SOT Kayak for lake

-- Last Updated: Jul-16-10 12:59 PM EST --

Looking to purchase a used SOT kayak to primarily be used on Big Bear Lake in California. It'll mostly be used for for family fun/exploring in the summer, but I can personally see using it in the fall and spring as well (doubtful in the winter).

Though I will mostly be the one using it (I'm 32), I can see family and friends using it at times, so something stable and easy-going is preferred. That said, for the times when I want to take it out and explore or excercise, I'd want something that doesn't get too bogged down. Seeing that it can get a bit chilly in the fall/spring, I'd want something that can stay somewhat dry. Storage isn't super important, but is always nice to have (in case I get into camping, or want to bring a future kid/dog).

So far I'm kind of gravitating toward the 12-13' length, something like the Cobra Navigator, Malibu Pro Explorer, Tarpon 120, and OK Prowler 13. Would those be good places to start? I love the weight of the Navigator, but the Prowler also looks like a good mix of what I want... and it gets some great reviews.

Looking on CL, I've seen Navigators around $400, Prowlers/Taprons around $500, and a couple older 12' kayaks closer to $200-300. Ideally I'm looking to spend $300 tops, and I think if I'm patient I can get a Navigator at that. Prowler and Tarpon would probably be a bit more (which maybe I could stretch for).

Any advice/recommendation would be greatly appreciated.


Any boat for $300 is a bargain
If you buy a boat for $300 and keep in from getting sun damaged or beat up you’ll be able to sell it for about $300 don’t worry too much about the choices available.

1)Do Get or make a good cart sooner rather than later. Really don’t put this off and do get one with off road capable wheels.

2) Work out a system to lift the boat onto the car one end at a time. Even a 50 pound boat is heavy after a long day of paddling. I use a bathroom mat to slide the boat up the back of some vehicles when I cannot just set the bow on the back rack and push.

3) Kayaking is a wet sport and sit on tops are really wet boats. The waves splash from below. the paddle drips from above. Scupper holes flood the cockpit. Plan on being wet or wearing clothes that keep you dry. Many wear waders and a splashtop under their life vest while fishing cold waters in a SOT.

The new Tarpons (2009) are drier
than their predecessors. In the older ones,I always had a wet butt.You won’t get one for $300 though.

Thanks for such a quick response, I appreciate the input. I realize at $300 I can’t really lose. Mainly I’m just looking for input based on how I plan to use it, and the kayaks I mentioned. For example “stay away from the Navigator as it will be terrible for what you intend.” Or, “for the little bit extra the Prowler will be much more enjoyable and keep you way dryer.” But I’m guessing they are all pretty similar, and that I basically should just look for one in good condition, and at a price point that I can afford.

OK. I have paddled the Tarpon 160
everywhere from light rapids, to large lakes, to jumping logs on rivers ,to ocean conditions I’ll never paddle in again if I can help it.My go anywhere,do anything boat.

more info
You really need to consider height and weight. Important factors in choosing any yak.

Also, I strongly suggest you try before you buy ( unless your really stealing something at $300 and could flip it at no loss.)

more info
5’10, 180lbs.

I JUST missed a scupper pro on CL for $100(no paddle or seat) :frowning: That’s what I get for asking too many questions. I guess with smoking deals on CL you need to buy first, ask questions later. Longer than what I’m looking for, but at $100 who cares.

I found a Cobra Navigator in good condition with seat and paddle for $350, and I’m working on getting him down to $300, which he may do if he can’t sell it in the next couple of days.