Packable SOT

-- Last Updated: Mar-13-15 1:03 PM EST --

My brother who is in his 70s got out on a SOT (Ocean Kayaks Prowler) mostly to see if his bad back could tolerate kayaking. It was a short paddle on the South Fork of the St. Lucie in Stuart, Florida and his back held up well. BTW, the South Fork Outfitters were helpful and had quality and new gear. The kayak had a very comfortable seat attached. Very good first effort; I expect he will rent a similar boat and kayak out of their launch -- no need for him to haul a 70+ lb. kayak around.

So, to continue. IF he finds he really enjoys kayaking; he will NOT want to buy a poly SOT. He will need to transport a kayak seasonally from NY to Florida inside his car. So, it seems inflatable or foldable are his choices. (I am posting this to check with the community on my assumptions.) He does not want a "sit inside." I THINK foldables are all sit inside (???), so that would leave the inflatables that are NOT sit inside. It also of course suggests NOT the whitewater inflatables (we're talking very calm river lily dipping).

KEY QUESTION: I don't know if any SOT-type inflatables, that are more touring-oriented, have seats that might work as well as the deluxe seat on the Ocean Kayaks Prowler that he rented??????

(Just MAYBE MAYBE a foldable or inflatable sit-inside WITH A VERY BIG COCKPIT OPENING AND A GREAT SEAT might be acceptable -- he's worried about maneuvering himself into and out of a sit inside -- especially if he capsized -- I think that boat option would only be considered if there were no inflatabe/foldable SOT choices.

Any thoughts?

And then again…
…he might want to consider a poly. Here’s a link to a couple of modular boats by Point 65:

I’d go for the longer one. Looks like the price is around 800 bucks.

Yes, there are folding sit on tops

– Last Updated: Mar-13-15 8:32 PM EST –

Depending on your budget, there are good touring model open kayaks. The top of the line would be the Feathercraft Java, a 15' 33 lb frame kayak with inflatable sponson sides. I have owned three Feathercraft models and can testify that their quality is unsurpassed and their adjustable inflatable seats are incredibly comfortable. Yes, they are costly (around $2250), but they hold their value well and can always be sold for a good price, so I consider the cost to be more like "rent". I'm sure a Java in decent shape could be resold for $1200 to $1600. For use in Florida, I would recommend the optional tan seat (won't get as hot as the standard black one.) Same price.

Less costly but also a light and comfortable open boat is the 12.5' 20 lb Pakboat Puffin Saco. It can be used as either an open kayak or have an optional deck added. It is also a combination frame and inflatable with a very comfortable seat. Price ranges around $900 (they are selling some of the older models on sale at the moment on the manufacturer's site.) You do need to also purchase the inflatable foot brace accessory, but the kayak comes with a carry bag, patch kit and inflation pump. It is very easy to set up. I own an older version of this boat and it is also a pleasure to use, especially due to being so light (I'm 64). I can load it on the roof of my car with one hand or check the packed boat as baggage on the airlines or stash it in the trunk of the car.

Here are links to specs on both boats:

Consider Innova Kayaks
I’ve got their Safari and it’s a very well made boat. And they’re known for having quality products.

Also consider contacting The Boat People.

another cheaper option
Though I have not seen one in the flesh, I’ve seen some reports from people who like the fairly new Aquaglide Columbia XP (though at 11’ 4" and 36" wide it would not be my choice for coastal waters, but it might suit your dad). Runs around $600.

Sea Eagle
Sea Eagle has a bunch of sit on tops.

Thanks, all
I’ll pass along the suggestions – looks like there are a few good possibilities. I appreciate the help provided by this community.