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Submitted: 12-31-2004 by zager
Took out my new Tsunami 140 to the Illinois River today. First, this kayak is rigged great! Lots of deck bungees (fishing rod, etc.) and day access to rear bulkhead - although if you put something in there it can slide out of reach of the day hatch. The hull weighs 52 pounds on my scale (WS website says 48). I weigh 170 and am 5'8".
I carry it on my Honda minivan with 2 pairs of Mako saddles - deck down with the stern forward (this is how the manual from WS recommends) - worked fine with 25+ gusty winds (cross and headwinds). Got to the river (only place I could find that wasn't ice) and met with gusty winds - from 5 to 25. Some waves/chop up to a foot or so.
Kayak has very strong initial stability - you can sit still all day, I fished today and leaning was no problem. Caught 4 smallmouth, never felt shaky casting or playing the fish. Secondary is predictable up to the cockpit (I didn't lean any more than that today). Leaning to the cockpit gives a pretty quick turn with a sweep.
Tracking is easy. Speed was 4.3 to 4.6 MPH on my GPS for cruise - work it hard to get into the low 5's.
The hull wanted to turn to the wind - but pretty easy to correct (I don't have a rudder) - in fact the tendency was pretty minimal as my speed increased.
The hull has plenty of inertia into the waves (doesn't slap or pound) - I didn't wear a skirt today and stayed dry inside even into windblown steep 1 foot chop.
There is a little more squirrelly handling going with the wind and the one foot chop (very short, sharp chop from the gusty winds) - correct early and it never got away. I think the hull has a significant amount of rocker with a very pronounced "keel" to the stern - so leaning is responsive, yet tracking is stable.
With the plastic, the bow is rather blunt - I can't help but think that the boat would be quicker with a more refined entry. For my size and weight, I think I could have gotten away with a little bit narrower boat. The WS website says 21.5 inches width - must be a typo because this is 23 (could be closer to 24).
Overall, this is a great kayak for my needs - mostly casual paddling and fishing. But I need a decent turn of speed to get up river, and occasionally I want to make it perform and the Tsunami will comply. The Tsunami feels biased toward a rec boat, but has ambitions to be a performance tourer - once you are up to speed, holding speed is pretty easy.
It works for me!
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