Reviews for Tarpon 140 Kayak by Wilderness Systems
Based On: 46 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought this kayak in the spring of 2012 in st George Florida. I had tried out a Tarpon 120 and found it to be too small( I'm 22, 6 foot 1 and 240 pounds). However I loved the layout and the seat. So I decided to buy the 140. I have used it in creeks and at the beach and I love it.
Fishing: I bought the kayak for this purpose and it has done nothing less than excel in this category! I first used it at St George with my dad and brother who both bought a Ride 135. There boats are nice and comfy however if we go a long distance I always end up front due to there slower pace. The Tarpon has all the room of the ride and even more ability to cover long distances! The only advantage of the Ride is the ability to stand. I have caught 3 red fish and a load of other fish off my Tarpon with no fear of tipping over (biggest was a 6 pound red fish)!
Excess water: I have no idea what people are doing that cause them to have this problem but I have almost no water at my feet and absolutely none in my seat and I have 2-3 rods, a 24 quart cooler with ice in it, a tackle box, a 5 pound anchor, and sometimes a gulp box! So unless they like to put their Great Dane in the front hatch then I don't get it!
I love this kayak and recommend it to all!
08-16-2012Submitted by: yak
- Rating: 7 of 10 I've owned 5 WS Tarpon 120-140. I loved them all, they were all I knew when it came to sot kayaks. Well I've recently tried several different brands and discovered you don't have to paddle around with an inch of water in the cockpit. I'm 215 and my wife is 120 and even she had water in her 120. They're rated for 375.....don't believe it.
I would give this boat a lower rating had I not enjoyed them so much. Also, they seem to be priced several hundred higher than a comparable kayak with a higher weight capacity. I would've tried the new Ride, but WS I feel now is over priced after looking around and shopping around.
06-04-2012Submitted by: JB
So they get a 7 (wet cockpit, low weight capacity, overpriced)
- Rating: 8 of 10 This is a very nice recreational kayak. Very stable, decent speed, good all around. I don't really think you could go wrong with it
04-30-2012Submitted by: YakinHick
- Rating: 10 of 10 After weeks of research and reading every review that I could find,I went ahead and bought a new Tarpon 140. I am 225 lbs. and 6'1" tall and paddle mostly flat water and slow rivers. On the first outing the Tarpon met all of my expectations and eased all of my worries. The Tarpon was fast and easy to paddle, tracked straight without a rudder, and was way more stable than I had come to believe after reading a lot of reviews. I am used to a Pungo 140 and could see very little difference in performance. Yes, the T140 weighs more and one can feel it in the first stroke of the paddle. After that, it was an easy glide. I also had no trouble weaving through the Cypress knees and shallows. I was looking for a SOT with good mix of stability, speed, and handling and one that I could still store, move, and load fairly easily. The Tarpon 140 fit the bill. A bonus will be the Slide Trax rails that will be fun to rig for fishing.
10-20-2011Submitted by: string
- Rating: 9 of 10 Took the 140 out into the salt for the first time this weekend. We were riding the falling tide out into a NE wind. It got fairly bumpy with about a 2' swell and some confused water. The boat handled it very well. We plowed several waves that put water over the bow and into the footwells. The water from the front never got to the seat, but a couple waves over the side did.
The 140 is not as fast as its' big brother the 160 but is a great boat nonetheless. Even after several submersions the forward hatch did not leak. As we were putting in, a guide for Coastal expeditions said, "that T140 is a great boat, especially with thigh straps." I had added them the day before and would not paddle bumpy water without them.
10-19-2011Submitted by: busdown3
P.S. this boat is an unruly beast out of the water. Heavy as a brick and like handling a wet log.
- Rating: 9 of 10 I purchased a Tarpon 140 after my Scupper Pro was stolen. I had such good service with my previous kayak I had some concerns about making a change. The concern was unfounded. The Tarpon 140 is a great kayak. Easy to paddle and it is stable. I use it on lakes and the Gulf of Mexico.
My only negative is the hatches leak. Since I like to store cargo on trips this causes a minor problem.
I would suggest the Tarpon 140 to anyone for lake and gulf travel.
10-12-2011Submitted by: staktup
- Rating: 9 of 10 Got this yak last year in the spring (2010 model). I outfitted it with a FF, RAM tube on the front slidetrax, and a ram ball for the Eagle FF in the center console. I also added a flush mount Scotty holder in the center console, as well as a flush mount behind my seat to fly a safety flag.
I use it primarily for a 115 surface-acre lake in NY, and it a few jaunts for stripes in the LI Sound and Hudson. The boat is stable, fast, and spacious. I could put my 3.5 year old son in the rear tankwell (PFDs for everyone of course).
09-27-2011Submitted by: Michelboeijen
Now I want a 120, maybe a Ride 115. WS Tarpons rock!
- Rating: 9 of 10 We use the Tarpon 140 and 160 on our kayak expeditions in Suriname, this was after we tested all kind of boats. The Tarpon is for us the best boat for jungle expeditions as it is strong and easy to paddle and can carry a lot of gear. We bring all the gear to be self-supporting for two weeks.
