How delicate is a SOF, really?

Just finished a Yost Sea Flea. The skin looks like it won’t take much abuse. Appears it would be really easy to puncture and not much harder to abraid.

It looks like you better be floating at launch and dismount.

SOF abuse video…

– Last Updated: Aug-21-09 2:28 PM EST –

Painful to watch such intentional abuse, but shows how tough they can be (skin is 8.5 oz ballistic nylon w/two part urethane coating). There's also one scene where he shows how sturdy the frame can be under pressure.


Thanks. that is the way I made the Sea
Flea-same materials.

It hurts me to watch that.

Ouch! That is disturbing . . .
. . . and impressive.


you never kick your boat down to the water?

…and then give 'er the old hammer test?

Shaman Kayaks is
John Petersen. He’s one of the regulars in my paddling group. Although I don’t paddle one of his boats, three others in the group own a total of 4 of his SOF’s and I can vouch for the fact that they are tough.

We launch and land through dumping surf, rock garden, and play in the surf and these boats take just as much, if not more abuse than our plastic or glass boats.

One of the guys had someone back into his boat at a gas station-the boat was on his rack and an RV’r just wasn’t looking. Only thing that needed to be replaced was one piece of wood in the bow that got broken. My friend paddled that boat for several weeks before getting it repaired.

They really are tough!

Monks are supposed to be non-violent…
…but here’s a short clip of Lodro Dawa, the ordained Buddhist monk/SOF craftsman of Monkcraft Kayaks whaling on one of his ballistic nylon qajaqs with a hammer and jumping on top of the deck of another. Not as cringeworthy as the shaman video (“no kayaks were harmed in the production of this film”) but he makes his point.

Well, of course
you should be floating when getting in and out - that goes for any kayak, except maybe a plastic beater boat. That said, I once had my SOF blow off the car before I could get a strap on it, landing bang on the pavement. Had one cracked beam that was an easy fix - no other damage. The dent in the back hatch of the Subie is a lasting reminder to keep a hand on the boat!

I’ve run over sharp hidden rocks in the Adirondacks twice. No damage with one, a tiny hole from the other that was another easy fix. I beat on this boat for three solid years, and it held up fine. 12 oz. nylon, water-based poly. Frame of pine, cedar and white oak (ribs). Would use 8 oz. cloth when doing it again - the heavy cloth was overkill.


You built it…

– Last Updated: Aug-22-09 1:40 PM EST –

... and durability depends on materials, methods, and builder.

"better be floating at launch and dismount" - that's true for ANY construction - as is paddle to water vs shore if used as an outrigger.

My SOF, and majority I've seem, are way tougher than I'd imagined before any experience with them. I've also seen others I'd be afraid to even rack.

In a nutshell - like anything else - all SOF are not created equal. "SOF" doesn't tell you much. Sort of a pet peeve of mine - but not as much as people talking about GPs like they're all the same too.

"“better be floating at launch and dismount” - that’s true for ANY construction "

This is the first time I know that!

And I have a fiberglass boat.

Better, not required.
Wouldn’t want to deprive anyone their seal launches! L

Give Sea Flea the “Flintstones Test”!
If yer kid can step through the skin

next to the keel while entering the

cockpit–Then I’d say she’s built a

little too tender.

Ain’t no way we can float a boat first
Thew first wave coming in will cream you and you’re not going to get in your boat and the skirt on between waves.

Our boats have to stand up to us getting in them on the beach-then us crab walking them into the water, and then they’ve got to survive the rocks on the beach and in the water.

Glass or other composits, SOF, and plastic all do fine.

Brian Schultz had 4 guys launching people down the cobble beach in his SOFs at SSTIKS a few years back. It was lots of fun and the kayaks weren’t hurt at all. Probably not the best thing for a steady diet.

We will find out next Saturday. Yost

– Last Updated: Aug-24-09 7:14 AM EST –

boats have a wood floor.A lot of the hull, esp. the deck, are very rigid but some feel'soft'.

Tough as nails
As everyone has pointed out, it takes a lot of damage them. I was scared of my first one too but grown to be totally impressed. I put mine in places that many folks don’t want to put their plastic boats. Recently we went up a little creek with lots of sticks and rocks. The guy I was with was convinced I was going to shred it. He came away a believer. One little mark on the hull.

I bet you cringe the first time you hear “the zipper”. You will understand once you hear it. :slight_smile: