Submitted: 04-15-2011 by pudmuppy
The Tempest 165 RM is a beautiful boat. For plastic it is very attractive, not too heavy, and durable of course. I'm 5-9, 175, and use a Greenland paddle exclusively.
The Tempest has a very comfortable seat, thigh hooks and backband. Just awesome. And, with its coaming shape and low aft deck, is the most comfortable cockpit to lay back in of any boat I've ever tried, including homemade specialized "cheater" rolling boats. I removed the hip pads to allow full motion for balance brace, etc. (They can be easily reinstalled.)
Yes, the hatches leak, but I understand newer models have improved covers that don't. The cockpit coaming leaks too. It's plastic.
This boat is not fast, but fast enough. I take long day-paddles, and have no trouble keeping up with younger companions who use Euro paddles in longer boats. I find I always use some skeg -- without it, the boat has no tracking whatsoever. Skeg down, the boat is still very maneuverable and, again, fast enough. And the cockpit is SO comfy...
The Tempest is good in rough water, and rides waves in surf well. A faster boat catches waves better in the short-period chop of the Great Lakes and is more fun for surfing here on the third coast.
I plan to get a sleeker, drier composite boat to use for most day paddling and short overnights. But for teaching and other bashing about, and working on the range of Greenland rolls at the pool, I doubt I will ever trade in my RM Tempest.