Dry SOT Kayak for Fall/Early Spring Use

Several years ago my husband and I got interested in kayaking and picked up a couple of SOT’s for recreational paddling. We use them on mainly flat water in medium to large lakes and some slow moving rivers/canals. I have an Ocean Kayak Drifter (12’6” long) that I enjoy using, but it is a wet ride for me. I currently weigh about 265, although I am steadily losing.

The wet ride is great during the Summer because we live in GA, but we are at the point where we would like to extend our paddling season from earlier in the Spring until late Fall and I am looking for advice on a SOT kayak that would be dry enough to do so. My husband is comfortable in a sit-in boat, but I am uncomfortable with the idea of trying to re-insert myself into one should I happen to flip. Safety is important to me and I don’t have trouble with SOT’s.

Not really worried about completely dry, but don’t want to be sitting in a puddle as the water cools off with the weather. By cooler weather, I’m talking about down to about 60 degrees F outside. I know to look for a boat with a higher weight limit, and am considering the Ride 135 and Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II and am interested in what else might work. Something preferably very stable (don’t want to flip out in colder water), but still fast enough to keep up with my husband’s Prowler 13. It doesn’t have to carry a whole lot of gear – mainly just me and a small cooler. I have looked at several of the Jackson boats, but don’t want to go over about $1200-1300.


Clarification - Scupper Stoppers?
When you say the boat is a wet ride, is water coming up through the scuppers and you are sitting in it or near your feet and your feet are sitting in it. You say you paddle flat water so I doubt there is much water coming over the bow - how about water coming over the side?

If it’s just water through the scuppers buy some scupper stoppers from ocean kayak


You can also make your own from rubber stoppers sold at many hardware stores or science supply companies.

Water Through Scuppers
Hey! Thanks for the input! Yes, it is mainly water coming up through the scuppers (and the occassional splash). I’ve read some reviews in doing my homework for this purchase and some people say that the Drifter is a low-riding type of kayak and that even with the scupper holes plugged - there may still be some wetness. That’s why I am asking, to check with people that have experience in other SOT’s. Thanks!

Have you tried your hub’s Prowler ?
to see what happens ?

We have an older Ocean Prowler 13’ and I don’t get very splashed up in it (this reminds me that the scupper plugs have seen better days…) unless there is a great deal of wave and wind action. I see the newer ones weigh a lot less (mine is a beast, but tough, stable, and fast for what it is) but they claim the capacity is 400 to 450 lbs. Ocean makes the Prowler in a 15’ version now, but I don’t have any experience in that length.

My other sit-on is an Eddyline 14’ and that’s got a 400 lb capacity, I can verify that it sits dry, (it is a little bit higher seat, too) unless you are going thru a lot of windspray or splashy rapids. Advantage is that it is only 50lbs, handles power boat wake excellently on flatwater, floats in surprisingly shallow water, disadvantage is that it cost more initially, and on rocky rivers during low water drought season it is better to scout out the run with a plastic boat - although it does bounce off of rocks better than expected, (“OMG! oh no! no, no…WHUMP. oh, ok, didn’t flip, still upright. phew!” ) that sort of activity is not really owner-recommended…

The type of pants you are wearing can make a big difference, too, as cotton is sort of notoriously bad for not wanting to feel damp and cold when wet, (“cotton kills…”) but fast drying and wicking “tech” synthetics if you do get wet aren’t so bad. Even if you don’t have splash pants, synthetic, athletic style pants such as yoga pants are going to breathe/dry out quickly. Keeping your head at the right temperature keeps your extremities such as the feet warmer, too. Yeah, the size thing is going to be a nuisance, you may have to special order. The other thing I will do, if it is safe to do so, as in a lake without a lot of rocks, is to take off my wet water shoes when paddling if my wet feet start to get cold, or even switch into a dry pair of rubber sandals. (always make sure you have the unworn shoes in the hatch, tied, attached or bungeed down to the kayak anyway, so you don’t lose them accidentally).

WS Tarpon 140 or 160.
Max Cap per specs : 375 #

Native Slayer 14.5 :450 lbs

" " 12 : 400 lbs

All are dry SOT

Dry pants
Dry pants or waders are your best choice. Paddling kayaks is a wet sprot, even more so with a sit on top.

SOT seat improvement
I’m no expert as I don’t even have a kayak yet, but I like watching different kayak videos on youtube and came across this…


In short, it’s a sit on top kayak and he cut a chunk of plastic out of something like a milk crate to put on the seat area underneath foam seating to allow the water to come up through and drain back through the holes without the rear end getting wet.

Basically, put a spacer between the kayak surface and the seat you’re sitting on to allow the water to flow.

not a good idea
You don’t want to raise your center of gravity in a kayak, even a wide sit on top. There is clothing to protect you from the inevitable water and that’s what you need to be looking at.

two part solution
Scupper plugs and a good thick sponge

No, waders not a good idea, if you fall
in they are going to fill up with water, and sink you.

Dry pants, or synthetic water- resistant athletic style sports warm up pants, like found in the men’s section of a store. Maybe some on clearance still at the discount sporting goods stores or online ? May have to shorten the legs. The lightweight snowboarder outer shell type pants would work, the type that you wear over the “base layer,” if she could find a size to fit, they are cut very loose fit and designed for cold/wet.

Thank you all for your suggestions!

I will definitely get scupper plugs to try out this summer to see how dry they make the Drifter that I already have, and also will try my husband’s Prowler 13 to see if it would be more dry as well.

No waders for me, but I will look into some of the suggested colder weather clothing and also into a padded seat that won’t necessarily raise my center of gravity much, but that will keep my bottom from being directly on the kayak. I currently only have a backband for support.


Sometimes excess water is added due
to the way one takes a stroke with a paddle. Been there done that! I had to make a change, early on, and the interior makeup of an SOT can also hinder keeping dry. When using one of our SOT’s, I will try different lengths between 215-240cm’s. Regarding the length, much depends on the width and design style of your SOT.

It also helps to have ‘drip rings’ on your paddles. Not all of them come with the paddles upon purchase. If used, perhaps try them at different positions on your paddles. What works for one persons arm length may not work for another. No two bodies or limb lengths are the same nor how we take a stroke. Find what is safe, to prevent injuries, and paddle on.


that is an overgeneralization
considering you can comfortably stand and fish on some SOTs… have you seen the new 3-position seat on the Wilderness Ride?

apples and oranges
Standing to fish or even poling is different from paddling from a sitting position. I stand by my contention that you don’t want to raise the butt position for seated paddling.

you might call LiquidLogic
and other manufacturers and tell them they don’t know what they’re doing with their optional SOT seats that raise the paddling position