We are new to the kayak/sit-on-world ,however after buying atarpon 120 , after using it for the second time we were upset to find over half the hull full with water about 4-5- inches deep.


We bought thye tarpon for the, what seemed like solid hatches and locking system. Our supplier is awaiting a replacement for us .


Has anyone else had a similar problem? we have noticed that the hatch cover did not seem to fit/was distorted ?


Any sugestions?

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That's a lot of water to come through a leaking hatch. Have you checked the hull for any cracks or holes? Have you filled the boat with water to see where its leaking? You might want to double check....
All that we have noticerd is that the two hatch locks do not seem to do anything as regards to pulling the hatch down into the seals. Even if they'wilderness' were to retro fit some sort of added plastic insert which could be user fitted may help. Making the two hatch locks pull down more, picking a new tarpon up this morning, we shall see and keep you up dated. We were told that it might be the heat in the shipping container that causes the problems ?
I've had this problem with my Tarpon 140 as well. The hatch cover looked warped when I got it but I didn't think much of it at the time. I didn't think Wilderness Systems would let something like this through their testing so I assumed it would still work (I also asked the dealer specifically about the hatches before I bought it and he told me he had not heard of any issues).

I discovered that my hull had a few inches of water when I was a couple miles out in the gulf this weekend. Waves were not very big but they were big enough to crash over the bow occasionally. My old Tarpon could take anything with only minor moisture in the hull which is why, when I decided to get another kayak, I bought a second Tarpon. Anyway, I expect to get moisture in the hull but not a hull full of water. It certainly was not a nice feeling to discover that my boat was basically sinking when I was a few miles out (and had to fight the water pouring out of Tampa Bay in order to get back).

I called Wilderness Systems customer support this morning and they suggested that I take the kayak to the dealer to have them check it out and send a picture of the hatch.

I spend most of my kayaking time in rough water so right now this kayak is useless to me.
I bought a Tarpon 140 just over a year ago and had to have the hatch replaced as the moulded hatch lid was distorted to the tone of a 1/2" gap.
The new hatch seemed ok for a while but I've noticed more water than normal on the last couple of trips , definitely coming in the hatch as the C-Tug stored under the hatch during one trip had it's moulded wells between the ribs full of water when I opened the lid. On closer inspection the seal join had come apart and left a 1/2" gap, I've siliconed this joint now and refitted the seal , so I will be watching closely next trip. I hope it's this as the hatch distortion on the replacement is still about 1/4" - 3/8" , which is what it was like when first fitted.
In my honest opinion , having had 10 years involvement in the sourcing, trialling and developing of processes for injection moulding tools, the hatch will always be prone to distortion , PP (Polypropylene) is known for it, even though this resin has a 20% Glass fill to add strength and stiffness , it will still distort , sometimes this distortion is not present just after moulding but will come out over time as the plastic stress relieves itself. a failsafe would be a redesign with three camlocks to make sure the hatch is always pulled down tight into the hatch rim.
Don't get me wrong , it's a great idea , it just needs tweaking. Unfortunately this would probably mean a new mould and an investment of say $30-40k USD even if the mould was sourced from China.
Update on the above - I launched on the weekend through some surf and took a few waves over the bow , spent 6 hours on the water , dragged the boat up river back to the launch point and not much water in there , certainly much better than it was , it just shows if that seal is not 100% just how much can come in.

Anways , landed a tope (small shark) around the 25lb mark plus a few other species so not a bad day.
hi andy nice too know that all seems well, an update for all you out there is that the new boat has arrived ,. Over the last weekend when the uk was in the high 80's . We gave the new 120 a testing as best as we could in near perfect flat calm , and wonderful sunshine. However on return i did wash the boat down using cold water jetting around the front hatch area. On opening the hatch we found no water inside bar a small amount coming on opening the hatch ,( That area really does need to be sorted out).

So it looks like it is a hatch/distortion thing, will keep this thread open until we get some surfing in. Also now considering buying a 135 ride angler!!! seem to be taking over our lives
i take it you caught the tope off the bottom end of the Gower then. didn't realise you were from swansea.
hi Kathy,
I'm from Neath. Caught the tope up in Tywyn mid / North Wales , just above Aberdovey . The tope hotspot of the UK, on the edge of snowdonia as well, what more could you wish for . Oh and I got within about 15 yards of a dolhin so it was a good day!
I haven't had any issues with my 120. I only get small amounts of water inside when I open the hatches during rain. I flipped mine once in a strong current and both hatches were under water for 30 seconds or more facing the current and only a very small amount of water entered. I have a freind with a 120 also and he hasn't had any issues either. There must be a defect in yours.

Take care.
as posted in my profile .. form over function seems to be the new way forward for the company , as long its works for marketing it does not matter if it is practicle..... ;

have had my Tarpon 140 nearly 12 months now.

Latest spec, strange hatches , the most complicated seat on the planet, no bag in the small hatch and no provision for 'surf straps' .. I have over come the surf strap problem but have had the forward hatch open in surf twice now ...i sunk like a stone .. if this is a fishing only, on flat water kayak please say so in the advertising...otherwise provide accesories...like .. conversion kits to return to rubber sealed hatch covers .. a simple seat arrangement that is actually adjustable on the sea.

I love this kayak but it is 'so near yet so far' for sea use.

I usually paddle out into 1-2 metre waves and whitewater, the current hatchs can be opened by the force of the water breaking over the front of the hull.

I would pay for a conversion kit to return to rubber sealed hatches ....... and i suspect so would many others.

The hull has also flattened out under the seat area, should i wedge it with with foam??? to return to profile.

The lack of a bag in the small hatch is soooo anoying...

The pics where taken at St Michales Mount in Cornwall on my wedding anniversery ..
It would appear that Wilderness Systems are using the 1970's Honda approach to R&D ... let the paying customer do the testing .. and if we got it wrong let them pay for it .. i've purchased my last Wilderness Systems kayak !!!




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