Lighter SOT?

That little round hatch by the seat
drives me nuts. You can put small cute stuff in there, then when you finish kayaking, you discover that if it was small, round or rollable, it has shifted way back, and is a total nuisance to attempt to get it to slide forward to get out! I would much rather use the front hatch, it is huge, or the back hatch, it is open but good-sized.

I was told that one way to keep stuff up near that little one, and not have it wander off beyond the pillars, was to have an insert put in, sort of like a fabric pocket and the hatch cover is a lid. Well, I looked at those which were pre-made, and thought, meh, doesn’t hold that much. (You can also get some sort of big extra hatch cover to go in front, which is huge, on my model.) If I was going to invent something, I would put some mesh cargo netting in there that had the opening right at the hatch lid. Then you could keep stuff from wandering off. You may not have to invent anything… just find a mesh bag you can put in there empty, then load when in position with smaller things, then close it, then they won’t roll around. You would then unload it the same way.

You know those laundry mesh bags you put in the washer machine so you don’t lose socks or mess up sweaters? I bet that would be the type of bag that would work well. Not expensive, either. Or, some sort of re-purposed large mesh bag that holds produce, like potatoes or nuts.

Yes, the foam pillars are structural. Sigh.

What I have done with this is (don’t laugh) I put a little piece of foam 1/4" thick mat pad down on the hatch floor then put the dry bag on it in a way that it really doesn’t want to roll, instead of just chucking individual objects into that part of the hatch. Then the pillars and the piece of pool noodle I prop next to it stop the bag from moving. Of course, you can’t get a big bag in there, but you can get something, like several little ones.

In another kayak, which may see more “bounce,” I have put down several spare chunks of old foam pool noodles to provide “dry bag traction” so they also tend to stay put and also tend to keep the dry bag up off the floor just a little tiny bit incase the hatch gets some water in there (I have had big waves/wake break over my bow or stern, and that will sometimes get a few tablespoons of water in it) - this works pretty well. That (old,sturdy, plastic) kayak has nothing inside it to stop things from going all the way to the back, either. This is funny until you actually have to try to fetch something out quickly, and realize half a paddle you THOUGHT could not do this, no way, is not within reach and absolutely not budging. Dry bags help block interior wanderings. I have not pool-noodled the interior center floor of the Eddyline by that small round hatch opening, but that would be the logical thing to try next, if I was going to try to put anything in there. I would put the noodle down crossways next to the pillars to protect it and provide a barrier, then a mesh bag and then feed in smaller items into the mesh bag, like a small dry bag.

Life was simpler when we all were not carrying some sort of thing we absolutely don’t want to get wet, at all. I am convinced all the “accessories” makers have an office party every time some cell phone maker announces a new model, different size, which OF COURSE will require a new set of water-proof carrying accessories, which will then have to go in its own little dry bag. Now it is even worse. The newer car keys… are not supposed to get wet.

Other people don’t do this double packing, but they don’t drop things the way I can, so I just over-compensate.

This is why I like my front deck hatch so much… holds a lot more stuff, no pillars!

I put paracord leashes on all dry bags and gear. I have shock cord around each front scupper pillar with small s-biners and a couple stick on attachment points inside the rear 6 inch hatch with more shock cord and s-biners. Everything gets clipped in and can be reeled in with the leash. This allows me to load in stuff and shove it as far back into the center of the kayak as possible. I have lost small stuff inside the kayak before I started using the leashes.

I think that center hatch in front of the seat on the Eddyline, and the one behind the seat would be helpful in getting stuff better centered inside the kayak. The bow hatch on the C-14 is definitely bigger than my Vector hatch. The Vector hatch is very water tight though.

Pack canoes

– Last Updated: Aug-21-16 9:39 PM EST –

Since several people mentioned pack canoe as an alternative to a lighter SOT kayak, I've done some looking & reading about them. I know I said "no canoes" but now I'm intrigued. I've looked at the websites for Hornbeck, Hemlock, Placid Boatworks, and Swift. The biggest drawback for me is that they are all made back east or in Canada. This would be a big $$$$ investment in a boat that I can't test paddle or even look at first. I'm not sure I could even get one shipped to Utah? They do look pretty sweet.

I can see that they are very light, can carry more weight, and can be paddled with a double blade like a kayak. It is tricky to load them? Are they stable to enter & exit? How are they in open water with wind?

have a Razor Lite and it’s outstanding! Faster than my Malibu X13, Prowler 13, and former Vector 13. It’s not quite as stable on primary, but better with secondary and good when loaded with my Border Collie at 45lbs. You need to paddle one to believe it’s speed! With its 13’10" length and long waterline, it moves fast with excellent glide. It’s a must paddle kayak.

Build a pack canoe

200-300 bucks. Easiest way to build a boat. I love mine, faster then anything plastic in the same length. Loading and unloading is not a chore or something to dread.

Looks interesting.