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I waxed the hull with Turtle Wax rubbing compound & removed most of the scratches. Looking forward to my next paddle. I hope to make the paddle in less than 3 hours. Any time less than 3:59 would have given me a top 5 finish in the past years out of 90-121 paddlers. I'd recommend this kayak to anyone as an EXCELLENT boat....as are all the larger Hurricane kayaks.
My latest paddle around the 14 mile lake was 2:59! I was thrilled to beat the 3 hour mark!I'm loving this Tampico 135L.
Pros: A well-made, seaworthy little boat. It gets up to speed quickly and is effortless to paddle at leisurely speeds (less than 3 kts). It's pretty stable but also responsive, easy to lean and turn on a dime. It rides waves fairly well with a tail wind and has only mild weathercocking. The cockpit is very easy to enter and exit due to its large size and the seat is comfortable (and tall). The boat is easy to move because of its light weight. There are plenty of deck lines and chords for your stuff. Two bulkheads make it a real, albeit little, sea kayak, with plenty of storage room for shorter trips. If you add knee and thigh braces, this boat will roll pretty easily.
Braces: This boat has no knee braces, which are mandatory for more than casual paddling on calm water, or for rolling. I cut knee braces from 1/4 inch polycarbonate sheeting, bolted and ABS epoxy glued to the flat underside of the cockpit combing. The braces are padded with gray closed-cell foam, contoured to my knees, then contact cemented to the underside of the braces. If you plan to do rolls, then thigh braces help take up extra space to the sides of your hips (its a wide boat).
Seat back: The high seat back of this "recreational" seat is comfortable to sit in. However, the high seat back makes it harder to rotate your torso and difficult to lean back and rest on the rear deck. If you plan to do lay back rolls, then switch out the seat back for a shorter variety - I fashioned a shorter crescent-shaped seat back using the same materials as the knee braces.
Hatches: my forward hatch leaks minimally, even after repeatedly rolling in a pool for an hour. The rear hatch, in contrast, leaks 2 or 3 cups of water in the same pool session. I stopped the majority of the leaking by lashing a tight bungee chord around the neck of the rear hatch cover, which squeezes the sides of the cover against the hatch combing. Storing your boat with hatch covers off may help.
Speed: Over 3 kts or so, a small bow wave starts forming. At 4.5 kts, the bow wave is noticeable and about as fast as the boat can cruise comfortably. Above 4.5 kts, it's a lot of work to keep the boat at speed. If you plan to do more than paddle around leisurely, you will likely hit a speed wall with this boat as your skills and endurance improve.
Directional stability: the boat tracks fairly well for not having a skeg or rudder, especially in light winds. A skeg would be nice when quartering into moderate to strong winds as weathercocking increases (keeping the deck clear of stuff helps). A skeg would also help for riding bigger waves because there is some tendency to broach into the wave troughs. That being said, a little extra work, leaning and corrective strokes will keep it going generally straight under windy conditions.
Considerations: if you are looking for a short, light, responsive, well-made and seaworthy little boat for casual touring, this boat is a good option, especially if you ad knee braces. If you want to move into a full-sized sea kayak later, you may outgrow this boat quickly, especially if you value speed or do exercise paddling.
It continues to be a very satisfactory kayak. I still use it about 3 times a week (isn't retirement great). I have been out with my kayak buddies in a variety of other brands and it never fails to impress them with its speed and tracking ability. As I mentioned in my original post, I had pretty much come to the conclusion my next kayak would have a rudder or skeg...but hated the idea as the complexity, weight and issues with weeds fouling them (a very big problem in my favorite lake) put me off. After owning the Tampico I have come to the conclusion a WELL designed kayak doesn't need a skeg or rudder. It also has no issues with weather cocking which is a big point for me as my favorite paddling lake frequently has winds in excess of 25 mph. With proper weight distribution and trimming the Tampico is dead neutral in winds. I suspect the low deck height is the secret as well as the Swede form hull design. That being said it can carve corners with the best of them even though it doesn't have any rocker.