08-29-2011Submitted by: Kevin
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have owned my Tarpon 140 (2011 build) for about 6 months and it is brilliant. After a few trips of getting used to it I took it for a 3 day camping trip down the Murray river in Australia and it had plenty of room for all of my equipment. I am now looking at doing some sea kayaking and I would rather do it in this than a sit in kayak. I purchased it to have the best of both worlds, fishing and recreational and so far it is doing both perfectly. I am now waiting on our local dealer to get one in mango and I will be straight down there to buy one for my wife. She loves them too.
When loaded up with 3 days worth of camping equipment I did need to have the scupper plugs in as I was sitting a little lower than water line but I also weigh 100 kgs. This trip was also in the middle of the winter so I didn't want to get too wet.
Going out for a days fishing trip is fine as less gear results in sitting higher than water line so I would leave the plugs out and let any paddle splash drain out.
I use the slide trax system to mount a rod holder on one side and a GPS on the other side. Having the rudder and a running anchor line also makes all the difference of making this kayak one of the best.
08-25-2011Submitted by: Gene Speeney
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought my 140 in 2009. Great boat. I fly fish out of this thing 3 or 4 times a week. I get pretty wet but I wouldn't even think of getting a sit in. The only problem is the gaskets on the hatches. I store it upside down, so it really isn't an issue for me, but I can see where it might be a problem. I bought a 100 for my wife. She likes it but she likes mine better. I haven't put too many extras on it because fly line gets caught on everything. But it's a great kayak.
07-19-2011Submitted by: mcmoot
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought a Tarpon 140 and a 120 for my wife. Great kayaks except for the new hinged front hatch. Front hatches on both kayaks leaked. Wilderness did send me new gaskets, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time until they start again.
Other than the hatch, I really like the 140, tracks well and it has a big cargo area. Big enough to be a problem, for me. I over packed on two paddle-in camping trips. Looked like I was paddling a barge, but it handled it well and still paddled great.
05-28-2011Submitted by: SLT
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought the T140 late in 2009 which is the newly designed model. This was my first SOT kayak purchase and after a few months of paddling it, I sold my 16 ft. sit in expedition sea kayak. This kayak offers much more freedom and piece of mind, especially on solo adventures. Not only can you dive and swim and get back in the kayak without issues, the T140 will carry a ton of gear for kayak camping. I am 5'8" and 170 lbs. and carry at least 100 lbs. of gear with no problems in performance from this kayak. SOT's will get some water in them, but to plug them on ocean paddles defeats the design of them. If you do not want to get wet on the water (?) do not get a SOT kayak.
This boat is a fantastic performer in the ocean, which is the only place I paddle being in Washington state, it is very stable for a 28" width, even with gear, tracks very well with the rudder up and exceptional with the rudder down. I highly recommend anyone looking into getting a SOT kayak, to go rent one of the Tarpons and try them out for yourself, I am sure you would be impressed...
01-13-2011Submitted by: kvelez
- Rating: 10 of 10 I am 5'7" and not a body builder so maneuverability is important. For years I had an OK Scupper Pro which took a lot of energy for me to paddle. After spending 3 hours on a Tarpon 160 which I liked very much, I took a Tarpon 140 for a test drive. Came back 90 minutes later convinced I would buy a Tarpon 140. A week later I bought a 2011 Tarpon 140 from South River outfitters.
Extremely happy. I can even stand on it if need be. I don't fish and tend to paddle into tight locations so I skipped the rudder but if one had to be installed it is pretty simple.
07-09-2010Submitted by: string
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is for the new T140.
Having paddled a T160 for years,I was a little concerned about going down in length. I bought the boat because I got a good price and had traded the 160 for a trailer.
Echoing the last reviewer,the boat is a much drier ride. It is really nice not to sit in a puddle for hours. To achieve that, the paddler is further off the water with an attendant decrease in stability, but so little it is hardly noticeable. I got caught in a couple of sudden side currents that were momentarily exciting.
I'll take that loss for the dry butt.
The phase 3 seat is great. Lumbar support in a SOT!
04-26-2010Submitted by: jwilburn
Continuing the trend, the boat is heavy as a brick. It comes with tracks for adding accessories, but that does not include attachment points for thigh straps. I was disappointed that I have to add them. Paddling a SOT in rough water without thigh straps is not fun. Still, I am pleased with the boat for my intended use - small rivers and salt water bays and creeks.
- Rating: 10 of 10 It's important to note that the Tarpon 140 was redesigned for 2009. The newer models are much drier. Most of the reviews for this boat are for the older design. Also, the boat comes with scupper plugs now, so you can plug the holes before going out on flat water and not let any water in the boat at all. If some gets in, just remove the plugs.
I'm 6'1", 245lbs, and I find the Tarpon 140 to be fast, stable, and dry. All SOT's will let in a little water without the scupper plugs in place when you first get on the boat or when dealing with non-flat water such as breakers, wakes, etc. This boat is no exception, but you are no longer sitting in 1.5 inches of water. The water coming in is usually confined to the front of the "cockpit" area around your feet, and drains back out.
The Phase 3 seating is elevated above the deck so even if water reaches the seat area (hasn't happened to me yet), it will go up under the seat and you won't be sitting in it.
Of course part of the charm of a SOT is that you can pull fish up onto the deck with you when fishing, dive from it, or just go for an occasional swim then climb back on, so if you're too dry on your outing, you are probably missing out on some other fun SOT kayaking related activities.
