01-18-2013Submitted by: Captain John
Reviews for Pamlico 145 T Kayak by Wilderness Systems
Based On: 46 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 Love this yak. I use it as a tender on my yacht. When I'm moored at Catalina, I use it to get to shore and pull up on a nice sandy beach. I've taken it through some pretty gnarley swells and she handles just fine. I have no problems with tracking. Great tandem kayak that easily converts to one person. The deep design of the hull makes it great for ocean performance even in cold weather when you don't want to get wet.
01-07-2013Submitted by: HayeSwan
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought this kayak for trips in the springs around central Florida. I have had no problems with tracking or stability. The seats are comfortable, I do not use a rudder, and my wife and I never have any problems hitting our ours or tracking one way or the other. I used to guide canoes down the mountain rivers of North Georgia, so maybe keeping it straight is easy for me as those canoes have flat bottoms. (You don't want a keel in a mountain river.) I have also taken this out on lakes in high winds and have yet to have any problems with steering or stability. I am going to opt for the spray skirt though once I take this out on the ocean. That should keep overlapping waves from filling in the boat.
10-03-2012Submitted by: RHE
- Rating: 9 of 10 I've had my Pam 145 for a bit over 7 years. I've mostly used it for 8 - 16 mile trips on the tidal rivers of the eastern Chesapeake Bay. It has been a good performer in this role with or without two people. My dock does not float so having a big open cockpit has helped in getting in and out at low tide. I don't have a rudder but have not had trouble keeping it straight enough. Unlike many, I usually ride in the back seat when solo without difficulty.
This past weekend I crossed the Chesapeake Bay (7.3 mile one way 8.6 back plus another three inland). Despite the 1 - 2' waves the boat never made me feel it was not capable. I did not use a rudder I did ballast the front a bit with a couple gallons of water and my gear (in case of overnight needs). It handled the trailing quartering wave well and never broached in the troughs. On the return leg most waves were near broadside again with no problem. Perhaps not the best craft for this purpose it nonetheless it performed very well. I would not recommend much higher waves but can't say I know the limit.
I love this boat and for back shallow water trips with a nap in the middle (very roomy) it can't be beat. Fun for the kids up front too.
08-06-2012Submitted by: mgc
- Rating: 7 of 10 I agree with the past reviews about tracking. With two adults in the boat we could not keep it from tracking to the left. We changed our paddle strokes, switched seats, and experimented with leaning and such to no avail. I had NO problem going in a straight line when I was solo. Other than that, this kayak makes for an enjoyable trip through the LA harbor!
07-23-2012Submitted by: Jeremy
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have been paddling for 25 years. I had a Waldon Paddler for 20 years and it served me well. I sold it when I moved. With my move settled I decided I wanted to get another boat but this time I wanted a tandem. Why a tandem? I wanted to introduce my girlfriend to the world of paddling and also get her son's out. Not having the room for 2 single kayaks plus with tandems today having the option to go from a tandem to a solo with the slide of the seat were three driving factors of why a tandem.
I went to several area shops and went on line to get all the information I could on tandem kayaks. I was disappointed to find that there was not a lot of information out there and what I did encounter was not that positive. I went to several shops that they wouldn't even sell me a tandem. "I tried one once with my wife and we almost got a divorce..." was one shop owners response.
The best advice I received was to try them out. I did and after trying several tandems out I went with the Wilderness Systems Pamlico 145T. I knew that I would be spending more time soloing than with a partner. With that in mind it was important to me that the boat perform well as a solo boat which it did.
It is a fast boat for its length. It tracks nicely and handles both flat choppy waters quite well. The majority of my paddling is done solo and the boat performs great. Its narrow hull makes soloing easier than some of the other tandems I tried that were wider. My only complaint is that the foot pegs do not adjust as easily as I would like but I find that I don't even need them. The seats are comfortable and I really like the adjustable back support. Its a nice feature.
As a tandem it is supper quick. and glides across the water effortlessly.
The key to remember with a tandem kayak is team work especially with a loved one or someone who has never paddled before. Let that front person dictate the tempo of the stroke. Enjoy the time spent with them on the water and work together.
I have paddled big lakes and reservoirs to small ponds and even rivers. The boat handled each type of water very well. All and all I am very pleased with my Wilderness Systems Pamlico 145T.
06-18-2012Submitted by: Kev (Brisbane Australia)
- Rating: 9 of 10 I've had my 145T (with rudder) for a couple of years now and have used it frequently. It has served me very well. I paddle in flat waters mainly. I find it very stable but a foot or two short for two people (have to synchronize strokes to prevent clashing paddles). For best results put the experienced paddler in the rear seat, so as to be able to steer better. I found steering from the front difficult (without the rudder), and simply won't entertain it. It is difficult to steer with a moderately strong cross-current without a rudder. I got caught in treacherous conditions once (very strong cross current with 1.5m swells). I ended up paddling for 8hrs straight (never been so stressed in my life). The boat withstood some pretty severe wave pounding that day but was almost impossible to steer without the rudder. I find the boat a bit slow (get passed by other sleek kayaks), but it doesn't really bother me as I paddle for fitness and leisure. I find the T145 serves its purpose very well (never intended for rough conditions).
