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The Ocean Kayak Prowler 15 Vs 13 Vs Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140
by our forums "Wintermute"

Alright, I bought my kayak. here's some quick thoughts to the process:

I went to the dealer fully expecting to buy an OK Prowler 15 for a decently discounted price - thoughts being it's fast, a good fisher, lighter than the Tarpons. What could go wrong? Went into their warehouse to see how well I could lift it (it had a rudder) - way too back heavy, which made it very awkward to lift.

Ocean Kayak's Prowler 15:
Model: PROWLER 15
Weight (lbs): 56 lbs
Length: 15' 4.5"
Width:
28.5"
Total Weight Capacity (lbs): 400-450

Prowler 15

Ocean Kayak's Prowler 13 - no longer a current OK model. Not to be confused with Prowler Trident 13:
Model: PROWLER 13
Weight (lbs): 54 lbs
Length: 13' 4"
Width:
28."
Total Weight Capacity (lbs): 400-450

Prowler 13

(Ocean Kayak Prowler Trident 13):

Prowler Triden 13

Didn't even bother checking out the Tarpon 160. So it came down to the Prowler 13 and the Tarpon 140, both with rudders. Surprisingly, they were about equal to lift. Although the Tarpon was heavier, it was more equally balanced. Onto the water...

Tarpon 140 by Wilderness Systems:
Model: TARPON 140 2009
Weight (lbs): 72 lbs
Length: 14'
Width:
28"
Total Weight Capacity (lbs): 375

Tarpon 160

Performance-wise, the Prowler got up to speed better and had decent glide. It had a little side-to-side motion with my strokes, even with the rudder down. The Tarpon took a little more to get going, and was a little "heavier" feeling to paddle, although faster. Straight as an arrow, no side-to-side with or without rudder. Tons of glide. Well behaved without the rudder.

So, I felt through all that both boats were equal. I came down to ergonomics and the little things.

Prowler 13 - The Prowler's seat was a joke. The hatches - front has those buckles, not too bad, but I could see it being a pain in rough water. THe center hatch was one of those impossible-to-open screw-down types and it took on water. The rudder system was difficult to pull up and down and to do so, you had to tug on bare polypropylene rope, which doesn't feel none too good. The combination of footwells and rudder pegs was a bit annoying, and the cockpit was too busy.

Tarpon 140 - The Tarpon's seat was very supportive, has nice easy adjustments for back height and thigh support, and locks down for when you mount it upside down on your car. The rudder was easy to deploy and you grab nice soft rubber toggles to do so. Plenty of room in the cockpit, no footwells to bother rudder operation.

Tarpon 140 it was. I felt it would've been fine without a rudder based on the handling, but i figured there would be times that I wished I had it, so I got one.

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