04-26-2010Submitted by: MT_Edwards
- Rating: 9 of 10 I tried out the T140 yesterday, that is, the new 2009 model, and I was really impressed once on the water.
It took quite a bit of effort getting it on the water though. It's quite heavy to carry or car top, in spite of excellent carrying handles. You will need a kayak trolley if on your own, and either be quite strong or have a loading aid to get it on top of the car.
Now the good stuff:
As said, once on the water all changed. Tracking was excellent and in spite of the weight of the kayak out of the water, it was very nimble and light to paddle, relative to its length.
I also tried out the Prowler 13. Comparing the two, the Tarpon feels much more sturdy and well kitted out. I was really impressed with the hatches, although I don't know how watertight they are. Compared to the day hatch on the Prowler, the Tarpon one is far more easily accessible as it doesn't need to be unscrewed. It seems to access the main storage area (I could be wrong) and any small items may get lost in the hull as a result. However, this could be easily resolved. There are also two small compartments covered with rubber matting, where additional items can be stored. Although, these need to be secured as they may fall overboard if the kayak tips over in surf. The seat is really good as well, although, I haven't been able to try it on a long journey. I'm not sure how adjustable it is either, and this may need to be checked.
Handling: Again, in spite of the kayak's weight out of the water, it handles really well once in the water. I couldn't feel much difference in getting up to cruising speed with the Prowler 13. As a 14 footer, I didn't expect it to turn as easily as a shorter kayak, and of course I was right, but again, I didn't feel there was much difference than the Prowler. The Tarpon feels/lies slightly lower in the water than the Prowler 13 and may therefore not be as susceptible to wind. In spite of being lower in the water, I didn't see any water in the boat, other than what you would expect from paddle dripping etc.
I must admit, I tried it on the river, but the problem of water gushing in through the scupper holes seems to have been resolved in this new model. All in all, very pleasantly surprised, and I think this will be my next kayak. I'm paddling a Scrambler 11 now.
04-01-2010Submitted by: TKE
- Rating: 9 of 10 I am 5'4" and 135 lb female and have recently purchased the Tarpon 140 after paddling a 12' Phoenix SOT for the last 3 years. After my initial maiden voyage I found I appreciate the adjustable foot pegs as well as the ample storage. It tracks much better than my Phoenix and I took on NO water. My impression is that with heavier people the scupper plugs should be in place! Not necessary for us lighter folks.
I tend to paddle rivers with many obstacles and hit a lot hidden stumps, etc. I know this boat will withstand the punishment!
Overall, I really enjoy it and love the hatching system locks!
09-09-2009Submitted by: ng
- Rating: 9 of 10 I'm brand new at kayaking, so take my thoughts for what they're worth...
I've been renting kayaks for much of the summer, trying to decide what to buy. I'm calling my kayak store tomorrow to buy the Tarpon 140, probably with rudder.
I'm writing largely to respond to reports that the 140 offers a wet ride. I don't understand what folks who write that are talking about. I'm 6'4, (unfortunately) I weigh around 260. This weekend I rented the Tarpon 140 for two days. The first day I kept the scupper plugs in all day; I'd read this forum and thought that if I pulled them out I'd be virtually swimming!
The second day I decided to see what I was really in for if I bought this yak, so about an hour into my 4-hour ride I pulled the plugs out. Sure enough, water squirted up through the holes. But just as quickly as it came up it ran back out again. I ended up having about 1/4 inch of water near my feet, none further up toward my seat. And it was often virtually dry.
For a guy my size in a boat with a 375 lb rating, I think 1/4 of water is nothing to complain about.
I liked this kayak. I'm an inexperienced paddler, and it wasn't hard for me to go pretty much straight most of the time. I think it is a nice combination of speed and stability. My GPS said I was able to cruise along at 3.5 - 4 mph without much trouble; even in a river with a moderate current I was able to go around 2.5 - 3 mph upstream. And after an hour or so I was dangling my feet over either side of the boat, and even turned around and put my legs over one side without much trouble.
I can't say that I have a lot of experience with any kayak. But so far I like the Tarpon 140 enough to buy it!
08-27-2009Submitted by: ds
- Rating: 9 of 10 The 2009 tarpon is heavier then the 2007 model. Laid out a little better, hatches, tank well moved up and seat.
Tracks and paddles the same. Much heavier.
03-10-2009Submitted by: jn
- Rating: 9 of 10 Those who said the scupper holes take on water are absolutely correct. I weigh 227 lbs. at the moment and as soon as I get in all four of the holes let water pour in. While I'm paddling there is about 1.5 inches of water in the cockpit. This is not what I expected from a boat that has a weight rating of 375 lbs. I'll try foam golf balls or rubber chair leg tips. I refuse to buy actual scupper stoppers due to the ridiculous price of them. Other than this absurd oversight in engineering the boat is great. It tracks fairly well and is reasonably fast. At 28 inches it is extremely stable. I think it could have been 2 inches skinnier, but I say that about all SOT's.
