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Reviews for Pungo 140 Kayak by Wilderness Systems


Rated: 9.09/10 Based On: 88 Reviews


Pungo 140 Kayak by Wilderness Systems

Length: 14' 0" - Width: 28.00" - Starting at: $975.00
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09-06-2014
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     As much as I like how my Pungo 140 handlles in the water there r two things that need to be improved. The seat is held w plastic screws and they stripped after the first 2 uses. I now keep a small log under the front of the seat to keep it somewhat elevated. Also for disabaled people such as myself w severe Osteoarthritis kayak builders need to have as an option 2 (towel???) bars along the rim of the cockpit in order to have something to grasp to help pull themselves up.

I do really enjoy my Pungo 140 as its easy to maneuver in the water, is very stable when the lake is a bit rough and has a nice deep, long cockpit that fits my dog as well as myself!!!

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09-05-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I recently sold my Pungo kayak. It was my first kayak and it was a good choice for my first one. I never learned to do the eskimo roll so the huge cockpit was reassuring. It was pretty stable, even in some big waves, and I never felt in danger of capsize. It was also very maneuverable and easy to handle. I would definitely recommend to any beginning kayaker.
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09-04-2014
Submitted by: ChrisSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I recently rented a Wilderness Systems Pungo 140. When I first got in, I commented to my wife that it was the most comfortable seat I've sat in (& I've rented many). I'm glad it was, I kayaked 10 miles of the Charles River in MA. It was the longest trip I have done to date. It also had a very nice glide.
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08-21-2014
Submitted by: M. BankstonSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have owned a Wilderness Pungo 14 for about 4 years. It is the best all-around tracking, riding and paddling yak I've been in. and I have 10 kayaks, all different brands and styles. My seat could use some improvement but I understand the newer models have addressed that issue. Still it's a great boat.
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07-30-2014
Submitted by: Joe MullinSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have put my Pungo 140 through some hard water. I had 2 foot chop crashing over the front deck and console going into a head wind. Paddling in a normal rhythm I maintained forward motion. I have one spot I go through called Mark's Cove on the Wareham river where she wants to crab across the water. This is quite amusing.

I find the Air Pro seat quite comfortable but takes some getting use to adjusting the back. I find if I lean forward I can get the back into a straight up position. I have a bad lower back so I am amazed at how I can paddle for 3-4 hours without problems.

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07-03-2014
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought my Wilderness Pungo last year and absolutely love it. Very easy to maneuver, lots of space in the cockpit for me and my dog (she loves to come along) My only suggestion for someone with arthritis like me, would be to install handles on either side of the cockpit at about knee length down to grasp too make it easier to get out
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07-02-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Faster than the Pungo 120 but I found that it was pushed around more by the wind. Tracks very well and is extremely stable. Turning not quite as easy as the 120 but not too much of a difference.
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09-25-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is likely the best solo recreational yak I have used! (Note: original purchase date was December of 2010.) Some of the things I like best:
  1. Large, sealed bulkheads BOTH at the bow and stern with very easy-to-use top covers with levers which you simply flip over to open up the lid – it is so much easier than the typical covers which you have to pry around half of the surface to open up, then stretch them forcefully all the way around to re-seal them. Note: I have not yet had opportunity to verify if they are truly watertight (I have no reason to doubt it, but just have not had the circumstances occur to prove that yet).
  2. The speed capability is very good for a 14-footer and for a 28-inch beam. It achieved in the range of 4.2 to 4.9 mph with steady to firm paddling, and up to 5.7 mph at a sprint (which matches its theoretical maximum hull speed, which is not always the case for a given boat). You can even keep it cruising at around 3.5 mph with a rather easy effort.
  3. Tracking is excellent.
  4. Plenty of cockpit room and leg room even at 6'3".
  5. There is a "console" that mounts at the front, top of the cockpit. It includes a smaller sealed compartment that is handy for things like a cell phone, camera, etc., plus has other open storage areas in its top tray too. It is also nice that this cockpit console is removable in case you want open space above your knees instead.
  6. The small storage area just behind the seat is handy while paddling.
Foot peg adjusters are easier to use than most. The seat seems nice and has a reasonably high back; however, I did find that I needed to adjust the height of the backrest down a bit or I got a sore lower back (maybe because when the backrest is higher, it leaves a gap at the lower back). The backrest height is easy to adjust w/ the pull-handle down underneath your legs. Only has a moderate amount of padding on the seat.

Since I have not had the boat a long time, and it was not used a lot before I got it, I cannot comment on durability. A drain plug would be nice, but not critical. I realize for a boat of this size w/ this many features that it will cost me something, but at the $969 MSRP, I did not purchase one until I found one that was lightly used, but at a much lower price. Also for a boat in this price range, it would be nice if there were a good, solid place to run a cable through for locking it up; you can run a cable under the side of the seat, but simply with a screwdriver, you could take out the two side screws that hold seat in place and slip out a cable.

All in all, an outstanding boat, both in performance and in features. I debated between a 9 and a 10 for the rating and ended up with a giving the benefit of the doubt based on these assumptions:
a) the durability will be good
b) the boat price is justified.
If over time the durability is less than I am giving credit for, and if I find other boats that are better in the same class and price range, then I should have given it a 9 instead.

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08-30-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     NOT EVERY UPGRADE IS AN IMPROVEMENT!
I recently purchased a Pungo 140 and have had it out on the water quite a few times for long excursions. I used it on 4 different lakes in various conditions & I usually paddle from 3 to 5 hours at a clip, sometimes longer.

I own 3 WS kayaks... a Pungo 100, a Tsunami 145 & now the Pungo 140. I'm a huge fan of WS & have always sung their praises due to their great design & quality build. I've been one of their biggest "unpaid salespersons" & have steered many people to their kayaks. However, for the first time I am disappointed with WS, specifically with the Pungo 140.

Overall, it's a good recreational kayak that can definitely be used for touring. It tracks nicely in a straight line & continues to glide after you stop paddling. It's roomy & very easy to get in & out of. Although it is no speed demon, with proper technique & form, you can have the 140 moving at a brisk pace, especially after you have a good rhythm going. Beginners as well as seasoned flat water kayakers will enjoy this boat. Because of the roominess, it's great for having a child or your favorite pooch sitting up front! The extra volume swallows up coolers, dry bags, etc.

WS "upgraded" the Phase 3 seating to the Phase 3 Air Pro seats. In some ways, it is a welcome improvement. The seating offers more support & is noticeably more comfortable for longer outings. The plastic rivets that affixed the seat cushion are no more. On my Pungo 100 & Tsunami, I've had to replace the seating after the rivets either came loose or the material ripped loose around the rivets. So I was pleased to see that change.

The major problem I have with it is the adjustability of the backrest. WS replaced the simple, single strap that went across the back of the seat with a two strap system that winds in & out to offer adjustability from the front of your seat. The idea was nice, but the design is flawed. The old system on my other 2 boats is incredibly easy to adjust on the fly. You can tug the one ring on the strap & it holds your desired position no matter how hard you lean back. It just as easily loosens when you want to recline the backrest & go into lounge mode for resting & or eating your lunch without having to get out of your boat.

The new system has 2 long straps winding through several contact areas, leading towards the front of the seat. I prefer a more upright seating position when paddling. The upright posture promotes better form & more powerful strokes, and prevents fatigue & lower back pain. I get more support & power when I have the backrest in a slightly more aggressive, leaning forward position. Unfortunately, this cannot be achieved with the new AirPro backrest. No matter how hard I tug & pull on the straps, I cannot acquire the same posture I can with my other two boats. The Air Pro seat lends itself to a more loungy position which detracts from having a smoother, more powerful stroke.

Once I have yanked the daylights out of the straps & have the backrest forward as much as humanly possible, I dare not touch or adjust them in any way while on the water, since its so difficult to get it right again. Even then, after awhile on the water, the seat ever so slowly, starts to recline on it's own. It doesn't hold firmly like the previous design. I'm only 5'9, 175 lbs, so it's not like I have a huge amount of weight pushing back on the backrest.

I spoke to a WS rep & asked if I could speak to someone in their Research & Development department to get advice on how I could remedy this problem and make suggestions for future designs. The rep told me they have R & D people, but they are not set up to take calls from consumers. I was baffled by this. If I were running a company like Confluence (they make WS & other brand kayaks) I would have a hotline directly from the end user to the R & D people. After all, isn't that what should matter the most... what the end user thinks about a product? My pleas fell on deaf ears & the rep simply reiterated several times that he's never had a problem with the Air Pro 3 Seating. I even offered to pay to have them install the previous style backrest strap. (He stated they couldn't do that). He suggested I take the boat to where I purchased it & have them look at it.

My observation is that this is an issue of over shooting with the design & making the "new & improved" seating less efficient.
Oh well. I'm left with having to drill holes & attempt to replicate the old strap system for the backrest. I hope that WS reads this & adheres to the idea that sometimes less is more. Keep it simple. And really take an interest in what a consumer has to say about one of their products that they just dropped a thousand dollars on!

I love Wilderness Systems boats (at least the previous ones), but because of the above, I do not recommend the 140 or the Airpro seating system. (unless you enjoy LazyBoy seating or you're ready to make some alterations to the design)

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07-29-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     If you want a fast, straight-tracking, easy to paddle kayak; the Pungo 140 is perfect. The cockpit is large which translates into comfort, easy entry, and easy exit. The latching hatches are convenient. The kayak has lots of storage room and plenty of leg room. Also, the seats are comfortable and easily adjusted. The Pungo is also a decent fishing yak. The footrests are easily adjustable without having to strain something trying to lean forward!

We have two Pungo 140s. My wife would probably give hers a "10", because she loves everything about it. I gave mine an "8" because the slanted bottom of the kayak under the footpegs gets really uncomfortable on the heels of my big feet after a while on the water. Outfitting foam might solve that.

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05-13-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I recently picked up a Pungo 140, I like LTR's so it was hard to give up on my old logic 'Traveller' (but I'd rubbed all the hair off its belly (scratches)).

First trip 225 miles down the Suwannee (trip report - http://backshortly.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/the-suwannee-river-fargo-to-the-gulf-i/), and the difference was apparent. The Wilderness held a straight line and simply felt 'smoother' through the water. Added storage out front helped to organize things a bit better (personal front/utility back) and I liked that. At first I rejected the console idea, but for paddles such as the Suwannee it worked perfectly.

Being one with a 'pack-horse' mentality, the Pungo fits the bill - plus its a little easier on the pilot along the way...
I like the change.

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05-13-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I both have Pungo 140s as we love the large open cockpit which makes it an easy in & out while extremely stable as well as allowing me to move around my long legs when I need a position shift. We continuously receive inquisitive comments from fellow boaters about our craft as they all like its size, cockpit and the way it moves through the water. We have no desire to ever consider a replacement.
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05-07-2013
Submitted by: Dave PSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just purchased the 2012 model Pungo 140, great kayak and very stable. Had it out on a small lake with a lot of choppy water. Takes a bit to get moving but once going is smooth and steady. Large cockpit great for larger paddlers. Love it for photography, can setup tripod in bottom of boat.
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01-19-2012
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I got back in the kayaking business 3 years ago after a 35 year layoff. I was in a crash in the New River and swore I'd never get in another one. I went to BassPro and bought an Ascend D10 and loved it. Later I went on a few excursions with some friends and was able to observe the Wilderness Systems Tsunamis at work. I liked what I saw and I started checking them out and ran across a Pungo ... when I found out that the hull was the same as the Tsunami I bought a 12 footer and really love this one.

I put a GPS on it and took it for a calm lake trial and was able to maintain 4.3 MPH for about 3/4 of a mile... didn't think that was bad for a 250 lb 5'11" old fart. I didn't buy it to race it but I like fast getaways and it handles perfect... so I did what any logical person would do and bought another demo Pungo 14' Angler. It is faster, sleeker, and as stable or more so than the 12 footer and tracks straight as and arrow ... My guests use the Ascend and my wife uses the 12 footer ... my next one will be a 145 Tsunami ... I've paddled this style on on the Ashley River in Charleston, SC and it was surprisingly easy to get into and out of for my size and tracked very nicely and was as stable as the Pungos...

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01-16-2012
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I first purchased a Necky for me and a Pungo 120 for my girlfriend. After a few short weeks I purchased a Pungo 140. We love our kayaks and use them often. They are perfect for slow rivers and lakes and track very well. We have pushed the envelope with ours and have a few times been through some class 2 and 3 rapids and they both handled well. My only complaint although not a biggie is that both Pungos leaked into our dry storage. But a tube of marine silicone fixed that problem.

I would and do recommend the Pungo for kayakers who like to go out all day and/or over night. There is plenty of storage for lunch and camping supplies as well as room for a few bottles of wine or your favorite beverages.

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10-04-2011
Submitted by: joeSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     There is no doubt that this lil girl will stick with me, fast as she be, stable no compare, sea to shining sea from Teton lake crossings, Lake Michigan waves, from the Snake to the Mighty Wisconsin and all who cross road between, she is my girl, tried and true to me hearts. Class two or a close III, a musky big as me, bass and gillies to thrill she takes me there, all ways and always. And with my others girls they paddle the 12s, full too.

And no wimp this lady keeps up,carries the tents,bags,food,ice,water and my largess she provides yet scratched without complaint she points down still nice and eyes her own she flows right full past her supposed 380 limit. My girl waits while I recover she is ever ready,no wimp she works the fine multichine I need and that is why she is mine.

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09-16-2011
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     As a former Necky, Lincoln, Eddyline, Prijon, Walden owner, I never missed any of them after buying my first Pungo 140 in 2003. In May 2011 I bought my third Pungo 140. Everything stated in my two other reviews still stands - I like the new hatch style and stern & bow bulkheads - no more float bags! I am working on adding a light fishing rod holder to the gray plastic deck accessory that came with the kayak. The person who bought my second Pungo 140 said it didn't turn as easily as his family's Pungo 120's. That has never been an issue for my paddling style - the longer version provides very good tracking and stability.
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05-30-2011
Submitted by: Kate Miller - Rating: 9 of 10
This review courtesy of www.outdoorplay.com

     Well, I've paddled my 14 footer now for two years. I'm 52, 6'3, 215 lbs. I test drove about a dozen recommended yaks, the Pungo was by far the most comfortable (both getting in/out & while on the water), goes 90% as fast as many if not all of 14 footers, & tracks like it's on rails. The downside - no front bulkhead (royal pain to construct one) and minimal rigging, try one out!
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05-30-2011
Submitted by: Shane J. - Rating: 10 of 10
This review courtesy of www.outdoorplay.com

     My wife and I each have one of these. We take them out every weekend when the water isn't frozen. The cockpit is large enough my kid can sit in front of me when we are out on a lake. Love taking it down the North Platte River. Plenty of room for everything you need to pack for a long weekend trip. Very stable and fun to use.
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01-05-2011
Submitted by: RMSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Finished my 4th season fishing with it. It has plenty of room for my tackle. Very comfortable. Quick. With the mini skirt you won't get wet when there is some chop. I have no plans on replacing it.
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11-19-2010
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Of seaworthiness, that quality which constitutes a kayak; that component without which tracking is poor and stability is lacking; that design which carves turns, handles waves, makes crossings, and wins races—the superiority must, with some reluctance be accorded to the Nighthawk. It is not to be suggested that of this hydrodynamic efficiency the Pungo had only a little, because the Nighthawk had more; for every other kayak since the Nordkapp must give respect to the Pungo; and even of the Nighthawk it must be said that if it has more secure bulkheads, it has not better comfort. The Nighthawk's expeditions were always exciting, either prompted by some long coastal exploration, or required by some big kayak race; it cruised without resistance, and raced without competition. What its hull could supply at sea, or provide in a long crossing was all that was needed, and all that was achieved. The stable design of the Pungo enabled it to reassure new paddlers, to provide comfortable seating, and to satisfy all that fishing might require, or camping might demand. If the races of the Nighthawk therefore are faster, the Pungo provides relaxed paddling. If of the Nighthawk’s hull the appearance is that of a sportscar, of the Pungo's the look is more of an SUV. The Nighthawk often leads the other kayaks, and the Pungo never falls far behind them. The Nighthawk is paddled with consistent excitement, and the Pungo with continual satisfaction.
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10-13-2010
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     After having used many reviews on this site for reference, I thought I should finally give back and write a review of the only kayak I have owned thus far – the Wilderness Systems Pungo 140. I bought my Pungo 140 in May 2005 when an Eastern Mountain Sports store was closing in our area, and the boat was 1/2 off. I had no idea what I was buying, but it was their last kayak left, and I thought at the very least I could buy it and then research it. If it turned out to be a poor boat, I figured I could sell it really cheap and still make a hundred bucks. When I got home, I researched the boat, and found out that it had spectacular reviews and a lot of features for a "recreational" kayak.
Man were they right!

I have definitely paddled this boat more than it was designed for – Georgian Bay, Algonquin, Allagash Wilderness River in Maine, Lake Erie, Acadia NP and Casko Bay in Maine, Outer Banks NC, and recently 107 miles down the Allegheny River near Pittsburgh.

Because it's 14ft long, it tracks well and I'm able to keep up with the rest of our club who are all in 16-18 foot boats. Sure, we have to paddle a little harder, but haven't had a problem keeping up yet. We frequently run Class II rapids, and have stumbled into a couple Class III rapids without incident. We are very comfortable in our Pungos, because they are very stable. But we have also learned to maneuver them very well. I think the Pungo edges very well. I once raced a 16 ft kayak around a small island, and he had a rudder. I didn't win, but I didn't lose by much. I edged it all the way around and kept up stroke for stroke.

The cockpit is huge, but I bought a full-length spray skirt for it. With the skirt I am able to confidently paddle in 3-5 ft swells. This past summer, I even learned how to flip the boat over and stay in it. I can't roll this boat up because of its width, but I can roll it back up with assistance from another paddler using the bow rescue or paddle-bridge rescue. I was truly amazed when I found out that I didn't have to wet exit the Pungo when inverted. Because the Pungo only has a rear bulkhead, I always put floatation or gear in the front of the boat to keep water out. A large floatation bag from NRS is perfect.

This boat fits enough gear for a week, at least. My girlfriend and I both have Pungo 140s, and we are able to pack them pretty liberally with room left over. Keeping in mind we are backpackers and have mostly small, light gear, we are able to pack the dual-burner Coleman stove and propane, full size camp chairs, and soft-shelled coolers which can keep things cool for a day or two. The coolers fit behind the seat perfectly. It's not quite canoe capacity, but people are very surprised when we bring the chairs and stove out.

So I got my boat in 2005 and in April 2008 I ran it past a rock in a small, very cold creek. The Pungo breached in three places along the starboard hull. A two-inch gash, a ten-inch gash, and another two-inch gash. I was so bummed. I didn't hit the rock very hard, and I had certainly scraped the boat worse in the past. I'm not sure if the April cold waters had anything to do with the breach. Anyway, I was able to finish the trip, taking on very little water. Duct tape would have helped, but alas, I had none. I called Wilderness Systems customer service, and after sending pictures of the breaches and the hull, they replaced the boat without any cost to me! They had to build one from scratch, so I chose a different color, and it was built to the 2008 feature specifications which included much more deck rigging and thigh braces – both extremely welcome additions. Unfortunately, a front bulkhead was not yet standard. I think they have changed that recently and starting shipping Pungo 140's with front and rear bulkheads. Anyway, I can't say enough good things about Wilderness Systems' customer support and how they took care of me.

Around the same time I was getting my new Pungo, my girlfriend also bought a used Pungo 140 off of ebay. Her boat is identical to my first one – probably pre-2006, and only had the single piece of deck rigging, and no thigh braces. This makes it impossible to carry a spare paddle on her deck, and she struggles to find room for all the safety gear that you’d like to have handy, like pump, paddle float, throw bag and tow line. But even without the thigh braces, she is also able to stay in the boat when inverted and can do an assisted roll with a bow or paddle-bridge rescue. The newer Pungo 140s are much nicer with the added features. And I'm sure the new ones with the front bulkheads are a dream (except now you can't pack the camp chairs!).

All in all, part of me thinks that we should be featured in Wilderness Systems advertising because of everything we have done in this boat, from Class II-III rapids, to open water crossings on Lake Erie, Georgian Bay, Outer Banks, and Maine, to week-long wilderness river trips down the Allagash, Nemakagon and Allegheny Rivers. The only we can’t do in these boats is portage any significant distances. But then my rational side thinks that WS would be crazy to advertise what we have done, because they probably don't want the average beginner, recreational kayaker attempting anything near what we’ve done in our Pungos. I guess that would be a huge liability!

So let me state that the Pungo isn't designed for class II-III rapids, and is definitely not a sea-worthy vessel. We have used them on the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, but in fairly moderate conditions. I'm very comfortable in my boat, but we paddle a lot, and we practice our safety and rescue skills at least annually. I have also performed two real rescues in Lake Erie. But if we really had to paddle 10 miles back to shore in rough conditions, we would probably be exhausted because our boats are too short to slice through waves and stay on course. So we would burn a lot of energy on correction strokes (particularly in following seas). And someone would inevitably end up being towed, putting others at risk. Because of this, we are now looking for 17-18 foot, truly seaworthy boats so that we can do open water more confidently.

But I still can't say enough about how extremely happy we have been with our Pungos. It is an awesome boat for starting out in and learning how to paddle, edge, and do rescues. And you can take it pretty far before upgrading to a true sea kayak, if that's where you end up – like us.

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07-07-2010
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've owned my Pungo 140 for 3 summers now, and use it 2 or 3 times per week for exercise, and to get out on the water. I like its stability, ease of exit & entry, and that it has plenty of room for my legs. At 6'3" I wanted something I could get into & out of easily & this kayak is a breeze. I use it exclusively on lakes & ponds in northern New England for short day excursions.

Mine is a leftover 2006 model, and it doesn't have the dashboard, which would be nice. I bought a miniskirt for it soon after purchase, and I feel this is a necessity. Waves don't break into the cockpit, and water from the paddle blades doesn't drip in either. It's also nice to shade your legs in mid-day sun or to pull up on a cold spring or fall paddle.

