Submitted: 06-28-2006 by Joe B.
This is my first kayak. The Tarpon 160i is a great SOT. My boat is the 2006 model with the tank well. I store a medium sized cooler perfectly in the tank well with room to spare for other storage.
Iíve paddled several trips of 6 miles in a flat spillway with ease, finishing in under two hours with energy to spare. On two of the trips, my friend in a Seda Impulse went along and I kept up with him easy enough at 3.5 mph average speed.
Just this weekend, I went to Horn Island off the Mississippi Coast with two friends in who had expensive sit in kayaks. I was worried that in the wind and chop I couldnít keep up, but really I had no problem paddling with them. I worked a little harder to maintain speed, but the head wind (heavy at 15 to 20 mph) and choppy seas (1.5 to 2.0 foot) were no problem. A few times tugs boats passed and increased the swells to 3.0 foot and the Tarpon crashed right through. We made the 6-mile paddle in a little over 3-hours but the head wind was murder.
Iím 6.0 foot, 245 lbs and my boat was loaded with about 100lbs of camping gear, food and water, so it sat low in the water. The scupper holes were under and the entire time I sat in water because of choppy waves crashing into the boat. No problem, it was a hot day.
Very stable boat - nearly impossible to tip over without actually trying. Speed is Good Ė but I had to work harder to keep up with my friends in their sit in kayaks. In choppy seas, plan to sit in water Ė the waves crash over the boat and work to drain towards the back under the seat scupper holes.
The center 6-inch dry storage is perfect for cell phone and camera (In water tight bags of course). The bungeed center drink holder is perfect to keep hydration quick at hand. The bungeed paddle holders on either side work great - quick and easy to secure the paddle.
Easy boat to sit on sideways, with legs dangling in the water, to access drinks or whatever from the rear storage. A little heavy at 68lbs, but since itís roto-molded plastic, no worries about damaging it while putting it on/off the vehicle.