Sit on or sit in??

wife & I are new to kayaking. We have had a canoe for years, but would like a change. What are the advantages of a sit in vs the sit on? We will be in fairly smooth water, mostly the Manatee River in Florida. We both would like to be able to fish from them. Any info would be appreciated!! I’m 70, won’t mention the wifes age, so fairly easy paddling would be a good thing.

I prefer SOT
I use my kayak for fishing 95% and I can think of a few reasons why I prefer the SOT.

On hot days I can sit side-saddle while fishing and cool off a little with my legs dangling in the water.

I can stretch my legs and generally move around a little more…not as much as a canoe of course.

I like the open, recessed, flat deck space I have allowing me to strap down an ice chest, milk crate or whatever for holding gear and fish.

I find it easier getting in and out of my SOT…or should I say on and off of?

I still have some internal storage to store a few items I might not need every trip…first aid kit, dry-bag with extra clothing and rain gear etc.

Scupper holes allow water to naturally drain out of the kayak during heavy rain or rough wave conditions. And if your on smooth water, you can plug them to keep a little drier if needed.

One downside may be the weight. A SOT may sometimes weigh more due to the fact of more material required to make it.

Another option may be SINK designes specifically for fishing. Some resemble a SINK forward and a SOT aft, with a larger, more open cockpit.

Here’s a link to a good little Bass Pro Shop article on the basic concepts.

Hope that helps, good luck.

Check out the new Hurricane Skimmer series of sit-on-tops, some of the lighter SOT’s you’ll find and they can be decked out for fishing.

If you are just paddling in the…
warmer weather and just “lilly dipping” so to speak, get a sit on top.

If I lived in your neck of the woods, I would add a nice big SOT to my fleet.

Of course, then I would have to get one for “the bride” too

Jack L

Just for laughs, check out the SIK and
the SOT surf ski offered on the pnet boat drawing right now.

But I think for what you want, you should select from the fishing sit on tops.

The issue for 70 year olds (you, and me) is that sit on tops can be very heavy and hard to load.

If I were down there, I’d try to help you and your wife learn to paddle light 13 to 14 foot canoes. Very good for fishing and handle better than nearly all sit on tops.

Given where you live and what you plan to do with the boat, a sit on top would be my choice. If you lived in a colder climate, were going to do a lot of ocean paddling with waves etc, and were not fishing, then a SINK would be better.

Sit on or sit in??
Thanks, that helps my decision a bunch. Looks like two sit ons!

Academy Sports and Outdoors

– Last Updated: Aug-28-13 10:10 PM EST –

has a SOT called the Pescador for about $500. good looking boat,and heavy.
Look at Necky Vectors. Lighter than many SOT, but I'm not sure how they would be for fishing.

Most any boat can be set up for
fishing by adding a “Scottie” type rod holder.

The Necky Vector’s may be a bit heavy, compared to sit-ins, but due to the lower depth of the seat, feel very stable. I would suggest carrying them on a trailer or in the back of a pickup, perhaps using a “T bar” that fits a 2" hitch.

I enjoy my Vector 14, am fortunate to live on the river, so I just use one of the 2 wheel carts to move it to the water, which you can also carry in your vehicle should the walk to the water be very far or you need to do a portage.

Epic V6 weighs 39 lbs.
My wife is a bit stiff and prefers the ease of entry & exit of the V6 vs our sit in kayaks.

It’s also very efficient and relatively easy to paddle at a decent speed compared to shorter and wider recreational kayaks. We appreciate this as we’ve aged.

We just paddle it, don’t fish out of it, but it could probably be fished out of with a bit of creativity.

Good luck in your search.

Have you considered
As an alternative, and I may be opening a can of worms here, an inflateable? Not saying they are the best, but highly portable and stable.

That’s what I have…the Pescador
Like mentioned above, a great fishing kayak. Actually the old model of the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120. Instead of trashing the mold it was re-used by a sister company and sold for half the price as the Pescador Perception 120. Alot of bang for the buck. BUT, it is a little on the heavy side at about 60 lbs. I’m 40ish and in good shape, but it’s still takes some effort to cartop it solo. With two people, it should be a breeze.

Here’s mine…

I am 70 as well and have (2) SOT kayaks…the SINK becomes more of a challenge to get in and out… The SOT is very easy to board and re-board in the event of a capsize…In our kayak club, I noticed more and more kayaking seniors doing the switch to a SOT kayak…

P.S I love my Wilderness Tarpon 120 and I am not doing any fishing, it is a very well balanced, good tracking, stable and easy to paddle kayak…

SOT for me.
I bought a kayak exclusively for fishing. As I’ve posted before, I’m 66 and I get my 100+ pound Hobie Pro Angler 14 on and off the roof of my Durango with no problem at all.

I prefer the logic of fishing with my hands and propelling myself with my legs, but if you prefer to paddle there are a lot of SOT kayaks that will serve you nicely.

Surely that’s the heaviest 14-foot…

– Last Updated: Aug-31-13 1:57 PM EST –

... boat on the market and one of the heaviest ever made as well. Sheesh, that's just crazy-heavy. If you can get it on and off your car with ease, you are either remarkably strong or have a good effort-saving method.

Oh, and as long as I came on here due to being so shocked at that boat's tonnage, I'll be the one to point out that peddle power versus paddle power can't be a matter of "preferance" for a lot of people. On many small inland waters, the Hobie would be helpless (actually, it'd be helpless on a lot of large inland waters too, since there are often thick weeds near shore or other shallow places), and even traveling on moderately large rivers usually requires minimal draft for shallow spots. Further, any boat that requires forward motion and a steering action to maneuver couldn't make it in most of the places where I take a canoe to go fishing, even if occasional shallow spots weren't an issue (because the inability to pivot and side-slip would mean you simply don't go there). Sometimes a paddle is the only thing that can possibly work.

No argument
No argument about the Hobie Drive being not the best for all conditions. But when it’s not, they all come with paddles.

As for getting it up atop my Durango, it’s a piece of cake. Lift bow and place on the two rollers I have installed, then lift stern and push. Done. I’d post pictures if it were possible.

Oh, I don’t peddle Hobies, but I do pedal them.


– Last Updated: Aug-31-13 7:40 PM EST –

Slide-up loading methods are great.

Can you retract those fins to allow something a little bit like canoe-type maneuverability or the ability to get past sunken logs? That'd be cool.

Thanks for the spelling catch too. I tried to spell it the right way first, and my automatic spell-checker said I got it wrong, so I just switched to a spelling that didn't get the red underline. I had the "al" part right, but I must've used two "d"s or something.

You can either hold the pedals at full stroke to flatten the fins against the hull or pop the two clamps and remove the drive unit entirely. I use the former method for navigating shallows or passing over an object like a log - and I always pull the drive before beaching.

The Prangler is a beast of a boat, but it’s THE fishing kayak, IMO.