We have rented 2 types of kayaks and are now looking to purchase our own. We do recreational mild rivers and lakes and will be doing day trips. I would like some feedback on Sevlor River inflatable or sit on top wilderness tarpon. Any information would be most appreciated. Have a great day.

Inflatables can be prone to leaks induced by rocks and submerged treelimbs…SOT’s are easier to get into and out of…but they are a wet ride…

SOT vs inflatable
Good points… and thank you.The more I read, the more I learn. We considered the inflatables because of space, both at home & in the car. However, I did sit in the Tarpon & found it to be very comfortable. Do you know how difficult it would be to find a kayak used??

SOT comments
Check the classified ads here and for more information on specific models, check the product reviews section.

I had a Tarpon 14 ft SOT that I just recently sold through an ad here at Pnet. It was a pretty good boat but it was a little on the heavy side for me to load/unload by myself and the fact that it was a bit of a wet wide discouraged me from using it much once the weather turned cooler. If you are regularly paddling with a partner, the loading/unloading issue is easily overcome with a little healp from your partner.

With SOTs (at least certain models in the Tarpon line in my experience) the heavier you are, the more likely it is that you’ll have a wet ride. Water is meant to drain off through the scuppers on the floor but if you are on the heavier side (say 200+ pounds) it tends to bubble up as you are pushing down with more force and riding lower in the water. Scupper plugs can stop this but you’ll need to keep a bailing sponge or small pump handy to evacuate any that sloshes over the sides or any from paddle drip/wet shoes/etc that may accumulate. Not a big deal, especially in warm months, just something to keep in mind.

There’s a reason why inflatable kayak (IK)manufacturers try to advertise that they’re performance is as good as a hard shell kayak. Because hard shell kayaks have good performance. If you must go inflatable, you may want to consider something more durable than Sevylor. Aire makes some low-end models that are affordable and perform well. NRS has their own line as well. You’re going to pay the same or more for a functional IK than a functional hard-shell.

The Tarpon is a good boat.

I consider all boats wet. From my perspective, getting wet comes with the territory of recreating on the water. I’d rather select a boat that fits my needs, and then dress properly for the occaision, than get a boat that’s “dry”, only to discover that it’s only sort-of dry and you still have to dress for the occaision.

Good luck and have fun.

  • Big D

All good points, thank you. I think we are pretty much sold on a SOT rather than an inflatable…just have to take the Bronco!

I agree, getting wet is a given and part of the fun. I also notice most people that answer so far are from the east coast. Interesting. We live in the pacific NW, by the Pacific ocean with many rivers near by. It should be lots of fun.

Thanks again. HM

TheTarpon 12
was my first boat. I still have it and use it. My husband got the tarpon 14 but later traded it for a native watercraft 12’. he’s over 200lbs so he stayed wet all the time even with scupper plugs. water comming over the side from boat wakes.