I've never had a problem with the hatches, nor with the bulkhead leaking. As for stability, I love taking it out on lakes on windy days and bobbing around, mini-surfing in 3' or 4' waves. It's not the fastest nor lightest recreational kayak, but a 14' boat usually isn't.

Oh, the seat is pretty good, too. I have chronic back pain, so am careful about what I do lifting, twisting, sitting, etc. I've found that by changing the back angle, the seat pad angle, the foot bracing, etc, I can keep my back from getting too mad at me. I don't know if there's a better system, but this is very good, and has kept me going when I thought I'd have to quit due to back strain.

I've decided to go with a touring kayak, so am selling this to buy a Tsunami. I hope I won't regret it, but feel after 3 yrs that a touring kayak is where I should go.

If you want a stable boat for getting out to fish, paddle on lakes, or for short camping trips, this is a great boat. I give it a 9, only because I don't give 10's very often.

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03-23-2010
Submitted by: Charleston SC KayakerSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     As a large kayaker 6'4" 260lbs. I have limited choices so, I own two kayaks, a Capella 173 Carbon Kevlar $3K and a Wilerness Pungo 140 $820. The Capella is the best kayak I have ever paddeled but, I am going to say that the Pungo 140 is my go to choice for most if not all non- ocean trips. It is extremely stable and tracks a little slower but, I hope that someone with larger size also has good power for turns. You won't have any trouble keeping up, it is fast.

This is my second Pungo as I foolishly sold my first one when I bought my Capella. The new 2009 model that I bought has the new hatches, and front cockpit tray. Take a sponge, bilge pump, and do the front bulhead for contingency waves. Knock on wood, this kayak is so stable I have not turned my new one over yet. I paddle 1-2 times per week with two clubs, join a meetup group or club in your area its free and you will learn a lot.

The price is really cheap, 815-850 plus tax is the price most shops sell these for in my area. I can't say enough how comfortable this Pungo is inside, you will adjust a few time but, Wilderness has been very smart and now sacrificed their quality seat. I did break the little switch under the cup holder but, my kayak shop replaced that free of charge.

I hope Wilderness keeps improving and beefing up this model. The 2009 model has a few subtle changes that I really like versus the 2006. My suggestion, go rent one first, I think anyone who buys a kayak blind is taking a chance, I tried the Tsunami first and really thought I would buy one but, my buddy let me use his Pungo and I was very very surprised. Stay safe, I know I really like mine. BTW If you are not experienced and getting into this, choose a bright colored one, power boaters are really really dangerous in my area.

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02-20-2010
Submitted by: GMSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just a follow up to my review last May. if you are a big guy and want to do some paddling.. then get this boat. I did god knows how many hundreds of miles in this boat last season and cant wait for the weather to warm up a little. from lakes,rivers to the open ocean and paddling next to Seals & Whales(yea scary for a beginer) this boat is top notch. No issues at all. Very stable and can pack a ton for camping trips! if you can find one... buy one. Email me if you have any questions!
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10-16-2009
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I bought my Pungo 140 in August 2008. I love the boat and realize its shortcomings. I got the boat primarily for use on large lakes and the Delaware River, the areas for which it excels. I'm a large man so the cockpit is comfortable and easily accessed. The boat glides beautifully and is fast and true. It does NOT turn quickly and easily though so it is not suited for class II and above rapids. I use my Loon 138 for those rivers.

Mine came with the Kayak Konsole which is neat and keeps my gear within easy reach. The area behind the seat is large but also makes putting a skirt on this boat difficult. There's lots of space in the rear bulkhead area and I just ordered a bulkhead for the front. WS is now making the Pungo with a forward bulkhead and you can order one from your dealer. That will help immensely with keeping water out of the boat while going through large wave trains.

I have had a couple quality issues with my boat. The pull on the Phase 3 seat for pulling the seat back up came off about six months after buying the boat and I cannot get it back on. My rear deck cover keeps popping off in warm weather (which is why WS went to a new system) and can be a pain in the butt. I resealed my rear bulkhead after some leaking began and now its good.

I love the boat, it does exactly what I needed it to do but be careful you read the reviews and get the boat suited for your paddling needs. Different kayaking opportunities require different boats.
Seals now makes a neoprene spray skirt for this boat with a zipper. Unfortunately I cannot find one and EMS was unable to order the correct one for me...

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10-02-2009
Submitted by: Cpan451Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I traded in my Pamlico 160T this past spring and after much research, I purchased the Pungo 140. I am 6'2 at 240#. I have taken this yak out on the open ocean, the sound side of North Carolina and Pennsylvania flat water lakes. I am very happy with this boat. My old Pamlico was about as fast as a barge and tracked like a top. The Pungo 140 lives up to the reviews. It's fast for a rec boat and tracks nicely. It is comfortable and very stable which makes it wonderful to fish from.

This is a great boat for larger paddlers but keep in mind that it is still a recreational boat. Don't expect the console to keep waves out when trying to get through the breakers. The cockpit is large which makes it easy for you (or big waves) to enter and exit (bilge pump required). It has lots of storage and (as a bonus) you can easily access the space behind the seat while paddling along. I keep a small tackle box there and it’s out of the way until I need it. The upgraded hatches on the 2009 models are a must and they also improved the seal around the bulkhead making it very water tight. If you are a recreational paddler take a long, hard look at this kayak.

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07-23-2009
Submitted by: Darren
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just bought this kayak used and couldn't wait to take it out on the water. I love it! It's a bit bigger than my Ultimate 100 but I'm sure I'll get used to it. The Phase 3 seating is very comfortable. It tracks excellent, speeds along very nicely, and has nice glide. However, it turns like a tank (but what do you expect?) I would HIGHLY recommend this to anyone who wants a great flat water boat that stows lots of gear.
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06-09-2009
Submitted by: klipa
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great kayak!
This is my first kayak and I think this one is great, just being new to the sport I find this one very easy to use, tracks straight, stable and quick, average about 5 km per hr. Being 14' long it is great for Lake Ontario.

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05-01-2009
Submitted by: GMSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great boat! I read a lot of research about kayaks and this being my first boat I am extremely happy with my purchase. I got the boat last month at the Kittery Trading Post paddle sports show at UNH. Got the 09 Pungo for a couple hundred less retail and no sales tax. Great Event.. bought everything there and I mean everything including two Thule racks!

The Pungo 140 is great - wide, stable, tracks straight and has lots of storage. I'm a big guy at 6' 270 and I fit fine with plenty of room. Two Thumbs up from me.

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04-25-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is a very stable kayak that likes to go straight. It is actually quite fast for a boat this wide. Plenty of room for storage and very user friendly hatch covers. The only two complaints I have are that it is a fairly wet ride due to the considerable paddle drip that ends up in the cockpit and the seat started to pinch my backside after the first hour. This latter problem can probably be fixed with a gel pad and the first can be resolved with a mini-spray skirt. All in all a nice boat after the two issues are addressed.
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03-17-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I tried out a lot of Kayaks these past two weeks and kept bouncing around touring and rec. We picked up a Necky Zoar Sport for my fiance and I went with the 09' Pungo 140. I took it out in the intercoastal here in S.Jersey and it was awesome!! It tracked straight as an arrow, was fast, and carved hard when I wanted to make a sharp turn.

I LOVE the new hatches and the console is made with heavier material as well. I got the sand color which is really nice. I have a Seals Splash deck and that kept the drips off. I have to say this yak performed flawlessly... nothing like the Heritage Featherlite 12 I had for a week and returned. Awesome yak...highly recommend. I am 5'6" 230lbs.

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03-04-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Like some of the others reviewers, I am a big guy also. 6'1" 285 lbs.
The 140 is great for me. We now have 3 and purchased the full spray skirts and the clip on hatches. We have done complete self contained camps in these (Wife, son and myself). We plug the nose with the tent and (believe it or not) 2 folding camp chairs and full size axe. The back end with heavy goods (beer and wine and food) and the top with sleeping bags, clothes etc in wet sacks and all the other necessities (stove, cooler, etc). Never an issue. For fun we added up the weight in my yak and it was a whopping 425 lbs. Sure on the rough days across the lake the nose was cutting thru the waves and up on deck but at no time was there any sense of danger or loss of control. It tracks beautifully. I just bought swivel yak clips because I need somewhere to lock the paddle into while taking the camera shots or drinking that "drink". cheers.

PS: Our friends rent every time, they have tried everything out there. The other husband is 6' and about 260 lbs and he now will only ever rent a 140 as he is sure the others will submerge or tip and he is extremely uncomfortable in them.

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02-27-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just bought another Pungo 140 (new), Wilderness has changed the hatches, and that's a good thing. They are much better than the rubber hatches that were on the Pungo. I am a river paddler, backwater and swamps. There's not a better boat for these applications.

I have 2 - 140 Pungo's, 1-Duralite 120 Pungo, two Prion yaks and a Hurricane 16-5. I use them all but I use the Pungo most, it's fast, stable and I'm able to pack a lot of camp gear in it. Plus the large cockpit is a big plus, pardon the pun. Now throw in the phase 3 seat and you have a rec boat that can't be beat. I have modified a canopy top to fit on top and that works great for sun or rain. The new boat rates a 10, only because I can't rate it any higher.

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08-25-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     After some research and a day of demo paddles, I purchased a Pungo 140 from Alden of Sunapee in NH 3 years ago. As a true (and permanent) beginner wanting to only paddle in calm or slow moving water, the 140 had what I was looking for (large cockpit, stability, and a comfortable seat); I fit nicely (6'2" 250+); and, with very little technique, I can paddle it quick enough and straight enough.

This summer, after trying a couple of times to paddle a tandem with my wife, we traded the Pamlico 135T in for a new Pungo 140 Duralite for my wife. In addition to the lighter weight, the new model has some nice upgrades, including the padding on the cockpit opening (which help protect the knees when paddling, and the shoulder when carrying it) and the dashboard (which gives you some nice small water tight storage).

Thanks to the sales lady at Aldens, we went with the 140 for my wife rather than the 120 which we originally thought about buying. We are glad that we did, although after a couple of times out, she was not just keeping up, but passing me on occasion.

If you are a big boy or girl looking for a recreational kayak that will make you seem like an experienced kayaker, the Pungo 140 is a sure bet.

If you live in the Northeast, you should check out Alden of Sunapee in Newport, NH as a place to shop. They are a small shop with everything you need. They have the knowledge, the advice, the service, a wide range of inventory, and a great place to try them on the water before you buy.

If you are looking for a good place to paddle after you buy it, you should take a trip to Wells Harbor in Wells Beach, ME (Maine). There are a variety of places to paddle, all protected from the ocean. Don't forget the sunscreen!!!