Stability...yeah...those who have tried it said the initial tippyness (23" width) is a bit more noticeable but that isn't an issue after 5 minutes paddling. And in fact I found it to be able to deal with chop and waves better than a lot of other less tippy yaks...I think it is the "feel" you are getting through immediate feedback....sort of like the response of a sports car vs. a big soft riding car. Secondary stability is very good. I have never felt it was in danger of rolling unintentionally.
Finish of the Trylon hull remains flawless (although I baby it compared to my OLD TOWN Dirigo which is my "bomber" kayak for rough river runs). There is no sign of any oil caning, bad seams, etc. The seat is pretty comfortable...as long as you keep it in the low back position. I am 150# and 6' tall...I think it could take a person up to 6'4" or so but if you have large shoe size you may want to make sure you have sufficient toe room....the length is fine though. One thing which I came to appreciate is the large size of the rear hatch which is just large enough to allow me to fit my Wheelies kayak kart. Some other brands of kayak have smaller hatch openings which would be an issue.
The cockpit opening is just the right size...not overly large but large enough to get in and out of easily while still allowing a good drip skirt fit around the excellent coming. The shape of the cockpit allows me to brace my knees against the underside of the cockpit effectively without Micky Mouse thigh brace add on's... I did put some 1/4" high density foam on the inside to place my knees against. Hurricane might consider including a piece of the foam so buyers can decide if they want to use it or not. The cockpit opening is also large enough that you can get in easy enough that you don't have to use the standard paddle float rescue method...the cowboy method is fast and less troublesome. The fact that the rigging hardware is all recessed below the surface gives you a smooth surface that won't catch your PFD as you reenter.
The hatch covers keep everything dry and I like the "leashes" on them to prevent them from getting lost should they ever come loose. I have memories of a fellow practicing his rolls on a kayak without a cover tether, loosing a hatch cover and he never did find it again.
Everyt ime I take it out people comment how attractive the color (blue top white bottom) is and how shiny it looks (Trylon). That may be its one negative. It is so pretty I am reluctant to treat it rough like I do with my Dirigo!
The length of this kayak is a good balance giving speed without a big weight or maneuverability penalty. It has enough storage space in the two bulkheads to carry gear for a couple of days trips.
Now for the good...everything. For background...I have used a few other kayaks both sit in and sit on top and my other most used kayak is an old Town Dirigo 106 which is a great fishing kayak but the width, height and length make it weather vane in wind, slower to paddle but very stable. I have no problem trusting my family in it...even my 10 year old. And it's generous cockpit opening is perfect for fishing which I do a lot of.
The Tampico is the opposite...very fast (I can catch and often pass even 16' and longer kayaks), tracks extremely well and no issues with weathervaning. Weathervaining is a big issue for me as I frequent a lake that often has winds 25-30mph or more in afternoon. Have had it in some pretty rough chop and went through a 3' wake wave without any excitement. Yeah it is more tippy than the Dirigo but no problem once you get some time in the seat. Up to the point when I tried it out I had decided my next kayak would have a rudder despite the weight and complexity. It is not needed or missed on the Tampico...it tracks that well. Not sure why that is but suspect it is a combination of the keel design and low deck height (wind advantage). And for those of you who are still wondering if you can put a rudder on the Tampico..as far as I know it isn't possible. While it goes straight...it also carves corners like a sports car. And no...it wouldn't make a good fishing kayak ;-)
OK...the big question...how well does Hurricane support their customers. When I first got mine I noticed that there was a small defect in the seat sub structure. When cutting off flashing etc. it appears that the worker removed a bit too much material in one spot on the back making a point that was thin and caused a small crack. I called Hurricane and spoke to their warranty person named Summer who without any questions volunteered that it was a defect and they would send out a complete brand new seat to replace the stock one. This was even before they had received my warranty card. Within a few days the replacement arrived and was quickly screwed into place. Now I have a spare seat for parts.
