Submitted: 01-06-2012 by Craig
I recently bought a Wilderness Systems 170 Tempest Pro fiberglass model from Walkabout Paddle and Apparel in Eagle River, WI. Jim is very knowledgeable and willing to answer all my questions.
This boat is a step up from a Tsunami 125 rm. My wife and I are paddling more and more on Lake Superior and are graduating from recreational boats to touring boats. The 170 Tempest Pro is a great looking boat. The finish is flawless, inside and out. No leaks in any of the compartments. This was one of the biggest problems according to all the reviews I read (and I read them all). The fiberglass boats are now made in China, and it seems their Quality control is working.
Having taken delivery in Nov. I only had about a week to get it on the water to try it out before the lakes froze up. The boat paddled easily, carved turns with a slight lean and a stroke of the paddle, and is quite a bit faster than the Tsunami. The 2 times I had it out were about 3 hours each time, and the boat was very comfortable. Water conditions were calm to a 1' chop. We did a 1 week trip at Isle Royal, (excellent kayak destination) in our Tsunamis and had enough room for our gear. The Tempest has a lot more storage and we will have more than enough room for our gear and then some. The shipping label had the boat at 45#, and the boat seems very rigid, no flexing when I sit on the back before sliding in the seat.
The fact that the boats are made in China kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but it's no different than buying a boat from any other country. I would also like to see a better color selection, you get red, yellow, or lime. That's it! Can't wait to get on the water next spring.