I've had this boat for a couple of years now, but after last week, I now feel inspired to write. What was it about last week's paddle? It was in a large bay in NJ (Barnegat Bay, specifically Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Management Area). We went early because forecasts called for calm conditions, but the water wound up being bouncy and confused. It took me a bit of time to gain confidence, but the Tampico handled great (just keep those hips loose). No problems keeping up with the leader in his 2.5 foot longer, 1.5 inch narrower boat. I'm finally getting the hang of edging, which definitely helps with the turning.
And of course, thermoform is famously lightweight. And beautiful.
One thing I'd like to see in the L is thighbraces (the S has them, along with a backband instead of a more comfort oriented seat of the L. No complaints there; I like the seat). I added some paddling which were generously sent to me by Hurricane, along with some bungees because mine snapped when someone trip to pull me from an obstruction. Also, the common complaint that the material feels somewhat flexy is true, but I have no idea if this affects paddling performance.
All I can say is that I'm happy with this boat, and can't wait to take it out in similar conditions.Just bought a Tampico 140L. This is my 5th kayak. I'm 74 years old. I had a Perception Captiva 16 feet long with rudder for 9 years. I loved it but I got weaker & after paddling for 3 or 4 hours my arms were too weak to lift it up to the roof cradle. I"m 6 feet 4 inches tall & weigh 200 pounds. Looking for a light weight boat I tried a Hurricane Santee 116. It didn't track worth a damn & I had to remove the foot rests for leg room. Bought a Tampico 140L with rudder. It tracks almost as good as my Captiva did. Into the wind & about 30 degrees off bow the handling is great. 45 to 90 degrees it's hard getting used to the round bottom. I prefer a hard molded seat & miss the thigh braces.
Some control is missing. The rudder works great. the light weight is the selling point. I go most of the time where there are no people around & can lift it easily to my roof. I've been practicing leaning into turns & it doesn't seem so reluctant to turn. the 38 inch cockpit & raised deck make it easier to get these creaky old legs in & out. It feels heavy through the water & my paddle turnover is slower. But over a measured course of 60 minutes it is only about 1 minute slower. Following seas are harder to surf with the rounded hull & my abs get a real workout. I'll keep this one a while. In our late 60ís my wife and I decided to get sell our white water boats and move on to day touring exclusively. My wifeís touring boat is a Hurricane Expedition 128 that she absolutely loves. I had an Epic GP but wanted something a bit longer with more storage. At my wifeís urging I test rode an older Tampico 140L. I assume older as the cockpit listing on the new ones are 33" x 18", however the one I tested, and eventually bought, was 38" x 21".
Being used to the snug fit of the Epic I was initially taken aback by the huge opening, lack of thigh braces, and the tall rise; but unlike my Epic there was room for my size 12 feet, a real plus. The foot pegs are easily adjustable while in the boat if you want to move them closer, but if you need to extend them you better head for shore as you need to pull a release lever on the fore end of the peg toward you, and push the peg away from you at the same time. That said, there is plenty of adjustment to fit my 6', 210# + frame. If you are used to thigh braces and snug fitting cockpit, edging is going to be a bit more challenging. Couple that with a full length keel, and you will find that maneuvering this boat takes some getting use to.
It has good initial and secondary stability. It doesnít feel that way however, due in part to the lack of control without thigh braces. I added some foam to the knee areas on the underside of the deck of my boat but have to move the pegs closer in order to make knee contact with the foam. This position resolves the control problem, somewhat. Catch 22, on the long flat straight stretches when I try to gather speed my feet are too close for real leg comfort and good paddle rhythm.
My Epic was like a rocket in the water, this boat feels like a barge in comparison, but then I AM retired and have no real need for speed, ya right! My wifeís shorter (12'8") boat is much faster than this 14 footer. When I push it there is a noticeable bow wake that is not present when I paddle my wife's boat. I have tried various weight transfer options, and none have satisfactorily resolved the problem.
Hurricane's new adjustable seat, although reasonably comfortable, is not my cup of tea. I much prefer a sling back support and a smooth bottom to the high back and foam, but then thatís all personal preference isn't it? You won't be able to adjust the height of the seat back while on the water without some real practice on land. The ability to create some support behind your knees from the bottom of the seat is a very nice feature however. Both storage compartments have proven to have plenty of space, large opening, and remain water tight.
Finish of the boat is wonderful and the shine cleans up with mild soap and water. Spending most of our time on Sierra lakes and rocky rivers the hull has taken some real beatings with not a sign of leakage. Scratches yes, holes no. Deck rigging is more than adequate to secure my deck bag, extra paddle and large rubber ducky.
All in all the boat does fill my current paddle needs, but for the reasons mentioned above, I wouldn't buy it again. If you are a person with larger girth, the oversize cockpit will be to your liking, BUT, if you are, I would much recommend the Expedition 128. It has same size storage compartments, same size cockpit, greater total weight capacity, is more maneuverable, and is faster in the water.
I would definitely consider the purchase of another Hurricane product as value to dollar they are hard to beat. My next boat will undergo better research and testing on my part before I lay out my hard earned, fixed pension, cash. Just one man's opinion...The Tampico 140L is my third kayak, and the one I will keep. My first was an Old Town "Rush", the second a WS Tsunami 125. As I developed my skills I wanted a more responsive, faster yak and The 140L filled the bill.
The trial float was on the intracoastal waterway at Perdido, Florida... moderate winds and light chop at times. The Tampico tracked as if on a rail. My GPS top speed (I'm in fair but not great shape) was 6.1mph. I've read a couple of other reviews that stated the Tampico was hard to turn. It is slow in turning if you stay flat, but the rounded hull allows some very predictable leans and when cutting and edging the boat comes around nicely. I could not reach a point that felt like the Hull speed had reached it's limits. It was easy to maintain a 4.1-4.3mph cruising speed. The fit and finish is superb.
The reason I could not give it a ten is that the bulkheads leaked slightly from water in the cockpit, which I fixed easily with some silicone. The seat, though comfortable, was somewhat difficult to adjust the seat back up or down. It is a great boat for the money and would say any buyer would be highly satisfied.