Submitted: 01-30-2012 by RR
I have been using my Tsunami 120 for two years now at Lake Tahoe in all conditions. It has proved ideal for my particular circumstances. I only do tours of less than a full day or night, so cargo capacity is not a concern. The relatively short length is an advantage in the short-interval steep waves that develop on the lake. It also lets me keep it on the top of my little car without having it stick out in back. Shores are rocky or have very coarse sand (often frozen rock-solid) so the durable plastic construction is wonderful. My previous boat, which I used since the late 1960s, was fiberglass, which constantly had to be repaired. My preferred conditions are during the high winds and waves of storm fronts during the winter.
Equipped with a spray suit and spray cover I routinely paddle the boat in 2-4 foot breaking waves and sometimes higher, in winds of 25-35 kts with higher gusts. The boat is amazingly stable in these conditions, sometimes with waves breaking over head level, and surfs like a charm. For simplicity I do not have a rudder. A peculiar advantage of this small boat is that my cruising speed matches well my wife's when she is out on her faster lightweight Tsunami 140 with rudder (which she loves).
My only problem thus far is that the raised seat creates a lot of wear on the inside of the spray covers. In heavy conditions I use a neoprene one, but the seat stripped the interior waterproof coating off my nylon cover after only a few trips.