My kayak lives on top of my Toyota Hilux ute (on top of the ladder racks). It slides on and off easily. I it a little heavy to carry to the water without a kayak trolley (not worth damaging your back for the sake of a few hundred dollars).
QUALITY - Build quality of kayak is quite good generally. Seats are comfortable. Small fittings on rudder didn't survive their first use - best to upgrade (wouldn't want to get caught out in treacherous waters with bung fittings). Storage compartments leak (unless properly resealed), so don't put any valuables in there thinking they will be dry. The company I bought the kayak off didn't want to know about any of my problems (even though it was only a week or so old) -a bit typical of kayak shops here.
TIPS - If flying tandem, put inexperienced paddler in front; if going in other than flat waters, get a rudder; don't think of going out in rough conditions without a rudder.
Verdict - Great kayak for what it is designed for. Generally very good quality. I paid top dollar for it but I regard it as being good value for money. I was glad I paid the extra $400 or so for the rudder (it saved me once and makes life very simple when there is a moderate/strong cross-current).
08-16-2011Submitted by: skyak
- Rating: 8 of 10 Just purchased this 'yak and have only been on water ~3 hours with it on a pretty calm lake, so this is based on a single experience so far... Took my daughter out with me; I'm 220, she's only about 80 lbs. I bought the boat for a combination of tandem paddling with my daughter and some solo paddling.
After an hour of paddling tandem I was ready to take it back. As others have noted, tracking is difficult (no rudder) and it's a little cramped for 2 compared to other sit-on-top tandems I've used. If the front paddler remains in a neutral position, I found it relatively easy to keep straight, but if the front paddler tends to lean on the stroke that seems to have a big effect.
After taking it out for a solo turn, I changed my mind completely. Every kayak is a balance of compromises. This one is a very nice recreational solo boat that can also take a second (smaller) person. It is a much different boat when solo'd - comfortable, fast, pretty nimble for a longer boat. I am quite happy with this tradeoff, but others who are looking for something to use primarily as a tandem may not be.
06-07-2011Submitted by: JJ
- Rating: 7 of 10 I have owned this boat for about 7 years. I bought a rudder after a couple outings, then learned to paddle it straight and never use the rudder now. You do have to correct immediately but this becomes second nature.
I love the hull shape, it paddles easily, and my adjustable back seats are the best I've seen for comfort but may have been redesigned. The ability to move the seat to the middle for solo outings is a great feature. We like the large open cockpit, but have to watch out for wakes.
My only complaint is that the boat is short for 2 people. With two adults, the boat sits low in the water. Another couple feet would be great for buoyancy. The 160t has the length, but is wider. The beam on the 145 is a good compromise of stability and glide.
If this boat was a couple feet longer while keeping all of the other specs, I'd give it a 9 for a recreational tandem.
09-29-2010Submitted by: aj
- Rating: 2 of 10 I wish I had read the recent reviews before I purchased my 145T. It will not go straight. I've used it three times - twice tandem and once solo. It doesn't matter; our kayak naturally tracked to the left. I was going to purchase a 135T but the sales rep (a friend of mine) said the 145T is so much better - being narrower, longer, and 5 lbs lighter than the 135T it would move through the water more efficiently. Not so. This kayak would be perfect if I was on a NASCAR track. So now I'm going to check the reviews on this site for other tandem kayaks before I make my next purchase. I'm 5' 11", 225 lbs and an advanced beginner/intermediate kayaker. My wife is a little over 110 lbs & is a beginner. I don't know if someone with better skills could handle this kayak any better; but I would not recommend this kayak to anyone.
I've spoken with the store manager and he is wondering if this particular kayak that I bought might have a hull defect. He wants me to bring the kayak back to the store so he/his staff can check on that possibility. Defect or not, he has agreed to take the kayak back and help me select a kayak that my wife and I will enjoy.
09-27-2010Submitted by: JDA
- Rating: 8 of 10 I bought this boat as my first kayak, thinking that a double would allow me to go with my wife or one of my kids. It's a great boat for that, on flat water or tame conditions. The big open cockpit is great for warm-weather paddling, and the boat handles waves quite well. The bad news is that it has proven harder to get a family member to go out with me than I thought. The great news is that this is an excellent single boat with the front seat slid back to the center. I mostly paddle it solo and I love it. It's reasonably fast despite the wide beam, which gives it excellent stability.
2 words of advice though:
- don't buy this boat without the rudder. It tracks great with the rudder, but poorly without it. And if you're paddling with 2 people, you really need the rudder.
