Looking for a SOT for camping

Coronaboy, I’ve had the S14S since December but have had it out only once. Dealing with some heart issues has kept me grounded. It also needs some modification because of an
ongoing leg and foot problem.
However, based on that one short trip, It is quick , turns on a dime, and has a great seat.
It only took me a few minutes to get over the lack of initial stability compared to my Tarpon ,which has the stability of an aircraft carrier.

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My number one suggestion is that you go down to a place that rents kayaks let them know that you’re in the market for one and ask him if you can try some out. This is what I did it didn’t cost me to send to try out a bunch of rental boats (I made an appointment and make sure I did not go on a busy day). I ended up purchasing a Necky Vector, 15 footer it holds over 230 pounds and it’s basically a Ferrari of sit on tops able to carry a considerable amount of cargo which I have used in overnight camping.Good luck

Like others have said a canoe really does make the most sense for the requirements you listed.

That said if you can find a good deal on the secondhand market the Hobie Revo 16 is a great fast SOT that will haul a tonne of gear. I apologize in advance to other forum members that see me bring it up too much but it’s such a great boat! (just heavy and too expensive new)

When we go camping my wife will use it and I will get relegated to the Old Town barge. She loves it because she can sit back, relax, peddle and drink her tea at the same time. It has enough torque with the fins that children on the back can sit there dragging their legs in the water and she can still keep pace. With the optional outriggers it is also really stable so the kids can jump off and climb back on easily. It’s also a fast boat and will cruise at 4kts with ease and over 5 with a little effort.

Anyway, that’s enough Hobie shilling, the canoe is the logical choice but if you really want a SOT then the Hobie would be a good choice.

New to the forum here.
Here’s my advice having had a Mad River Explorer 16 Royalex and a Tarpon120 SOT.
Day trips are easy enough, right?
But for long weekends up to a week or so…it’s really challenging to maka a kayak do this well.
You have to gear up.as if you are backpacking. Go light, when in doubt, leave it home.

I had been canoe camping before.
This season I decided to do kayak camping.
I’ve had my T120 for several years and it’s a great fishing boat. For a SOT, it does have a lot of storage. To make the most of it, you will need many small dry bags instead of several large ones. You can fit one 30L dry bag in the bow hatch but that’s about it. However, it you use small bags like 5 and 10 and 20L… you’ll get way more in. The hatch forwards of the seat, between your knees, is round and it’s great for stuff you will.commonly need during the day. Sunglasses, bug spray and sunscreen, snacks, flashlight, etc. You can get two piece fishing rods in there (but be careful of damaging them by stuffing in other gear.)

You can take 5 and 10L bags and stuff them in that center hatch and push them fore and aft…but I’d suggest tying a line to them so that you can easily retrieve them when you are unloading.

The hatches are not completely.watertight. after a weekend, you’ll have a few cups of water in there. So everything has to be in dry bags if it shouldn’t.get wet.

The thing with a kayak is, it’s much more finicky about packing, right? No huge bags, and you also have to pay more attention to weight distribution. All the heavy stuff wants to be center and low.

You really need to decide on what gear you are taking, spread it out on the beach, and keep playing.with the puzzle. Put the mess kit center and low…ok… well it won’t fit…ok…break it into two bags…now it will…ok… sleeping bag ,and blanket (each in their own compression bag, can go into a 30L dry back and sit in the well behind the seat…bungeed down…then…what goes up front?..oh…this big one of food goes in first…then these clothes…

You get the picture. Pack it as beat you can and go paddle. Preferably someplace shallow so you can self rescue if you dump…and choppy water so you’re being realistic about non-perfect conditions.

Adjust as needed.

Make a drawing that shows how you did it when you finally have it right. I guarantee you will need to buy more smaller dry bags. We like the SeaToSummit Big River bags. Tough and light. For maximum bombproof expedition duty, the SealLine Baja Bags are the way to go.

When you are loaded like this, you need to be careful. Don’t put anything on the front deck…and don’t load the rear well. You want to keep wind resistance down and center of gravity low. Otherwise you WILL capsize. Ask me how.I know this.

My T120 is not adequate for a solo trip with all the gear I consider essential for me for overnighters. If you travel with someone else, it’s a bit easier because you are both sharing fear, like tent, stove, tarp, lantern, etc.

I think a WS T140 would barely suffice. You’ll have to shop around used because they are not made anymore. Bit if you can make it work, you’ll have an awesome fishing boat. They made the Tarpon series up until last year in a regular version and in an Angler version. The angler gives you gear tracks on the gunnels… extremely useful…and you can get rear deck flush mount rod holders

Now, if you’re in a 16 foot canoe…well…it’s heavier. Is it important to be able to carry the boat for some distance by yourself?

And, you’re way more affected by wind, obviously. But packing is SO much easier. And you can take kids and dogs and pianos.

I had to sell my MRE but I want to buy one again.
For one thing, forget about river trips and whitewater in a loaded kayak. Death sentence.

I have wondered about making a keel out of marine plywood and fiberglassing it. Strap it on under the hull…center fore…bring ratchet straps up and across the gunnels. Cinch tight. Bingo…you have a keel to keep you tracking in the wind and just remove it when you don’t need it.

Overall… although you could make a T140 work…it won’t be easy. But you’ll have a fishing machine. If you use the canoe, life will be easier and slower…and you can take the kid or dog. And you’ll have river capabilities.

