite 20 years fo paddling experience, I am not a skilled paddler, After 5 WS Pungo 140's, I changed my low suspension Tacoma for a used Toyota RAV4. Due to my age (late 60's) it soon became apparent, it was time for a lighter, easier to car top kayak. I still wanted a craft that would stand up to the conditions /places where the Pungo 140's never made me feel unsafe. (coastal, some open water, occasional strong current) After over 15 years of paddling a chined design craft, the Tsunami 125 (2018 version) seems to satisfy these requirements. The Tsunami 125 is 12' 9" long, has good hull height (15") for wearing boots and waves don't end up in my lap as much; it has two bulkheads, is chined for great maneuverability, stability and being narrower by a few inches, has better speed than my former 14' x 28" wide-load Pungo. The change feels like going from a touring motorcycle such as a Honda Goldwing to almost a "trail bike " - so far the only problem I have had is paddling downriver during the new moon on the Piscataqua River when the current is ripping; it spun me around where I could have kept the Pungo straight with a few moves of my paddle. The Tsunami cockpit dimensions do not allow for as much storage of fishing/photography gear - but it does have bags and rigging to store equipment on the deck. Overall, I am quite satisfied with the Tsunami and it is lighter (51 lb. vs 58 lb.) so it is slightly easier to cart top though I prefer the Pungo style grab handles.

14 years later...

I am still paddling with my Werner Kauai 230cm bought at Kittery Trading Post in 2003! It has held up to much abuse, freeing my kayak stuck against a bridge on there outgoing tide to other tight spots. I went to the KTP Watersport Show two years ago and the younger Werner rep's did not know what a Kauai was...After reading online specifications, I think the fiberglass Werner Shuna is a reincarnation of the Kauai - I do prefer the modern ferrule of Werner's current paddles.

As a former Necky, Lincoln, Eddyline, Prijon, Walden owner, I never missed any of them after buying my first Pungo 140 in 2003. In May 2011 I bought my third Pungo 140. Everything stated in my two other reviews still stands - I like the new hatch style and stern & bow bulkheads - no more float bags! I am working on adding a light fishing rod holder to the gray plastic deck accessory that came with the kayak. The person who bought my second Pungo 140 said it didn't turn as easily as his family's Pungo 120's. That has never been an issue for my paddling style - the longer version provides very good tracking and stability.

While looking for a back-up paddle for my 5 yr. old Werner Kauai, I bought a 230cm Bending Branches Day Breeze at an LL Bean Outlet Store; purchased for $60 less than the new price of local & online stores, it seems like a real bargain. Though the Day Breeze feels slightly less aggressive than the Kauai, it is light and paddles very well (high angle); the blade color is highly visible and I prefer its conventional 3 position ferrule that a number of paddle manufacturers have replaced with a graduated, indexing systems ferrule.

Just bought my second Pungo 140 in Newbury MA after looking everywhere within a 150 mile radius of home. Any differences? The comb is flexible, softer than first Pungo. Guess I can overlook that one Confluence - I like the new braces, the seat, and the hull design seems the same. Noticed & corrected by dealer - foot braces had been factory installed upside down.

I must have bought mine about 2000 when the leash had a brass snap rather than the cord - never removed the velcro from my paddle since installing it. 2 years ago my $240 paddle got away from me (first time) when I got stuck against a bridge while fishing in the outgoing tide - the leash stretched to its maximum length and held! A worthwhile investment, I am buying a new one this year.

Just started the 3rd season of coastal fishing with my Pungo 140 ( shad, stripers, bluefish, mackerel ); the flat comb allows the use of my homemade plywood fishing deck w/rod holder and there's still space for a small lunch box for storing bait,live eels, etc. Everything I said back in 2003 still goes ( except for modifying my routine ). I still use the same, wide bladed Werner paddle for extra speed and quick turns while fishing. She's a bit scratched from bumping barnacle covered bridges, passing over rocks in the surf and mussel beds during low tide so I will be buying another Pungo 140 when this one wears out.

I am a recreational kayaker and always paddle unfeathered; the following comparison is based on my personal experience of having owned three kayaks that I paddled with a Mid Swift, made by Eddyline. I was spoiled by the Swift's low weight and was very satisfied with its performance with my narrower kayaks. Then I tried the Wilderness Systems Pungo 140 which I loved it right from the start but paddlewise, something was lacking at times; maybe because of the Pungo's wide hull, I felt a need for a paddle with more grab or a little more bite. Today, after having paddled my latest kayak for a month with the same paddle, I bought a Werner Kauai 230 cm (which has blades that are shorter and wider) and headed for Lake Winnepasauki where I had paddled 2 weeks before in similar wind conditions; with the Werner Kauai I noticed an increase in speed and control and no increase in shoulder fatigue that I had anticipated from a wider bladed paddle.

The photo of the Pungo 140 on the Wilderness Systems website, gives the false impression that the hull is flat; of the "caution wide load", recreational kayaks of similar dimensions ( made by the 7 different manufacturers that I looked at), this one had the least flat hull. During the demo it surpassed my expectations - I can not add much to what has already been said in the other reviews except that it car tops more easily than my Walden Scout, paddles as fast & tracks as well as my Prijon Calabria, and the seat is most comfortable of any kayak I have ever paddled. More deck bungies would be nice and if you intend to paddle with a canine passenger, see if the cockpit is roomy enough for the two of you before you buy. I intend to enjoy the Pungo in paddling conditions for which it was designed. My wife has asked me to stop paddling beyond the jetties and out to the one mile buoy - due to the open cockpit, I might modify my routine slightly.