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06-19-2008
Submitted by: The Big GuySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I am 6'7" 285lbs! Yes thats right!
I just bought a brand new lime green Pungo 140 Duralite. It came with the front and rear hatches. Foot pegs did not need to go all the way and the seat is very comfortable! I would like to see a rudder on this just to turn on winding rivers. I dig deep into the water and can get up to speeds. Haven't had any waves and have not bought a skirt yet. I did get the plastic tray with a third hatch on it and its really cool. Taking it on the Charles River for the fourth and ride the wakes from the boats. Lots of room.
Don't have anything to say bad about it yet.

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05-12-2008
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just bought my second Pungo 140 in Newbury MA after looking everywhere within a 150 mile radius of home. Any differences? The comb is flexible, softer than first Pungo. Guess I can overlook that one Confluence - I like the new braces, the seat, and the hull design seems the same. Noticed & corrected by dealer - foot braces had been factory installed upside down.
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04-08-2008
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just purchased my third 140 - have one 120 also. Bought the first one 5 years ago - had canoed for 30+ years and am 6 ft and way large. I am an instructor and use the Pungos to overcome "stability" issues within minutes of launch.

I do not do sea kayaking but have had a few "white cap" issue in large lakes and no problems. I have paddled 140 rentals in Coastal Maine and the water was not flat and the Pungo was fine. I normally paddle 15-30 miles many weekends year round.

I read about all of the problems with these boats - deck rigging - took me two hours on each boat to customize mine and what paddler wants their boat the same as anyone else?

Flotation in the bow - a super large ziplock bag or another dry bag and you have your flotation. I would not want a bow bulkhead. When I camp I STUFF stuff until it is really full. I put my BIG AGNES bag in a compression bag along with my tent and it slides lovely into the bow along with many other odds and ends.

Fishing! - wow what fun in this comfortable sit-in - we have some very fertile lakes here - old reclaimed phosphate mines . The panfish grow to such sizes that they pull the Pungo around. Speaking of kayak fishing - I take newbies fishing. What a great tutorial for boat control. Fishing and river clean-up are great boat control tools and the Pungo excels in all of these.

There are many great boats out there but the Pungo line works for me as a touring, instructional, fishing and just all around fine boat . I have tried many boats and bought several and subsequently sold them.

When you look at a boat that you will spend HOURS in - look at the Pungo behind the seat storage. I put a day pack, large Camelbac, rain gear and a small soft sided cooler back there.

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10-31-2007
Submitted by: Gary EvertsSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought my first Pungo 3 years ago after test paddling 7 other brands and models and I will go on record as saying this is "the" best 14' rec boat I could have bought. It does everything I have asked of it plus more. It has lots of storage, very stable, superb tracking!!...and I personally found no need for a front bulkhead that a few dry bags couldn't handle, actually I prefer it to not have a front bulkhead because I carry a soft sided fish cooler with me to take some of my catch home and it fits perfectly in that area between my feet (very easy access)

I have paddled this boat all over and in different types of water from the Pamlico Sound on the outer banks of North Carolina, lakes and rivers of Michigan (incl. The great lakes)and I now live in Florida and have paddled from the Gulf to the backwater mangroves and this boat does it all. I have it rigged for fishing but it will also carry a ton of camping gear. This boat if rigged properly (a no-ceeum net instead of a spray skirt) and proper ultralight camping techniques a person can lay down "set the net" from inside and sleep on the beach in that cockpit and be the first one to the fish in the morning ...you can't do that with a bulkhead installed. You can't do that with any other brand of boat in that class.

I encourage people to paddle all kinds of boats and then make their decision, one boat isn't right for everyone. But this week I just bought another Pungo 140 and now I have 3...the whole family loves them. My wife and I are 45 years old and will have these boats for along time… like I said they do everything. A 10 +++

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09-10-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought this boat one week after we bought the 120 and we love both of them. I plan on installing a forward bulkhead at some point. It's a bit heavy for this 48 year old woman, but I am so pleased with handling and comfort and tracking is good. Stability is very good in this boat and they are good for fishing and camping. Wilderness Systems boats are very good quality.
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09-01-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is my third and best yak. I tested out a rental after my lumbar area was killing me after a long day in my previous kayak, and I knew I would have to find something else for those long trips without breaks. The seat is fantastic in this yak; maybe as customizable as the inflatable bladder versions in the touring yaks, but achieving the same results with easy to reach straps and pulls. One in front by the drink holder adjusts the height of the backrest; one under each knee adjust each thigh support separately, and one behind the right shoulder adjust the seat back angle.

The reason I only gave the 140 an '8' was the lack of a front bulkhead. Being accustomed to a flat bottomed yak, my second trip out in this slight v hull resulted in my rolling it over after going over a 4' high dam. As others have said it was impossible to bail empty without beaching and turning it over. Fortunately I was in a not-too-wide river as it would have been dangerous in the chop of a bay or ocean. I read another reviewers comment that the company will email you a bulkhead template and sell you the foam block to fit one yourself, but that information is not quite accurate; they promised to email me the template (it's been 5 days and it's not here yet) but they won't sell the foam block. They said "go to any dealer of Wilderness Systems kayaks and they will order it for you." My dealer said he had never heard of that (and he's been a dealer of theirs for years), but promised to look into it for me. To not offer a front bulkhead is foolish to begin with, but why bother to have a front hatch if you don't have a front bulkhead? Seems stupid from the get-go!

As for the handling and speed of this yak, I am more than pleased with its quietness and smooth glide and considerable swiftness, but I am still learning to anticipate starting my turns in narrow, tight, winding streams early enough as this yak doesn't exactly turn on a dime as my flat bottomed yak does. In the flat bottom yaks they use channels and chines for tracking control, while the gentle v hull doesn't need them. But that v means no 'turn within your length' maneuvers as I have become accustomed to. And leaning doesn't help carving a turn one iota! The only other thing I found missing was side bungee straps for holding my paddle that my previous yak had, but I've already added those in myself. The front and rear bungees are only good for small packs and accessories.

On the whole I am quite pleased with this kayak, and my much more experienced yak buddy has commented that it is one good looking and running yak. Buy one and you won't be disappointed!

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08-31-2007
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased a Pungo 140 several months ago for the purpose of flyfishing and because of the the cockpit size and weight capacity. During these months I have found the yak to be far more than what my expectations were originally. It is stable enough for fly fishing and has caught several bass. The initial stability: great for newbies, photography, bird watching, and fishing. During the several months I have used it on flat water, tidal rivers and open sea. My finding are that it tracks very well for a 14', it speed is all of anything that Perception or Wilderness has produced in the poly line. It's great in waves up to 2.5 ft and exciting at 3 ft.

There are two things that you must do prior to using the 140 to it's max: that is a forward bulkhead (easy to install) and a #7 Seal skirt. Oh by the way the level bow does cut the waves at 2 ft., but never falters the speed or tracking.
Great yak and great price.

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08-21-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have made several trips with my Pungo 140 and I cannot find a thing I don't like about it. I haven't installed a front bulkhead yet. But, the half-skirt gives me about all the safety I need in rough water. I have two pvc pipes cut along side a narrow waste basket behind the seat to hold my rods and tackle box and keep my fish in a soft sided cooler in front between my legs. There is no need to put holes in this kayak to make it an excellent fishing boat.
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06-25-2007
Submitted by: K DSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just bought it new this summer. I was looking for a rec boat with plenty of room in the cockpit (I'm about 5'10 and 225lbs), good stability, but not too slow so that I struggle to keep up with friends that have narrow day touring boats.

This boat fits the bill perfectly. I tried about 8 boats before this one and it was no contest. I've been fishing out of it and it is VERY stable. Had a storm blowing in the other night and had to rush back in - no problem keeping up with my friend in his 16ft touring boat. I love the roomy cockpit and the padded thigh braces. Debating whether or not to install a front bulkhead -- it makes good fishing pole storage without one, but I guess I can install a rod holder behind me. The only thing I don't like is that the cockpit is so long that it's really a stretch to try and reach anything you attach to your front deck rigging.
I give it a 9.4/10

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03-16-2007
Submitted by: SeekersSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I (retired), own 3 Pungo 140's and one Pungo 120 which is my fishing yak. Our grandgirls love the yaks and are quite skilled in their operation. Over the 5 years we have had Pungos, we have had an 83 year old 'senior' take his first solo, ON NEW YEARS DAY in Wisconsin, (cooling lake for a large power plant), and a 76 year old woman, in the summer who went over 4-5 miles on her first trip. We love all our Pungos & have encouraged over 10 other people to buy one. They love them also.

HINT: For installing the stern oval hatch cover, clean the cover and the plastic and spray a small amount of 303 on each & spread it around with your fingers. The cover goes on with a snap.

We can't find anything wrong with all 4 Pungo's. In the bow, we use 3 waterproof bags, each with a different colored 1/8" rope attached. Food is in one bag, essentials, (sun screen, tp etc. another and the third has a waterproof plastic case with cell phone, camera, GPS, compass etc. When we want something pull in that cord--when finished, push it back with the paddle or your foot.

Clothes, and other (dry) equipment goes in the rear bulkhead, and a 6 pack cooler goes behind the seat. Wilderness Systems now has a plastic unit called a "DASHBOARD" which fastens like a small spray skirt right in front of the operator. It is new this year, 07, and is a magnificent for fishing or where ever you need a rigid support.

We use a Dirty Dave anchor trolly to anchor by either the bow or stern.

The Pungo is a 10+ in our opinions.

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03-07-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have had Pungos for 4 years now. I bought my first one in FL after using it in the coastal waters around Sanibel Island. Previously I had an Old Town Egret. I bought the Pungo 140 to use on Northern WI rivers and lakes. I like it much better for control, room for fishing gear,and lack of tipability. Last fall I used it on the backwaters of the Mississippi with no problem. It is excellent for fishing and paddling the rivers here in WI. I installed rod holders, paddles holders and more rigging. So far the missing bulkhead in front has not been a problem but I understand it can be ordered from Wilderness. I have sold many friends on the Wilderness Pungos.
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03-05-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I tested about four diffrent boats last fall and fell in love with both the Pungo 120 and 140 for speed and comfort over the Tarpon models. I spent a few months researching before I brought the 140 as well. I really love the seating and can spend darn near all day just drifting around in it. I'm new to kayaking. So, I can't speak with authority about it's speed except that it is faster than the sit on tops that I've tried. I am well aware of the mentioned flaws such as lack of a front bulkhead and sparse deck rigging. In time, I will make some modifications to the boat. But I can see the 140 meeting my needs in fishing and exploring the rivers and large creeks around West Point, VA. With more experience, I'll probably write another review. Right now. I'm too satisfied.
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02-07-2007
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I know Wilderness Kayaks has gotten some bad reviews but I had a very nice experience with them. I e-mailed them regarding a forward bulkhead for the Pungo 140. They called me and gave me the part #982009, cost $42.00 + S&H. She also e-mailed me the template to make one on my own. Great service. I have added rigging from Harmony and have been camping and the boat holds a ton of stuff. Just wanted to give Wilderness some good press.
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01-23-2007
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I’ve been paddling my Pungo 140 (Normal poly lay up)for about two years now. I’m 6 foot tall and about 190 lbs. I have to say that this is probably one of, if not the best, Recreational kayaks out there. It’s got a pretty good cruising speed of about 3.5 mph. Above that you have to start working. I find I don’t have much trouble keeping up with “real” sea kayaks on a flat water tour unless the wind picks up above about 12 mph. She can handle small seas of about a foot pretty well so long as they are ahead or astern. On the beam can get a little scary and I don’t recommend due to the large cockpit and inability of fitting her with a skirt that won’t implode under the weight of the water. That said, I do highly recommend the mini skirt for this boat to keep the paddle drips off your lap.

