Lighter SOT?

I posted awhile back about looking for a longer SOT with the same or better gear capacity and boat weight as my Necky Vector 13. I’ve done 4 multi-day trips of 4 days with my Vector 13 this summer and it’s been no problem. I’ve paddled with a mixed group of SOT, SINK, and IK boaters, so my 13 footer was middle of the pack speed wise. I have one more 4 day trip coming up before my season ends. I’m still contemplating longer & lighter options for next summer.

As I posted before, I’m not looking for a SINK because I have a disabled knee that barely bends to 90 degrees, making a SINK very difficult to enter, exit, re-enter, and paddle comfortably. I’m also not interested in a canoe. I ruled out an inflatable, but the Sea Eagle Razor Lite is a maybe???

My Vector 13 is 13 feet long, 29 inches wide, and weighs 60 pounds. It has a 400 pound gear capacity. I’m 5’5" tall and a full-figured gal at 190 pounds. I do some day paddling, but I’m most interested in multi-day paddling. Class I rivers in Utah, and the western US, lakes like Lake Powell, Flaming Gorge, Yellowstone are my destinations. I’ve been a whitewater rafter for 20 years and got into kayak touring last year. My usual gear load is 50-70 pounds.

I’ve looked at several kayaks, but haven’t found one that’s longer, faster, same or lighter weight, with same or better gear capacity. The only one I see that meets all my criteria is the Eddyline Caribbean 14. It’s a 14 footer, 50 pounds, capacity of 400 pounds, and supposedly fast. But it’s expensive, and I’m skeptical about the durability of the ABS vs a poly kayak??? They have a Caribbean 12 at my local REI and I’ve looked at & inside of it. I see a lot of foam pillars in there that are structural. I wonder about space constraints for loading gear?

So…here’s my question. Anyone out there paddle an Eddyline Caribbean 14 that can comment on stability, speed, handling, and ability to carry gear.

Anyone out there paddle a Sea Eagle Razor Lite? Same questions…handling/tracking, speed, stability, and ability to carry gear.


Did you read the user reviews of the Razorlite? There are 7 currently in the archives that provide pretty detailed reports on the performance and various issues and suggested modifications:

You could also try emailing the reviewers for feedback if you don’t get a lot of responses to your post.


– Last Updated: Aug-14-16 2:44 PM EST –

I read through those reviews and the ones for the Eddyline Caribbean 14. I'll see if the reviewers will respond to my email for a few more details. How do I find responses?

Overall, I think the Eddyline will fit my needs better than the Sea Eagle. Now to decide if spending the $$$$ on the Eddyline is worth the extra length, speed, and a 10 pound lighter boat????

I'd love to hear from Caribbean 14 paddlers, especially if they have done multi-day trips with this kayak.

Did you look at the Hurricane
Skimmer 140?

The Skimmer 140 looks interesting, but finding a dealer who sells one and will ship one is a challenge. It also has a lower gear capacity that my Vector 13 and the Eddyline. The Hurricane website lists the capacity at 325, which is a 75 pound drop in capacity. If I was a skinny gal, just doing day paddling that would be ok. Unfortunately I’m a plus size gal who likes to do multi-day excursions. Living in Utah limits my ability to see & test paddle any of these kayaks.

The nice thing about the Eddyline is that I can get it from REI and get free shipping to my local store. That’s a huge bonus. The downfall of getting it from REI is that I only get one color choice (red) and no option for a rudder (not sure I need one).

I looked at a ton of brands & specs back in the spring, but ultimately decided I couldn’t improve much on my Vector 13…except for the Eddyline, so I quit looking. Now as the season winds down, and after doing two trips that required a short portage, I’m thinking about the 10 pound difference in the Eddyline. Plus the option of a little speedier kayak for next year.

responses will relay any responses between you and the reviewers anonymously to whatever email you provided when you set up your profile on the site.

Why not a canoe?
You said you mostly paddle lakes and you want a boat that can carry gear. There are solo canoes perfect gor the job.

That said, I wish someone msde a 16’ SOT that wasn’t a barge but I have yet to find one. Something with the comfort of a Tarpon with some decent speed capability.

That does not compute
190 lbs + 50 to 70 lbs = 240 to 260 lbs

260 lbs < 325 lbs.

is 33 lbs light enough?
The Feathercraft Java SOT has a 15’ 4" waterline, 28" beam, weighs 33 lbs and can be set up as a solo or tandem. Currently out of production (Feathercraft is testing out some new fabrics before rolling out their next generation of inflatables) but there’s one on Ebay at the moment:

And there is a guy in Seattle who just posted one for $1300 at

Plus you can pack it down and check it as airline luggage. Perfect boat for retirement. If I was going to own an SOT, that would be the one.

