SOF with a large cockpit.

Is there a SOF with a rec size cockpit, like 36" long?

I have seen mention here that designs can be modified but I’m not sure I’m smart enough to do that and maintain structural integrity.

As to ‘why?’ , I want something I can build at minimum cost to see if this back remodeling will allow my lower half to tolerate even a modified kayak cockpit.

Dave Gentry has a couple

Talk to Jeff
at Kudzu. He’s on here as Makinwaves. He’s doing a “rec boat” type SOF. He’s calling it the Mess About, I think. Here’s a link for it

Scan down the page to the “Boats Waiting to be Built”

Yost Yarra LC
This is a Tom Yost design with a large cockpit:

I’m sure the large cockpit could be added to some of his other designs as well. The shape can be taken from the drawing, but Tom would probably email the offsets to you directly if you asked.

Percy Blandford
Clark Craft have the plans for some of the old Percy Blandford designs.

Rec sized?
Most Rec boats cockpits are longer than 36" I think. I have one design with a 36" which seems large but even so you still have to enter bottom first and then pull in your legs.

Maybe I am reading you wrong, but I am assuming back problems are making it hard on you and your looking of a easier in and out?


Puzzled-- enter bottom first and then
pull in your legs?

I believe String is tall, as I am. With a 36" cockpit, I still have to sit on the rear deck, thread my legs in, and then lower my rear end into the seat. I made my 36"+ cockpit rim, and once in the boat, I can raise my knees, barely. This is in a composite whitewater kayak.

Just want to understand the point you’re making. Maybe in a rec kayak setup, the moves could be done differently.

In and out are not the problem for me.
The inability to move my legs is.If i don’t move frequently,my lower back spasms. However, that may have been fixed last Monday.I have a healing incision from mid-back to tail bone. I may (hope to) be fine when it heals.

Maybe you need one of those Hobie
things where you move your legs and the flippers underneath propel the boat.


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Go rent a WS Zephyr and paddle it for a few hours. It's the most shin-friendly sea kayak I ever paddled... and the plastic ones are made in SC. I'm sorry. It's not PC to say 'plastic'. It's rotomolded.

Hey, it's 19 degrees up here right now. You'd think it was late December.

Sounds like what you need is more volume or a higher deck so your can move your legs around inside the boat once your inside?

I have meet a couple of people that had trouble getting in and they needed a long cockpit so they could get in and out easier. Sounds like that is not your issue and I thought that is what it was.

My VARDO design might suit you. Coaming is only 34" long but there is a good bit of room inside.

What String
Is saying is that he needs what I refer to as “wiggle room”. A tight fit is nice but after an hour or two of paddling I like to get out if possible to just flex my body and change position.

I Understood "Leg Room"
I know String is on the tall side but I think the Z will still allow him to easily draw up his knees out on the water. If he likes it he can support his local economy.

And, I’ve paddled a couple
of the Kudzu designs, Vardo and Long Shot. They’re some of the best boats I’ve ever tried out. They can go toe-to-toe (or paddle-to-paddle) with any of the big boys out there.

I do want to build one of these once I have the space to do it!

String, what did you have done? From
your description, it sounds like work at four or five levels. Bill

Oddly, I suffer from the same problems,
but my skin boat is usually pretty good for me. My coaming is longer and wider, but this does not mean you get leg wiggle room. The masik is going to be the determining factor there, and it can be made taller for some leg bending ability ,but this will come at the cost of contact. The masik should be located just above the knee, changing this location is going to mean your contact will have to come from the skin and coaming, structure could be maintained with additional deck beams, but if you have no support bridging the gunnels for a longer stretch, you could have issues (getting pitched in surf comes to mind). One of the great things about skin boats is that they are totally customizable. Build what you want and make the next one even better. I like to play with my skin boat, but I use it less as the conditions become more challenging, or if I need practically ANY carrying capacity. You will not find “ME” offshore in a skin boat, as it does not provide “ME” with the security I require. Bill

Bill , it was a 3 level laminectomy.

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The jury will be out on the results for awhile,but early indications are good.Not counting the surgical stuff, there is less pain and function seems to be improving.

I know guys with a Tempest 180 and a
Zephyr, so I plan on trying them when it gets a little warmer.

What I really want is canoe comfort and kayak performance and my Rapidfire comes close. It does not like big water, or I don’t when I’m in it.

I just described a performance SOT.Haven’t found one that fits yet.


Pack canoes, not kayaks, but might work for you.

I had a tri level lamenectomy in 2004

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to address stenosis and herniations. the first year was not so hot with a new herniation in 2005. 2005 to 2009 was pretty good. In 2009 I broke off a piece of my L3-L4 disc that fell down into the slinal canal. My right big toe is pretty numb and I have some foot drop, but I seem to be getting along ok. It really is a mixed bag, but on the whole I am happy to not be taking pills while doing all the paddling/biking I want to. They want to do a tri level fusion next, YUCK!!! That will happen when I crawl in on my hands and knees and beg them for it. Hopefully that won't be for some time. Good luck, and take your time getting back in the saddle. Bill