Submitted: 09-02-2003 by D.P.G.
I never rate a 10 on aything, this one comes close ! If it weren't for that back hatch clearance and for the sake of a couple of extra cords and hatch cover securements, I may have rated the Pungo 140 a 10.
In terms of on the water it's a great kayak, we own both the 120 and the 140, the 140 handles very close to the same as the 120 but has considerable speed over it with easy paddling ( work harder in the 120 to keep up). In fact with just a paddler and no packing in I'd say the 140 actually outperforms the 120 on steering , and while the 120 is two ft. shorter it appears to have less rocker. With equal load the 120 actually drags more when turning IMO. Both kayaks are about the same on stability, and I'm not saying the 120 is a slug either , it's a good boat too.
Love the seat , love the built in foot brace, though my size 13s could use a little larger peg. I'm 6.2 235lb, thought I needed the 14 ft boat and I was right , though concerned about the purchase, once I hit the water, I knew within a couple of times out and a few miles put on that I made the right choice . Each time I use the Pungo 140 the better I like it. I looked at several kayaks in it's class and none have the line or general design of the Pungo 140 in it's class, and the phase three seat is a final catch.
We use the Pungos mainly for day cruisers and fly fishing, but won't be afraid to pack in for an overnight either. We paddle mostly remote lakes and ponds, some rivers up to class two.
The Pugos have sharp entry exit lines and a v bottom, they track well because of this, and steer pretty well due to rocker and also respond a little extra to an outside lean I might add. If someone wants quick steering response in a kayak over good tracking, this may not be the design for them. They may want a more rounded entry and exit line, but will suffer with less tracking and less glide FWIW. There are other rec. kayaks with different characteristics to choose from, so shop wisely. Meanwhile the Pungo 140 offers easy paddling for the speed gained, good glide, nice primary stability and good secondary stability ( actually excellent secondary stability). It's almost tops in it's class for load capacity as well.
I would add the mini skirt to my first to be purchased list for the boat. If you fish you will want a paddle holder, and I feel the more deck securement straps are a good idea. The anchor setup is a nice accessory for fishermen.