Submitted: 05-10-2010 by RBerta
I have had my Tampico 135L for about 2 months. Have been out nearly every day since I got it. First the negative...as others have stated...the weight is not what the specs say...43#. I have weighed several other kayaks and they ALL are from 4-9# more than the spec. I guess this is a way to match what the other guys do... maybe they neglect to include the weight of the seat...I mean who uses a seat ;-) Mine is 48#. Nuff said.
Now for the good...everything. For background...I have used a few other kayaks both sit in and sit on top and my other most used kayak is an old Town Dirigo 106 which is a great fishing kayak but the width, height and length make it weather vane in wind, slower to paddle but very stable. I have no problem trusting my family in it...even my 10 year old. And it's generous cockpit opening is perfect for fishing which I do a lot of.
The Tampico is the opposite...very fast (I can catch and often pass even 16' and longer kayaks), tracks extremely well and no issues with weathervaning. Weathervaining is a big issue for me as I frequent a lake that often has winds 25-30mph or more in afternoon. Have had it in some pretty rough chop and went through a 3' wake wave without any excitement. Yeah it is more tippy than the Dirigo but no problem once you get some time in the seat. Up to the point when I tried it out I had decided my next kayak would have a rudder despite the weight and complexity. It is not needed or missed on the Tampico...it tracks that well. Not sure why that is but suspect it is a combination of the keel design and low deck height (wind advantage). And for those of you who are still wondering if you can put a rudder on the Tampico..as far as I know it isn't possible. While it goes straight...it also carves corners like a sports car. And no...it wouldn't make a good fishing kayak ;-)
OK...the big question...how well does Hurricane support their customers. When I first got mine I noticed that there was a small defect in the seat sub structure. When cutting off flashing etc. it appears that the worker removed a bit too much material in one spot on the back making a point that was thin and caused a small crack. I called Hurricane and spoke to their warranty person named Summer who without any questions volunteered that it was a defect and they would send out a complete brand new seat to replace the stock one. This was even before they had received my warranty card. Within a few days the replacement arrived and was quickly screwed into place. Now I have a spare seat for parts.
The worksmanship is excellent and the whole kayak is well engineered. I especially like the stainless steel screws instead of rivets and the rigging clamps are all recessed below the deck so no areas to snag on clothing. This is especially nice if you get dumped and have to get back in using a paddle float.
By the way one person remarked that on their kayak they could only adjust the seat back angle from behind the seat. This was changed evidently as on mine I can adjust it while sitting in the seat with a strap to my side.
The cockpit is well shaped and you can place your knees against the under deck for bracing. I did get some closed cell foam and attached it on the deck bottom to push my knees against (a great way to attach it is to use fiberglass carpet tape available at any hardware store). The seat and cockpit fit me well. The foot room is fine even with my kayak booties and the foot pegs are easily adjusted outside the kayak but not as easily when in the kayak. I am 150# and 6' tall and have no problems fitting in the cockpit. I measured the draft of it with me in it and no additional gear other than drip skirt, paddle, safety throw rope, bilge pump and paddle float...it was 3 1/2".
The finish is high gloss and beautiful. They call the material Trylon but is really ABS plastic which is really tough stuff. It is nice to know that if you ever damage it you can fix it using standard materials...they even tell you how to do it in the owners literature that comes with it.
I like the way they rigged it...bungy material zig sagging but the outside line front and rear is non stretch material which makes a more secure attachment for dry bags etc. The seat is very comfortable...the seat pan can be tilted and back tilted while sitting in it. The seat back can also be adjusted for height although that needs to be done from outside the kayak. No issue here for me as I always leave the back in the lowest position.
Any thing I would change or add....it might be nice to have a drain plug on the deck near the back so you could drain out the last bit of water by tilting it.
Don't change list...LEAVE THE HULL ALONE...it is perfect!
Normally I might complain about the cost here...but frankly...it is a great deal for what you are getting compared to the competition.