Sit-in or SOT?

-- Last Updated: Aug-02-10 1:07 AM EST --

I already own 3 sit-in kayaks. I've been thinking about getting a sot for my wife who has a bad knee that translates to difficulty getting out of a sit-in. I've never paddled a sot, so are sots noticably more difficult to paddle(not maneuver)than sit-ins? We're in our late fifties and have no problem with the sit-ins, but is there more drag with the wider beams of sots? I would hate to buy one, then she not like it because it is hard to keep up. Thanks

Shorter length and wider beam generally means more drag.

Bill H.

Stay away from anything less than 14’
and you will be fine. In any given length,SOT are typically wider so will be a little slower than a SINK of comparable length with the same paddler.

But,IMO, they are considerably more comfotable and much easier to get in and out of.

SOT easy to get on…
We rented a Pungo 14 and a Tarpon 12 this weekend. My parents are also looking at buying kayaks so they paddled both while we had them. My dad had his knee replaced a couple months ago and he had little trouble getting onto the Tarpon and really enjoyed it.

My wife paddled the Tarpon exclusively and I tried both. When both of us were out together I was consistently waiting for her. The Pungo is a pretty quick boat and I’m a stronger paddler which was a tough combo. I did notice the effort required to move the Tarpon through the water was quite a bit more than the Pungo or the Santee Sport that I ended up buying.

My dad tried to get in both the Pungo and Santee on land and had trouble with both. My guess is that they’ll end up with a SOT for him even though he said he thought he’d prefer a sit in. Mom liked the Pungo except for the lack of maneuverability. She’s looking forward to giving the Santee a paddle!

Pungos are designed to track ,i.e.
go in a straight line, but the paddler’s skill greatly affects maneuverability. I’ve paddled several and thought they were fine.

For a narrower SOT, and a faster
one, you might look for a Scupper Pro by Ocean Kayak. They aren’t made any longer but show up on Craigs List all the time for $3-500. Great SOT’s and a favorite with kayakers and divers in SW Florida.

If your wife is petite,
she might enjoy the Hurricane Phoenix 120. I tried one after reading friendlyfire’s review, and I liked it a lot.

a shorter SOT for her
like the Phoenix 120 will be much easier for her to tote esp. if she wants to paddle solo. 38 lbs of Trylon thermoformed plastic is very easy to manage on the water and off.

Other SOTS of the more traditional rotomould, tho very worthy designs, are much heavier.

If she is 150 lbs or under there is lots of floatation. Even at 160-175 lbs. my male friends had plenty of freeboard in my Phoenix 120 (and had a blast paddling it).

The Phoenix 120 is very quick and nimble belying its true length of 11’3". I easily kept up w. 14 foot SINKS and outdistanced a number of similiar length rec kayaks during a day long river paddle.

Weighing in at a few lbs more is the Phoenix 130 if something a bit longer is desired.

Check out RTM’s website( I bought a Disco model(they have several others that look intersting)this spring & I am in love! It is 14’;quick;beautiful lines;handles well in seas & is very comfortable. I previously had a shorter Pelican-which felt like paddling along in a bath tub. I highly recommen the RTM Disco.