For camping on flat(ish) water, I would say that this boat is awesome. You can pack a ton of stuff in her. I agree with others about the lack of a front bulkhead so I installed one myself. It wasn’t exactly easy but the peace of mind is worth it. And yes, on flat water you would deliberately have to try to capsize to get her to go over. The deck rigging was also lacking but I see that Wilderness Systems has addressed that somewhat in their newer models. This is easy to fix and actually kind of fun.

If you hope to develop intermediate kayak skills then this boat will stop you just shy of that goal. It doesn’t really respond to an edge but it can carve a turn with a low brace. Of course, rolling is out of the question. But you can bring a cooler or tackle box with no problem. I have also had my young kids sit in the cockpit in front of me while I paddle. Try that in an NDK Romany.

So, great rec boat . Good Speed. Tracks well and doesn’t weather cock too bad (If it does you probably shouldn’t be out in that weather). You can pack it like a barge but it doesn’t paddle like one. Comfortable to paddle for hours. I’ll be moving on to a more serious boat but if I had the storage space I would keep her.

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10-13-2006
Submitted by: John OSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I read the reviews here last fall before I found my new Pungo 140 on Ebay for a great price. All winter I was thinking about those who felt it needed more floatation, just in case it ever tipped, filled with water. Well, it stays at our cabin at an inland northern WI lake and I used the Pungo 140 many times and enjoyed it. It would be hard to tip over in water normally, like one would really have to try and to me, it's just not an issue. Last weekend I had it out on a windy day with fairly large waves (white caps) for an inland lake , no problems. The boat was stable, waves didn't come inside and it paddles easily into or across high winds unlike many other boats.

It handles very well in streams with sharp turns. I think it has great storage capacity for extra stuff. It's easy to fish out of. I'm glad that I have it and look forward to many more seasons.

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08-28-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     I was looking for a lighter kayak and purchased a Wilderness Pungo 140 Duralite on a trip to Maine. My mistake! Yes, the boat is light, but not has no front bulkhead and flexes when you try to get out. The duralite doesn't seem strong/thick enough to make one feel safe in the boat. I have written to Wilderness about this lack of a front bulkhead, but have not heard back from them at all. I would NOT recommend anyone run out and purchase this boat.
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06-28-2006
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just started the 3rd season of coastal fishing with my Pungo 140 ( shad, stripers, bluefish, mackerel ); the flat comb allows the use of my homemade plywood fishing deck w/rod holder and there's still space for a small lunch box for storing bait,live eels, etc. Everything I said back in 2003 still goes ( except for modifying my routine ). I still use the same, wide bladed Werner paddle for extra speed and quick turns while fishing. She's a bit scratched from bumping barnacle covered bridges, passing over rocks in the surf and mussel beds during low tide so I will be buying another Pungo 140 when this one wears out.
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06-19-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I have a Pungo Classic and am looking to get a longer boat. When WS came out with the Pungo 140, I thought "Cool! The Accord to my Civic!" It dpaddles faster and tracks better than the Classic, and seems only slightly tippier initially. But after a test-paddle, I decided not to get it. The down-sloping bow is in my view a design flaw: it is awash all the time unless you are on on totally flat water. It wouldn't be so bad except that the coaming is so much lower than in the Classic and {Pungo's don't have very effective skirts. Of course, I like the wonderful Pungo comfort and openness (I am a little claustrophobic), but these are not boats to roll. So for now I will keep my Classic and keep looking.
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06-01-2006
Submitted by: CJ
Rating: 9 of 10

     Well, I've paddled my 14 footer now for two years. I'm 52, 6'3, 215 pounds. I test drove about a dozen recommended yaks, the pungo was by far the most comfortable (both getting in/out & while on the water) goes 90% as fast as many if not all of 14 footers, tracks like its on rails, the downside, no front bulkhead (royal pain to construct one) and minimal rigging, try one out!
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12-12-2005
Submitted by: DmitriSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I wonder what the reviewers who gave it 10 think if they had more to compare with. I think lake camping and probably fishing is Pungo 14's domain.

It is quicker than most recreational bathtubs, as it should be, being 14 ft long. It is not only noticeably slower than any real touring kayak, but the width ( 28 inches vs 22-24 inches for a normal touring 'yak) interferes with paddling if you’re used to a touring kayak and makes you use a longer paddle.

I wouldn't really want to take it out in the ocean because of the huge cockpit, lack of front bulkhead, and I don’t like the down-sloping nose.

I gave it a 7 because in my opinion its as good as flat-water rec boats go, but don't go comparing it to a touring kayak in speed. And I don’t see it being sea worthy even compared to 14-15 ft rec-touring cross over boats.

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08-17-2005
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Have rented Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5s and learned to enjoy kayaking. Renting was confined to the local marina. After a lot of research we bought 2 Pungo 140s and couldn't be happier. For the money (far less than one Nighthawk) we have great boats. Her Royal Highness is not keen on getting dunked and after our second outing of 5hrs. and about 7 miles paddling in rough water and boat wakes she is convinced we bought the right boats. Fast,rock steady, with tons of room for camping gear. Only 2 criticisms; No forward bulkhead, and not enough deck rigging. Both of which I'm in the process of correcting. For just a little over $1500 I got two boats, paddles, pfds, carriers etc. Value gained PRICELESS.
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06-15-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     In response to the last review, I installed a bulkhead because I wanted the dry storage space and flotation but it means I can't store a long object like a rod case in the cockpit. I used 4" closed cell foam to cut out the bulkhead (bought it from a local canoe and kayak supply store) and glued it in place with Lexel sealant. I made a template of the outside of the kayak at the point I wanted to install the bulkhead using cardboard from a large box. I cut out the foam with my bandsaw (carefully - it can bind), tried it for fit and then kept shaving bits off until it was a firm push fit. You have to chamfer the edges to fit the shape of the boat. When it was in place I ran a bead of Lexel around both sides to seal it and hold it in place. The result looks exactly like the factory fitted rear bulkhead. I would have contacted W.S. directly but they don't have any contact info on their web site the last time I checked. It would have been a lot easier with a factory cut bulkhead or template. How about it, Wilderness Systems? I note that the W.S. website and their print catalogue say that the "Fisherman" version of the Pungo has front and rear bulkheads but when I asked my dealer about this they told me that W.S. told them this was not the case. Beats me!
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06-01-2005
Submitted by: AlanSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Several weeks ago, I bought my first kayak, a Pungo 140. I have been practicing at a small lake, trying to learn from a book about the proper stroke, seating position, etc. So far, I have been happy with everything about the Pungo. I am pretty large, and the boat is comfortable, fast and stable. It has really been fun. I do, however, wonder about the decision by Wilderness Systems not to sell the boat with a front bulkhead, as explained below.

I had read in the book that, in order to make a sharper turn, you should lean the boat in order to shorten the water line. While practicing, my leans became bolder, and my turns sharper, until the inevitable happened....the water came in and I went out.

At this point I learned the price of not having a front bulkhead. There was obviously no way I could get back in the boat, as it was mostly submerged. The little bit of foam in the bow didn't do much.

This kind of mishap is why I chose to learn in a small warm lake, so there was no danger, only a bruised ego. I got a tow to the shore, holding on to the tow boat with one hand and to the Pungo with the other. But it made me think about what could happen if the water was colder, the body of water larger, and there were fewer passing boats.

Once home, I immediately ordered a large float bag, which will keep the bow floating, but renders useless the forward hatch.

I am wondering if anyone out there who has installed a front bulkhead would mind posting a description of the process and materials used to make the bulkhead and any other useful information?

I will post an updated review of the Pungo 140 when I have more experience.

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05-02-2005
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased the 14 ft Pungo from Rutabaga in Madison, WI 3 years ago and would not only highly recommend the Pungo but found the sales staff at Rutabaga to be very knowledgeable and friendly. This was the first kayak that I've purchased and have used it on rivers, up to class II, flowages, and small and large lakes. I have found it to be extremely stable and fast for a recreational kayak. It tracks great and is very comfortable even on all day trips. I've fished out of it many times and have found it to be very good for fishing, but will have to install rod and paddle holders...thanks for some great suggestions on how to install these. I would definitely have to rate the 14 ft Pungo a 10!!
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04-25-2005
Submitted by: Jay ShoresSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     It was a good weekend at the Shores of the Texas. On Saturday morning I baptized the 14’ Pungo Kayak under less than ideal conditions… 25 mph wind, temp @ 53 degrees… and it went very well. The little boat is quite stable, has minimal windage, paddles easily, tracks well with a relearning paddler at the helm (I used a peanut class racing shell for a wile in college, and have spent a lot of time in canoes during my 62 years), and being a bright red kayak paddled by a jolly (5'10" by 235 lbs) fellow in a red polar fleece with a full white beard along the shore of a county campground… attracts kids. I think they felt they found out what Santa does in his off-season. The boat is easily slipped in the back of the Chevy Blazer for the short trip to the local lake. And it was wonderful working my way up a small creek for a while. I watched Kingfisher’s along the way looking for tadpoles and minnows and observed a lot of small shore birds.

The 7.5’ lightweight Warner paddle (black carbon fiber handle and bright yellow blades, all the better to see me with) worked quite well. However, in 25 mph breezes the drip rings did not help keep water out of the boat… it just flew straight off the paddle and onto my jeans. I’ll use the spray shield next time out in heavy winds. There is plenty of room for a small child or dog in the cockpit. And the foot braces placed high in the boat enabled easy bracing of my knees under the cockpit top. I’ll probably pad that area a little after a few further runs when I’m certain what my paddling position will become.

In short, the Pungo does exactly what I thought it would it is a good tracking boat that responds easily and confidently to a lean, takes to both skinny water and open water white caps well. Thus far, it gets a 10 of 10 from this senior paddler.

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04-13-2005
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     After several months of looking into the idea of kayaking... my wife and I decided to go with the Wilderness Systems Yaks. Since "Dicks Sporting Goods" didn't have what we wanted, we decided to take a road trip to "near" Harpers Ferry (we're in Delaware)… to pick up our new boats. I had decided on the Pungo 140 (wife got the Pungo 120).

Currently I am thrilled with the Pungo 140. I am a large person, 6'2", tipping the scales around 300 lbs., obviously one of my factors for deciding on the 140.

Getting in and out of the Yak is an interesting process with my size and bad knees… actually, getting in is easier than getting out... but I am still learning the best ways to accomplish this. The cockpit opening size is a major plus for a large person.

The seating system in the Pungo 140 is superb. No time while out on the water was I ever uncomfortable. I could make easy seating adjustments while seated in the Yak. At no time did I have any comfort problems with my long legs or bad knees. The Yak does feel "tipsy" when getting out, but as mentioned earlier, that is probably my own inexperience.

