Ok…do you think a sit on top would be easier to get in and out of ??? And if so are they stable in a lake or pond…maybe a harbor…I got some info today at the gym and the woman said with knee surgery she had to trade in her sit in for a sit on top…She says everyone at her lakehouse loves it !! All shapes and sizes… di
Well, maybe we can start a group for those of us who need to shape up so that our sleek, thin, lightweight kayaks won’t be ashamed to be seen with us!
Let’s see, I’m 50 years and 50 lbs overweight - and short too! SOTs are nice here in Southern California, I wouldn’t use one as often in Maine. I have a REALLY hard time getting back into a SOT after a wet exit. Landing on shore, I’d say the difficulty is about the same as getting out of a sea kayak. However, I sold my rec boats because the decks were too high and wide for easy exit. I’d suggest trying a boat like a Dagger Charleston - beginners find it quite stable.
Wilderness Systems, Ocean Kayak,Perception and Heritage make good ones. Look for longer and thinner; the originals were short (8’-12’) and wide and no fun to paddle. I recommend at least 14’.
Depending on your budget, Current designs makes a composite(Kevlar) SOT that weighs half what the plastic ones do.
sit on tops, entry and exit
The wife and I own both, and entry and exits are much easier with the sit ON kayaks than the sit in, which is why they are so much more populare for fishing. To start paddling a sit on top, you SIT on it. To get off the sit on top you turn sideways and get off. If you have a wet exit, you scramble back on... and sit on top. The self draining scuppers drain nearly all the water off the kayak, and you are good to go. No pumping, no bailing. The sides are lower and you don't need a paddle float or stirrup or assistance. If you can't scramble over the side, you can swim to the stern and mount the sit on top from the stern and straddle your boat and slide forward until you are back in paddling position.
My wife has had Two shoulder surgeries and CANNOT roll, so we fish from the sit-on-tops more than anything, although we do have two P&H Quest Sea Kayaks that we love. We have practiced the rentries quite a bit and she loves the ease of entry and exit from her's. In fishing, she sometimes clips her kayak to her pfd and stands in the shallows to cast.
Best advice: go to a demo day, or find a friend that has one and try it for yourself. The wife is not the thin trim kayaker but 40 plus with four grandchildren. I am nearly 50. They are FUN.
Email us if you have direct questions.
ABSOLUTELY-EVEN FOR COLD WATERS,
SOTs are fine -as long as you dress for the weather.
Obvioulsy, they’re great for places like SoCal and Sunny (and windy) South Florida and the Keys, but they’re also OK for places like Iowa, NORCAL, Washington & Maine.
They’ve got some fantastic models out there -but will rival their SINK counterparts not only in performance, but also in price, which is where a lot of SOTers draw the line.
They think brcause it’s a sit-on-top, it SHOULD cost less.
I say, if it performs superbly, and is made of glass or kevlar, why should it NOT caost as much as a good SINK?
The SOuth AFricans, in particular, lead the way -the Kaskazi Skua and Dorado, for cruising and angling, including deepwayer/bluewater stuff, are perhaps the best of the SOTs.
You can still get pretty good plastic boats here at considerably less cost -the WS Tarpons in 14 and 16 foot lengths, the OK Prowler 15 and 13, and the venerable OK Scupper Pro TW, my original boat and handle namesake, are great for low-maintenance, tough, moderately well-performing boats. They’re all fairly easy to get on/off and add mods to for fishing, diving, whatever.
We have SINKs, so we know about thjeir benefits as well, and use them when we want to make time; SOTs will do you well if you not into fast group paddles, fishing/diving, and just havin’ fun off the beach. We’ve had ours out on Biscayne Bay, Florida Bay, and the Atlantic, and they handle well in all but the worst conditions.
They’re really pretty good boats to
-Frank in Miami
Not trying to start a fight
As surfskis, sea kayaks, etc, are all great, but a SOT is a great kayak for almost all conditions. Usually very stable, easy to get in and out of, and fun to paddle - even the short ones - especially for ponds, small lakes, like you say you’ll be paddling. I have longer boats, but still enjoy my Frenzy, and have taken it up to 3 miles offshore. I always wonder why people say they wouldn’t use SOTs in cold conditions where they would use a SINK - If the conditions are cold, you need to be dressed for immersion anyway, so what does it matter whether you’ve got a deck over your legs or not?
There are some people who will even say that SOTs are safer than SINKS at all times - greater stability, no need to roll, won’t fill with water, quick deepwater reentry.
We have both
My wife prefers the SINKs but I have a Sink and 2 SOTs My preferance runs to the SOTs. Check out the Hurricane line of Pheonix SOTs. They are polycarbonate and look like and are about the same weight of fiberglass. My daughter has a 12’ and loves it.They are coming out with a new 16’ and have recently redesigned their 14’. They are priced lower than FG but a little higher than poly. Reentry is fairly easy and is a matter of technique. You have to slide across the boat in front of the seat and roll into the seat. never put your knee up.
