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Louisville Area Canoe & Kayak Group Message Board Gear & Accessories › Sit On Top Kayaks

Sit On Top Kayaks

Jim H.
user 49869432
Louisville, KY
Post #: 1
I am new to the sport of kayaking but have been canoeing for many years. For my money, a canoe is awkward with one person and I have been considering a sit on top kayak. I am a weight lifter so I weight 230 and can handle a big paddle, but likely am not lithe enough to roll or handle white water. My focus will be on recreational journeys through slow/moderate water and leisurely ventures.

I know the purists are frowning and cringing, but what are the thoughts on sit on top kayaks?


Tim A.
user 48555932
Louisville, KY
Post #: 1
Look at Native's Ultimate: http://nativewatercra...­

I have the 14.5' Tandem and absolutely love you the stability and comfort of a kayak and the space of a canoe...I can stand up and fish in this boat in flatwater...very comfortable for long paddles. I almost bought a sit on top but bought this instead and am so glad I did. You'll stay much drier in this boat than in a sit on top (which doesn't matter if you're only boating during the summer but matters significantly from mid fall to late spring until the water warms up.). I like sit on tops but personally wouldn't use one year round. Good luck!

Greg M.
user 8291008
Jeffersonville, IN
Post #: 794
There's nothing wrong with a sit on top. The main disadvantages are that you'll get wet from water dripping off the blades, you're more exposed to the sun, and they're usually wider (making them harder to paddle). Advantages are that they can carry a lot more gear, usually self-bail so you can hop in the water for a swim and get back on easily in the middle of a lake, and since they're usually wider they're more stable.

Best advice is to buy used the first time, so you can sell it and get most of your money back if you don't like it. Craigslist is the best place to find used kayaks for sale. Or you can demo one with Quest or RCCK have their demo days.
Tony k.
user 11568470
Louisville, KY
Post #: 3
Hi Jim,

I got a Feel Free Nomad from RCCK. It is very stable and can hold a ton of stuff.
I added rod holders and extra bungie cords so it is a great fishing kayak.

It also has a wheel built in the back which is great for getting
it to the water.

You can check out the Feel Free website and find specs.

Stop by RCCK and check them out. They may even have one to demo on the river.

SOTs won't be as fast as sit ins.
Ben P.
user 5056254
Amelia, OH
Post #: 4
I really like my Jackson Coosa SOT. Excellent stability (I ran Class III whitewater on the New in WV without a single swim) and is extremely manuverable. If your planning on spending lots of time on flatwater then I'd consider the Cuda 12-14 instead (also from Jackson). My wife has a Native Manta Ray 12 and its faster then my boat and very comfortable. Its also self bailing (like mine and all SOTs) but comes with scupper plugs so its totally dry on flatwater if you want it to be.

The one thing to be mindful of the Ultimates from Native is they are *not* self bailing so if your going very far from shore (more then a few hundred yards) you must carry a bilge pump. Swimming a boat full of water to the shore is very tiring. A nice 20-30$ pump will empty it out really quick with very little effort.

I agree 100% with the other poster that SOTs are slower then sit ins (SINKs). Even 6-7ft whitewater SINKs keep up with my 11.5' Coosa pretty easily.
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