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Thread: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Mukilteo, Washington
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    268

    Default Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    So my 16- soon to be 17 yr old son mentions the other day that he'd really like a sit on top kayak. He's used a friends a couple times and liked it and he's embarrassed to use the cheap inflatable kayak we currently have (lost the CLC 17 in the divorce). So since his b-day is coming up and I try to encourage anything water-related, I thought I'd look into this as a possibility. Don't know the first thing about them so would appreciate some advice/recommendations. He's kinda on the bigger side, 6-2, 190 lbs. Would love to build another CLC, but currently no shop : ( .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    46,803

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    Most sit-on-tops are silly bloated toys but there are some sit-on-top surf kayaks that look good. You may need to do some shopping about to find a boat big enough.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    514

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    Unless it is a surf ski. Most of the regular plastic sit on tops are slow. Painfully slow. We have a couple and every once in a while I'll forget how bad they are and paddle one. You could build skin on frame in an apartment with little mess and no glue fumes depending on construction choices. I build SOF in a small house with no shop and bring the pieces inside until I'm ready for everything to go together then try and pick a good weather window and throw a tarp over the frame if need be. SOF will make a faster, lighter, cheaper, and cooler boat than plastic.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Southeast MA, USA
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    Is it for fishing?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Deepest Darkest Wales
    Posts
    20,383

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    What sort of water? Flat, sea, white......

    What sort of paddling? Cruise, tour, fish, race, surf ...

    Current skill level?

    What are his buddies doing?

    The usual advice in the UK, is to decide what sort of paddling you fancy, then join a club that does it, then and not before, choose the boat.
    Last edited by P.I. Stazzer-Newt; 03-21-2019 at 07:47 AM.
    Creationists aren't mad - they're possessed of demons.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    681

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    You might already know this but CLC has a kit for a SOT called the Sea Island Sport. Nick Schade is the designer and knows a thing or two about designing fast kayaks. I think it looks good and it's not something I'd be embarrassed to paddle. You don't really need a boat shop to build a kit, just an assembly space like a patio, backyard with a pop up canopy or whatnot. Looks like it could easily handle larger paddlers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    324

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    I have a DAG Midway - plenty of info available on line. I like it a lot, its much like a sea kayak but with the advantage of SOT.
    Faster and more responsive than most SOT kayaks (that is not saying much though)
    I prefer it to my SOF kayak mostly because I am an unreliable roller, but also I dont like the soft flexible feel of the SOF.
    Fishing from it possible but I dont bother anymore, all the stuffing around spoils the paddling for me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
    Posts
    1,047

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    My partner has a Wilderness Tarpon 120.



    Very comfortable well made seat and back rest. Nice adjustment on everything. Hatches well made. Seems a quality product. It's 12-13ft long, a 16-17ft would likely be faster but to be fair it's easy to store and move as it is. For messing about in around a harbour not travelling like you might with a sea kayak, its better than most sit on tops I've seen in the quality of fit out. Nice hull shape too. It's still bright red after living down the side of the house for 4-5 years and all the seat parts haven't deteriorated at all in the UV or damp (south UK). I havn't paddled others but it seems to go just fine. I've noticed other SOT'ers at the beach looking at the seat with envy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Emerald Coast, FL
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    Our little 10 foot Pelican Premium Icons carry folks up to 6 feet and 200 + pounds. We use them to poke along the shoreline and do not go far with them. We bring them back and lean them up against the tree, ready to go for the next trip. We like Sit On for our use because we are in warm water, and found that Sit In kayaks became critter condos for frogs, geckos, spiders, and worried about snakes on our Florida shore. The seats are nice as well as the adjustable pedals. They take up very little room.

    Pelican Premium Icon

    IMG_5913.JPG

    IMG_6470.JPG

    A few months back we began looking for a kayak to build that would carry a taller paddler, with a more open cockpit. We checked out Cape Falcon, CLC, Nick Schade at Guillemot and chatted with Ben Fuller and Chris Cunningham. We were most interested in Skin On Frame and a few double paddle canoes caught our attention as well. Lots of good options out there. The Micro Bootlegger was a possibility, there may be SOF plans coming down the road but the builder is busy.

