Submitted: 01-23-2007 by smithfield_paddler
Iíve been paddling my Pungo 140 (Normal poly lay up)for about two years now. Iím 6 foot tall and about 190 lbs. I have to say that this is probably one of, if not the best, Recreational kayaks out there. Itís got a pretty good cruising speed of about 3.5 mph. Above that you have to start working. I find I donít have much trouble keeping up with ďrealĒ sea kayaks on a flat water tour unless the wind picks up above about 12 mph. She can handle small seas of about a foot pretty well so long as they are ahead or astern. On the beam can get a little scary and I donít recommend due to the large cockpit and inability of fitting her with a skirt that wonít implode under the weight of the water. That said, I do highly recommend the mini skirt for this boat to keep the paddle drips off your lap.
For camping on flat(ish) water, I would say that this boat is awesome. You can pack a ton of stuff in her. I agree with others about the lack of a front bulkhead so I installed one myself. It wasnít exactly easy but the peace of mind is worth it. And yes, on flat water you would deliberately have to try to capsize to get her to go over. The deck rigging was also lacking but I see that Wilderness Systems has addressed that somewhat in their newer models. This is easy to fix and actually kind of fun.
If you hope to develop intermediate kayak skills then this boat will stop you just shy of that goal. It doesnít really respond to an edge but it can carve a turn with a low brace. Of course, rolling is out of the question. But you can bring a cooler or tackle box with no problem. I have also had my young kids sit in the cockpit in front of me while I paddle. Try that in an NDK Romany.
So, great rec boat . Good Speed. Tracks well and doesnít weather cock too bad (If it does you probably shouldnít be out in that weather). You can pack it like a barge but it doesnít paddle like one. Comfortable to paddle for hours. Iíll be moving on to a more serious boat but if I had the storage space I would keep her.