- add big flotation bags in the bow and stern before you go more than 100 yards offshore. The cockpit is huge, and if you capsize, it's worse than a swamped canoe. The flotation it comes with is completely inadequate, and you will NOT be able to self-rescue. I put big flotation bags in, and now it rides pretty high when swamped so that you can bail it out from in the water.
09-15-2010Submitted by: TMV
- Rating: 7 of 10 I recently purchased an older Pamlico 145T at an estate sale and have benefited from quite a few of the comments on this site. Let me say that I entirely agree with the observation that 400 lbs is taxing the boat. However, as a tandem with myself (195 lbs) and my daughter (90 lbs), the kayak is both stable and swift. When she paddles the kayak as a single, it almost flies across the water. The reason for my lower than '10' rating is simply that it seems more fun to kayak your own boat rather than a tandem. And I much prefer the scenery of a nice lake or river as opposed to viewing the back of my tandem companion. That being said, the boat is a good purchase for an adult plus light weight partner or used as a single.
07-06-2010Submitted by: A3
- Rating: 8 of 10 My wife and I bought this boat new this year. We were not greatly experienced kayakers, but sailed for years. The seats are super comfortable. The 145T does lack initial stability due the the rounded hull profile, but it has good secondary stability. This is clearly a flatwater kayak due to the low deck height and large open cockpit. It could be a problem if swamped.
I have added flotation (pool noodles zip tied to pad eyes I added internally fore and aft). The rudder is a great addition, but took some time to install. WS installation instructions need some updating for this model. However tracking with the rudder raised is certainly acceptable. Also, this thing is pretty fast.
06-22-2010Submitted by: dkc
- Rating: 5 of 10 I have been kayaking for years and own 5 kayaks myself. I have a friend who bought a 145t and wanted me to go with her and try the boat out. We put the boat in a lake and started out across the lake. The boat was not as stable as I thought it should be and this boat tracts poorly. The rudder was not much help either. I was in fear of my safety when my friend shifted her weight and just about tipped us over in the middle of the lake. It is a boat that I would not buy.
06-21-2010Submitted by: stlmy3sons
- Rating: 8 of 10 Took this Kayak up to lake Superior last week and my three teenage boys had a great time, also had it on an Ozark river. First, 400# is pushing it. I'm 180# and with either one of my younger boys 150# or 110# it tracks well and feels stable, but with my 200# son that's a different story. it rides too low even on flat water. If you move the back seat to the middle it handles well as a solo even on a swift river. I would recommend this Kayak. I also plan on having my wife upfront with a glass of wine and a nice afternoon.
10-01-2008Submitted by: E.T.
- Rating: 8 of 10 Very fast for its size; handles nicely as a solo or double as long as you're two light adults or a child is in front. Two 200 lbs plus paddlers will not feel stable at all. I owned this yak for over a year mainly for fishing at sea - this is not what it was built for. Capsizing it means you'll probably won't be able to empty it and climb back on. Keep very close to shore and always have your PFD on you! It gets an 8 overall due to it's performance and comfort but a 5 in safety.
09-12-2007Submitted by: adamb
- Rating: 6 of 10 Just bought a 145T w/o the rudder. The boat is fairly light, fast in the water, seats are VERY comfortable and easy to adjust, but joeb is right about tracking. Solo the boat tracks just so-so. Tandem is another matter. The more weight you add the more difficult the tracking. My wife and I had to work to keep it straight. Two of our friends tried for a bit and just gave up. Bottom line--buy this boat WITH the rudder.
07-20-2007Submitted by: joeb
- Rating: 4 of 10 I want to update my last review of the Wilderness Pamlico Tandem 145. I have read and reread the other reviews and can't believe we bought the same kayak! Everyone says how it tracks so well, but my wife and I had to fight it constantly to keep it going straight. As I stated in my first review, I am a machinist and was going to make a rudder for the kayak. I made a prototype out of thin wood which is fixed and is not steerable. I took the kayak out by myself and was amazed at the difference in handling. I could paddle easily in a straight line or turn and it would straighten up by itself. I have since made a rudder out of aluminum but will have to tweak it because of it's rigidity. I would like to know if other people bought their boats with rudders or not? The cost of a rudder is $200+ and dealing with all the cables looks awkward at best. As a "plus" the seats are very comfortable and the weight is easy to handle by oneself. I would welcome comments by other owners of the 145 Tandem.
07-05-2007Submitted by: joeb
- Rating: 4 of 10 My wife & I just bought a Wilderness 145 Pamlico tandem kayak based on reviews we read. After 5 minutes of paddling we knew we had made a mistake. The kayak does not track at all!!! We had to compensate every few paddle strokes & this was in a calm lake.
If you let it glide it would turn in a circle. We have a 16.5 Perception & a 9.5 Mainstream that I use for fishing & neither of those track as badly as the 145 Pamlico. With the Perception we could paddle for several hours at an enjoyable pace & even the Mainstream that plows the water was acceptable but with the Wilderness we were tired & sore after 2 hours because we had to constantly fight the kayak. In open water under power it would veer either left or right & we would have to compensate for this & we could not hold a straight line. We have been kayaking for several years so we are not amateurs.