The space behind the seat (between the seat and the real bulkhead) is really great for those items that you need to readily get too. I had purchase one of those plastic (see thru) gallon jars with a screw on lid for storing my cell phone, keys, etc... I duct taped a small rope around the neck and attached the other end of the rope to the Yak. Keeps everything dry, and easily accessible. I threw the Jar/Jug into the lake and if floats readily with everything in it. Even floats with the lid up and out of the water. The two covers to the bulk heads are a little bit of a problem in getting on.

One of the first things that I found interesting was that the Yak seems to "right it's self". It is very forgiving when tilting to one side or the other. I feel very safe and comfortable with it's stability while in the water (thought the stability getting in and out seems a bit awkward to me right now... but that may be due to my inexperience).

The Yak handles like a charm. We could easily navigate into some very shallow waters with the only thing I had to watch out for was getting into too tight a stream... which wouldn't allow me to get turned around. So far so good. I'll give an updated review later after having had more experience with the Yak. For now I am thoroughly happy with our purchases. I'm rating at an 8 for now as there are some issues I'll want to check out.

I love the idea of the rear bulkhead, fortunately I haven't "sunk" yet, so I don't know the effect of not having a bulkhead up front. I was thinking that it shouldn't be too hard to install a front bulkhead... BUT, I'm not sure. I don't have any idea what the material is that they use in the rear or if it is available to us to install up front. I think that would be a good idea.

Again I am completely pleased with the decision to purchase the Pungo 140. The seating system and the foot bracing system (and its ease of adjustment) I'd have to give these items a 10. (Seating/foot bracing system a 10, and the overall Yak an 8)

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03-29-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have to agree with the last two posts - the boat needs a front bulkhead. Interestingly, the W.S. website says that the "Fisherman" version has front and rear bulkheads but when a dealer inquired on my behalf, W.S. told them that this was not the case and they could not supply me with a bulkhead to retrofit.

Before I took my boat to Cape Cod last fall for a fishing trip I decided to practice wet exit and re-entry in a warm lake and had a similar experience to the two previous posters. I had to stay in the water to bail/pump out the boat as there was minimal freeboard and it took me over 30 mins. before I could clamber back in using a paddle float. If there had been any chop I could not have bailed out the boat.

Realizing that in choppy, cold water I would have been in real trouble, I bought some closed cell foam and installed the front bulkhead, having removed the tiny piece of foam inserted in the bow for "flotation". I now have much improved flotation, much reduced volume to bail out and a usable water resistant front bulkhead storage area. However, it was a laborious process cutting the bulkhead to size and it would have been a lot easier if the manufacturer could have supplied one.

Apart from this quibble, I am as pleased with my Pungo as most of the previous posters. It is stable, fast and a great fishing platform and my wife enjoys paddling it as much as I do. Thinking of buying a second boat this spring - maybe the Tsunami?

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03-10-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I have owned the boat for two years, and although I rated it pretty high when I first got it. The Pungo 140 does have its faults. If it gets swamped the bow SINKS. There is a chunk of foam up there but NOT ENOUGH o float the bow. I was out playing in the surf on the bay when one of last summer's hurricanes passed by and rolled the boat over. It was a good thing I was only in chest deep water because my only option was to drag the swamped the boat to shore and dump the water out. You can't sit on the rear deck and pump it out because the front of the cockpit will be submerged. Granted I was using this boat for surfing which is not what it was made for, but this boat definitely needs a front bulkhead. The wake from a big cabin cruiser could do the same thing. Overall great boat for lakes and rivers but don't take it out where the water is too deep to walk to shore if you capsize, because you WILL NOT be able to re-enter this boat if it gets swamped. Float bags are a really GOOD idea!
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03-02-2005
Submitted by: DonSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased my Pungo 140 two years ago after much reading on this site and others. It is my first boat of any kind. I use it in lakes and slow moving rivers. It has far exceeded my expectations. I enjoy the solitude of paddling and sight seeing as well as exploring. So far I have not fished from it. It is very roomy and stable. I have never turned it over except intentionally in my swimming pool. My boat came with no flotation in the bow. It has a rear bulkhead. I was very surprised to find after filling it with water in my pool and trying to re-enter from the rear that the front of the boat wanted to remain submerged while I sat on the rear deck and attempted to pump the water out. Each time I would get a significant amount of the water pumped out, the boat would start rocking and take on more water. I tried this for 20 minutes or so until I was so tired I couldn’t do it anymore. Boy, am I glad I didn't turn it over in cold water a mile from shore. My point in saying all of this is that the boat must have flotation in the bow for a person of my ability to make a successful re-entry. With flotation, the boat spins upright easily and pumping the water out while sitting on the boat is very easy to do. Since the boat has a front hatch cover (presumably for storage) I did not want to render it useless by putting a float bag in the bow. Instead I installed a bulkhead in front of the foot braces so that I will have the benefit of flotation as well as the ability to stow camping gear when I need to. I really feel that the boat should come with a front bulkhead or Wilderness systems should offer a bulkhead kit. I also added a mini skirt, a paddle holder, rear deck rigging and a GPS mount.

I especially like the seat (which is very comfortable) and appreciate the extra room behind the seat, where I put a see through dry bag which contains stuff that I need to get at quickly. My boat is light blue and I have received many comments on how nice it looks in the water. I have hit lots of rocks and stumps with it so it has lots of scratches on the bottom but the performance seems unaffected. I like everything about the 140 and would give it a perfect 10 if it had come with a front bulkhead. If anyone reading this has had a 140 and found something that is superior, I would appreciate hearing from you.

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09-03-2004
Submitted by: TimSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Awesome boat... My wife and I were inches from buying a Pungo 120 but due to some reviews here but we went ahead and opted for the 140. We tried several in rentals - wow, there are so many different kinds. We are VERY pleased with these - the Phase 3 seat is worth every penny - really makes for a much more pleasurable experience. Plenty of cabin and hatch space. My wife yak'd with our dog once, it worked but wasn't ideal though. The tracking is awesome on these. They run very fast, we're very pleased. I'm 6'2", pretty big guy and have high standards. The Pungo 140 is a great kayak.
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07-08-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just added a Pungo 140 to my collection of Pungo Classic 12s, and Pungo 120s. I have to say, that is one sweet boat. The jump in speed on the 140 is amazing, I spend a lot of time waiting for my children and grandchildren in the 12' boats to catch up.

I had already discovered the glories of the Phase 3 seat in my shorter Pungos, so that wasn't a big deal on the 140. For an older paddler such as myself, the thigh supports are a real plus, they reduce the strain on my knees.

When I took the 140 sea kayaking in North Carolina, I had no trouble keeping up with the group and it handled the chop, wind, and the huge wake of a large tanker as well as the 15' sea kayaks with rudders being used by others on the tour. Actually, for an intermediate paddler, the built-in skeg in the back makes it perform better in those conditions than it does on a narrow, fast running river with lots of logs and rocks to maneuver around. On large, open water it tracks arrow straight and moves miles with effortless paddling, but in all honesty, for an 11 mile river run with three class I rapids, I left it at home and took a 12' boat. The limitation was in me, not in the boat, and a more experienced paddler could have made the run in the 140. After being used to the 140 performance, paddling the flat stretches of that 11 mile run in a Pungo Classic 12 felt like I was towing an anvil.

I'm convinced the 140 can handle anything the paddler has the skills to do. Every time I buy a boat I shop and try the demos, but I keep coming back to the the Pungos, and the 140 is the leader of the pack.

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06-07-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have had my pungo for about 1 month. Ihave enjoyed paddling it especially in windy conditions. My main complaint is that it is difficult to figure out how to place your legs in it. The vee in the bottom of the kayak tends to make your legs roll out and there is nothing to place your knees against to stop this. therefore you feel like you are just sitting without any support.I would like to hear from anyone who has modified the pungo in order to get a more stable fit.
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05-17-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     About a year ago I walked into Glacier Bay Sports on Long Island having never been in a Kayak before in my life. My interest was in nature photography, not kayaking. I handed Chris my $6000 digital camera/lens combination and explained that I wanted a kayak that I could use for photography that would be stable enough to safely carry me and my gear. After trying the Pamlico and Pungo 140's I decided on the Pungo for what I believed to be better secondary stability. After 100+ hours of using the Pungo I am convinced it was the right choice for my needs. It is comfortable, stable and paddles without much effort. The recling seat makes it easy to get very low which helps when shooting birds on the water. I'm sure there are faster, sleeker, fancier kayaks, but I don't have any intention of replacing my Pungo for the forseeable future.
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05-03-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     Bought one for my nephew, who isn't a serious paddler. Okay boat for that. The seat is comfortable, but you can't find a position where the gunwales function as reasonably good thigh braces for better control. You just sit in it like a bathtub. The hatches are cheap pop-ons that require some effort to pound on, especially when the hull material isn't the most rigid in the world. It tracks well and moves along okay for a boat with a 28" beam. Forget the claims that it's faster than sea kayaks (later softened by the hyperbole police to, "gives them a run for their money"). If anyone buys that a wide, flat-bottomed boat of flexy plastic approaches sea kayak speed, he deserves all he gets. It's faster than some of the floppy "pool noodle" boats in its class, but that's about it. It's a friendly stable kayak that will haul a reasonable load and keep a novice paddler going reasonably straight. If that's your intended use, it's great. If you're looking for true performance, look elsewhere.
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04-28-2004
Submitted by: Jim HSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Bought the Pungo based on all I could estimate from web and a tryout. Have had it for a year now and have done extensive paddling in rivers, mangrove streams and ocean settings(coastal) Really like this Yak and it seems to do everything well. Tracks,turns and has a good overall speed with ease of effort. Knee position is a little awkward and I wish it was ten pounds lighter. Get the factory mini-skirt if you buy one, its worth it.
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03-29-2004
Submitted by: SMSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I recently bought the Pungo 140, and while it is a nice little rec boat, I did NOT like the Phase 3 seat. It is very adjustable, but not well padded on the bottom, and the padding doesn't go back far enough to pad under the tail bone, at least not while sitting upright. After about an hour it was very uncomfortable. The next time we went out my wife used the Pungo and had the same discomfort. She got some relief by folding a towell to soften the area where there's just plastic. Just sitting in the boat for a few minutes in a store, like I did, is definitely not a good way to test a seat. As for the boat itself, it's the same good quality as the two Wilderness Systems sit-on-tops that my wife and I have paddled for years. Their plastic boats are on the heavy side, but strong, sturdy and almost indestructible. The Phase 3XP seat used in some of their touring boats has addressed the padding problem and appears to have great padding further back for the butt bone.
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03-25-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased my Pungo 14 back in October after discovering that my ten year old wanted to accompany me when I went kayaking in my 9 foot Critter. Little did I guess that he'd want the Pungo. It's much faster than the Critter, so much so that I can barely keep up with him.

It fits well, I'm 6'3" and 200 pounds. Having a spider phobia (you would too if you lived in S. Mississippi) I appreciate the long cockpit which lets me see where my feet are going. It's also nice to be able to lift your knees, hang your feet over the side, and generally relax while paddling.