Max capacity
and optimal capacity for handling and a dry ride in a SOT aren’t the same thing. Optimal capacity is about 65% of Max capacity before you get water up through the scuppers and the boat starts getting sluggish. So for a SOT with a max of 400, that’s about 260. For a kayak with a 325 max, that’s only 212.

I don’t want a canoe

– Last Updated: Aug-15-16 5:38 PM EST –

I paddle large lakes with the possibility of wind, so a canoe is not a good choice. I did try out a solo canoe and it's not what I want.

Have You Tried An OC-1 or V-1?

– Last Updated: Aug-15-16 5:03 PM EST –

Check them out, you'll be surprised!

ps: the oc-1 is usually steered with a rudder, while the v-1 is steered your paddle. Some even weigh 17 lbs.

Eddyline Caribbean 14
I have looked at canoes, folders, and inflatables last spring. Some I have paddled, some I have seen, and some aren’t available around here. I’ve talked quite a bit with one of the SOT designers for Ocean Kayak, and Tom Remsing from Eddyline. After reading the reviews of the Sea Eagle Razorlite, I don’t think I’d trade my Vector 13 for that boat. So that leaves me to ponder the Eddyline over the fall and winter. Spending $1700 on a new Eddyline would be hard enough, so I wouldn’t want to spend $1900 on a used Feathercraft off eBay.

I’d really like to hear from someone who paddles a Caribbean 14 that can tell me about in the hull storage and how the boat handles. The reviews I’ve read sound great, but no one talks about using it for multi-day trips.

Too pricey
Cool looking kayak, but $1900 is too steep for me. Plus the person selling it is the third owner.

Sorry, I should have made clear that my suggestion of the Java was aimed at String, not at you. It’s obvious after a number of posts that you’ve settled on the Caribbean 14 and I was not intending to muddle that discussion.

You might want to consider emailing one or more of the Caribbean 14 owners who have posted reviews on here to get direct feedback on their feelings about the model. I’ve been contacted in that way by people interested in boats that I own and have reviewed and have done the same myself. I have never found anyone who was objectionable or distressed that I reached out – most paddlers are happy to share their experience and opinions. forwards the inquiries anonymously so there is no direct contact unless they or you choose to share direct information. Just click on the little envelope icon next to the reviewer’s screen name.

It would be ideal if we could all test paddle each and every boat in which we are interested. But, more often than not, most of us have to take the leap without that. I bought all but one of the 5 kayaks I currently own without ever having paddled that model and am very happy with all of them (including a used but pristine Feathercraft bought used on eBay, FWIW.)

I doubt buying the Caribbean would be a mistake even if it doesn’t work out as you are hoping – since you are buying it from REI they will take it back for full refund within a year of purchase if it isn’t suitable for you, even after you’ve used it. I say, go for it!

Did you try a Pack Canoe
essentially a deckless kayak

Comes in sub 30 lbs for 15 feet

Placid Boatworks Slipstream and Hornbeck are major players

The Hornbecks the least pricey.

Consider your boat an investment if possible and analyze cost per use

My Rapid Fire at 23 lbs and 15 feet hauls over 400 lbs… not that it should… Its happier at 300. Sometimes as in the Everglades I need to carry water.

Not all canoes are alike. Pack Canoes are a bit cut down and not as high sided as a traditional canoe.

They handle winds more easily than a standard solo

Take a chance
I took a chance on my current kayak sight unseen and it has worked out well. It was delivered from ACK in Texas to Utah with no problems. Picking up a kayak at my local REI will be a lot easier. I guess my decision now is whether the money is worth taking another chance to save 10 pounds and get a faster boat???!!!

haven’t used it for multi day trips but
can vouch that the Eddy C. 14’ will hold up on class 1 after several years and is easy to maneuver !

Also very, very good on lake conditions with winds, cross waves, power boats, ski doos, crazy not-sober people trying to create wake, I don’t have to turn and face most of the this but can go over it sideways. I also can go in very shallow water where they can’t. Very, very good at picking up waves coming from behind and being able to use them to propel myself forward, tracking well in spite of no rudder. If you put anything in the front hatch, like a dry bag, put a little something in the open back hatch for balance for bouncier conditions- this helps it track. (this advice is just for this model kayak, this would vary with each boat design).

