Advice on changing SOT to inside

My wife is wanting to change from her SOT boat(s). She has been using an Elie 130 tandem, and a Necky duece set up for a single. We have been mostly river running but are going to start going out on large lakes.

We live in central Kansas so trying out a wide range of boats is tough to do. She loves my Native Inuit 14 but it is a little intimidated by it after she saw me do a self rescue in the middle of a lake.

We have been looking at Necky Manatou 14 and Easky Venture 13 for a similar style boat with equal features (skeg) and a little larger cockpit.

She understands getting speed and tracking are going to sacrifice her aircraft carrier stability.

Any input would be appreciated.

manitou and venture good choices
but also consider a Perception Carolina 14

Problem was?
What was intimidating about her watching you complete a self-rescue, and how is this affecting her concern? Does she have an issue with swimming?

If that’s a problem, you may want to start there then worry about the boat. You don’t want to be alone handling someone in a full panic upon capsizing any more than she wants to be that person.

I am with Celia - she should figure out what about the self rescue concerned her before making the jump to sit inside. Take a class, have her try out recovery, etc.

Something to ask yourself - can she self rescue on the sit on tops she currently uses? If not, might be worth trying the self rescues there as part of this. The likely of swimming on a large, wide SOT is often smaller than a sit inside, but still happens. Best to know how to deal with it before you need to do it for real.

FWIW, my wife loves her
Tsunami 140 (though it comes with a rudder). She since has a Fathom LV which she loves even more on the lakes. The Tsunami was a great first boat for her. My first was a Necky Manitou 14 – i loved that too, but also went longer and skinnier and lighter after a few years.

Kansas City
I live here in Kansas City and the Kansas City Paddler is having their “Demo Days” April 21-22. Come check out boats there, it’s a hoot. They’re a really big kayak shop with everything from basic rec boats to high-end racers and surf ski’s.

self rescue practice
If it’s the upper body strength required to vault up onto the back deck that’s the issue, check out the heel hook self rescue written up for Sea Kayaker by a couple of my paddling partners.

Self rescue
My wife and kids are all great at getting back on the SOT. Her hesitation is seeing me self rescue (not pretty to watch). This year I put on a rudder making my cowboy style tougher. I still am not very graceful screwing myself into the cockpit using a paddle float. The kids thought it was hilarious watching me practicing in the pool.

She is 5’ tall and around 135lbs. very nimble with good upper body strength. Maybe the question I should be asking is what are the differences in stability between high and low volume boats.

Thanks for the info about the demo days in KC, we are trying to narrow down all of the options so we can plan about costs.

She is almost exactly my size

– Last Updated: Mar-28-12 4:09 PM EST –

Just half an inch shorter and my heavy-day morning weight.

The diff between a high and low volume boat for someone our (your wife and my) size is that the high volume boat will be an unpleasant pig to paddle. It will also sit too high in the water so will be more difficult to handle in wind. She is a low volume paddler - get her into a low volume boat. The stability will come along. Get her into a boat that she will actually enjoy paddling.

You guys paddle together, right? So start with the assisted rescues, which make all the the stuff she saw you do much easier. She is lighter, well may have better balance than you, and could easily find out that she can do some of these self-rescues more easily once she's run similar motions in assisted ones.

That's one more diff between a low and high volume boat - the additional deck height of the bigger size will make it harder for her to self-rescue than in a low volume boat.

PS - definitely look at the paddle float heel hook variation self rescue for her.