Submitted: 04-27-2009 by Scott
For a boat that is perpetually the best selling boat in the country, this is also the boat you will outgrow the fastest!
The Pungo is a great flatwater, dead calm river boat that tracks like an arrow and is very stable. However, don't take that to mean it's a great boat. First, what makes it track straight is the deep v hull, which is what will get you hung up every time in shallow waters and turn you sideways in quick moving water should you get stuck. The cockpit is large and easy to get in and out of, however, it is too large for a 'real' spray skirt. Pungos notoriously sit low in the water, so any real rapid you have to negotiate you have a good chance of having a wave blow over the bow of your boat and half fill your cockpit. The only spray skirt you can get is a nylon size 7 from Seals. It's not stiff enough to hold any water. No one makes a neoprene skirt that big.
Also, the weight capacity of the 12' is grossly overrated. Wilderness says it will hold 300lbs. I weigh 215 and carry ONE dry bag in the stern hatch. I sit so low in the water it's ridiculous. The boat also needs a front bulkhead, as water can quickly turn this boat into Cleopatra's Needle, and could also then have a day hatch. You better get the 'dashboard' for this boat too, because you'll never reach anything on the deck in front of you because it's too far away.
This is a REC boat only, if you have any inclination of growing with kayaking and trying more than the local pond, try a Tsunami or Tempest. Don't get me wrong, my Pungo has served me well, but, in less than a year, it's short comings have truly held back my paddling.
I paddle at least once a week all year long, sometimes more. In one week I put almost 30 miles on my Pungo, some of it thru some pretty big waves on the Delaware River, complete with imploded spray skirt!
Good boat, but, severely limiting