The “only” problem I’ve had is the comedy routine when I’m trying to put it back or take it out of the truck bed (full length, and I drop the tailgate to go to local areas with this) and the bed liner is super slick and we are not on a level surface as I do shore launching frequently as the water levels drop so much during late summer on these reservoirs. The wind can really gust at certain times of the day - and when picking it up and holding it sideways to the wind, most surface area exposed, it can act as a Giant Sail and nearly knock me off balance if I am not paying attention. It also has blown out of the back of the truck bed when I released the straps, gave it a little push, but wasn’t thinking and was parked on a steep hill. I did not have it by its center handles but had my hand on just the toggle handle on the one end… yikes. Rest assured that the Eddlyline can drop from the tailgate to the ground with a loud sound but not hurt itself.

I learned to wear my best traction running shoes or hiking boots for this part, and to check the wind direction before finally parking. Also, sometimes, if the wind changed while I was out on the water, I just leave it on the ground and pivot one end up the shore or launch ramp, and then go to the other end and pick that up and pivot it up, you can travel it 14’ at a time up the shore very quickly to the vehicle this way without having to lift the entire kayak. It’s not the weight, but coping with our usual crazy afternoon breezes running up and down these valleys, and my trying to save stress on a previously injured hand (not boat-related sport accident) for the good parts.

Ok, now that I looked at what you have
compared to the Eddyline 14’ Carribean, you will not be doing any worse, and possibly be doing much better :slight_smile:

Stability: balance-wise, Eddyline VERY good. You sit a little bit higher, which, if you have trouble getting out of a conventional kayak, is so much easier to get in and out of.

Speedwise: won’t be any slower, likely to be same speed or faster, depends on your style. (I have several physical glitches which makes my paddling no so technically pretty, because I am a low angle paddler with very, very strong legs/core to compensate. We get there. I know I’m fast for a big SOT.)

Handling: Very easy to steer. The Eddyline is interesting when going down a river in that you may have an “OH NO LOOK OUT” moment but this boat really tries not to run into other things that you think you might hit. I found this out during a class when the instructor tried to get me to deliberately bump another kayak from behind, and I could not get my kayak to do it. I really don’t recommend TRYING to hit a rock deliberately, either, but I’ve noticed the same thing with rocks sticking up in in the current - the bow is shaped to follow the water going around something.

There is probably a technical explanation for this phenomena.

Gear: I have not tried packing for overnights but my hatches hold a LOT of stuff and look much bigger than that hatch on the Vector. The Eddyline also had the great sturdy side handles midbody, and the midbody bungees with that little peg catch, with which you can quickly strap your paddle to the side lengthwise to hold it. You can also fetch and carry other’s stray paddles easily. Two of of my favorite things about this model as I can also run a security cable thru the handles when on the truck, besides just grabbing the boat in the water very easily. Can pick it up by these handles when it’s not really windy (see above…).

Emergencies: can tow another small/medium human in the water, off the front end, by having them hold on to the bungee bottle/tackbox area in the front up by the foot pegs. I have put another rope handle tie in there, homemade, going across the two eyelets provided, with a very short piece of sturdy rope for pulling the kayak along when on foot, and tying it into my truck, but it’s had other uses, like this. This is the only kayak I have tried doing this with and the kayak was still able to be steered and tracked well going ACROSS a side current. You can also carry another entire person in the front of your kayak, if you have to.

This is the stuff I was looking for. I have a few questions about putting gear inside the hull. When I looked inside the Caribbean 12 at REI I noticed there are quite a few foam pillars in there. Eddyline told me those are structural. Do you think they would impede packing a tent, bear canister, misc. gear? What about the 6 inch hatch in the cockpit and in the back. Do they give access for packing small things in the center of the boat? I added a 6 inch hatch in the stern of my Vector and have become quite creative with fitting stuff back there. Eddyline have me dimensions for the tankwell of 30 inches long & 13.5 inches wide tapering down to 5 inches wide. That seems long, but awfully narrow?

Don’t feel bad. I have offloaded on a slope and sent my kayak flying also. I couldn’t blame in on the wind however…just my stupidity for trying to unload in a terrible place. Now I’m much pickier about where I load & unload. My kayak rides on a Yakima rack atop an SUV, so it’s a long way down. I use a T-bar loader that makes it pretty slick. People always want to “help” me with my boat, but I tell them I got it just fine. 99% of the time, their help is not helpful, and I do better on my own.