SOT kayak – possible leak?

-- Last Updated: Aug-22-11 2:13 PM EST --

Hello, dear friends:
I finally bought a used Emotion Temptation kayak and been enjoying paddling it for the past month. I owe Big Thanks to all who have contributed to my prior posts helping me to make the right decision:
I found out that some water somehow gets inside the kayak’s sealed hull. I have to twist off the drain plug and drain water after each trip. I wonder, is this normal, or I have a possible leak somewhere? (I could not visually detect any holes)
I appreciate your advice-
Happy paddling!

Water inside a SOT
No, it’s not normal, unles you’ve taken water over the bow and it’s the hatch that leaking. That’s not uncommon.

To find a hull crack/leak, one way is to get both ends of the boat evenly off the ground (sawhorses, friends holding each end, whatever…, pour water into the open hatch, and see if any drips from a spot on the bottom. If so, plastic is pretty easy to repair. If not, and there’s not a lot of water after each trip, and it’s not dramatically affecting your paddling, I would just keep an eye on it.

One last thought…assuming your SOT has scupper holes, you might want to check around them for cracks. That’s not uncommon in SOTs either, especially if the previous owner was using a cart that utilized the scupper holes.

Good luck.

It’s fairly common
How much is getting in. A cup or two after paddling several hours. I would not worry about. More than that you want to look at the rivets that attach the padeyes, where the seat and thigh straps would attach and that hold down any deck rigging. You can replace the rivets and seal with silicone caulk. Look at the webpage for advice on how to find leaks and seal them. As mentioned above, in cheaper boats the scupper holes have often been poorly formed and developed small holes in the mold. Check those too.

I have a Temptation and
a bit of water is quite normal. It all depends on your weight and activity level. I’m 165 pounds and after a couple of hours flatwater paddling I can hear some water sloshing arond, but there is barely enough to come out of the drainage hole. My much heavier brother-in-law can probably drain a cup under similar conditions. Expect more water after surfing or practicing rescues. A small amount of water in the hull is quite common with SOTS; it enters via pad-eyes and other fittings (including the waterproof hatch!) so always remember to use dry-bags. A cup or two of water after a day on the waves is not something to worry about, but larger quantities might indicate a problem. Possibly in the scupper holes…

Thin spots
Also look for thin spots in the hull that may have cracked. The rotomolding process is not exact. Check in places that take a lot of pressure, like the seat. Our Cobra Tourers developed cracks in the seats, we welded them with PE wire we got from the mfr, and then glued minicell pillars inside the hull under the seats. Interestingly, Cobra started doing this as part of the mfg process.

G-Flex works well gluing minicell to polyethylene, follow the prepping instructions carefully. When welding, practice on scrap first so you don’t melt bigger holes in the boat (like he-who-shall-remain-nameless did first time). Me, I stay away from repairing plastic - give me composite or thermoplastic any day! :slight_smile:

It is normal with our Ocean Kayak
SOT, and that is why they have the drain plug.

After a half day of heavy use by the grandkids, we usually have to stand it on end and take the drain plug out to let a quart or more water drain out.

It leaks in at the various bolts that hold the seat and other stuff in place.

jack L

Jack L. is right on target.
Our grandkids have SOT’s and they really work them over while paddling and jumping off this type of boat.

Just open the plug and let out the water. Remember to put it back in though before the next use of them.

Small Amount
of water is Ok but water in the hull can be the first sign of a crack in the hull. I have a sit on top and was willing to ignore a small bit of water after each use but on close inspection the kayak had developed cracks running around both scupper holes that support the seat and most of the paddlers weight. This was a serious problem that started out with a cup or two of water in the hull.

Check the hull for cracks before deciding that it’s normal for the kayak to leak. My boat was replaced under warranty as the cracks couldn’t be repaired and only got worse.

Thank you all for your replies! That’s some really helpful information. I’ll be an expert on SOT kayaks soon :slight_smile:

are NOT normal for a SOT. Having 3 now (2 OK Prowler 13’s and a Perception Search 15) and have had and sold a Tarpon 16 (leaky/poor fitting hatch cover) that let lots of water into hull in waves, a Malibu X13 with hull leak, and a Prowler 15 with a hull leak. Got a refund for both the Malibu and P15 and both. All 3 of my SOT’s do not leak a drop and this is after numerous camping trips with many hours on the water. If leaks are coming from the hatch, it’s a much easier fix, but if from the hull, it goes back.

Good luck

Agree, Jim
Not normal and shouldn’t be tolerated in a new boat.

Having had a SOT with a scupper leak, it only gets worse. That boat was replaced and the inside of the new boat stays dry.