11-25-2008Submitted by: Tiiim
- Rating: 4 of 10 Personally I find my Tarpon 140 (w/rudder) to be a real tank. It's slow to start, slow in the water, slow to turn and I'm constantly sitting in about an inch of water (I weigh 250 lbs, so go figure). I also sit up so high I have to really reach to get my paddle blades in the water, and I end up feeling like I'm paddling a log through mud. Even when the water was calm and I was near shore it felt like a whale.
I also found that besides the bow hatch, the rest of the hatches were nearly useless. The little hatch in front of the seat isn't waterproof and will soak up any water that makes its way into the hull, and while the rear dry storage compartment is quite large, it has a tiny opening, making it next to worthless.
I'm a big guy so with the scupper plugs removed the boat quickly fills with about 2 inches of water that never fully drains out. With the plugs in place I get less water inside the cockpit, but it also has no place to go, and of course removing the plugs doesn't work. ;-/
Bottom line: I'll be selling this boat ASAP
07-02-2008Submitted by: dojinut
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought a 140 & a 160 a couple years ago.. both have worked fine in bay and inland waters. I prefer the 160 as it tracks better and is faster. The overall design is very good and is a relatively "dry" ride. As far as sit-on-tops go, I think these are the best in their class.
07-24-2007Submitted by: DH
- Rating: 8 of 10 Purchased my T140 from Travel Country in Altamonte Springs in January and have been fishing regularly in the Mosquito River Lagoon, Banana River and Indian River. My experience is consistent with what others have reported.
Pros: Stable, fast, dry (other than the scuppers issue that other large guys have mentioned - solved with foam golf balls) and comfortable for long paddles. The T140 has good maneuverability for a large SOT; I paddled the Little Econ River in May with a group of friends and had no problems steering with paddle only.
Cons: if you are planning to paddle in exposed waters in winds > 10kt, get the rudder kit. The T140 does tend to windvane downwind even in small following seas. Other annoyances include oilcanning forward of the front bulkhead while cartopping (self-corrects within 30 minutes after I take it down). Fortunately I haven't experienced any pinhole leaks and the general fit and finish is good.
Overall I would recommend the T140 to anyone who wants to take up kayak fishing. BTW I was also very pleased with my buying experience at Travel Country - they made a clerical mistake while outfitting my rig but completely honored the terms of the purchase.
07-06-2007Submitted by: bls
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have been paddling SOT's for over ten years now, and this boat is probably the best all-around of its kind. Being recently removed from Florida's gulf coast, I was surprised to find that Wisconsinites are not as fond of the SOT. Although I can only speculate that the weather has something to do with it, I find that getting a little wet from May through October is perfectly fine with me. Winter paddling, even in Florida, never really interested me anyway. And most of all, the right SOT can be so much more fun and completely hassle-free.
My first Wilderness Systems SOT was the 15' Freedom that was sold prior to my 1,200 mile move. It was a great design that fit me extremely well. After test paddling a Tarpon 160 prior to leaving Florida, though, I felt that it would definitely be my next purchase. Two months ago, however, I found a Tarpon 140 for $550 at a dive shop in Steven's Point, Wisconsin. It had about an 1/8" of dust on it as it had probably been there for quite some time. I never realized there was so much of a mark up! For the money I decided to settle for it instead of the 160 model. I figured that the smaller size would be more suitable for my wife anyway when I eventually did get my 16 footer.
After a couple of camping trips in beautiful northern Wisconsin, as well as paddling my local Fox River, I have found that this model is just fine for me as well. From the reviews on this site, I was already prepared to take on some water (being that I am 6'3" and 270 pounds). About an inch of water stays in the foot wells. As I mentioned earlier, though, I do not mind getting a little wet. Being on the bigger side with a higher center of gravity, I have found that I am much more stable on SOT's than in cockpit kayaks or solo and tandem canoes. I cannot imagine dumping this boat unless you are either very careless, or do it intentionally. If you do go in the drink, though, being able to get back in your boat in the middle of a 640-acre lake is an invaluable asset. After a little practice with a moderate amount of upper body strength, most people could probably be back in the boat and paddling again in less than a minute. I love the freedom to do this when I feel like taking a swim.
The 140 seems fast and tracks pretty well (although the 160 seems slightly better in both departments). As I did mention in my first sentence, this model is a great all-around boat... it is smaller and a little lighter than its bigger brother, but maybe a tad slower with a few more corrective strokes required. All-in-all, not a significant amount of difference.
06-14-2007Submitted by: Dave
I recommend this boat without hesitation. Although I still may purchase a 160 for myself, I will probably wait until I find another that has collected some dust (and a bargain-style price tag). And why not, until my wife get upset with me for using "her" boat, I am completely satisfied with it!
- Rating: 6 of 10 After doing a ton of research into finding a "good fishing SOT", I was about convinced that the Tarpon 140 was going to be my first SOT (I already owned and liked two SINKs. I just wanted to see what the SOT craze was all about). So when I stumbled onto a T140 Angler at 40% off, I jumped on it without even a test paddle (First mistake!).
