Fast seaworthy sit on top?

For medical reasons I may need to buy a sit-on-top, which I had not planned to do.

What makes/models in the 12’-16’ range are reasonably light and fast and also seaworthy for ocean or bay use?

It’s hard for me to compare these with sit-insides because the widths and weights seem so much greater for similar length boats.


Take a look at the Kaskazi line of kayaks. A step up from a rec boat SOT.

more info?
I guess we could use more info on what you would like. You want fast,m sea worthy, light, and 12-16’ - 3 out of 4 and you have a surf ski. But I suspect that isn’t what you are looking for.

Necky had one that supposedly was based on the Looksha Sport hull. The Dolphin maybe? Out of production, unfortunately. Not going to be that light.

There are some being made out of thermoplastics. Eddyline has a recent entry. I think Wilderness Systems has one also. Thermoplastic would help bring the weight down some.

Also, check
The SOT board of boards.

I’m used to a 10’ Emotion Glide. A very good rec boat for canals and flatwater in the SF Bay. Probably not good for ocean work or serious Bay in wind/surf/tide conditions. So I had planned on my next boat being a longer ocean going sit-inside.

Unfortunately, I may not be able to use a sit-inside for quite a while due to surgery, and surgeon suggested a sit-on-top instead.

Most of my use would be sloughs, canals, flatwater and easy Bay. But I’d like to be able to take it out into the ocean for more day touring (not overnight nor surfing). No whitewater at all.

Carrying around a 70 lb. boat is out of the question.

What I see listed in the SOTs are all wider than my rec boat and they don’t show their hull profiles, so I have doubts about speed. I’ve never been convinced that SOTs are best for open sea, but I’m told some are. The SOTs I’m seeing also seem to weight close to 70 lb.

So what’s a better choice???

This or …
THe new Epic V6 Tourer

or the discontinued Current Designs 14 foot sit on top?

Both are under 40lb in weight …

Epic V6
Same thing I was going to suggest. Should be plenty stable but fast and fun as well, which most SOTs don’t appear to be.


Try this Search Guide for SOT’s

Lots of options
It would be better if you listed your weight, inseam length and price range, but for starters:

Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro - only used

RTM Tempo - Currently making scupper pro under this name

RTM - disco

Current designs Kestral - Only used, older model is

best, model with foot pegs too unstable for ocean work

Epic V 6

Wilderness systems Tarpon - older used only - current model has hinged hatches that make it a sinker.


– Last Updated: Jul-14-12 11:02 PM EST –

6' tall, long arms and legs: 35" sleeve length and 33" inseam (pants measurement, longer to floor). 185-190 lb. lanky generally.

I paddle with an 8' Aleut wooden paddle in my SINK. Intermediate paddler with lots of canal/slough/flatwater experience, but limited protected coastal experience to date. Apparently, I'm able to paddle rather quickly.

I can self-rescue in a SINK pretty well, or at least I could until hip surgery, which is why they recommended I try a SOT.

Have been looking seriously at an Ocean Kayak Prowler 13' model, not the fishing tricked out one though. No fishing, no whitewater, not surfing, just flatwater and hope to do some more coastal ocean work.

Fast and light

– Last Updated: Jul-15-12 7:39 PM EST –

Look at Hunt Johnson Designs - Wave Witch - fiber glass sit on tops. Not sure this would really be any different for hip problems. Definitely light and plenty fast. May require a bit more care and skill than you are used to. Certainly sea worthy. 12' 6" 30 lbs. Designed for surfing but used for day touring by many.

Check out
both the Perception and Perception Sport lines.Right now they have some very nice SOT’s that you can often find on sale through some of the large chain retailers in their dealers list.

Hurricane Phoenix,
12 ft, 13 ft, or 14 ft.

Thermoform, lightweight.

Cobra Tourer
15’ 28" 50 lbs, you can order it with a rudder, which has a bar/toe pedal design rather than footpegs on sliding tracks:

Ease of use
I guess you are looking at SOT due to ease of reentry, cf. the hip problem you mentioned. However, have you considered how much more difficult it is to carry a SOT vs. a SINK? I had a Bic Scapa, which is a fairly high performance SOT, 14’ long and maybe 25" wide - but what a pain to carry that thing! MUCH more difficult at 49 lbs than my CD Pachena at 52 lbs (also 14’ by 25") - not even close, in fact. I got rid of the Scapa after a month and I’ll keep the Pachena forever.

A regular kayak is easier to carry and load than a SOT, given that there is a cockpit coaming to rest on your shoulder during transport. Realistically, you may have to do an on-water self-rescue once or twice a year, but you have to carry the damn thing every time you go out. In your position, I would probably try a Pakboat Puffin Saco or some other ultra-lightweight boat and use that until my new hip was fully functional.

Hold the phone, folks!
Physical therapist says I probably can return to SINK use anyway and won’t need an SOT.

So thanks for the advice.

Thigh Strap …
Put it over shoulder …

Easy to carry a sit on top. If you know how.