The worksmanship is excellent and the whole kayak is well engineered. I especially like the stainless steel screws instead of rivets and the rigging clamps are all recessed below the deck so no areas to snag on clothing. This is especially nice if you get dumped and have to get back in using a paddle float.
By the way one person remarked that on their kayak they could only adjust the seat back angle from behind the seat. This was changed evidently as on mine I can adjust it while sitting in the seat with a strap to my side.
The cockpit is well shaped and you can place your knees against the under deck for bracing. I did get some closed cell foam and attached it on the deck bottom to push my knees against (a great way to attach it is to use fiberglass carpet tape available at any hardware store). The seat and cockpit fit me well. The foot room is fine even with my kayak booties and the foot pegs are easily adjusted outside the kayak but not as easily when in the kayak. I am 150# and 6' tall and have no problems fitting in the cockpit. I measured the draft of it with me in it and no additional gear other than drip skirt, paddle, safety throw rope, bilge pump and paddle float...it was 3 1/2".
The finish is high gloss and beautiful. They call the material Trylon but is really ABS plastic which is really tough stuff. It is nice to know that if you ever damage it you can fix it using standard materials...they even tell you how to do it in the owners literature that comes with it.
I like the way they rigged it...bungy material zig sagging but the outside line front and rear is non stretch material which makes a more secure attachment for dry bags etc. The seat is very comfortable...the seat pan can be tilted and back tilted while sitting in it. The seat back can also be adjusted for height although that needs to be done from outside the kayak. No issue here for me as I always leave the back in the lowest position.
Any thing I would change or add....it might be nice to have a drain plug on the deck near the back so you could drain out the last bit of water by tilting it.
Don't change list...LEAVE THE HULL ALONE...it is perfect!
Normally I might complain about the cost here...but frankly...it is a great deal for what you are getting compared to the competition.
We took the boat down to the beach and tried to tip it over. Eventually we succeeded, and we found that the hatch covers are not totally water tight. The front let in about a cup and the rear let in about a quart. I am 5'10" and weigh 165 with size 10 shoes and I find this boat a little snug - comfortable, but snug. I think this boat could easily accommodate people as small as 5'4". If you looked at the 135S and don't like the seat, don't be afraid to try this model.
I weighed ours and it weighs 50 lbs. I own 11 boats and every one weighs 4 -8 lbs more than the manufacturer quotes. Unfortunately that's the way it is in the small boat industry.
I can't say enough good things about Bay Creek and Hurricane Kayaks. In these days of best price / poor service this was just amazing. No resistance or aggravation, I had a problem and they fixed it. After developing the problem with the hull I seriously considered other boats instead of Hurricane but after the way they and Bay Creek handled my problem I would not consider going elsewhere. They have my loyalty and personal endorsement to any one I discuss Kayaks with. Way to go Hurricane and Bay Creek! Thank you, look for my Tampico 140L review next Spring.
The only down side, and you knew it was coming, everything else seems lacking after using that one. I've used it a few times now and every time I like it even more. Don't buy anything until you try this one. Hate to sound like a salesman, but if you try it you'll know what I mean. Happy paddling.
The bad...These boats are overweight and the manufacture knows it. The spec. sticker on the boat says 43 lbs. and mine comes in at 50. I had the dealer weight another 135L and it weighed 47 lbs. These boats are made from sheet plastic, so weight consistency should be better than a roto molded boat. 7 lbs. doesn't matter unless you are car topping the boat. Throw in a gallon of water while your boat is over your head and you WILL notice the difference! Emails to the manufacture as to why have gone unanswered. A call to the factory got me a nebulous answer about using 'new seats' and 'we use thicker plastic on white boats'. They've gotten other calls about this issue. The dealer seemed surprised too.
