Submitted: 04-02-2007 by ChuckPeacock
This is a very nice touring type sit on top kayak, no tankwell like the fishing SOTs have, but 2 hatches front and back. Plenty of storage down below. The inner Neoprene hatches are a little difficult to get back on, but not too bad.
The boat is designed very nicely for plastic with a sleek narrow shape in the front with lots of volume in the bow for getting over waves. If you do not have the plastic on the bottom of the backband in the slot behind where you sit, you will be uncomfortable, but once figured out and adjusted, its not bad.
From the front of the seat in the cockpit up to where my feet rested on the pegs, the cockpit floor sloped down, and I found it very comfortable to fit the natural contour of the legs as they bend forward. This boat, unlike some other sit on tops has zero hull slap, is very efficient and effortless to paddle.
I've owned a Cobra Tourer and a Prowler 15, and this yak seems a good deal more efficient with better speed. The initial stability is a little tippy compared to most sit on tops, but nowhere near the tippiness of the Cobra Expedition which I also had for a while.
I think in the speed department, the Napali would give the Tarpon 160 a run for the money, but will have to confirm this once I mount the depthfinder / GPS. I would agree with one reviewer on the net who stated that the Tarpon is more nimble - I can agree with this. I would say that the Perception paddles heavier than the WS.
This is my only gripe - the Napali is a heavy boat coming in at 75 lbs, the upper limit of what I can deal with, as far as loading and unloading. I've added thighstraps and some plastic tubing around the forward part of the decklines to assist in hefting a short distance.
In assessing the performance capabilities of this boat, I'd have to guess the weight must have been one of the major factors that did it in, because it is a pleasure to paddle.