My initial impressions were lukewarm. Despite all the reviews claiming stability and speed, I felt robbed in both departments. This boat was no match for either of my SINKs (Pungo Classic and Loon 138). Not that it was a slug or unstable, just not up to what I was used to. In addition, while the rudder helped. It steered like a log. It was also heavier than either of my SINKs. However, my biggest gripe was that my 220 lb. 5'8" frame, kept the cockpit flooded and my gear awash in 1/2' of water (which in turn tended to make the boat bow heavy and plow vs glide. Come on, 220 isn't uncommon for a full grown man. What were they thinking? Even when I plugged the 4 scuppers, paddle drippings kept it wet. I guess some of it is that I was expecting too much from a SOT design (as compared to my SINKs), but the flooded cockpit issue was a deal breaker. I sold it after 2 uses.
12-29-2006Submitted by: Fred L.
- Rating: 9 of 10 I purchased my Tarpon 140 last spring and it has been everything I hoped for. I have had it out in the bay, the ocean, rivers (up to class II), streams, and lakes. I probably logged about 400 miles so far. It tracks quite well, is very stable and is easy to exit and re-enter in any water (deep, choppy, etc.). I have paddled with a group of highly varied kayaks and canoes and had no problem keeping up. If you're a strong paddler you can even stay at the front of the pack over the long haul, even with light touring kayaks. I have paddled up to 28 miles in a day and was very comfortable. The seat is great. It is quite heavy and can be challenging to car top by yourself after a long day of paddling, but it will only make you stronger. I crafted a carrying cart out of pvc that goes up through the scupper holes. It is great for long portages. When I was shopping for a kayak, I had trouble deciding if I should get a sit-in or SOT and which boat to get. I am so happy with the decision to get a Tarpon 140 for my first. I love this kayak and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good all around kayak that will do almost everything from small whitewater, to calm lakes, to ocean and bay, to small windy streams.
09-29-2006Submitted by: Mdb1974
- Rating: 8 of 10 The 140 is the most ergonomically sound kayak I have looked at or paddled. Great hatch placements and generous tankwell make it very user friendly. Tracks fairly well and is almost completely silent in the water.
Back support combined with an inset seat make for a very comfortable ride.
Takes on water that does not drain for paddlers of 200pds. In addition larger paddlers will also notice that this water causes the bow to ride to low resulting in eradic handling. Plugs for the 4 cockpit scuppers resolve both of these problems.
My wife complained of the height of the gunwales inhibiting her paddle stroke.
Overall, however, it is a solid versatile boat with enough speed to cover 10 or more miles comfortably.
09-05-2006Submitted by: Bernie
- Rating: 9 of 10 I got this Tarpon 140 in May 2006 and I have no regrets. I have had it in the ocean in Maine about ten times so far. I feel safe in it. It handles well in waves with the rudder. It is even better in flat calm water. I have not tried to push it to the limit. I have to much respect for the ocean. This boat is a keeper. I look forward to many more rides.
05-10-2006Submitted by: Eric
- Rating: 10 of 10 My wife and I got our t-140s in Jan and have only missed maybe 2 weekends since(its now mid may). we love them! I am 6' and go 270lbs and the boat fits my size and weight very well.
We have had them everywhere from swift rivers in PA to the flat brackish rivers of MD's eastern shore.
The only bad thing I can say about them is how much water the boat holds when the footwell is not plugged.
01-16-2006Submitted by: Ranger Steve
- Rating: 10 of 10 I am a new owner of a T 140 and could not be happier with it. I have been paddling around for a couple of years in a 20 year old OC Scupper I found in the back of our barn. Once I added a rod holder, installed a back rest/ pad and lashed a milk crate on top it worked well enough to convince me this was a good way to fish the Texas coast. I researched and tested every kayak I could get my hands on for a year and I kept coming back to the T140. I am 6'3" 210lb. and the T140 is very comfortable for me, but you don't have to give up the ability to turn in tight places. My first day on the bays with it were naturally cursed with high winds and muddy water, but the boat didn't seem to mind. It cuts through pretty dry, and tracks well in a cross winds. The rigid back rest is much more comfortble and secure than any after market strap on type, and when I want to straddle the back of boat and walk the bay floor while sitting, the back rest folds out of the way easily. It does need scupper plugs in the front if your a big paddler. At my size and weight it takes on 1/2 " of water, but plugs are easy to fabricate this site has many suggestions, (foam golf balls, furniture leg caps.) I don't know about smaller paddlers but for bigger built paddlers this is a hard boat to beat.
08-21-2005Submitted by: bryanpsims
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is a follow up to my initial review of a few weeks ago (see entry of 8/2/2005):
After a second demo on the WS Tarpon 140 and a comparison demo on the Tarpon 120, I went ahead and purchased the 140. The 120 was great but I felt the 140 was just a little more stable and a little bit faster.
I went with the new color for this year, Ice (blue with streaks of white) and put it in the water at home for the first time this week. As with my initial demo, it tracked well on the lake despite a steady breeze. Once off the lake, it rode smoothly and quietly up some of the adjacent creeks allowing for some great up close nature watching.
I had heard from one Tarpon owner in person (and a few others via the internet) that they had experienced problems with pin-hole leaks in and around the scuppers. Mine was dry as a bone after the take out and I examined even closer once I got it home.
I'm very happy with my purchase.
08-02-2005Submitted by: bryanpsims
- Rating: 10 of 10 After reading the other reviews and recently demoing a WS Tarpon 140 myself, I thought I would add a few comments. Over the last several weeks I've been shopping around and I've tried quite a few comparable models (Perception Bimini and Caster, Ocean Scupper Pro and Prowler 15). As for my perspective, I'm a fairly new paddler with a modest amount of experience (male, 5'8", 200lbs).
