Submitted: 04-26-2010 by MT_Edwards
I tried out the T140 yesterday, that is, the new 2009 model, and I was really impressed once on the water.
It took quite a bit of effort getting it on the water though. It's quite heavy to carry or car top, in spite of excellent carrying handles. You will need a kayak trolley if on your own, and either be quite strong or have a loading aid to get it on top of the car.
Now the good stuff:
As said, once on the water all changed. Tracking was excellent and in spite of the weight of the kayak out of the water, it was very nimble and light to paddle, relative to its length.
I also tried out the Prowler 13. Comparing the two, the Tarpon feels much more sturdy and well kitted out. I was really impressed with the hatches, although I don't know how watertight they are. Compared to the day hatch on the Prowler, the Tarpon one is far more easily accessible as it doesn't need to be unscrewed. It seems to access the main storage area (I could be wrong) and any small items may get lost in the hull as a result. However, this could be easily resolved. There are also two small compartments covered with rubber matting, where additional items can be stored. Although, these need to be secured as they may fall overboard if the kayak tips over in surf. The seat is really good as well, although, I haven't been able to try it on a long journey. I'm not sure how adjustable it is either, and this may need to be checked.
Handling: Again, in spite of the kayak's weight out of the water, it handles really well once in the water. I couldn't feel much difference in getting up to cruising speed with the Prowler 13. As a 14 footer, I didn't expect it to turn as easily as a shorter kayak, and of course I was right, but again, I didn't feel there was much difference than the Prowler. The Tarpon feels/lies slightly lower in the water than the Prowler 13 and may therefore not be as susceptible to wind. In spite of being lower in the water, I didn't see any water in the boat, other than what you would expect from paddle dripping etc.
I must admit, I tried it on the river, but the problem of water gushing in through the scupper holes seems to have been resolved in this new model. All in all, very pleasantly surprised, and I think this will be my next kayak. I'm paddling a Scrambler 11 now.