Fish N Dive or WS Tarpon ?

Anyone have advice on a SOT for Coastal great Lakes fishing? I have read about Cobra fish and dive and wilerness sports Tarpon any advice on choosing between these two or another SOT? I’m mostly concerned with safety/seaworthiness as waters can be choppy and wind can blow .

How big are you and which Tarpon are you looking at? The F&D is known as a big boys boat. It is 12’6"x36". The Tarpons are considerably narrower.

Also consider…
The OK Prowlers which roughly compare to the Tarpons.

The Malibu yaks which compare to the FnD (the aircraft carrier family of yaks).

The Hobie’s that are somewhere between the two but kinda fit in their own category (especially with the Mirage drive / pedal power)

Stability is frquently over-rated by folks who are new to the sport. I’ve seen folks end up wishing they had a slimmer, faster boat but I don’t recall talking to anyone who later complained about the tippiness of any of the boats mentioned here so far.

You appx. height and weight would help.

The only real negative about the Prowler
is the pre-formed foot slots. They’re fine if one of the slots is just right for your height, etc., but some complain because they don’t sit right. Can’t go wrong for anything but maybe the surf with the Tarpon IF it fits your height/weight. The Hurricane Phoenix is also a nice kayak, comes in the 120 and 140.

Hurricane Phoenix
I tried both the Phoenix 120 and 140 at a local demo this past weekend. On an already wet day, these were without question the wettest rides of the day. Scupper plugs would’ve helped. But, I was impressed by a couple of things. One, on the 120, it has the common molded in foot positions, whereas the 140 has adjustable foot pegs like in a regular sit-in kayak. I found the positioning of the foot molds in the 120 to be all wrong. There was always a convex surface just where my ankles wanted to be. The infinitely adjustable foot pegs on the 140 were much preferable. The other thing that really surprised me is that the 140 handled almost as well as some of the sit-in kayaks like the Liquid Logic Stingray 12, but not as well as the Necky Manitou 13.

I had originally, totally discounted even being interested in a SOT, but I could warm to the idea of a Tarpoon, or similar if it was a bit drier and handled as well as the slicker, vacuum formed Hurricanes. But, the point being, that trying one of these to see how you like it might be imperative.

Both are good boats
I have a personal preference for WS boats. That said, I paddled a friend’s Tarpon for about six inches and busted one of his foot pegs. The boat paddled real well, though. Felt good and I’d be comfortable in it.

If you’ve got choppy water, whatever you get, I’d recommend attaching thigh straps for much greater control of the craft.

  • Big D

Hey, its a wet sport, what’s a little
water on the heinie? Though, for fishing colder waters, especially if a bit rough, I’d lean more toward a sit inside.

attitude depends on lattitude
I have this theory that NC is right on the line for where the desirability of SOTs becomes questionable. In TX or FL or southern CA, sure, an SOT makes a lot of sense. But, if you’re serious about getting out year 'round, then it seems like a wetsuit might be in order for use on waters below 50-60 degrees. I’m actually glad that I tried a few SOTs on a day that was a little windy and chilly, rather than on an 80 degree day. Just a thought.

Sort of maybe
I know folks in VA who paddle SOTs all year 'round. I’m not one of them. Like any outdoor sport, it’s a matter of preparation and dressing appropriately.

When I paddle in cold water, I prefer a SINK. 45 degree water is about my personal limit. Much colder than that, and I’m going to be far more careful than usual about where I paddle, who I paddle with, and what preparations we’ve taken for safety in case of an immersion.

  • Big D

Totaly different
yaks.The FND is a great platform but very slow with zero glide.Id take any of the Tarpons over it.Good luck.