If you want to leisurely paddle along the shore 2 or 3 times a year it is fine but not for anyone that wants to enjoy kayaking as many times as they can get away. This kayak is WORK!!!
If I could return it to the store I bought it from I would, but after "use" I can not. Since I am stuck with it I am going to make a rudder hopefully to counteract the zigzagging we had to fight. I found the Wilderness rudder on line but it cost $200+. I am a machinist so I believe I can make it for a LOT less. Before you buy this tandem kayak TRY IT OUT!!!
01-22-2007Submitted by: langleygroup
- Rating: 9 of 10 Have been paddling for about 2 years. The 145T is my first purchase. It is proving to be near perfect for my needs, which is flatwater recreational and fitness paddling. My wife loves to go with me as well, so the tandem capability is great. I like the idea of giving her a wine glass instead of a paddle!!!! The boat glides well even with only onw paddler. I may buy another one for friends/guests to our lake house.
01-15-2007Submitted by: InOrlando
- Rating: 9 of 10 After my glowing review above, we had a misfortune that should be noted. When we loaned the kayak to our son and his wife, they paddled out onto a lake and were capsized within minutes by the wake of a waterskiier and fast motorboat. The boat filled with water immediately, and they were unable to either upend the kayak, or re-enter it.
Luckily the motorboat driver allowed them onto his boat, and then towed the swamped, overturned 145T to the dock where we dumped out the water. The lesson moral of this story: The 145T will fill with water and swamp without float bags fore and aft. The factory-installed little styrofoam floats do almost nothing to keep the boat afloat. I'm certain that, within minutes, we would've seen our tandem investment sink to the bottom of the deep Florida lake. Did I mention that there was an "Alligators are Likely" warning sign posted near the dock of this lovely lake? (as there is with most lakes in central Florida).
We still love our boat, don't get me wrong. But we've installed huge floatbags fore and aft, and we intend to practice a tandem wet entry/exit technique as soon as winter's over, and we clean out our swiming pool's leaves.
10-31-2006Submitted by: InOrlando
- Rating: 9 of 10 My husband and I tried our new Pamlico 145T on the slow Suwanne River near Manatee Springs. The initial stability was outstanding; comfortable seats--second to none. We paddled from Manatee Springs out onto the Suwanee without a hitch. The boat paddled smoothly with surprising speed. Durable, beautiful, sleek, and fast--this one's a keeper. I would've given 10 of 10 for a rating, but there was one caveat: We had hoped to bring our granddaughter alone with us one day, but we realized with this first trip that there was absolutely no room for her 3-year old little body to fit. The salesman ordered a jump seat, but we have no idea where it would fit: We had enough room to paddle comfortably, but the rear seat does not adjust (and there are no footpegs for the rear seat, either). Once I adjusted the front seat all the way foreward, it still wasn't enough room for her to sit in front of me--the foreward paddler--unless I adjusted my stroke to accomodate someone in front of me. We're disappointed, but we won't return it fabulously sexy trandem kayak.
06-28-2006Submitted by: mtnesters
- Rating: 10 of 10 Paddled the 145T as a solo for the first time. Spent three hours on the river paddling upstream then down. This kayak is very comfortable in either direction. Easy to paddle with the front seat moved to the middle. Thsi kayak glides with little effort. Going downstream with the current and wind at my back, I barely had to paddle. The kayak is approx 70 lbs. with a rudder, but no problem loading it onto the Trailblazer by myself. I purchased the RollerLoader after reviewing teh comments from this site. I feel I have the perfect kayak for rivers and quiet lakes. I will not take it on Lake Michigan with a chop until I get a spary skirt size XXL. to cover the cockpit on this rec yak.
09-26-2005Submitted by: BAS
- Rating: 7 of 10 Make no mistake that this is a well made, very nice boat. However, my wife and I just bought one and are ready to take it back. Construction isn't the issue, but rather stability and weight capacity. I would be careful about this boat if your combined weight is over 425 lbs. It becomes very tippy and the tracking gets worse.
09-04-2005Submitted by: JB
- Rating: 10 of 10 My wife and I have been taking our 145T out around San Diego and Coronado Bay. What a delightful kayak. I am 180 lbs and my wife is about 160 lbs and we race around the bay with little problems. We love it!!!! It goes through the water like a champ and allows us to go anywhere and everywhere we want. We like being close to the water, it gives us a feel for where we are at the moment: fresh air, clear water, nature around us, great exercise. How could it be better!! We use it mostly as a tandem, but it sure works wonderful as a solo kayak. We want to get one more so our friends can join us. If we do buy another kayak, it will be a 145T.
06-28-2005Submitted by: BayouBill
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have owned a rotomolded (plastic) Pamlico 145T since Christmas of 2003. Until now I haven't felt the need to submit a review, since the ones already posted cover the pluses and minuses of this boat well. But last weekend, during a paddling course, I learned a couple of things that I'd like to pass on.
Prior to last weekend, I had done all my paddling, both tandem and solo, on flat water - slow moving south Louisiana bayous, and in marsh ponds - where the boat (with rudder) works extremely well. But last weekend's course was on a nearby river with a variety of water conditions, from wide, slow stretches to areas full of fast moving water around hazards (fallen/sunken/floating trees and large rock formations), and even an area of small class I rapids.
The first thing I learned was that the rudder is pretty useless when navigating a narrow, winding, quick course, or when trying to back- or forward ferry from side to side across the current. You're better off pulling the rudder up and using just your paddle and leaning into the turns.
The second, and most important, thing I learned is to use _two_ flotation bags, one in the bow and one in the stern, if you are on fast moving and/or hazardous water. The first day out (trying to avoid the instructor, who was bravely - or stupidly - standing on the edge of a narrow right-angle cut we were supposed to navigate), I got caught in a strainer, and the cockpit _instantly_ filled with water. The hull (but, fortunately, not I) was totally submerged and wedged between a fallen tree and a boulder broadside to fast moving water, and it took four grown men to pull it out. I was using just the one standard flotation bag in the stern, and it was not enough to keep the hull afloat when the water rushed in. (The good news is that this is one tough boat. After we pulled it out, nothing was broken, and, other than a small scratch on the hull, you couldn't tell that anything had happened.)
The next day, I put a second flotation bag in the bow. My first time over the rapids, I flipped the boat (my fault, not the boat's), and the bow dived under the water, just as it had done the day before at the strainer. But because of the added flotation, the bow popped right back up. There was still a lot of water in the cockpit, though not as much as before, since the front float bag reduced the cockpit's volume, and the combination of the additional flotation and reduced cockpit volume kept the boat afloat.
So...Enjoy this great, versatile boat, but don't think the rudder is a substitute for paddling skill, and carry extra flotation when it's called for.
05-25-2005Submitted by: Mark
- Rating: 9 of 10 The Pamlico 145 is the ideal boat for the kayaker who frequently paddles alone, but wants the flexibility to take along the spouse or one of the kids. I have a plastic boat, equipped with a rudder and the Phase 3 seats. It is easy to configure the seats for solo or tandem use. Same with the rudder. I use the boat most often as a solo on the lower Connecticut and its side creeks. It tracks so well with or without the rudder that I can keep up with an experienced friend in a sleek, 16-foot wooden boat. In calm water, the boat paddles so easily that I've handed my wife a glass of wine instead of a paddle. On a three-hour trip down the Farmington a few weeks ago, the going was so easy I didn't mind that my 12-year daughter (5-foot-4, 120 pounds) did more sightseeing than paddling. If you are looking for a good, versatile boat, I'd give this one a try.
10-25-2004Submitted by: mec
- Rating: 7 of 10 I purchased kayak with the intention of using it primarily as a tandem. I have a seven year old son who likes to paddle with me. The Pamlico is everything it is advertised to be, stable, tracks well and is faster than I expected. It paddles well solo or tandem, with a seven year old I spend most of the time paddling the kayak myself, he tires easily. The only complaint I have is this kayak is only good for very calm conditions. The large cockpit is not good for ocean paddling; it takes on too much water. Last week my son and I capsized in a protected bay, the boat quickly filled with water and it was near impossible to get the boat upright without filling the cockpit with water. I have been using this kayak for over a year and have been paddling for 5 years. I do have adequate experience on the water. This was a very enlightening experience. I should have known this could be a problem. I guess what I am saying is if you are planning to use this for other than lake or very smooth conditions, you might want to consider something else. After a couple of hours of paddling if you were to capsize, the boat is extremely difficult to upright and re-enter, you would be surprised how much water can get into the cockpit. Although I really enjoy this boat, I have decided to sell it and will be purchasing a sit-on-top today. I would recommend this boat for two experienced adults, but not for an adult and a child.
09-19-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 The Wilderness Systems 145t is a fine tandem kayak. I have owned one for several weeks now. I purchased the kayak used for my 12 year old and myself. I mostly paddle alone though. This kayak is 14.5 feet long and plenty wide. I am an inshape 6' 1" 230 lb male. There is plenty of interior room with or without a passenger. I do suggest you purchase a quality paddle as this is a large boat. I am on my second. My first was a EMS Coastal, stay away. My 2nd is a BB Infusion with dream blades. The boat flies with the Infusion. The only problem so far is losing a seat rail screw that fell out and into the water. You won't go wrong with this one.
08-26-2004Submitted by: Mike L
- Rating: 10 of 10 After extensive research, I decided to purchase a Pamlico 145. I took it out earlier today (solo)for the first time. I could not be any happier. The seats are excellent. The foot braces perfect. And, the ride is swift, stable and fast. I dont think I could ask for more.
07-06-2004Submitted by: B. Sewart
- Rating: 7 of 10 As a kid, my grandfather built a Kayak out of a wooden frame and Canvas covered in Shalac (a tandem). We used to take it out on weekends on ponds and lakes, he even used it in Long Island Sound for fishing. The years went by and I ended getting a place of my own near a lake, and thought it would be neat to go Kayaking again. I searched several local stores for a good deal, I eyed the Old Town Otter (Wider and looked slow) and the Perception boats (more pricer). Then decided on the sleek looking Wilderness Systems Pamlico 145 RED (Roto Molded Poly) (w/o Rudder).
The first day I bought, was the day I first went on the lake (solo). It was a calm day and paddling was effortless it seemed, however, I noticed the water line higher than I'd like for just 215# male. After adding my wife on board, the water line increased dramaticly 170#. The specifications call for a capacity of 500 to 525 depending on where you get your information. When the motor boats and jet skis pass by creating a wake of 1/2 - 1 feet, water would wash over the front into the cockpit, from the side it was a little better, but still water entered due how high the water line reaches in still water, only 4-5 inches more to the top of cockpit opening.
Paddling is a little ackward, and we end up hitting each others about 10 times during an 1 hour tour. Tracking is bit difficult in the wind, w/o the rudder system.
Pros: 1) Sleek look 2) Comfortable seats 3) Adjustable seats (for solo and seat backing heights) 4) Carrying handles 5) Speed 6) Calm water/wind tracking
Cons: 1) Although called a Tandem, it taxes the "alleged" capacity, with 2 adults and other than calm water conditions. 2) Back Seat is fixed (can't slide forward) 3) Rocks easily when partner leans too far as you. (May be the case with all Kayaks, so I hesitate to put this here.)
All in all, I am happy with my choice. I may end up purchasing a sleeker Pamlico 145 PRO just for myself and have the wife and kids use the other. Although I have been eyeing the Perception boats (single).
11-12-2003Submitted by: bigkahuna
- Rating: 9 of 10 Great recreational boat for the family. Bought after a few years of having a sit-on and wanted to extend my kayaking into the cooler weather. Tracks well and fairly maneuverable. Use it mainly around the rivers, streams and bays of Jersey. Stable and fun with me(6'2", 200lbs) and one child. Haven't tried the solo thing yet but nice to know it's there when I want it. Good value for less than $600 (used). Great adjustable seats! Easy to car top. (65 lbs)
10-27-2003Submitted by: doc
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought the Pamlico 145 after a demo in a couple Pungos and a Pamlico 140. I found the 140 more stable than the Pungos and easier to track a straight line. I assumed the 145 was a multichine boat like the 140. The poly tandem 145 is not a multichine boat. I'm 5'7" and 145# and with some practice have learned to track this boat fairly well. I wanted a good all around kayak and feel I made a good choice. I entered in a triathlon and this boat was among the top finishers with poly boats- only a couple minutes behind the racing kayaks and canoes. If you are considering using it for serious tandem paddling you may want to move up to the 160. The few times I have tandem paddled I have slapped paddles with the other paddler intermittantly. I'm sure this is mostly due to my inexperience, but I didn't find this a problem in a friend's 160 Loon.
06-02-2003Submitted by: Larry
- Rating: 9 of 10 I am 6'1" and 230lbs, I bought the 145 tandem after reading reviews here and am glad I did. I wanted sonmething I could paddle alone or with one of my kids on the Connecticut river and lakes in small shallow coves and feeder rivers. At first I regretted not getting a rudder but now that I have used it for a few weeks and have gained both experience and streagnth I don't miss the rudder very much. I can car top by myself wich is good because I use it as a fittness boat during the week on the way home from work. It racks good with one paddler and better with two. It is very stable and extremely comfortable. I have even used it with my 5' 11" 160lb wife and and we were both very comfortable. I would buy it again knowing what I know now.
05-09-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 About 6 months ago I went on a kayak day trip in SW Florida. I made the reservation for myself and my 8 year old daughter. My daughter came down with a cough and fever the morning we were going, so I had to go alone. Whe I got to the launch site, the guide did not have an extra solo for me, so he said, "no problem, we'll put you in the Pamlico 145 as a solo, its as good as a small touring boat".
That day the wind started at 5 mph, then reached about 30 mph as the day went on. Although I had little experience in a kayak, I could tell the Pamlico was a great choice for the day. I had to constantly wait on the rest of the group (about 10 kayaks) everytime we started into the wind. The others were in the usual rec kayaks 12 - 14 long. At the end of the day, we did the typical sprint to the finish line. The only boat that could keep up with me was a 15 ft Perception double when they were both paddling like crazy. Needless to say, I was impressed with the speed of the Pamlico. Since then, I have rented and attended a number of demo days trying to find a better boat. Unable to find one, I finally gave up and bought a Pamlico 145.
