SOTs or hybrids for light duty fun

I currently have a couple canoes, but want to get my gf interested in lakes, and protected sounds and bays and estuaries. While I’m pretty gung ho about taking some classes on sea kayaking, rolling and emergency maneuvering; I seriously doubt that she’ll ever be interested in doing much more than day outings, relying on me to provide what little knowledge we might have about any mishaps. (For that reason, as well as our general lack of knowledge about sea kayaking in general, I’d seriously curtail any activities in any but moderately protected waters.)

Based on what’s available used, here’s an odd trio to pick from. (There’s no pressure to buy any of these, they are just what’s available at the moment at various price points, and I think they make a weird, but useful comparison.)

Single WS Freedom SOT 15’ $550 - I buy this and it satisfies my desire for a kayak. She settles for doing onshore activities, (which she indicates she’d rather do) while I piddle around down at the coast. Downside: while she says she’d be happy to stay ashore, I kinda doubt that she’d be all that happy if this became a regular thing. And, frankly, I’d rather have her company, since I want this to be something that we both can enjoy. Alternative is I get this, and then when she wants in on action, we get complimentary craft. This has the advantage of getting us a sort of trial boat for the time being, at a price I’m willing to pay. If she likes it, I’ve got little problem keeping up with her in waters she’d feel comfortable in, if I was in the canoe.

His n Hers Hobie Mirage Classic SOTs $2400 - We’re both quite interested in the peddaling aspect of these. She’s more taken with it than I. I would like the hands free aspect, but question the overall utility for different water conditions and depths. Also, this is really more $$$$ than I’d like to spend at this time.

His n Hers WS Cape Lookout 155 kayaks with Rudders – These are a few years old and I can get them both, with a complete roof rack mount system and accessories like paddles, PFDs, (unneeded in our case), and dry bags, for what amounts to just over the cost of one similar new kayak. (ie. $1350 for pair with accessories and roof rack.) Arguably, most capable craft, but would necessitate a learning curve, and might not be as comfortable for our usage.

Thoughts? Am I nuts for even thinking about any of these? Is it possible to convert someone to liking paddlesports if they’re not chomping at the bit to begin with?

I sold my Hobbie Oddysey tandem SOT
for $500. You might find a similar deal.

You can put the seat in the middle position and paddle it solo or paddle it as a Tandem. I would forget the peddle drive Hobies.

If your wife is not interested I would not spend a lot of money on a boat.

Setting the hook…
It’s important to consider what bait the intended catch finds appealing.

My wife did not like my ancient kayaks, but she found a tandem with a trolling motor that she thought was the living end.

Bought it, used it, wound up paddling more than using the motor (lets get some exercise, dear)

Got her into paddling twisty rivers, and soon she found she was ready for her own boat.

Yes, these are called divorce boats for a reason…

Sort of a quick veiw of two or more years, but I hope you get the picture.

Now we have a fleet of five, and the tandem is used to get the grandchildren hooked…

Maybe I could have forced a single boat upon her in the begining, but I doubt it. Saving a few dollars may not get you where you want to go.

Life is a wonderful journey, enjoy each step.


been in a tandem
a couple of times and found it best to paddle up front and keep my mouth shut no matter what we were headed for :slight_smile:

No you can’t convert a non paddler…
to paddle sports unless they want to be converted.

It is as simple as that.

Rent some kayaks when ever you get a chance and it won’t take too long to find out weather she will be your paddling partner or your stay at home girl friend.



Here’s my story
I got into kayaking in 1995, and my husband wanted nothing to do with it. Fine, I said, I like my solitary mornings on the lake anyhow. Five vacations passed; I was still doing my early morning/evening paddles. Then I happened to notice that both my husband and my kayak (a nice, stable Loon 120) were missing in the afternoons, when he was usually reading by the lake. He had converted himself! We purchased another boat, and we’ve been paddling (and birdwatching) together ever since.

progress is slow
I’m making slow but definite progress. A couple years ago she wanted nothing to do with the canoe. She’d had a previous bad experience dumping one in the shipping lane of the Puget Sound many years before. Slowly, I’ve been showing her that paddling a canoe safely can be a lot of fun, and just this morning she admitted that she really enjoyed our last several outings.

I thought she might like the safety of a SOT, but her reaction to that was, “I don’t want to stay wet all the time.” That makes sense, and I can appreciate that from the brief experiences I’ve had demoing SOTs.

She’s warming to the sea kayak idea. Hopefully, tonight we’ll go look at a pair of Cape Lookouts.

We’ll see. I don’t want to rush this. But, I do want a more seaworthy craft than the canoe, just so we can do some protected coastal waters and larger lakes and rivers. The catch is going to be if she’s willing to take some training. If she won’t, then we’ll still be pretty restricted.

You never know…
Re: “Is it possible to convert someone to liking paddlesports if they’re not chomping at the bit to begin with?”

The answer is yes, but you can’t count on it.

My 16 year old daughter converted me. She was the one who said, “Mom, we should buy kayaks!” after seeing them in an LL Bean catalog. I thought it was the most ridiculous idea I’d ever heard. But when she spent her own hard-earned $700 on a new Perception Catalina, I knew this was something I needed to at least try to support, so I bought a Dagger Cypress. I knew nothing about kayaks or paddling… in fact, had never been in a kayak when I bought the Dagger (never heard of “try before you buy” back then). But once I had been out in it a couple of times, I knew I was hooked. Now I have six kayaks and I’m learning whitewater.

Your g/f sounds like she has at least a moderate interest… I think she’s a good candidate for future aquaholism. Good luck.

Love that concept. I fear that I have succumbed to it, and there doesn’t seem to be a cure short of getting out on the water as often as possible to explore all the areas I’ve not yet seen.

Regarding the gf: while we have many similarities, we have many profound differences. I’m slowly converting her to acceptance of some forms of camping, but her idea of acceptable lodging still is a pricey resort hotel with an oceanfront balcony or a mountain cabin, rather than a BP tent on an island in a river. :wink:

This relates to canoes/kayaks in this regard. Comfort is going to be of paramount importance to her. I see a boat as freedom from crowds and an escape to relax. She sees it as a temporary prison that makes getting out to pee (frequently), a real problem. I can appreciate that. But, maybe if I can get her to see the wild and wonderful things that are only accessable by boat, she’ll come around.

Camping and other stuff

– Last Updated: May-25-06 12:27 AM EST –

I never camped until I was 48 years old - didn't think I'd like it. And my first experience was in the pouring rain. I actually liked the sound of the rain on the tent... there's something very soothing about it. So you never know, she might like it. On the other hand, if she has tried camping and still prefers something more "civilized", perhaps not.

If comfort is of paramount importance to her, there should be plenty of good choices for her. As you said, maybe once she sees the beauty of the world from the unique vantage point of water and feels the serenity it brings, she will really like it and get hooked. I hope so anyway. Good luck to you both.

Freedom Is a Nice SOT
That Freedom is a very nice SOT. A little heavy for my tatses, but a very capable boat that is pretty fast for a plastic SOT. Not one you will outgrow real soon. $500 is a good price if it is in good shape. I don’t think they make it anymore, so you might not get another chance.