A moderately fast comfortable SOT

I am a maturing paddler who paddles SOT and sometimes large cockpit rec boats because of increasing physical limitations.
I have a WS Tarpon 160 which is ideal for me except the weight. The beast weighs 85 nominal lbs at the start of a trip and 300 after a few hours. I spent 4 very comfortable hours in it yesterday.
Suggestions for a similar lighter boat would be appreciated, with good lower back support.
I have owned a Stellar S18S that was the fastest, prettiest boat I have ever owned. I loved it but the bucket seat did not return that emotion. Part of the issue is my size, 6’5", 230 lbs. I’ve tried another ski with the same result.
It isn’t an abs problem but a deteriorating spine.

Cobra Expedition is sort of in the ballpark, of what you are seeking. It is more SOT than ski. Not the Cadillac comfort of the Tarpon 160. But not as sleek and fast as a ski. Weight is ~50lbs. They pop up for sale, every now and then. Not many quality kayaks for sale, any where currently. Cobras tend to pop up in Florida and coastal areas.

Hi String
Would a Stellar S14S with Clamshell Seat work? 38lbs. Drop me a line. I have a courier heading south next week.

(Photo is of the boat but with a Cloud10 seat back. The new clamshell fits and supports better)

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A RTM Midway would be another alternative. I have been wanting a faster SOT for a long time. Like you I’m older and now prefer lighter boats. Even though I’m a big Tarpon fan, the weight was just to much. Last week I bought a lightly used Midway. It paddles really good. I’ve already got about 8 hrs. of seat time in it. I’ve never paddled a Tarpon 160, but it’s definitely faster than a Tarpon 140. Also faster than my Pungo 140. Comfort is ok. Mine only had a back band. With a Yakpad to sit on it’s more comfortable than I thought it would be. Comfortable enough that I’m going to leave it as it is. The back band supports my lower back good. You sit low for a SOT. I have to keep the scuppers plugged to keep my seat dry and I only weigh 150 lbs. If you check the reviews here you’ll see one reviewer is about your size and he likes it. Bad part is it’s a French made boat and you have to get one through a U.S. dealer. (Unless you get lucky like I did.) That Stellar looks really awesome though!

Marshall, that is a beautiful boat! I’m not familiar with a clamshell seat. The issue I have with most SOT is leg length. I have to remove the foot braces from my Tarpon to get my knees into a low enough position to paddle. I glued some minicell to give me a good fit. I’ll call you.

Sure hope that works out for you, String. That 38# weight is terrific. It sure is a pretty boat.

Epic has several boats that might fit your bill. Most of their models are made in both poly and composite layups. That can balance weight versus cost issues.

There are several other beginning level surfskis that might work, like the Fenn XT. or the Stellar models.

Part of you decision should be where you live and what manufacturer’s support you can get. Epic has a bunch of dealers around, and Stellar is getting there. Midway is a European boat and does not have much distribution in America.

I’ll send some pics but that S14S can likely take a giraffe length leg of 42” inseam leg length

Have you looked in Hurricane Kayaks, their Skimmer lineup of 126 and 140 models are lightweight and paddle well. I’ve been enjoying a Skimmer 140 and have no issue with keeping pace with our paddling club members in sea kayaks 14-18’.

Tell me using mini cell for foot rests in your kayak. I’m 6’5” and find using foot pegs on my Hurricane Skimmer to be uncomfortable. Wanting to replace the foot pegs with something…just not sure what is needed.

Mark -

Mark , I bought a chunk of 3" Minicell for projects like foot and thigh braces. I cut the pieces I need to get my feet a comfortable distance and angle from the end of the cockpit. The additions don’t interfere with the existing tracks so I can put the foot braces in for shorter people.
I glue the Minicell in with contact cement.