The Tarpon 140 is slightly heavier than some of the other models I tried but it gets moving quickly and tracks very well. I was paddling with a 230 cm composite paddle, around 24 ounces as I recall. A WS rudder kit can be added for roughly $200. I tested it near a marina in a commercial area where there was quite a bit of traffic. It was extremely stable and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it handled the wake from a large passing cabin cruiser and a tug boat. The floor of the cockpit is flat and roomy and any water that I took on quickly drained off. The standard molded seat and seat-back were comfortable even without any sort of padding. The front hatch was roomy and easy to access and the oversized rear well could handle multiple crates or a large cooler.
After testing it, I happened to run into another customer that was trading his old 140 in for a 160i. He had nothing but good comments on his old 140...he was only trading up to the 160i as he does quite a bit of fishing off shore and wanted the additional speed, stability and security that he felt the 16 foot model offered on the open sea. A great boat...I think my search may be over!
06-30-2005Submitted by: Wudnlady
- Rating: 10 of 10 I paddled all the Tarpons. Ended with the 160i and LOVE it. It is only because it fit what I needed better, like taking my golden retriever along on some paddles. We use a trailer so putting it up on my truck was not an issue. I do wonder about the 120 and 140 on how you find your dry storage. Is it dry or do you find some water? My husband has the T160 and loves it, but does like the seat changes in the 160i. Guess a paddler just can't go wrong with any of the Tarpons, regardless of length. O, I did get mine in the new color "mystic blue". Only because that is a color we do not have yet in our collection.
06-27-2005Submitted by: RER
- Rating: 10 of 10 I read all of the reviews here and other places while looking for a sit-on-top for myself and my family. I needed something that the kids could not hurt, would allow me to use it with them, yet would cruise well enough for me to take some morning paddles before the lake gets rough. After one weekend, I can tell you that this boat delivers on all counts.
You can get this kayak moving within the first 3 strokes, and from there on it is almost effortless. It tracks well and most of your directional corrections can be handled within the stroke movement. When paddling in a cross wind, I did use an occasional double stroke on one side, but it was rare. With the kids, my 12 year old daughter was paddling with ease with minimal instruction, and my 7 year old sits easily in the rear tank well for easy cruises.
I am 6 ft and 210 lbs and the 140 cruises with very little effort. It was obviously designed to go in a straight line, but it will turn when you want it to. With good technique, it will pivot.
Very seldom do you find a product that will cover a range of uses, and do all of them well. The Tarpon 140 is a very versatile boat. I was specifically looking for a kayak that could stay on the shore during the day, as to be available for the entire family, durable so that I didn't go crazy when anyone even looked at it, and enough performance for a long morning cruise and some fishing. This boat fills all of these with a very strong performance. Also, check around with your local dealers to see if they have any demo boats. Mine had ordered two that had cosmetic blemishes that I couldn't even find, but I saved over $200.
05-11-2005Submitted by: FS
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is a thoughtfully designed boat that serves multiple purposes - touring, diving, fishing - all reasonably well. It is faster and tracks better than the 120. You CAN stand up to fish from it, but watch out for unexpected wakes! It has plenty of dry storage and it will accommodate 9' fly rods safely, dry and out of sight. Like others, I found the very wet scuppers to be an annoyance (I plug them with rubber furniture leg tips from Home Depot - cheap and easy to attach to a string). I have been surprised at how heavy and unwieldy this boat is - actually fairly difficult for me to wrestle onto a cartop, especially compared to my solo whitewater canoes.
03-28-2005Submitted by: jk
- Rating: 10 of 10 I own two Tarpon 120's and two Tarpon 140's, bought the 120's to get my wife on the water. She loved the Tarpons and wanted to have another pair to invite guests to go with us. I bought the 140's to allow for some variety. The 140's are faster and only marginally more challenging to handle. However, I should say that the 120's never fail to deliver a positive experience for first time paddlers. We have had a lot of fun with both, foam golf balls deal with the forward scuppers in the 140's if you or you and your gear weigh more than 170 lbs.
03-24-2005Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is an excellent multi-purpose sit on top kayak. It tracks great, it is fast enough to keep up with almost anything, and it is very stable. The design is extremely ergonomic in that everything is placed in the most convenient places. I tested this along with the Tarpon 120, and the 160 and I ordered this one. Much faster than the 120 and tracks much better. Not as fast or good at tracking as the 160, but much easier to maneuver. I usually go alone too and did not want to have to lift the 160 by myself... great boat with no complaints at all!
01-11-2005Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I spent the afternoon in a WS Tarpon 120, Tarpon 140 as well as the OK 15'4" Prowler. I'm 6', 210lbs. I was leaning to the 140 (being a larger guy that likes to camp, fish and hunt) but now I have some concerns. The tracking was definitely affected by a slight breeze.
The difference between the 120 and 140 is small but noticeable in all the obvious ways except wind sensitivity. 10 mph breeze, the 120 was significantly less affected. This was also the impression of my buddy that was demoing them as well. When I asked him for his impressions he volunteered it so I didn't color his perception, 2 independent observations.
