Submitted: 08-31-2009 by Stealthcamper
I've had a Tsunami 145 for a little over a year and before that I paddled a Tsunami 140 of a friend's.
I am a large guy (6'3" 205lbs) and I did not have enough legroom in the 140. My feet went past the foot pegs and I had to use a foam block in front of the bulkhead which was not ideal. Also I wanted a larger cockpit opening. I didn't need any extra width but the extra length and height of the 145's cockpit made getting my legs in so much easier.
I have no trouble maintaining 4-4.5mph in the 145 for long stretches, although the power required to go any faster is logarithmic in scale. I can reach 6mpg but only at the risk of cardiac arrest! I use a Greenland style paddle.
I absolutely love the boat. I've only been paddling for two years but I've tried several other types of boats (17' fiberglass boats, and one skin - on frame) and none are anywhere near as comfortable and versatile. I love the amount of gear I can put in it. An 8 day trip down the Suwanee river was no problem. I don't have to worry about scraping it on rocks or oyster beds.
Mine has the rudder which I recommend. Once I got used to it my feet almost subconsciously steer the boat while I concentrate on padding most efficiently. Very effective also in windy conditions as well as side currents in winding rivers.
You cannot beat the seat in this kayak. No other boat (except the Tusnami 140) I've tried approaches the same level of comfort and this makes being in the boat for hours a non-issue. The boat is also very stable. I have not even attempted to learn to roll in this boat. It is so stable I don't think it would roll well and unless I
put myself in a very stupid situation, I don't think it would ever be necessary.
I have not had any rear hatch problems with my 145, although we had 2 140s and had trouble with the rear hatches on both. One thing I do not like is that the seat does not move close enough to the rear of the cockpit opening making attaching the spray skirt quite difficult. I find it almost impossible when attempted solo in rough conditions.
Another thing I would change is that the cockpit is too wide for me. I need the extra length in the 145 but I have trouble becoming "one with the boat" due to the wide cockpit. This is exaggerated by the fact that one has to have space for the legs to move to work the rudder rather than have the knees firmly wedged against the sides of the cockpit. I still think the rudder is worth it for the environments I typically paddle. This is not a problem with the boat itself, just things that are challenges for me.
If you like to paddle for extended lengths of time and/or kayak camp the Wilderness Systems Tsunami is hard to beat. I recommend the 140 for normal size paddlers and the 145 for large or tall paddlers.