The boat deals handily with two foot waves and strong winds and has good reserve stability. Does much better than my friend's Loon 111. Still, I would not want to be out in bigger waves. The boat might be capable of it, but I don't want to find out. Tracking is great, as a corollary turning is not, but still not bad if you get the nerve up to lean as far as the boat will let you, a long way. It is a great boat for the protected Gulf Water I frequent.

The Phase III seat is terrific. The hatches water tight. I'm not sure why one is needed up front since there's no bulkhead, however my dachsund enjoys sticking his head out up there and surveying the landscape.

The boat's polyethelene material abrades but appears to be indestructible, I inadvertently launched it from a pickup going about 10 miles per hour. The boat bounced a couple of times on the pavement, picked up a few scratches, but was otherwise fine.

I find I'm beginning to want something longer, faster, lighter, narrower, and/or something designed to surf, but that seems to be a normal progression. For what I bought it to do, paddle out to a mile off barrier island in good weather and explore the local bayous the boat is perfect and just as advertised.

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12-02-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I had never been in a kayak until last summer when I bought my Pungo 140 from Appomattox Sports in Yorktown, VA. I did not know anything about kayaks and the very knowledgeable sales staff at this store recomended the Pungo saying that it was very stable and ideal for a beginner. I sat in it as well as several kayaks by other manufacturers and was so impressed by how comfortable the Phase 3 seat is compared to the molded plastic seats in other boats that I bought it on the spot. I tossed it on top of the Jeep and headed straight to the river to get it wet. I was amazed at how stable the boat was. The wind off of the Chesapeake Bay picked up and whipped the shallow river into whitecaps and I started getting nervous, but this kayak cut through the 2' chop like a knife and I stayed pretty dry without a spray skirt.

The Pungo 140 is also a great looking kayak, and I have had several powerboaters including a guy in a million dollar sportfisher throttle back to ask me what kind of Kayak I was paddling.

I would highly reccomend this kayak to anyone whether they are an experienced paddler or a beginer. I would have to say this kayak is one of the best purchases that I have ever made. it is a great value for the money.

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11-24-2003
Submitted by: C. DoubledaySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased my Pungo in February '03 at Canoesport Outfitters in Indianola, Iowa. I have used it quite a bit this year. It has been on all kinds of lakes and rivers in various states, and handles quite well. I liked it so much, that I just bought another one for my girlfriend. They are an extremely stable boat, and the Phase 3 seats are very comfortable. I even managed to run through some Class II-III rapids without too much trouble. It was fun, but not really the kayak for rapids!

As far as other people's complaints, they are obviously easy to remedy. 303 on the underside of the rubber hatch lids, and just have some deck lines added if you need more storage on top of the kayak. I also have the large spray skirt. I added some "clip-on" suspenders to hold the waist up a bit. Common sense will get you everywhere! This is much easier than just complaining about these small "issues".

All-in-all, a great kayak. I would recommend one to anyone. They are good for a beginner, to a more seasoned kayaker. I have had all shapes/sizes/ages/skill levels try out my Pungo. And, they all say the same things. How much fun it was to paddle, how easy it was to paddle, and how stable it was. Hopefully, I will get more and more people interested in this "sport".

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10-29-2003
Submitted by: PerrySend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I was very pleased with the overall performance of my Pungo 140. I knew that I would need a 14ft kayak, but I must admit that I was worried if I would be able to fit the Pungo. I am 6'4" 225lbs, I was worried for nothing, as it has incredible ease of entry an exit. Once inside I am comfortable, not cramped at all. As for the speed, it is awesome. I can overtake models that were built for speed and turning. EXCELLENT! This is a great kayak for both touring as well as recreational use.
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10-15-2003
Submitted by: CliffSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just put my new Pungo 140 in flat water for first time. Though paddling in light wind on an open body of water, it handled well. Tracking was good yet maneuverability was good, as well. I was well-pleased with the stability in the wind and light chop.

Though I'm a newbie, I think this boat is a good "all purpose" kayak, offering many of the benefits of both a recreational kayak and a touring kayak.

It fits my 6'1'' frame well with room left for the foot pegs to be extended even further than they are.

The Phase 3 seating is comfortable though I imagine that the back pad might need to come off during strenuous paddling. I understand that some paddlers say that the Phase backpad rubs their back uncomfortably during a long, hard workout. However, as a recreational paddler, I have not been too concerned about this.

I agree with the majority of posts for this boat. It is a great, economical, entry-level boat. Though I'm still in the early stages, I am really pleased with the purchase and would be glad to make a recommendation to others starting out.

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09-02-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I never rate a 10 on aything, this one comes close ! If it weren't for that back hatch clearance and for the sake of a couple of extra cords and hatch cover securements, I may have rated the Pungo 140 a 10.

In terms of on the water it's a great kayak, we own both the 120 and the 140, the 140 handles very close to the same as the 120 but has considerable speed over it with easy paddling ( work harder in the 120 to keep up). In fact with just a paddler and no packing in I'd say the 140 actually outperforms the 120 on steering , and while the 120 is two ft. shorter it appears to have less rocker. With equal load the 120 actually drags more when turning IMO. Both kayaks are about the same on stability, and I'm not saying the 120 is a slug either , it's a good boat too.

Love the seat , love the built in foot brace, though my size 13s could use a little larger peg. I'm 6.2 235lb, thought I needed the 14 ft boat and I was right , though concerned about the purchase, once I hit the water, I knew within a couple of times out and a few miles put on that I made the right choice . Each time I use the Pungo 140 the better I like it. I looked at several kayaks in it's class and none have the line or general design of the Pungo 140 in it's class, and the phase three seat is a final catch.

We use the Pungos mainly for day cruisers and fly fishing, but won't be afraid to pack in for an overnight either. We paddle mostly remote lakes and ponds, some rivers up to class two.

The Pugos have sharp entry exit lines and a v bottom, they track well because of this, and steer pretty well due to rocker and also respond a little extra to an outside lean I might add. If someone wants quick steering response in a kayak over good tracking, this may not be the design for them. They may want a more rounded entry and exit line, but will suffer with less tracking and less glide FWIW. There are other rec. kayaks with different characteristics to choose from, so shop wisely. Meanwhile the Pungo 140 offers easy paddling for the speed gained, good glide, nice primary stability and good secondary stability ( actually excellent secondary stability). It's almost tops in it's class for load capacity as well.

I would add the mini skirt to my first to be purchased list for the boat. If you fish you will want a paddle holder, and I feel the more deck securement straps are a good idea. The anchor setup is a nice accessory for fishermen.

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08-22-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought a Pungo 140 in July and am very happy with this kayak. My previous kayaks have been on a SOT Drifter and a Folbot tandem Greenland II, and many years of canoeing. I love my Pungo. So far I’ve paddled day trips on slow moving streams and large lakes. I’ve also paddled a three day camping trip with all my gear in the boat.

I’m a short wide person and so needed a wide boat with a large cockpit. The Pungo definitely is that. It has incredible stability and is much faster than I expected for this type of boat. The carrying capacity of the Pungo is great and I had no problem fitting in everything I needed for a camping trip. The addition of some 303 to the inside rim of the hatch covers has made them quite easy to get on and off. I added bungee deck rigging fore and aft and it was excellent for holding down an extra paddle, some tarp poles, bilge pump, and crazy creek chair. The rigging is necessary for my uses and wasn’t at all hard to install. If you do, add a couple of attachment points on the inside as well to help with securing gear. I’ve also added a paddle holder which has come in handy.

I’ve also added the mini-skirt which is an excellent way to add a little protection to the huge cockpit. Even without it, I’ve experienced zero paddle drips in this boat. The Pungo does tend to weathercock more than I like but no more than other rec kayaks I’ve paddled. The only real irritation I’ve experienced with the Pungo has to do with the large cockpit. I store/transport the Pungo right side up and use a cockpit cover which fills way too easily with rain. Adding support from below in the form of giant beach balls helps some but some water still collects.

If Wilderness Systems found a way to build a better cockpit cover, I’d be the first in line. All in all, an excellent kayak for day paddling and camping. I’m very pleased with the Pungo 140.

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08-18-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have returned to kayaking after 30 years, from the coast of CA to the lakes and rivers of SW MI. I chose the Pungo 14 because I needed a slightly larger boat than I did 30 years ago. I was concerned that I was going to be disapointed in the increase in boat width. I am not. I have about 60 hours in the boat this summer and am now very comfortable in the balance and recovery and yes, this boat can be turned over but you really need to work at it. I have made some modifications. I added a mat of 1 inch closed cell foam under the foot pegs, make it much more comfortable. I added a set of recovery bungees between the combing behind the seat and the rear hatch I copied a figure eight design I saw on another boat, it is very handy for loose stuff or an extra paddle. I am a little over 6'2" and 275 lbs, and my knees were getting rubbed raw on the underside of the combing so I also added some foam pads for knees and thighs, much more comforatable. I paddle with a mini skirt and will probably switch to a full skirt in the fall. I am looking forward to seeing how late in the season I can stay on the water. I like the boat. I gives someone of my age and size a good ride.
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08-06-2003
Submitted by: MYYAKSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

      The Pungo 140 is my first kayak after 1 demo ride in a Perception Carolina, 15'. My Pungo is extremely stable, much better than the Carolina, (even in 2 foot Wisconsin waves, and remains that way even when parallel to the crests).

There are only 2 problems with the Pungo 140, as many others have mentioned. First and most importantly is that the rear, sealed bulkhead rubber cover is a real bugger to put on, even when on land. I use 303 UV protectant on my yak and give a liberal application to the rubber covers and the oval rear plastic foundation. 303 does a perfect job allowing the rubber cover to "snap" right on.

The second problem is that there are too few bungee cords mounted on the boat. There should be some on the rear, especially over the oval bulkhead cover.

I fly fish from my yak and made a rod holder from 2" PVC pipe, 58" long. I drilled a hole 1" in from each end of the PVC. Then I put a knot on two 1' pieces of 3/32" bungee, threaded them through the holes, (knot inside the pipe), and secured the bow end to the front handle and the other end just fits under the OEM bungee. I lined, (slid in), the pipe with a piece of pipe insulating foam, (made in Canada named TUNDRA). Now my 8 1/2' flyrod is out of the way, secure and the reel is up near the front of the cockpit. Yes, the rod sticks out the bow, unprotected, but it works perfectly.

I anchor from the stern, again no holes in the kayak, by tying a permanent loop of 1/4" poly rope to the stern handle, sliding the anchor rope for the (1.5 pound grappling anchor through the loop. I do have a secondary thin nylon rope fastened to the tie loop on the "bottom of the anchor to be sure I can pull it up to me easily.

I use a mini-skirt, like Dirty Dave said above for a stripping table. I also use a thin 12" plastic plant watering base, (1.5" high x 12" in dia.) between my legs so I can place my fish basket in and not have fish slime all over the inside of the boat. I have to now mount a paddle holder on the side of the yak, YEP, two holes required here, to keep the darn paddle out of the way when fishing.

I love this yak, it is a 10+ and Wilderness Systems customer service is excellent.

