Sit on top question

I came across Scupper Stoppers at the store and I was wondering why they put holes in the Sit-on-Tops and then have people buy these to plug them up?

Is there a purpose for the holes in the boat?

scupper holes
Since the deck is not covered, when waves wash over the gunwales, the holes let the water drain out to an acceptable level in the open cockpit. In very calm water, you may plug them since no water should wash over the gunwales.

I kayak in the sea so it is rarely calm enough to paddle without somne water washing in. This is a water sport, so enjoy getting your feet wet, and, depending on which SOT you paddle, getting your butt wet as well.

See the discussion here:

They are really pee holes.
Then you go looking for a wave.

Plugs Do Not Really Work
My exprience is the plugs do not really keep the seat dry in Ocean Kayak products. Just drier. Some SOTs are drier than other. My Shearwater stays dry without a plug. It only has one scupper hole.

The scupper holes are real handy for straping the boats on the racks, and you can run cables thru them to lock the boats.

if there was no hole in the boat

You’d be sitting in a big puddle of water …

SINK pilots … have to either wear a sprayskirt (to help) keep the water out … or they have to have a hand pump that they pump the water out with … and many also have a sponge to get the rest out with.

SOT pilots don’t have to mess with any of that … the water that breaks over the gunwales just flows right out the bottom … I almost NEVER put my (permanently attached) plug … IN … its usually just laying in the bottom of the boat.

The bottom of my ‘foot tray’ is a little bit above water … my ‘seat tray’ is a few inches above water … my butt stays dry bout 60% of the time.

the industry
calls it a self bailing cockpit , as you paddle along any water in the cockpit is supposed to move to the holes and out , like all have said it’ll drain the water but ya do get wet . The plugs work to the degree that was mentioned , they also can get pretty nasty as time goes by . DO NOT buy the cheap foam-block plugs a real bear to force in . But if ya don’t want to get wet --get a sit inside ! And you can go out in all kinds o outrageous sea’s .

You can drain a flooded boat with this same principle as long as ya got a end plug in er . I’ve done this numerous times w/the Zodiacs I’ve run .

Another Approach
The Revenge as a venturi drain and sump. It only drains when the boat is up to speed. It seems to work pretty well.

Foam Plugs
I use those foam practice golf balls, mostly during our “winters”. They are easy to get in and remove. When paddling calm water my cockpit stays completely dry. I don’t use them when paddling the ocean.

The holes really don’t bother me, I usually get soaked using my Yak board.

I only use it for surfing the waves at the beach.

I thought maybe if I could plug the holes up, I could use that boat as a spare for someone who doesn’t have one.

I have sit-in kayaks in my fleet as well. When am I going to stop buying these things?