I like small lakes and rivers I and II class. At 59 years old I am not that strong. what is the better of the two for me. Sit on top or inside?
Not enough information
I would go for a sit inside SINK . For your purposes a Prijon Yukon Expedition if you can find one. Tough as hell, a good beginners boat, you can hammer the hell out of most class 1,2 and 3 rivers, chase whales, clunk through ice. It is fairly stable, carry’s a ton of stuff.
Now keep in mind I am a sea kayaker and anything I looked at would have to handle what I throw at it.
Sit on tops are a recreational boat at the lower end and nos sensible where I live. Expect to pay 1,700.00 for a good boat. Thermal protection commensurate with your environment, $100 for a life preserver or PFD $150.00 + for a paddle and safety gear to match your exposure.
Ponds and slow rivers a PFD, rope bailer and paddle may be all you need.
If you are just starting , used boats , paddles and other stuff may do and may be available for a couple of hundred bucks. That Prijon is the top of the line.
If you are in ponds, puddles, bogs and a warm place a SOP may do.
Consider weight and transport
It sounds like moving the boat to and from the water should be as easy as it can for you. Generally Sit-on-tops are heavier, and more difficult to carry by yourself. Sit-insides are definitely better in that regard.
Sit-insides are also generally narrower, for the same stability, than sit-on tops. And a narrower boat is easier to paddle.
Very short boats can be difficult to get on a car by yourself. Something around 12’ or longer might be better in this regard.
I had a SOT for a while, but for its weight it was really difficult and awkward to move around. I sold it after a few weeks. SINK are nice in that there is a cockpit rim to rest on your shoulder while moving it around, as well as the other points Nate mentioned.
SOT’s are indeed heavy,
Having owned both,(and canoes) for many years, IMO SOT’s really shine for shallow water fishing, and summertime waterfights with your buddies1 Other than that I’d prolly go with a SINK…or a Canoe.
sit in or sot
questions to ask yourself - can you self rescue using a sit-in? if not, go for the sot. while it may be colder not sitting in, but you can compensate with warmer clothes and/or dry-wetsuit solutions.
For what you descibe a boat like the
Pungo 120 would be a good choice.
where do you live/paddle?
warm water and air year round could make a SOT more pleasant. I’m not all that familiar with SOTs, but the ones I have been in hold water a bit – the scupper holes that make them self-bailing also let water in – so you will probably be sitting in a bit of water (others please correct me if I am wrong)-- as i said maybe not a problem if climate is nice! Eddyline (a very reputable company) just came out with a SOT and their material is lighter than the typical SOT, but $$$.
more information would help
What’s your approximate height and weight? And what latitude are you paddling in? Both bits of info would aid recommendations.
I can tell you my own preferences. I’m a 5’5", 155 lb., 61 year old woman myself, and I like lakes, broad slow rivers, narrow fast rivers (up to Class II) and coastal sea and Great Lakes kayaking. Having used a variety of boats, I have found my favorite and most versatile models are sit inside touring kayaks around 15’ in length and under 50 lbs.
The longer boats are easier to load on the car than shorter boats for us short people – you can angle one end of a longer boat up onto the roof rack and then lift the other and swing it over. A sit inside is easier to carry (as others have mentioned) since you can get your shoulder inside the cockpit and balance it.
If you can afford one, a folding kayak like the Feathercraft Kahuna is super light (34 lbs), very comfortable and a great beginner kayak.
Probably more versatile (and budget conscious) especially for the fast water, would be a low volume plastic boat. My personal favorite is the Venture Easky 15LV, at 15’ x 22" and 46 lbs., a nicely designed, very lively and enjoyable boat to paddle. There are other brands/models with similar specs designed for smaller paddlers.