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Submitted: 03-29-2013 by Gus Kayak

I've owned a rudder-equipped Tarpon 140 for 5 years and I love that boat for paddling creeks and smaller lakes. As I'm aging (Iím looking at my 74th birthday) and also wanted to paddle larger lakes and longer distances, the inherent seaworthiness and paddling efficiency of the Tarpon 160 seemed a good choice. In January, 2013, I ordered a yellow 160 and I haven't looked back.

I've had the boat on the water 19 times in mostly blustery (20-25 mph winds, 30 to 60 Fahrenheit, January through the end of March) and learned the following:
• Thereís plenty of storage for my 2- dry bags (One for clothes and provisions, one for a dry suit.)
• It tracks like a train on tracks.
• I strongly recommend a rudder when paddling in moderate to strong wind.
• It's fast and coasts for a long distance.
• The seats on both the 140 and 160 are ergonomically correct. Note: I removed the seat and back padding because it allows for more freedom of movement and is in fact dryer than soggy padding.
• Both the 140 and 160 are average weight boats--meaning they are too heavy to heave onto a car or SUV. "Car topping," is a back breaker and can be dangerous. Using a trailer is the way to go. Ready-to-use kayak trailers now cost less than $1,500, although off-the-shelf trailers can be purchased and modified for well under $500. (Google "Harbor Freight")

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