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06-13-2003
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     After a week of overanalyzing, I chose the Pungo 140 over the Pungo 120, and I couldn't be happier about my choice.I've switched over from a Dagger Blackwater 11.5 (its owner took it back after a year), and the Pungo 140 is a much faster boat. With realtively little effort (and a carbon fiber Aquabound Expedition paddle), I blow right by my friends in their 12-footers. The Blackwater tracked pretty well with its skeg, but the Pungo tracks even better than the Blackwater in a current. As everyone on this post has said, the Phase 3 seat is the closest thing to a La-Z-Boy on the water. It did take a couple of trips to get used to the length -- you do give up some maneuverability, which is to be expected. If you're used to a shorter yak, I would not recommend a skinny winding creek for your first trip, unless you're really good or want to end up in the drink (I did, and appreciated that bulkhead). The turning was much more natural by the third trip.My only complaint is that it's hard to seal that back hatch while in the water, but this is relatively minor. Use your paddle to get it down. Overall, I can't imagine a better rec boat under $1,000. A real bargain.
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05-30-2003
Submitted by: noahsarkSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     10 is perfect and no kayak is perfect. I love my pungo 140 on the water and would have to agree with everything said about it in the other reviews. The Phase III seating is quite simply the very best you can get. The yak is fast and stable and just plain fun to paddle. My only complaint is that after a day in the sun on top of my car sitting in foam kayak blocks the bottom suddenly gave way causing a warp in the bottom of my yak. I have straightened it as best I can but I can still see the inconsistancy in the bottom contour because of this incident. Otherwise I have nothing but praise for this yak.
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05-26-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased my Pungo 140 a couple of weeks ago. I have now taken it out a few times and feel I'm ready to give a review. This is my first Kayak and honestly I have not spend that much time in many different boats. I demo'd or tried a few, but only for a short time period. When I tried the Pungo it stood out as the best boat for what I was looking for.

The Pungo 140's large cockpit makes it very comfortable. The Phase 3 seating is outstanding and in a class by itself. The rear storage hatch is perfect for a overnight or weekend campout. I do plan to add a front bulkhead, when I can find the time. There's plenty of storage behind the seat (in front of the bulkhead) to place "quick grab" items.

On the water, the boat is very stable. It track excellantly and seems very fast. It does not turn as fast as a smaller boat (like a Swifty) but you wouldn't expect it to. Also, I know I have a lot of techiniques to learn. I bought the "mini-skirt" to go with my Pungo. This is really nice when the water is a little cool.

Overall, I'd highly recommend the Pungo 140 to someone that is looking for a boat of this class.

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05-12-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had the 140 out a few times now and figure it's time to post a review.Like the original,the 140 is an excellent fishing yak.It's increased size and features open the door to touring and camping use as well.This one is quite a bit faster with the same tracking,stability and feel as the original.Surprisingly,it turns just about as well too.The large rear hatch/bulkhead allows you to carry a fair amount of gear nice and dry without worry of loss if you should go over.Very unlikely!Theres a smaller hatch up front but no bulkhead.Kinda dumb but its not to hard to add one if you choose.For now,i just fill most of the bow area with pool noodles tied to the block of foam WS provided.This allows me to still carry rods or whatever inside under the full skirt i bought with the boat if conditions warrent it.WS stayed with the huge CP.I wish they had shortened it some but thats about my only complaint.The hull is flatter than it used to be but the chines are still there.This is good when you float over something.Less chance of tipping over.The upper deck has been lowered and catches less wind.Its also more comfortable when you put your feet up on the deck or hang them over the sides.All in all a great yak and worthy succesor to the original.If,like me,you have/had an original and wondering if its worth the switch.IMO-YES!Everything you love about them is there with some nice improvements.The added speed,and glide alone is worth it.You can really cover some distance in a short time and have a ball enjoying its excellent paddleing characteristics along the way.As a bonus,the new plastic WS is using kept the weight under the std original and about the same as the UL version.The plastic is smooth now without the texturing of the old style.If your looking for the best rec boat on the market.Without question,the Pungo 140 is what you want.
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04-28-2003
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The photo of the Pungo 140 on the Wilderness Systems website, gives the false impression that the hull is flat; of the "caution wide load", recreational kayaks of similar dimensions ( made by the 7 different manufacturers that I looked at), this one had the least flat hull. During the demo it surpassed my expectations - I can not add much to what has already been said in the other reviews except that it car tops more easily than my Walden Scout, paddles as fast & tracks as well as my Prijon Calabria, and the seat is most comfortable of any kayak I have ever paddled. More deck bungies would be nice and if you intend to paddle with a canine passenger, see if the cockpit is roomy enough for the two of you before you buy. I intend to enjoy the Pungo in paddling conditions for which it was designed. My wife has asked me to stop paddling beyond the jetties and out to the one mile buoy - due to the open cockpit, I might modify my routine slightly.
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04-14-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased a Perception Corona and took it on the water once. Very fast, very sleek, but I realized my priorities on the water are not getting from point A to point B at Warp 2. (Yes, a foolish, expensive lesson) Today, after much thought and reading, I purchased the Pungo 140. I have been paddling canoes and messing around in boats for years, so I was a bit concerned about the extra width, and it being a rec boat. Have no fear. If you are a novice to kayaking, and your main goal is to enjoy yourself doing virtually anything on the water, this is the boat. The cockpit is large enough to be completely comfortable--I am 6' tall at 212 lbs. I love the fact that when fishing I can kick my feet up on the coaming and completely relax. I can also change leg positions on extended trips--major plus. Loads of room for fishing gear, camping gear, whatever rings your bell. The Phase 3 seating system is quite simply a floating Lazyboy. Also, this boat is FAST, so if you are in a hurry, it will handle the demand, and glides extremely well. In my opinion, it's simply a great all around performer. Feels stable, and when you hit the secondary stability zone, it feels like the boat wants to stop right there. Sit in it. Paddle it. Then go find another boat that will do all the things this one can. It will be a long search. (No, I don't sell 'em, and don't work for WS--I am simply very impressed with this kayak.)
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02-05-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought a Pungo 140 in October. I wanted an upgrade to my original Pungo (original 12 footer). I do love this new kayak. The Pungo 140 feels better, paddles easier, is faster than my friend’s 17-foot sea kayak, and will serve well as a light touring boat. However, one issue that I have with it is that there are some uneven lines and areas that appear warped. This is apparently a result of flaws in the mold because every Pungo 140 that I have seen has them. This conclusion is also based on conversations with factory staff. As others have mentioned here, I found that the rear hatch does not have enough clearance to secure the lid well . . . by hand. I use a paddle blade to push the hatch cover down into the hatch groove to secure it. The Pungo 140 would have rated a 10 otherwise.
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01-30-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     This year Wilderness Systems has completely redesigned one of their most popular products, the Pungo. The changes are extraordinary and it is now known as Velocity Rec Series. The Pungo is now offered in 10, 12, and 14 foot lengths to suit a broader range of paddlers and needs. The 140 is a sleeker, longer and faster version of their popular 12 footer. Wildy has stated that the new Pungo is “quicker and more resolute than most true sea kayaks.” A claim I have found to be completely correct, but with the generously sized cockpit at 55" x 19" it is easy to get in and out of. Plus it has a comforting secondary stability that will be appreciated by everyone.

I had seen the redesigned Pungo for the first time at the Shallow Water Expo in Pinellas Park and was totally taken by the beauty of it. I had to paddle one! I called Brain Faulk at Canoe Escapes and asked him if he had one in stock for a short test paddle. He in turn asked me if I would like to take the 140 for the weekend on a paddle fishing excursion, a generous offer I could in no way refuse. Brian set me up with a khaki 140 from his fleet of rentals and off I went.

Upon closer inspection in my garage, the first feature I noticed about the 140 was the sleek, almost sea kayak like design of its hull with the same proven multi chine hull of the earlier models. Another improvement includes bow and stern rubber hatches. The rear bulkhead creates a watertight compartment to keep your gear nice and dry. I found this to be a good feature during my paddle tests. In 2 foot seas without a spray skirt paddle drip and spray water accumulated in the cockpit. A half skirt is strongly recommended if you buy this boat to keep spray and paddle drip out. It also serves as a handy work table and stripping basket if you fly fish.

The stowage capacity of the new 140 will suit the needs of anglers and campers. With a weight capacity of 325 lbs. the cavernous hull will swallow up all your fishing gear and a weekends worth of camping equipment with ease, a few 6’6” rods can even be stowed below the fore deck out of the way.

The entire line of new Pungos come standard with a new seating concept brought out last year by Wilderness called Phase 3. The Phase 3 seat is completely adjustable 3 ways- A tug on the cord at the bottom of the seat raises the back for lateral comfort. The seat back adjusts forward and rearward. A tug on two loops at the side of the seat raise it to comfortably bring your legs up into a more natural position and take the strain off your lower back as you paddle. The Phase 3 seat is as close as you will come to your favorite lounge chair in your own kayak!

The hull on the Pungo 140 is more structurally sound at the deck and coaming area due to reinforcing the coaming area with more plastic in the molding process. The coaming and deck areas no longer compress easy like the earlier models.

Paddling the Pungo was an experience that could not be equaled by any boat in its class. You may say that the 140 is in a class all its’ own after paddling it for some time. Let me begin by saying this boat is FAST! Very fast and -Oh! Did I say it was fast? The Pungo glides like it is on grease. Faster than the popular Tarpon but slower than a Tempest (the new WS Sea Kayak, really fast, really sleek), I paddled it up current on the Tampa Bypass Canal with the spillways open and it cut through the current like a hot knife through butter. I felt in no danger of spilling out due to the excellent secondary and good initial stability of its hard chine hull.

For a 14 foot kayak it turns with little effort. Let your butt go and give it a slight lean to the outside of the turn with a sweep of your paddle and your going in the direction you intended in short order. I think it turns as well as my 12 foot Pungo which is something a lot of 14 foot boats can not do. Going in a straight line is easy too! This kayak tracks as if it was on rails with no tendency to yawl along its horizontal axis between paddle strokes.

As a fishing platform the Pungo excels in many ways. The load and bulk carrying capacity of this kayak is unmatched. It is dry as a bone (with a half skirt). This makes it an excellent winter time and cold water kayak. It can be easily rigged with a basic set-up of rod holders and anchor cleats or none at all. You can fish this one right off the dealers rack as the rods can sit securely behind the seat if you wish not to drill any holes in the hull. The 140 will be home in the backwaters as well as the flats in any season.

At the end of the day, a lot of paddlers will find the Pungo more manageable to car top than most SOT’s. Weighing in at 50 lbs, the Pungo is ideal for female paddlers as well as us old salts.

In conclusion I think Wilderness Systems has a real winner here in many ways with a kayak that will appeal to a lot of paddle anglers, not only in Florida, but nation wide. If I had one of these when I lived up north, then no Striped Bass or Bluefish would have been safe. The Pungo 140 is a complete pleasure to paddle and Wilderness Systems is known for putting out some quality products for just that-paddling pleasure, the 140 is sure to please even the most experienced paddler.

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