I'd rather manufactures not quote weights at all, or weigh and mark boats individually. Under-quoted boat weights seem to be a standard kayak maker practice. I'll enjoy this boat just the same.
a): I'm 6ft tall (has more leg room than the Tampico S).
b): I live in an apartment and can't store anything over 14.5 ft. (fits fine in my bedroom although my wife hates it there. lol!)
c): The price was right.
d): ...and weighs 13 pounds less than the smaller kayak I was trading in!
Felt kinda tippy at first when I got it in the water (I was used to paddling a wide rec. kayak), but I got used to it after an hour or so. The difference in speed and tracking was evident almost immediately, and I covered more distance that day than I ever had with my perception. I paddle in mostly intercoastal water and the Tampico does just fine in the moderately choppy water and strong current. The 13lb. weight difference between it and my old boat is another perk when loading and unloading the Tampico from my car. All in all, this is the best boat I've seen in its price range. Comparable kayaks in its class will cost you hundreds more. It'll do me just fine for a couple more years.
I think the people at hurricane could have done a little better with the seat and the straps to adjust the backrest (which are damn near impossible to adjust when your in the cockpit-not a big deal though). But I'm still gonna give this boat a ten based on affordability and performance. Buy one today!...you'll be glad you did.
On top of having incredibly clean lines, the Tampico XL does both of these. At 39 pounds, it's easy to load and unload. Straight line speed is good and it handles well on the moderate waters that I kayak. Great boat for me, now.
The cockpit is comfortable and definitely roomy enough for a 6 footer.
I'm out there to photograph the wildlife on calm waters so I've been needing something quick (to get somewhere in a hurry) and something stable (to protect a mass of photo equipment). Quick AND stable are not normally two things you'll find at once in a kayak!
I've only had about 40-50 hours in the Tampico XL as of this writing but it seems to fit the bill.
If you check the specifications of the Tampico compared to the Tampico XL, the only difference is the cockpit size (and therefore the height). I'm almost 6' tall, 190 pounds, and mostly legs. In the regular Tampico I felt trapped. I couldn't move my legs even 1/16th of an inch. The XL was comfy.
When I read a review of something, I want to know what's wrong with it more than what's right with it. So let's get into the nitty gritty of what is WRONG with the Tampico XL...
- The inside of the hatches smell of plastic resin or something. (No matter, that goes away.)
- The 3 colors available are few and primitive. (Ok, not important; sorry to mention it.)
- It took a good while to find the proper placement of the foot pegs. (Not really any problem.)
- TRYLON hull material scuffed big time on some rocks last week (A green scrubby and Palmolive fixed all abrasions.)
- The price for the XL is not 50 dollars (Expected)
- The seat back is not adjustable (yes it is, but only from the rear.)
- It only has two waterproof hatches (SO?)
- It weighs 39 pounds (That's not a bad thing, I'm just running out of bad things to say)
- Not available at Dick's, Cabela's or Target (now that IS a problem!)
I like this boat plenty. It turns on a dime, looks good, feels good, behaves, and glides like a hawk.
I bought the Valley with bigger plans in mind than the reality of my day to day use. The 56lbs became a real drag (sometimes literally) from the car to the water and 17' was too much for most smaller flat water.
I compared the Tampico (on paper and on the water) against the CD Kestral 120, Eddyline Skylark and Swift Saranac 14. All these models are of comparable thermal formed plastic. The Tampico provided 2 hatches and bulkheads versus most of the competition's 1. The Tampico was the lightest of the group and best priced.
Is it the perfect boat no, but for the money it's a great boat. Roomy for me 5"10", 190lbs and size 10 shoes. I have the pegs up 3 or 4 stops from the bottom whereas the Valley I had to modify them to gain some length. Oh and did I mention 13.5' x 23" x 39#.
The previous reviewer mentioned the limited colors. When I bought mine there were 5 choices for top color all with a white hull and not being available at your local sporting good big box store is not a bad thing in my book.
Put this at the top of your demo list.
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