One partial solution you may consider…
My buddy and I kayak camp.with WS 120 kayaks. We can’t fit all our gear. So we bring a third kayak as a barge. I have an old fiberglass T120 that is incredibly light. We pack that with gear and I tow it.

It is not much of a drag and it solves our problems. You could take a Tarpon 10 footer as a barge (we call it a rubber ducky) and that way you’d have a great fishing boat when you get to base camp. The Ocean Kayak Trident series are also fantastic boats. With both of these SOT kayaks, you will be inshore saltwater capable as well.

Good luck!

Their website says they’re still selling the T-140, so they must be making them. The fishing special is the A.T.A.K., with a whole different hull–and it weighs 95 lbs.

With the exception of their 8-foot playboat, all their SOTs have some gear tracks. The T-140 has four.

If I read correctly, you will need to float and glide 260 to 300 lbs or so. Could not tell if the daughter and dog were included in your numbers.

Either way, “you’re gonna need a bigger boat”, nothing short. The Tarpon 160 gets my vote. Remember that in addition to weight capacity, the kayak has to provide enough space for the cargo. Short boats don’t have that, and they might be harder to keep going straight.

I rented a Tarpon 160. At less than half your body weight, I could still paddle it, even though it was slower than my SINK of the same length and narrower beam. But with 300 lbs on board, nothing without a motor is going to go fast anyway. You might as well be stable, safe, and have wiggle room.

Another option is to get a double SOT.

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The new (2020) Tarpons have less storage than the previous generation. The front hatch is the same but they eliminated the center hatch. (It’s kind of a Tupperware thing now) The gear tracks are pretty small too. They don’t make an Angler version anymore.
Personally…I would not want to carry more than 63 pounds…the weight of my T120. The T160 would definitely need two people to move unless you used a cart and some tricky roof loading. That must be close to 95 pounds.

You are needing a canoe. And a 16-17 footer at that. WAY more forgiving and way easier to load. Dogs and kids are no problem. Just my opinion.

The Tarpon 160 I rented weighed about 60 lbs, a far cry less than 95 lbs. WHERE do you get that number from?

The beam was 28”, if I remember correctly. Maybe WS fattened up the boat, but not by 35 lbs!

For now, I am going to stick with the canoe, but I just do not enjoy it as much as a kayak. The weights were with the kid or the dog and the camping gear. Dog weighs more than the kid, but is very well mannered in a boat.

thanks for all the discussion

No I don’t hate SOTs, just dislike my Tetra 12 cause it is too small for my weight, wanders left and right has little room for gear and makes a poor touring kayak. It does fine for short paddles and fishing. With an aggressive paddle stroke water shoots up the scuppers and gets the seat wet. You can load up the aft compartment but it is like a big “deck mount” on a sea kayak and quite awkward. But if Shortski13 just wants to do it fine go ahead.

Wife can take it and load it with two big dogs and paddle it fairly well but it still would make a limited touring/camping boat. But the retrievers like jumping off of it.

It was ok for casual fishing drifting sand holes on the flats. Wife and I took canoe and filled it with Yeti cooler, stove, tent etc and did a weekend in the Okefenokee. Couldn’t have been as comfortable or equipt-ed in the Tetra.

A bit late to this topic, but a Klepper Aerius 2 folding kayak would be perfect for carrying 1 - 2 people, and all your gear. Lots of them for sale for reasonable prices, and you have the option of using it with/without the sprayskirt, depending upon conditions.

They are large and heavy, at 80 lbs., but they come in 2 - 3 bags, and will be able to carry all the gear you’ll want, including even coolers with ice, for kayak glamping.

They’re great for kayak camping and expeditions, are quite wide, and very stable.

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Glad there are other forum folks who know about folding kayaks (and canoes). I’d second RobKJ’s suggestion. Used Kleppers (and Folbots) come up for sale regularly and are great tripping boats. Some of the Kleppers and Folbots are non-folding (still skin on frame but don’t break down for storage.) Those tend to be even cheaper on the used market.

Also, to retain the functionality and cargo capacity of a canoe but to reduce the weight and add versatility, consider the Pakboat PakCanoes, folding canoes that come in a range of sizes and have massive cargo ratings. A new one would be above your budget but used ones do pop up in the mid to low $1000s range if you watch for them.

Here’s a link to their specs. The largest canoe, the 170, has over 900 pounds of capacity. These are rugged and can be used in whitewater as well as for flat water tripping – long a choice for backcountry guides in Alaska and remote places like Patagonia because of toughness and because they can be hauled packed down in duffel bags on float planes or in 4 WD vehicles. ALso very easy to trim them for various weight arrangements and numbers of passengers because the seats can be placed in different positions.

Ally of Sweden also makes similar folding canoes (I just aided in the sale of an 18’ used one) but they don’t have a US dealer now the way Pakboat does.

If you can find an Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro you’ll have one of the best touring SOT kayaks there is. It has been my “go to” kayak since 1994. I dive and spearfish from it and it has worked well for multi-camping trips.

My go to boat is a Tarpon 160 . It has taken me anywhere I want to go and some I was too stoopid to avoid and brought me back.
Mine is every bit of 95 lbs. On the water it’s great! To and from usually takes 2 people or a cart. No flimsy spots on mine.