sit on top kayak

Is a sit on top kayak with the scupper holes plugged on calm water a more comfortable an less restricted ride than a sit in kayak Or is this considered a risky way to paddle I like the idea of a sot but I really don’t want to be wet all the time I paddle in only calm water… If they capsize wont they float like a canoe if the scupper holes are plugged Thanks for any help

Not if you “fit” the boat

– Last Updated: Jan-18-14 12:54 PM EST –

If I've got you right, you're referring to the typical, common plastic SOT? The kind sold everywhere from REI to Costco? Those are hollow, and very buoyant and ride high.

Just like any kayak, SOT's come in different sizes for different size paddlers. If you are in one that is suited to your size and weight, the inside bottom of the boat, the floor so to speak, will be above the waterline. In calm conditions, any water that gets inside should drain out the scupper, not come in. In rougher conditions, any water that spashes in should drain out the scuppers.

If you are too heavy for the boat, and pressing the boat down into the water so that the floor of the boat is below the waterline, then water could bubble up into the cockpit.

Unless it's always flat calm, as in no waves or boat wake, where you paddle, you can expect that you might get wet to some degree in a SOT. Paddle drip for instance. Or the wake from a boat.

I've paddled those plastic SOT's with the kids a few times on flat ponds and don't recall getting getting any more wet than a canoe, or that I was sitting in water.

To answer your question

– Last Updated: Jan-18-14 6:23 PM EST –

Yes - If you capsize it will float if it is upside down or right side up.
A SOT is probably the most buoyant boat out there along with a surf ski
If you are just paddling in calm water plug them.
If it was me I would bring a sponge with me just in case

Jack L

Wether it floats has nothing to do
with if the scuppers are plugged or not. The inside of the boat is a large hollow water tight void. The scupper pass through that space to drain water from the topside, they do not let water get inside the boat. You could plug the scuppers and flood the passenger space topside and it would still float.

Aside from that, I have cheap SINKs and nicer SINKs and they do not make me feel confined. One sea going kayak is a bit confining, but don’t dismiss all sit inside kayaks.

The only reason to get wet in a SOT

– Last Updated: Jan-19-14 10:48 PM EST –

in calm water is if you are too heavy for it. I have a Necky rated for 300 lbs but when my 230 lbs gets in it with the scuppers unplugged, my butt gets wet.
It is a good boat that I enjoy paddling ,but a constantly wet butt in not my idea of fun.
P.S. I have had a Tarpon 140 and 160 and my butt did not get wet in calm water.I inadvertently took the 160 into some really nasty wind and waves off the beach and it performed admirably.

Sometimes plugged, sometimes open
I paddle Manta Ray fishing SOTs. Sometimes I plug the cockpit scuppers and sometimes not. I nearly always take paddle drip, so I never expect a dry ride. (It’s a water sport, why would you expect to stay dry?) I do find that a bilge sponge helps manage the seat pan on a long day. I use one of the ones covered in chamois, they do a great job.

I suggest taking plugs along and deciding once you get on the water whether you want to use 'em or not. Can’t hurt.