The difference in glide was surprisingly small but present. Ditto on maneuverability.
Another interesting observation, while the forward scuppers spouted like a fountain on the 140 with a leaning stroke, the 120 didn't seem to. This could be handled by plugs of course.
I won't bother to compare it to the Prowler here. Apples and oranges. One thing I will mention here, however, the WS boats cut better and more quietly, no water slap on the hull. Major advantage if stalking birds, game or fish is your thing. Prowler would alert them way before the Tarpons would.
09-13-2004Submitted by: Ivan
- Rating: 10 of 10 So here goes. This is my first kayak that I have purchased, I tried a few ocean models and liked the design and layout of the t140 better then any others. I had a hard time deciding whether to get the 140 vs. the 160, but I decided on the 140 for size and the fact that I can still get this boat on my truck relatively easy by myself. I got it used from the classifeds and this site, got a great deal and couldn't be happier with the kayak. I've taken it out a handfull of times so far and had no problems, I did notice some water coming in but solved that with some foam golf balls, now the cockpit is bone dry. Boat tracks good and very easy to manuever even without the rudder option. I love the storage space in the back, I find that my friends end up tossing there stuff into the back of my boat rather then dig into theirs. I've taken this thing out into some pretty crappy water just to see what it was capable of, I couldn't tip this boat if I tried, and with the leg braces you can lean this over as far as you want. Overall this is an excellent boat, can't wait to try it in the ocean a little more.
07-21-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Kudos to everyone who has reviewed this boat so far. All are very accurate and fair. The only reason I decided to review the boat is to address a couple of the issues that are mentioned. My neighbor got one recently, loves it. My wife had a T120, still new, just over a month old; paddled the neighbors T140, and I went out and got her one THE VERY NEXT DAY. That's okay, though, as the 15 y/o boy LEPT from his O.K. Scrambler to mom's T120. He LOVES the T120, and has decided to leave O.K. for GOOD. But Scott, my neighbor, and Kim, my sweetie, had the same complaint, wherein they'd hid the carry handles when paddling. From my comfortable perch aboard my own T160, I first thought that this was REDICULOUS. "Man-up, and adjust your stroke!" But then, when Kim had the same problem, who's a fraction of Scott's size, I thought there must be something to it. I wasn't gonna jump off of my kayak to paddle the T140 and solve the problem -- no, I just KNEW that KIM would figure it out. Kim has a way of solving THE most COMPLEX problems, with an un-assuming, simple and usually BRILLIANT solution. [ if you're interested in hearing a GREAT story, drop me a line and ask me how she solved the perplexing problem of installing a rudder to a tandem kayak that did NOT have the required hatch for access necessary to running the tubing and cables!] Anyway, after paddling Scott's T140 for about 20 minutes, Kim said, "I think I'd like a longer paddle." Kim and I and Scott, for that matter, all use a 230cm paddle. After paddling with me in a VERY ROUGH sea, Kim was better able to keep up with me in my T160 then she was the day before in her T120, and she LOVED the T140! [a side note: she had tried my T160 some time ago, and HATED it. I can't tell you why, and niether can she. Probably 'cause she's small?] So, the VERY NEXT DAY, I got her a BRAND NEW T140, AND a 240cm paddle. She couldn't WAIT for me to take the rudder off of her T120, put it on the T140 [I've gotten quite adept at installing rudders -- I think I'm up to EIGHT or more] and try-out her new paddle! Turns out she was right; the 240cm paddle made all the difference for her, anyway. Scott has yet to try the 240cm paddle, poor sap has to WORK during the week. He and I decided, though, that rather than him spending the dough on ANOTHER new paddle, that we'd try one of those kits that changes a one-piece paddle to a two-piece paddle -- you know, the fiberglass section that gets attached to the center. Haven't done it yet, but drop me a line, we'll let you know how THAT worked. I have to say, too, that both commented on the water that is aboard without scupper plugs in place -- commented, mind you, not complained. So, it's true, it is a wetter cockpit -- the others are quite accurate, as I've mentioned. The seat is NOT a problem wetness spot, and in the end, the water in the cockpit isn't a real problem, just something that potential paddlers should be aware of. you CAN stay dry with scupper plugs, so, no biggie. Beyond that and the knuckle banging, I'd STILL have to give the kayak a big TEN, for its' SPEED, TRACKING, MANUVERABILITY, and for its' ability to PLOW through very rough seas. Perfect for the fisherman, too. Far superior to ALL of the most popular boats chosen for fishing, Wilderness Systems will eventually win over the masses, slowly but surely. In an area where Ocean Kayak has completely SATURATED the marketplace, the word will spread that there IS someone out there who's making better and smarter boats. Once again, my hat's off to Wilderness Systems. The T140 is a GREAT kayak.
