Swell Watercraft - Ocean Kayak Reborn

Ocean Kayak founder working on high performance SOT


Fourteen feet and 26" wide
sounds very interesting for a SOT.

We have two PE (polyethylene) SOTs…

One is 26"x 14’1" with hatches fore & aft, 48#; and the other is 26"x14’9", hatch forward and tankwell aft, about 55#. The former is an original OK Scupper Classic, the latter, an original OK Scupper Pro TW (tankwell).

Both are classic Tim Niemeir SOT designs from around 30 years ago, when the first movement fron SINKs to SOTs began to gain traction, and were meant to bring a modicum of the features of what was then popularly thought of as “Eskimo kayaks” to an easy to paddle, ‘no roll needed’, non-claustrophobic, easily accessible sit on top vs. a sit inside the boat kayak.

They were, and remain, very good designs and are fairly seaworthy. A generation of avid SOTers started out in OK boats, and the evolution proceded along two rather disparate tracks: those who wanted more speed in sleeker designs approaching those of “regular (SINK) kayaks”, and those who wanted stability and carrying capacity over performance.

For the most part,the latter “won”, literally ganering the lion’s share of an incredibly burgeoning market for kayaks through the 90s and into the early-mid 2000s, when what most of us might call poorly performing, fairly inexpensive, VERY stable, and VERY accessible big, heavy SOTs were bought hand over fist by people who just wanted to get out on the water and have fun for a minimal investment.

And the Scuppers and Scupper Pros and their ilk largely faded from our domestic markets, in part abetted by the rise of fishing kayaks for yakanglers as well as the “non-serious”, “just havin’ fun crowd”.

And now, coming “down” from the other, more “serious” end of thr flatwater paddlecraft spectrum, so-to-speak, there are more easily accessible and paddleable skis, some of which are plastic.

And Niemier is, apparently, once again working on a ‘narrow’ (compared to the current crop), relatively long (again, when compared to the current crop) SOT.

What goes around comes around? Perhaps so…!

Hopefully they’ll be good boats to


-Frank in Miami

Nice summary
I hope he brings them back in at least two sizes, for lighter weight people and “average American”. If he did a third size for VERY small people, parents of older kids would also have a non-bargey choice.


– Last Updated: Nov-08-16 3:05 PM EST –

I'm one of those "average americans." A full figured gal shall we say. Once I add me plus gear, and sometimes water, for a 5 day trip, the weight limit of the kayak does play a factor. Most SOTS function best at about 65%-70% of the total weight limit. So I'm wondering what the weight capacity of this new kayak will be since it's skinnier that most SOTs. The design looks great with the bow & stern hatch option.

I just ordered a new 14 ft. Eddyline SOT, so I better quit looking a new designs :)

Scupper pros carried a lot
I suspect the new design will float reasonably heavy paddlers.

My point was only that the existing selection for lightweight paddlers is very limited, whereas average and bigger people already have lots to pick from.

It seems like many of the SINK kayaks come in 2 or 3 different versions to fit different size paddlers. It would be nice if SOT followed suit,. Finding a SOT that’s targeted at touring paddlers instead of fishing folk would be nice.

My first
kayak was the original Scupper with the 2 hatches. Paddled it for touring, fished out of it, and even surfed it with the optional knee straps. Great little boat.


That Would be Cool…
to see the Scupper Pro make a come-back (hopefully with better hatches).

Until then, I am hanging on to my two SP TW. Been good all around boats for my purposes (island camping and fishing)and occasional guest boat.