Submitted: 07-06-2004 by B. Sewart
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).