Need SOT advice...river use...

I just finished a 12 mile race on the Llano River in Texas. We had a great time. I never really wanted a SOT until Saturday. For a few reasons I want to get a SOT for next year’s race, (I need a guest boat anyway.) Since you had to walk your boat now and then due to sand bars and unpassable rock rapids, (little rapids but not enough water to float the boat and ME,) I was eyeing the SOTs with envy. My boat got pretty heavy from the water I was taking in, (forgot the bilge pump of course,) which made me decide to make the plunge and start the search for the extra boat. What suggestions do you SOT experts have to offer? I need something not too pokey since I don’t want to lag behind in the finish, but I don’t want anything much over 13 feet, (10-13 feet maybe). I need something to negogiate the little itty bitty rapids and the rocks at the bottom of a few old dam falls, (my ten foot Loon handled it fine even with the extra water weight I took on.) Any suggestions are much appreciated!

Thanks to all.

And if there’s any Texans out there come and do the Castell Race next year. It was a great race.


I’d explore the sit-on-topkayaking site
for starters. Some of the quicker SOTs just over 13’include the Heritage Sea Dart and Necky Dolphin.

I just took my
Necky Cruiser 2 on the river for the first time yesterday and it handled great. I’m not sure about speed since I am fairly new to kayaking and I wasn’t racing to get down river but we did a good 15 mile stretch of the Sacramento River and the water depth ranged from about a foot to 30-35 feet deep. It manouvered well around snags and has proven to be a pretty good all around boat. We’ve used it on lakes and the ocean as well.

the closet sot with a sink feel
would be the necky dolphin and the spike;nimble ,quick,and tracks well,and the initial wigggle goes away in minutes.don’t bother to get the rudder. (sorry Lesa),but the necky cruiser 2 is a scow compared to the others, if you are looking for storage capacity nothing beats the tarpon 140 or a scupper pro.for the minimalist an islander hula, a 8.5 surf yak is loads of fun and inexpensive;300 new, perception now makes them but I can’t recall the new models name. have fun

I’m a big fan of Heritage yaks
they are very well built. See if you can find a dealer who’ll let you test dive the Osprey or Dolphin. They also have economy versions without hatches.

Ocean Kayak Mars Is Great For Rivers
The Ocean Kayak Mars is great for shallow rivers because it has a really flat bottom and a very shallow draft. It is 13’3" long.

It only has a 6" day hatch in the cockpit, so not much storage, except the small tankwell and the deck.

At 50# is is very easy to load and unload.

I have several SOTs but the Mars is my favorite for lots of conditions.

I second the Heritage SOT.

– Last Updated: Jun-08-04 12:34 PM EST –

I looked at them before I bought my Tarpon and liked them. They are made for lighter people than me.
My Tarpon 160 is a great anywhere boat but a shorter one might be better for narrow places and turns. A 140 or even 120 might be what you are looking for.

No problem, I love the information…
I’ve very new to this so the more information you guys give the more I learn and I’m loving it. I just know my own boat and offer my opinion when it might help.

I Like Heritage Boats, But

– Last Updated: Jun-08-04 3:25 PM EST –

I like Heritage boats on the ocean. I love my Shearwater, and would love to score a kevlar Nomad, but....

They have a pretty deep "V" hull. Not so good for shallow rivers.

The Necky boats also have a "V" hull.

Something with a flat bottom would be better for shallow rivers.

I mentioned the Mars, and the Tarpons also have a flat bottom.

Necky Dolphin!! Its Heavy, wide, slow and TIPPY!!! Go with one of the Shorter Tarpons.

lesa, try a spike or dolphin
while you can’t get the kids in it(believe in earlier posts you said you had young’uns) and you’ll be amazed; I tried the cruiser 2 for it’s enormous amount of room which would be perfect for familiies and capacity loads but missed the performance of the smaller boats. and won’t those kids need thier own boats soon? be careful though , you could end up with multiple boats like me and be obsessed with paddling every mudpuddle you see. have fun.

shows we’ve all got different tastes
but we all seem to agree on the tarpon.

The Dolphin can be a really fun rough water boat. It is paractially a cult thing out here, but I came away with the same impression as Swedge.

I think it is best suited for small to medium sized boaters.

Definitely paddle a Heritage Sea Dart.
Compare with the other SOT’s in your size range and make your own decision.

Where is the SOT Site?
Do you have the URL?

Here’s the URL:

Check it out for discissions on SOTs of all kinds, from fitness paddling fast skis past so fast you;ll go blind, to luncker clunkers for a big guy fishing. There’s stand-up models for those who fly (fish) and pole, to those who just like to paddle around and loll, and lots of other stuiff in-between, like skin & SCUBA diving anmd shooting -with a camera -those facinating on-water sights padddlers have seen.

It’s a nice site run by AThena & Tom, who invite to SOT as you

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami

Thanks to all of you for the advice.
I have a lot to work with here. Thanks for the input.


Agree about SD
Sea Dart and Dolphin are among the fastest SOTs, and both have lively handling. Dolphin might be a bit easiuer to turn and the Sea Dart might be quicker.