The first time I brought the new boat home, my daughter and her 8 year old friend took off before I even had a chance to try it out. I knew I made the right choice when I heard them laughing as they paddled out and back without a problem. I've even managed to get my wife to go out with me a few times, but for some reason she always forgets her paddle and brings a glass of wine instead. It paddles just fine when there are two people and only one working.
10-01-2002Submitted by: Joe
- Rating: 8 of 10 I've been using my Pamlico in the Potomac River (above great falls) and the Chesapeake Bay. I fish off of it, as well as take extended day trips. I would call this boat more a sleak canoe than a kayak. It is huge and roomy, but small enough for extended trips. It handles quite well for it's size. It's very easy to manuver. It tracks well in calm water, but in current or wind, tracking is non existent. I would absolutely recomend the rudder system if you expect to do any light touring.
Due to the open cockpit, it's not very sea worthy. I wouldn't recomend taking it in surf over 2-3 feet. Taking a wave head on will fill the cockpit instantly. I did manage to surf a few waves to shore, which I didn't expect was possible on such a large boat. The boat is incredibly stable. I can stand in it without a problem, and manuver to the front or back of the boat to access gear without the fear of tipping. It is relatively light. I don't have a problem getting it onto the car, but I have a strong build (5' 6", 200lbs), so some may find it a bit of a pain handling it alone.
I think this is a great first kayak. It's stability will instill confidence in beginners. You have the option of one or two people, It's roomy enough for hauling lots of gear, and you can fish off it. After using it for a year, I have found that I most often take extended solo day trips. I am averaging 6-10 miles a day on the river. I will be purchasing a Cape Horn 17 for next season, which will most likely become my main boat, but the Pamlico will be nice to have around for guests, etc.
08-16-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 8 of 10 A reasonably seaworthy (for recreational), fast, safe, and very comfortable boat. Fun for one or two. However, this boat tracks poorly in any kind of wind and desperately needs the rudder kit. Once you've done that it's great. The rudder kit is designed for the Pamlico Excel so the straps are in a funny spot - they catch on the front seat in the tandem setup and need a bit of ingenuity to fix them. The good thing is that it comes with two sets of pedal tracks, so the steering pedals can be moved to the front seat position in tandem mode, in other words, the rudder works in both tandem and solo positions.
07-29-2002Submitted by: GA
- Rating: 5 of 10 My wife and I rented a Pamlico for the weekend for use in the Pamlico Sound around Bath, NC. It did not perform well in the body of water for which it's named. A rudder would probably have helped. Also, the lack of a rudder can create marital problems when paddling tandem. Boat also accentuated the fact we need to loose weight. This boat may be fine for flat water, lakes, creeks and slow rivers, but it was a bit scary in the sound. If purchasing, perhaps consider the longer Pamlico Excel with rudder. I did find it very steady, but tracked poorly. After paddling a real touring sea kayak, it's hard to go back to a recreational boat. Seats were great, though. And, I liked the piece of mind of the built in floatation.
04-17-2002Submitted by: cragar
- Rating: 9 of 10 I wanted a boat that would give me the flexibility to go solo/fast & share my time w/ my wife & kids. My salesman was right and I've tried other boats since - singles and open tandems - none offfered the speed and/or flexibility(incl some sim length singles). Of course it is not a single, but neither am I. I have paddled lakes, rivers, Mexican coast and a section of the Colorado; camped, fished, sped along & floated; solo & accompanied by as many as two kids and a dog. Hard to imagine a better compromise. My wife loves it, as do my young girls. Most telling recommendation? I have three friends who insist they are at the top of the list IF I ever want to sell. BTW - I prefer carrying it overhead, like a canoe and rack it cockpit down via gunwale brackets.
11-16-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is my first kayak and not exactly what I was looking for when I went shopping. I was looking for a boat to take to the beach and use in the ocean on calm days, to fish ponds and lakes, and paddle on flat rivers. I wanted a sit on top, but after paddling this boat, decided it met my needs admirably. It paddles easily, tracks well, and has lots of room for stuff(like tackle boxes and coolers). The seats are comfortable for realitively long periods of time. Though I use it mostly alone, my kids fit comfortably in the front seat (which moves to center to paddle alone), and the boat has great primary and secondary stability. I do not think it will work well in the ocean without a spray skirt, the cockpit is VERY LARGE. This is a great boat for beginners, and has lots of uses. Now if I can just get my wife to paddle...
09-08-2001Submitted by: John
- Rating: 9 of 10 After renting other kayaks in Hawaii we wanted something faster for river/bay kayaking. The only available hull design there that was faster was the Pamlico so we rented it. We were pleasantly surprised with the speed and all around handling/responsiveness of the Pamlico in the wind/rain/waves/current. Our best kayak outing there was in the Pamlico.
