Most Recent Reviews
This is a charitable score. I didn't buy the secondhand HMS Tangerino to go fishing. I bought it for the ample deck and storage space for carrying the kid/dog/picnic/beach toys/10 gallons of sunblock. I'm grading on a curve here.
My gods, she is a dog. If you have a reasonable expectation of maintaining 3 knots, banish it from your mind. This hunk of bumper plastic does not care what you wish. It only obeys the wind and its whims. You might get a bigger vote in the proceedings if you add a rudder. She tends to behave better with a 300-pound-plus load, and she does not wince at chop or waves.
Oh, she'll carry a LOT of weight. This beast is great family beach trips, so long as they aren't more than a mile each way. She also weighs a lot, and she WILL oilcan if you, say, put her in a 12-foot truck bed and leave her in the sun while you go to the bar.
I have the older model, billed confusingly as the "Trident 13 Prowler." It has the Scotty mounts built into the deck, and they conflict with securing the center hatch. OK fixed that in later versions, putting the mount holes right into the hatch cover. So you might have an easier time with your camera/rod mount than I do.
She's a barge, but that's kind of the point. Take her out in the salt. Load her up for week-long camping trips. Mock your friends as they succumb to her unstoppable momentum in Full Contact Bumper Boats. Just don't try to go anywhere fast.
I picked up the next-to-latest version of this boat used last month for $450, paddle and vest included. It still has the rubber hatch and the older, less plush version of the Phase 3 seat. I'm going to sell it, but not because it's a bad boat.
It's a fantastic rec boat for big guys. Wildy really has an interesting design here. This is the only boat I've seen that combines both extreme stability and decent speed. The Pungo has a long waterline and a bulbous cockpit. Nearly impossible to flip, but it still goes like a rocket in smooth water. This is a great boat for lazy, stagnant summer days on smooth lakes and streams.
As with any hull design, there are tradeoffs. Here, the tradeoff is that the Pungo can't turn very well, and it turns into a helpless windvane/cork when chop kicks up. It also has a strange wake action that will cause it to lurch away from the shore if you get too close at cruising speed.
I'm selling the boat, because it doesn't work well as a kid-carrying boat. The hull is not flat enough, and there is very little room under the combing to fit my muscular thighs. It might work better for an older, taller kid, but not my 2yo.
That said, this is a very durable, well-made boat. My kid loves lounging in the comfortable front seat while I labor to keep us on course. It has some decent glide for being such a tugboat.
Still, there are far better used tandem boats out there that can be had for very little money.
The Skylark is very much a recreational boat - stubborn stability, gaping cockpit and just enough cargo space for a lunch and a change of clothes.
However, one look at the hull will tell you this is not your average milk jug. The sharp bow and deep V made short work of the light chop we tackled on our third outing this year. And the Skylark has no business having as much glide as it does.
Eddyline uses ABS plastic for its boats, rather than polyethylene. The result is a lighter, prettier craft that shows its wear and tear more than a poly boat. However, they take a beating better than glass boats.
The seat is terrible. No way around this. The models that went on sale in the last couple years have improved seats, but the old one murders your sciatic nerves. There are a few aftermarket fixes that I'm planning to try.
Otherwise, this boat lives up to the hype.
I got a chance to paddle a friend's new Camden 106 this summer, and I was unexpectedly impressed. This boat featured quality construction, striking modern styling and a seat that can only be described as a pair of Crocs for your butt.
I took the Camden out in a protected cove and then into some whitecaps, and I couldn't believe how well she handled. No 10.5' boat with a 29" beam is going to challenge a sea kayak in this arena, but the Camden Jr. held her heading and never threatened to send my portly carcass into a an unplanned wet exit.
It was not all sweetness and light. The Camden's wide, low cockpit is a wet ride and requires the rider to brace in an undignified splayed position. The dual paddle parks were strangely tight and resistant to hooking. This thing also needs float bags if you plan to wander more than a few feet from shore. Finally, at $750, this model is pretty darn pricy, compared to the 10' versions of Wilderness Systems' Pungo and Elie's Sound, which have comparable outfitting and features.
Still, my slight friend loves her Camden. It's light enough for her to throw on top of her car and take it to the lake at a moment's notice. She can get her tan on, keep her water bottle in place and carry a picnic lunch.
Hurricane has gotten a bad rap for the flexibility of its thermoform material. I admit, I did not like having the edges of the cockpit flex as I lowered myself into it. But these boats aren't really designed for dodging rocks off the coast of Maine. What they are good for is touring and hauling camping gear around languid Mid-Atlantic estuaries.
And they are fast off the line. While the Excursion might not be a racer, her light hull responds nicely to Newton's 3rd Law, and she gets up to cruising speed very quickly.
The Excursion is not my boat. Too wide. Doesn't feel right to me. But if you need a lightweight touring boat, it sure beats the price of glass, Kevlar or carbon.
OK, the important stuff: She's light; she can stow your wallet and keys; and she has a special deck mount for the smartphone. Throw your LIFOAM cooler on the back, wander down the creek and catch some rays while cranking some Pitbull. Good times.
This boat is all bass, no treble. Wide load. 28.5 inches of junk-in-the-trunk. (Xtra Turgid!) So it takes a deliberate act of violence to tip her on calm water, but every single power boat wake is cause for concern. She also tracks like a tilt-a-whirl and moves the water like an ox plow. And despite what the spec sheet says, she's more than a few donuts over 40lbs. This is likely due to her nuclear blast shield of a hull, which can withstand the abuse of even the klutziest tween. (Xtra Tuff!)
This freshwater gunboat is still being made under the Dimension label (see the "Escapade"), which is apparently the black sheep of the Johnson Outdoors clan as its 1990s-era web site (Xtra Tacky!) isn't even mentioned on the mother company's site.
I am not entirely sure what the Rush is. My best description is that it's some kind of recreational boat masquerading as a whitewater ... thing. It's tempting to call it a beginner whitewater boat, but its bow isn't suited for running rocks, and its pancake flat bottom isn't good for quick maneuverability. It's pretty good on anything with a surface as flat as a swimming pool, until you try to get any speed. Then it just submarines and divests all your energy into creating a spectacular wake.
Caveat: I'm a big guy. This boat probably rides lower with me than it was intended.
Still, she's not even a very good at being a weekend bikini 'n' beer barge. The cockpit is close, restricting leg movement. No utility deck (unless you add the little half skirt thing). No storage. She's a tank, though. Dense, thick, heavy. Turn the kids loose with her. No worries.