Good write-up, Bob! In fact, I really like the Ocean Kayak Tridents as well, though I don't personally own one.
Let me tell you a bit about my Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120: Bought it in April 2009. I start using it while there is still some ice on the waters a lot of times, fish all the time with it in lakes, rivers, and even the ocean. I even hunt ducks with it, I can shoot 3 1/2" magnum shells out of it and don't have to worry At ALL about flipping over, and can carry a douzen decoys no problem! mine is cammo colour, so when I moore in the grassy shore, it blends in well. I use it as a blind and shoot out of it. Handles terrific!,
The rudder is an excellent addition if one is going to fish in moving water or with a back wind, but isn't really necessary for just paddling around IMO, although it does making paddling in swells a lot easier.
The flip-open bulkheads are something else! My buddy has a 2008 and doesn't have this type of bulkhead (just the traditional wrap-around lids) and envies mine. I don't find the seat to be terribly uncomfortable unless I'm paddling more then 3 hour at a time, at which case I'll need a pee break or whatever anyway. Lol! Speaking of pee breaks, in calm water I can stand up on 'er and have at 'er! (I weigh 165 lbs), but in summertime when it's hot out and I'm paddling in my bathing suit, those scaupper holes come in handy!
I've used mine for various activities including overnight camping. The only complaint I had was that it's a little slower then the others in the group I was with (theirs were the faster type, like ocean hybrids and what not) but the fact of the matter is that mine was the only sit-on-top with the most cargo space and so I was the workhorse of the crewe. That no doubt contributed to my slowness. But hey, I had all the beer, so what's the hurry, right? (I think that having all the beer may have also contributed to my slower destination arrival). On board my yak was my sleeping bag, self-inflating air mattress, tent, large ice-chest full of everybody's "supplies"
, a large cast iron cooking pot and cooking utensils, and my fully loaded backpack. Innitially I thought it would be top-heavy and would flip-over, but there was absolutely no problem, even in the 3 foot swells we hit halfway through the largest part of the Kennebecasis River. Speaking of swells, aren't those scauper holes something else, eh? Who needs a pump with those babies?!
When the weather is colder, I wear neoprene fishing waders and a water proof jacket, with my PFD over the jacket. When it's kind of cool but not cold I wear waterproof splash pants and a water proof windbreaker. (waterproof mostly because of water drips from the paddling, but also for the occaisional swell that comes over the bow).
I did a lot, and I mean A LOT of shopping around and reading up on yaks before I decided on the Tarpon 120. I think for my needs I couldn't have made a better decision. I would honnestly give it an 11/10!