09-07-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 Much of what has been said about Pamlico I would agree with. It is a very stable and comfortable ride. I got the sand color (think that is its name..anything but the purple) so I could fish out of it, etc. I do agree with one comment that front seat foot pegs would help. I don't have the rudder (would like to buy the accessory one) but haven't really needed it. Goes on the roof easily and the toggles make it an easy two person carry. One person carry is not as easy, but not as bad as some if you ride it on your hip. I bought a kayak cart that helps a lot. Have had it on Lake Pontchartrain in NO but not on heavy wind days and it tracks well and doesn't take on water. I use it as a supply and rescue boat for teenagers ww'ing (on what passes for that here) and it actually handles smaller rapids if you are careful because it doesn't lean and turn like a canoe would.
09-04-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I'm new at kayaking so I relied on my local kayak shop to recommend a boat suitable for my needs. I was looking for a kayak that I could take my wife out in and occasionally my two-year-old daughter, but its primary function was for solo jaunts. Most of my paddling would be in the estuaries, harbors and bays of Long Island NY's North Shore. The Pamlico was recommended to me without hesitation. Although I'm too inexperienced to have a basis for comparison, I can say that the Pamlico has met or exceeded all my expectations. The boat is just light enough for me to shoulder for the short distances from backyard to car and from car top to harbor without help. On the water, I found the Pamlico to be easy to paddle and I was able to point it in the right direction even though I'm just developing my kayaking skills. I also found the boat to be very stable. Ignoring the manufactures capacity rating of 400 lbs, a friend of mine who weighs 230 lbs and I (175 lbs) took the boat out in an attempt to catch some fish (I have the regular Pamlico, not the angler). I'm proud to say that we stayed afloat despite the rough surf caused by all the Labor Day boat traffic in the harbor. We even caught a few of the bigger wakes for a nice, albeit brief ride. For anyone looking for a good all around Kayak and likes occasional company on the water, I'd recommend the Pamlico.
01-02-2001Submitted by: Steve Woolf
- Rating: 9 of 10 The Pamlico is my first kayak, and I have been quite pleased with it. I also bought it with the thoughts that my Wife would join me sometimes, but she has only been once. I might have bought a solo yak if I had known that, however the pamlico has served me and my dog well. We are able to fish spots that are not traversable by bass boats. I am also able to sit almost on top of a strike zone and not disturb the fish. I have found it most enjoyable when backing against a sand bar or small island and casting into the flats for small pan fish. I can see all of the action unfold in front of me. I have paddled rivers and lakes in Tennessee, Alabama, and I look forward to paddling the Chattahoochie and Suanee this year.
12-05-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought my Pamlico with the idea that my wife may wish to paddle with me sometimes but not most of the times. Excellent boat for 1 or 2 persons, paddles well and the large cockpit allows for comfort and gear. Great boat to fish out of with one person, handles well in calm or chopy conditions. If you have the money, get the glass or kevlar with rudder. The weight and paddling advanage is very noticeable.
10-24-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 As a new kayaker two years ago, I chose the the Pamlico tandem kayak as our first kayak. Since that time, the Pamlico has been an exceptional kayak.
+ Handles two medium-large size people. + Rudder system works well . + With additional full skirt, Pamlico goes from calm river to the open waters of Lake Michigan with no problem. + Handles well in tandem or solo trek. + Easy access for both seats. + Comfortable and adjustable seats. + Spacious storage room.. + Great universal kayak. + Light enough to be handled/lifted by one person
- Rear kayaker may find some discomfort if they have long legs as distance between front and rear seats with rudder control is not long enough. - In Solo position, rudder system control cables catch or drag on solo seat. More annoying then anything else. - No foot pegs for front kayaker in tandem ride.
09-25-2000Submitted by: Russ Adams
- Rating: 10 of 10 End of August 2000: Demo'd a Loon 138T and a Pamlico (NOT the Excel). In the Inter Coastal Water Way, Wilmington, North Carolina. Conditions were a swift current and a brisk headwind. The Pamlico moved VERY quickly against current and wind! Very comfortable seats. With 2 guys at 165 and 180, the Pamlico handled quickly and nimbly. When I took it out solo, it outperformed the Loon quite easily. The Pamlico put broadside against the wind and current was very easy to solo change direction into the current and wind. I'm 45, 165lbs, and in ok shape. I was able to paddle against both the wind and current with moderate difficulty, and it tracked well. The Loon 138T in the same conditions was a chore to turn into the wind, and I almost couldn't paddle it against the current and wind, and it didn't want to track. Between the two, I'd pick the Pamlico hands down. Don't get me wrong: I actually like both yaks. I demo'd the Loon first, and my initial impressions were very favorable. Until I solo'd it into the current and wind and almost couldn't make headway. Then I tried the Pamlico: more responsive, faster, still stable, more comfortable seats. I'm a beginner BTW. So try 'em yourself and see!
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