Sit on top kayaks

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  1. #1
    Edd's Avatar
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    Sit on top kayaks

    I bought a kayak yesterday. I'm extremely researchy when it comes to bigger purchases but I dived into this one with an air of cluelessness. I got a 14 ft sit on top Necky kayak. The salesperson examined it would be a good stable ride for the bay waters around coastal NH. I got it home and went out for an 8 mile trip with a friend.

    The ride went pretty well although I felt I was working harder than my friend to go the same speeds. I've learned since then that sit in kayaks (like his) tend to be less wide which aids speed. I think I could live with that though as I'll become a better paddler over time.

    My bigger gripe is the weight (rated 63lbs) coupled with the 14 ft length makes this thing a PITA to lug around. That wouldnt matter much to some people but the logistical issues where I live mandate that I have to handle it and transport it more than I'd like so the size/weight of the boat may start to suck for me.

    I like the idea of the SOT kayaks since they basically can't be swamped and the waters here can get choppy but I'm wondering if this is more boat than I really need for the mission.

    Anyone been in this situation? Anyone think it's worth it to exchange the boat for another?


  2. #2
    I think I'd have gone for a sit in. With your weight lower they're more stable in open water and don't get blown around as much. A lot of the ocean kayaks are in the 14' range, but for general use you might have gotten away with something in the 11-12' range, especially if you're lugging it yourself. That's my .02.
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  3. #3
    I have a 10' sit in and a 9' sit on top. The Sit on is wider and definitely more stable. I love it for surf kayaking, as it will self drain from the waves, easy to get back on when it flips, and more stable when riding the waves.

    My sit in kayak is a wider "rec" style not a touring kayak. It is easier to get around in than the on top kayak. I mainly like it for the spring creek runs to keep me warm.

    For the activities I do, I prefer the sit on kayak. If I was kayaking longer distances I would want something more streamlined for easier paddling.
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  4. #4
    I told you to get a power boat for the Bay.

  5. #5
    Edd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadheadskier View Post
    I told you to get a power boat for the Bay.
    You should have seen some of the houses up the river like a spit from where I live that I've never laid my eyes on in 8 years of living in town. Some nice boats there. I need to get friendly with those folks.

  6. #6
    My sit-on-top just arrived at REI today. Got it as a tender for the boat on the mooring, so stability and lightness were key. 9ft (i think) and 40 pounds (I think). Wanted a sit on top so I could get in and out easily at teh boat. My first kayak, we'll see how it goes.
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  7. #7
    Edd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctenidae View Post
    My sit-on-top just arrived at REI today. Got it as a tender for the boat on the mooring, so stability and lightness were key. 9ft (i think) and 40 pounds (I think). Wanted a sit on top so I could get in and out easily at teh boat. My first kayak, we'll see how it goes.
    Sounds like a good boat for that mission. I think I've decided to trade mine back for a shorter sit in type.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Edd View Post
    Sounds like a good boat for that mission. I think I've decided to trade mine back for a shorter sit in type.
    Shorter than 14' sit in kayak for 8 mile trips in ocean bays? I think your expectation of weight for the right tool for the job may be unreasonable. What is your budget? Do you need to keep the price in the plastic range? You're still going to lugging 40-50 lbs even with a sit in plastic kayak that is less than 14'. And you're going to take a big performance hit looking at recreational sit in kayaks shorter than 14'.
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  9. #9
    bigbog's Avatar
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    Necky is a legit, top quality kayak-maker Edd, but hey...one keeps what is comfortable for onesself. Wonder if the little two-wheeled carts that canoeists use for one end, if they don't portage with a comfy yoke(on shoulders)...are made for SOTs or Sit Ins...oughtta take a look. Maybe on Necky's website...or call Kittery Trading Post(Kittery, ME) or your high-volume local boating dealer.
    SteveD

  10. #10
    I've used both and I honestly can't remember the difference but it was on "calm seas". Did a sit on top on an cruise excursion to a bioluminescence bay in Puerto Rico in 2004? and a buddy of mine has a sit in Kayak that we have done multiple trips up and down the blackstone valley river in central MA / RI. Fun stuff, I'd like to get one but just not in the cards now with all the other things that are on my plate
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