07-14-2004Submitted by: tinkerbell
- Rating: 8 of 10 I really have to say that I am quite pleased with my T-140. I purchased it after a fairly exhaustive search of boats, both canoes and kayaks. I chose the Tarpon because it seemed to have the best of most of the required elements on my list. Realizing that there is no one perfect boat, the T-140 does a very good job of coming close for me. I went with the 140 over the 160 because I do mostly creeks and rivers and the shorter length with the more pronounced rocker of the 140 won me over. I also like the tankwell; it is like a water pickup truck. I only go out for 3-4 days at a time and the dry storage along with the tankwell provide more than enough room for all of my stuff. I guess storage space adequacy depends on where you come from and coming from a backpacking mentality there is a lot of room for gear! I have found the boat to track well and turn quickly. It is stable enough without being a barge. I am 6' 3" and weigh 250 lbs and the boat does keep water in the cockpit with me. It is only about a half-inch and the seat stays dry and the day hatch is never in trouble of being submerged. I can eleiminate all of this by plugging the four lower cockpit holes with practice foam golf balls. I always leave the two holes behind the seat and in the tankwell open. I only give it an 8 because I think WS could have done a better job with the rear hatch access. It provides access to a large compartment, but the hole should be/could be bigger. Additionally, the foot brace rails come not mounted all the way forward in the cockpit. I moved mine all the way forward. It was easy enough to do, but it seems like they should have been taht way all along. I also added thigh straps, a grande thermarest seat pad, and a backrest pad. It is very comfortable for the long haul. My boat does not have a rudder and I have not missed it. It is easy enough to turn without one. I guess it is a little on the heavy side, but at this stage of my life the weight is not an issue. They say that it is possible to roll, but I have tried a bunch and have not done it yet. It certainly is very easy to get on and off and it is stable enough to stand in. Overall, a great boat.
05-12-2004Submitted by: David Rojo
- Rating: 10 of 10 Why get a 120? because of it's "manageable size" fits better in the garage or easier ti carry. Those are all poor reasons not to consider the 140. I paddle both and the 140 is more stable and even quicker than the 120. It's not an overnight camping boat but definately made for fishing!
04-20-2004Submitted by: lees
- Rating: 9 of 10 wish I had never demo'd this yak cause now I want one.enormous tankwell ! flat cockpit that you can stand up in!and twist,turn and cast, extremly stable, crawled all over it ,sat on it sideways and access to tankwell and forward hatch was great.opened the hatch out on the water and wasn't concerned at all; dry ride ,I'm 5'8" 160lbs and didn't have water in the cockpit that others have mentioned, no wet seat here, wind was blowing 15-20knots and it was reasonably fast, and tracked well, a little slow getting it moving but once you overcame the first intial strokes it took off.heavy construction) could be used touring, camping ,diving.paddle keeper also.......what I did not like was the position of the side handles,knuckle scrappers,I'd maybe remove them. the scupper holes behind the seat seem to serve no purpose bound to become a classic,worth the price tag with the great warranty...try it you'll only have one problem ,choosing between the 140 or the 120
04-14-2004Submitted by: Jeb Bradfield
- Rating: 9 of 10 Purchased the Tarpon 140 on 3-9-04 and have taken 4 trips so far. Two on flat water and two on the San Francisco Bay. It performed just as advertised; faster than the Tarpon 120 and easier to manuever than the Tarpon 160. I purchased mine w/o out the rudder and have noticed it pulls a little to the left which requires me to make a few corrective strokes. I have also gone swimming off of it and it is very easy to get back into, which is a real plus if you plan using th 140 as a diving platform. I primarily use the 140 for Bay and coastal fishing which is what it was designed for. BIG tankwell for milkcrates, live bait tanks, air tanks and yes BIG FISH. I have mine set up with two rod holders behind the seat and the one scotty rodholder mounted directly in front of me. Will add an anchor system on the bow and plan to take an extended trip on my favorite Yosemite Lake. If you are looking for a solid fishing/diving 'yak, do not buy one without test paddling the Tarpon 140. Very happy with my purchase.
03-05-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought the tarpon 14 earlier this year for fishing and recreation. I'm 5'6-180lbs. I paddled different makes and sizes, the 14 was the most functional for my needs. It's heavy, but not so heavy that i can't carry it from the wrangler to the ramp or beach(the 16 was an effort, the 12 was lighter, but too small). The configuration is just what i needed(the 16 lacked the rear tank well)I added an anchor system which works great. the standard seat is comfortable, but i added a thin stick- on pad which is welcomed on a long day(have yet to try the gel type). the scuppers keep the cockpit dry and water that drips in from paddling is quickly drained. It's easy to paddle and tracks strait. I opted for a rudder, which i am in the habit of using only to control my drift and can use both hands to fish. Behind the seat are two scuppers, but the bottom of the seat itself there are none and thats why I give it a 9. Although no water has accumulated at the bottom yet, I can imagine on a choppy day or a big boat wake. the boat has good stability. The tank well is large enough for a milk crate and a small cooler, front storage is more than I need for day trips, but handy for extended trips. very satisfied with my purchase.
11-20-2003Submitted by: jim3727
- Rating: 10 of 10 In the world of S-O-T's, this boat is as good as they get. It's big brother, the 160, is a bit faster but not so much faster as to make you forget about the additional weight the 160 has. The 140 handles a little better than the 160 and can take on rough water just as well.I bought this boat over the 160 not only because of weight differences but also because of significant layout differences.The 140 has an open storage well behind the seat which is easily accessible and the boat is so stable, you can stand up in front of the seat in calm water. It is fun to paddle and looks good. The rudder is indespensible, though, in rough seas.
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