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Submitted: 04-08-2008 by heygibb
I have been active in this sport for several years. My first yak was a classic Pungo...very nice, rigid boat. I expected the Pamlico 135T to be similarly made, but was disappointed in several areas.
The material used is thinner and more flexible. While it probably reduces the weight overall, it makes the boat feel cheap to me.
There is no bulkhead and the small foam inserts in each end for flotation are a joke. They are poorly fitted and one wasn't securely attached. The quality of the seat/rail construction was lacking. There is a lot of play in the front seat where it attaches to the rail that sits in a channel in the floor. Part of the reason is the rail is free floating at the bow. It only stays in place by gravity, so the front seat isn't securely attached to the bottom of the kayak. To make things worse, the engagement of the seat to the rail is by way of a plastic, loose fitting barrel bolt...very sloppy. Having used nicer tandems before, this design and construction was lacking, imo, but it doesn't cost $300 more either, so that's the trade-off.
You are probably wondering why I purchased this yak. The price, roominess, length, intended use and "chunk" factor all played a part. I plan to use it for camping and fishing with my son, so it will get some abuse. I carry my other kayaks around in the bed of my pickup, and this is short enough to do the same. It is durable enough to allow me to "chunk" it in the truck and not baby it like I'd have to if I bought a higher priced, longer, better made unit. It is also pretty stable. I'd give it a higher number if it were half the price, but I can't for that reason.
I'm a utilitarian type of guy. Even w/ its flaws, the boat will serve my needs w/ a little retrofitting (drain plug, bulkhead in rear, paddle holders, new rail holes for front seat positioning, cross-brace/equipment platform behind front seat back for stabilizing center of cockpit and allowing for electronics and rod holder mounting). I'd suggest adding the strap on deck that attaches by way of the cockpit ring. It provides a way to keep cellphones dry. The misc. uses for the tray enhance function for the front seat occupant.
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