Yep and Yep
SOTs are easier to get on and off of than SinKs are to get in and out of.
SOTs are stable and appropriate to the type of water you describe.
Not all SOTs are created equally, just as all SinK’s aren’t created equally. Get one designed for the kind of paddling you want to do on the kind of water you’ll be in and you’ll be happy with it. I’ll sit sideways on mine and dangle my feet in the water over the side while fishing in slow current. I’ve also taken it through class II whitewater. Is that stable enough for you?
- Big D
still prefer SINKs
…for ease of entry and exit
My Necky Strike is ok as it is pretty narrow, but in a tandem or my Feelfree Nomad, I have to stretch my legs more and I have a more difficult time getting balanced to stand up than in a seakayak.
I still can’t imagine using a SOT in Maine in January
I don’t think so…I KNOW so.
Standard SOTs are super-easy to get on and off of. You can even stand up on them with a bit of practice.
Get one with (or add) thigh straps, for better control of the boat.
There is nothing like tooling around lazily on a SOT on a sweltering summer day. Feel like cooling off? Slide off for a dip, or just dangle your legs over the side(s). Lie down on the thing. Afterward, you only have a wet PFD and booties–no stinky neoprene sprayskirt, no paddle float or pump.
You can paddle a SOT in winter, too, if you dress for immersion.
sit on top
that is how and why I bought mine; being trapped in a traditional never appealed to me; but a lady in my nia class told me about the sit on tops; I love mine; it is a little tippy but easy to get back on even as a novice.
seemed the safest and most fun way to go. I have hurrican phoenix which is really light weight and I just put it in the convertible with top down and go.
sit on top
I’m in; boating is great motivation for slimming down.
SOTs also make great sleds
If you really want to know about
SOT’s, go to where the kayaks are almost exclusively the boat of choice, kayakfishingstuff.com and texaskayakfishing.com. The SOT’s mentioned are good kayaks, at least in some models, but here are others . A nice slick faily light weight one is the Hurricane Phoenix in 12, 14, and 16 foot models. The 16 is new and not every dealer will have one. The Phoenix runs about 10 pounds lighter that the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140 or the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13, the two nearest competitors. Also, Liquid Logic Manta Ray, either in 12 or 14 ft lengths is a good choice. Personally, I like the Hobe Quest. Good size, near 14 ft, paddles well, has all sorts of neat storage places for small items you carry, comes with a paddle, cart, seats is included, and is very well constructed, but, then, its a Hobie.
Fishermen and divers are the true experts on how each of the SOT’s handle and work for specific applications, thought, granted, many have never paddled a sit inside. On both of the sites mentioned, there are guys, though, who know as much about kayaking as anyone.
thanks to all who replied to my SOT question…i think i will use my SINK for the rest of the fall season…now that i have mastered getting out…with a little help from my natures resources. like trees…rocks.lol…then i will be shpping for a nice SOT… diane
maybe a sit on top?
I’ve nothing to add but encouragement. I have a Necky Spike SOT (sadly, no longer made) and it’s an ideal recreational kayak. I use it year round - just need a wetsuit bottom or waterproof pants in the winter. Fun!
If you get one be sure to invest in a good, comfortable seat - makes a huge difference.
I’ve paddle my SOT on the Salmon River shortly after the ice left the river. Maine isn’t any colder than that. In those conditions I wore a two piece dry top and fleece insulation layers. What I like about a SOT, in cold water, is that I don’t suffer from over-heating the way I do when dressed for full emersion in a SINK.
check out the Hurricane Phoenix
Available in 12' and 14' lengths. Trylon material makes them lighter than a typical SOT of the same size. I have the 14' and like it a lot. Not a fast boat but lots of fun and a good way to keep cool. Easy to get on/off and easier self-rescue than a SINK. I've had mine on Lake Erie in some fairly big waves and it kept me upright. I'm pretty sure I was having more fun than some of those in the long, skinny SINKS, even though theirs were a lot faster.
Money no object, take a look at the
South African kayaks.
Kaskazi of South Africa recently changed hands but unless you can go to Forida and buy from the distributer, I dont reccomend doing business with them. I bought a Dorado and the transaction was a nightmare. The quality of mine was poor and it was shipped poorly wrapped without informing me so I was not able to get insurance. The kayak and the shipping info arrived at the same time. Needless to say it was badly damged and it was not as ordered. The previous owner dumped an in stock boat on me with the wrong color on the fish well and shipped it while telling me mine had not been built yet. There were hidden/undisclosed shipping charges and according to Visa, I would have had to pay the return shipping to cancel the transaction.