Submitted: 06-22-2007 by bryanpsims
Although typically a river and lake rec-boat paddler, on this particular demo I got to try the Tsunami 140 on an open coastal bay as well as a more sheltered inland creek. I launched the boat from the sandy put-in, straight into a fairly stiff breeze that was kicking up a good 1 to 2 foot chop. Sliding into the cockpit as quickly as I could between waves, I started paddling and smoothly rode over some of the smaller waves and cut fairly smoothly through some of the larger ones. I was planning on heading up a nearby creek that emptied into the bay so I had to make a 90 degree turn to the right and had the incoming waves coming in from my left. The ride got a little rougher, but the boat has enough stability to bob with the incoming waves, although a small amount of water got into the cockpit (no sprayskirt as this was a short demo and I never planned to be more than 100 feet from shore). I passed a small breakwater and turned again into a small yacht harbor at the mouth of the creek. I rode a couple of more waves past the breakwater and into the more sheltered borders of the marina. Another hundred yards in, I turned again and was completely sheltered from the wind and the waves. I paddled about 1/4 mile or so up the creek, stopping now and then to tweak the seat and footpeg adjustments.
The Tsunami 140 has the usual Wilderness Systems Phase 3 seat package which I have always found to be comfortable although it is not as heavily padded as some other brands and models. The cockpit was a little tight getting into at first, but I am more accustomed to open cockpit rec-boats and SOTs. The thigh pads were set just about right for me and, if needed, they can be moved to any of 6 or 8 different positions. There are bulkheads in both the front and back although the front storage area seems a little small. I guess thatís a minor drawback of a shorter touring boat. The hatch covers went on and off cleanly and easily and seemed to hold a good seal. While this is a heavier poly boat, it is well balanced and was easy to get on and off the truck as well as carry the short distance to the put-in. It tracked well and had a good bit of glide when not paddling. It turned better than I expected although you wonít be making any short radius hairpin turns. I had demoed the Tsunami 145 ( a mere 6Ē longer) a few months ago and I think that it tracked and glided just a little bit better and turned about the same. Thereís isnít anymore room in the 145 cockpit although the boat is 1/2 inch wider.
Overall, I feel that the 140 is a good boat but may be just a bit small for me. It sat low in the water and was a little slower than I expected it to be... probably because I am on the upper end of itís weight range (220 out of a maximum manufacturerís load spec of 300). Iím going to give it a 7 for my own use although smaller or lighter paddlers may find it more satisfactory.