    Oh wait, the advice you wanted was to Get Another Shop!

    Let us know what catches your eye. In the meantime an inexpensive thermoplastic yak might keep your Son's interest stirred. Most importantly, you can drive over them or hit them with big pendulums.

    Cheers
    Kent and Skipper
    Small Boat Restoration blog

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    6,501

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    I use a sit on top because I launch from the swimstep when at anchor. I figure there is no way I will be able to get out of a sit in kayak onto the swimstep without a good chance of falling in. The SOT I have is marginal at best. This tread is giving me some ideas of to what I might upgrade
    Elect a clown expect a circus

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Merritt Island, Florida
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    I bought a Ocean Kayaks Scupper pro after my first year as a middle school teacher the summer of 1999. It was the best $500 I've ever spent. I still use it every week. I wouldn't do the Everglades Cballenge in it, but I have taken it on multi-day relaxed camping trips in the 10000 Islands, and the Florida Keys, river trips all over FL and up into GA and SC. I'm 6'4" 230lbs, no issue on size. I've used it to scuba and snorkel from, and I have a couple rod holders on the back for very casual fishing. There have even been a few ill advised play sessions in post hurricane surf out here around Cocoa when I was younger and dumber. I'm not saying it should be used as a surf kayak (by no means!) or as an extended expedition boat. It has been a great RECREATIONAL kayak, and I continue to recreate with it 20 years later.
    THe original designer has updated and is now producing new Scuppers. https://swellwatercraft.com
    Review here

    Its time for me to get a new boat, and for the warm water paddling I do, I really like my SOT. If I buy it would be the Scupper 14 above, if I build either the CLC Island sport or one of these from a kit from Bedard Yachts, the F1430 https://www.bedardyachtdesign.com/designs/kayaks/f1430-fishing-kayak/ I think they are open to building complete boats as well if putting a kit together wont fit where you are at.

    The Wilderness Tarpon boats are good as well.
    Jon
    Building: Ha! I have Toddlers. Just able to get back in the shop and start fixing.
    http://flsail.blogspot.com/
    Built: PK78 dinghy, EasyB canoe, Ulua

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Deepest Darkest Wales
    Posts
    20,383

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    This bunch might be worth a read..
    http://www.anglersafloat.co.uk/
    Creationists aren't mad - they're possessed of demons.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Lexington, MA
    Posts
    786

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    Get one that has drains for the seat and foot wells.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    honolulu,hawaii,usa
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by spirit View Post
    Get one that has drains for the seat and foot wells.
    Don't overlook the category buster (or straddler) in post 11 which may combine best of both worlds. With venturi scupper drains you can sit under the water level and have a sleek craft due to low cg, yet be "on top". They sell the venturi's separately, so may be useable for home build. Not sure if I would like to be switching the venturi off every time I stop moving to avoid flooding, altho it has a check valve. And except for white water or surfing, kayak paddle technology is so obsolete that I would like a pedal drive which is generally too leaky to depend on venturi drainage.

    Last edited by rudderless; 03-23-2019 at 12:50 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,176

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    Don’t get one with seat drains that are open straight pipes to the sea. When you sit down your butt is always getting soaked, with each wave.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    honolulu,hawaii,usa
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by rudderless View Post
    They sell the venturi's separately, so may be useable for home build.
    "Liberalism, once professing to advocate liberty, now is a movement for control over property, trade, work, amusements, education, and religion" - Russell Kirk

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    495

    Default Re: Sit On Top Kayak Recommendation

    If you want to encorage him to get onto the water I would suggest a proper kayak. Faster and more seaworthy....... and much likely a lot more fun!

    A relative has an inflatable kayak and when we were out paddling together he had to work twice as hard as I did to keep the same speed. My kayak is rather short and beamy compared to modern sea kayaks.
    No wonder that your son doesn't like the inflatable.

    Has he ever tested a real sea kayak?
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

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