Sit On Top vs. Sit Inside?

I notice that most SOT’s are wider, but they are longer. currently where I am, BorealDesign and Wilderness System and Dagger seem to be what’s available. having a big gut and short legs that tie up easily in cramped spaces, I’ve seriously thought about what a Tarpon 160 would be like. unfortunately the one in the rental fleet here has a hole, so it’s SOL at the moment. my other choice would probably be a Pungo 140 (for those that have been following my posts over the last few days, you know what I am talking about). I’m thinking of buying an angler model or one that would support it, so I can catch myself lunch or dinner when I’m out.

hmmm, seems I had some misinformation in my head. the Tarpon 160 is 28" wide as is a Pungo 140. so it has an extra 2ft and more load capacity than the Pungo 140. the 160 seems more appealing, but are there things about them (SOT) I don’t know?

what do you give up and gain, between them?


SOTs Are More Seaworthy
SOTs are safer, and easier to get into.

SOTs tend to be slower than rec boats

Rec boats, especially the Pungo, have more comfortable seats.

Also SOT tend to be a wet ride. In also all your butt will be wet all day.

SOT’s, are wetter ride.
I have found SOTs to be a wetter ride than SINKs. For several reasons. The scupper holes let a little water up into the cockpit area, as well as drain it. The drips off your paddle end up on you more on a SOT.

Now I have used, and seen other use, SOT in the high, up to 8000 feet, mountain lakes here in California. I would expect the summer air and water temperatures should be somewhat close to ocean air and water temps up there in BC. So I think its doable in the summer.

SOTs are of coarse very popular in warm locals, like Southern CA, Hawaii, and Florida. They are in general a cooler ride. They have a number of advantages. I like their ride, very stable. No issues with leg room and seat room. Much easier to get back on if you flip out. Although I’ve never flipped one. Much easier to get on than in a SINK. They also have dissadvantages. Slower. Wetter ride. Unless they have some built in handles, front, back and SIDES, they are much harder handle on land, including putting them up on the roof of your vehicle.

You may find out that with the right clothing to keep you warm and dry, a SOT will be a good first choice for you.


No reason not to use a SOT in winter
if you are dressed properly

Plus they make great sleds.

The 2 biggest drawbacks with SOTs to me is their relative slowness(especially in chop-in chop, i can paddle half as hard as my gf in the Prowler 15 and still be faster in my Elaho) In flatwater her prowler actually does fine speed wise. The other bitch i have with most SOTS is they’re awkward to handle because they dont have a coaming to grab onto,and the long SOTS are also pretty heavy.a cart solves that for the most part.

Take a look at
Hurricane Aqua Sports boats. They are comming out with a new 16ft SOT soon. It will be made out of their thermoform plastic and should weight about half that a rotomolded SOT

Mad river is coming out with a new
hybrid that’s a cross between a canoe and kayak. Sadly, they’re going to call it Synergy, a name the used once before without good sales. This synergy has a double hull like a SOT, but greater freeboard than a kayak. No suppers, so it may not be the best boat for the surf. Lots of room. Saw it on Not on Mad River’s website yet. Also, Wilderness had redesigned that Ride, a big man’s SOT. From the reviews on the above forum, they got rid of the hull slap and improved performance.

dont forget skis ARE SOTS!!! they are NOT fat, they are NOT slow.