Skimmer 116 Ultimate stability advice

Hello, new to the forums and to kayaking in general. My wife and I have previously rented a few times and gone with friends. Those friends talked us into buying and while we were looking around a local outdoor shop sadly went out of business but we had a friend who worked there and were able to get two of the Skimmer 116 Ultimates at cost. It was a really good deal and we couldnt pass it up but weren’t able to try them out first or anything.

We are used to renting 10’ Tribe sit on tops but these are 11.6’ sit on tops with stadium seats. The Skimmers feel way less steady than we are used to. I assume this is partially because they are thermoformed instead of rotomolded and are just a lot lighter than we are used to as well as being a little less wide and longer that what we’ve been using. It seems like they sit very high in the water and in general feel so much less stable. I flipped my boat for the first time this past weekend and I was just sitting still in it at the time. When hitting some chop it felt even less sturdy.

I’m wondering if I should put a sandbag or other form of weight in the bottom. It seems counter intuitive but I’m not sure what else to do. I was hoping someone here may have an idea or if someone can just tell me the answer is we just need to get used to it and get better at balancing then that works too. Just want to make sure we know how best to handle it so we can keep enjoying the water as much as we can with as little headache as possible.

This is our kayak:

I am 195lbs and 5’11 and my wife is 5’4 and 110lbs, if that matters.

The material shouldn’t make much (if any difference) in stability.

The fact that it is an inch narrower might might a little difference.

Hull design/shape difference likely make a lot of the difference. I don’t know the Hurricane all that well to know the specifics of its hull shape and how that could impact stabiity.

Do the stadium seats lift you up higher than if you had a seat like in the Tribe? If so, that extra height would make a large difference in stabiity. If it does, try taking the seat out and sitting right on the kayak and seeing if that makes it feel more stable.

Your 116 Ultimate is not in the current catalog, but is nearly identical to the 116 First Class, and both have frame seats.

And no, the type of plastic only changes the weight by a few pounds, so shouldn’t make a significant difference in stability.

Most of those frame seats do put you a couple inches higher in the boat, and that can make all the difference in the world.

Try to find out if you can take out the frame seats and install their AireStream seats or a lower seat from another source.

All that said, you need seat time. I have the 14’ and it took some adjustment after paddling Tarpons. It feels a bit flighty compared to the heavier boat.

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