I had been searching for an all-around kayak in plastic as its more forgiving than any other material, having tried the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 14 and 16 and the Necky Vector 14 and neither one comes close to a Scupper Pro. This kayak is fast, fairly light for plastic, tracks really well, is very stable and because they don't make them anymore, they can be found for under $1000.00.
With Google I have searched and double searched every site I could find and have spoken with numerous guides and without question they all prefer this yak to any other made of plastic. I have heard and read people complaining about getting wet, hell you are in the water, stay home if that's a worry! I also read where it doesn't fit large people. No, it probably won't fit those that carry girth around the hips or the ones over 6'4", although they might be surprised. The last complaint is the hatches leak, so get a dry bag for those items you are worried about.
I have had this yak in the intercoastal and have paddled it for 16-20 miles in a day, out in the Gulf where its stability is amazing and no, I'm not sitting still waiting for a wave I'm paddling, I've even had it out in a storm where the waves were 4-6 feet and had a blast. I fell into the water one time during the 4-6 foot waves with a huge grin on my face, it was awesome.
I bought my Ocean Kayak Scupper in 1997 and have kept it in the fleet because it does certain things very well.
In the past the boat was used in on multi day flat water trips down rivers and for surfing when the waves are small.
Advantages of the Scupper are comfortable seating, good tracking, good speed for a 14 foot boat, stability and carrying capacity.
Disadvantages of the boat are lack of bulkheads, leaking hatches, lack of bulkheads, wet ride and poor maneuverability.
The boat will haul a decent amount of gear and seems to glide better when loaded with about 50 lbs of gear. The hatches are large enough to put tents, spare paddles or other large items below deck. Because there are no bulkheads to seal the compartments, all gear below deck is subject to sliding up under the cockpit area and being hard to retrieve. Gear sliding forward or aft also shifts the balance of the boat. Another disadvantage to lack of bulkheads is most gear gets wet due to leaking hatches.
One problem with the hatch design on my boat is they have always leaked. I have tried aftermarket weather strip seals to alleviate this, but the hatches are hard plastic and do not conform to the hull well enough to get a watertight seal. In rough water or surf zones, the boat takes on some water through the hatches. This gets gear wet and can be a dangerous situation if caught in rough water for extended lengths of time. The boat will flood and lose buoyancy and stability over time.
Because of boat speed and length, the scupper will catch small waves and is a lot of fun in the surf zone. Again, I have to stop after every three or four waves to drain water from the boat.
Tracking is very good for a 14 foot boat. However this is at the expense of maneuverability. This is a good boat for long trips on flat water with few obstacles to navigation.
Maneuverability is not so great. The boat has an interesting bottom shape with a round protrusion down the centerline that runs most of the length of the bottom and acts as a keel. This center protrusion allows the boat to have excellent tracking and the flat bottom on either side of this protrusion increase initial stability. The deeper centerline allows loads stored below deck to stay fairly centered in the boat. A tent fits nicely in the center section and water bottles tend to settle to the center. This keeps weight low when loaded and increases stability of the boat.
Heeling the boat is difficult because there is nothing to brace the legs against in the SOT design. When the boat is heeled it does edge turn a little, but is not extremely responsive.
The Scupper is a wet ride if the scuppers are not plugged. I sit in the water without plugs in the scuppers. The scuppers are fairly small and if the cockpit is swamped, the cockpit is slow to drain. I usually keep the scuppers plugged to avoid sitting in the water, unless I am in rough water where the cockpit is likely to flood. Because the boat sits low in the water, even small waves can wash into the cockpit if the waves hit the boat broadside. This often happens with motor boat wake.
The Scupper Classic is very comfortable, especially with the addition of a surf to summit seat that provides back support. I highly recommend the addition of this seat if you have this boat. It really makes a big difference by providing great back support. The foot positions are molded into the boat and act as foot pegs. I can change position of my feet and legs at will and this really helps with comfort in the boat for long distance trips.
The best use of this boat is covering long distances on sheltered flat water rivers. It is very comfortable, tracks well and is fast for a 14 foot boat. The scupper is not a safe boat in open water and far from shore because it lacks bulkheads and the hatches don't seal well. While the Scupper Classic is not a great all around boat, it has remained in my fleet for many years because of what is does exceptionally well.
I have two Scupper Classics. When I moved to the water, I wanted something for the bay that was fast, could cut through the waves, not drift and was comfortable to paddle. I found a used Scupper Classic and am absolutely delighted with the performance. I go at least once a week, and loved it so much, I found another for friends who go with me. It is a little heavy, but as a 68 year old female, I can pick it up, turn it, load it on the dolly, and my car all by myself (using leverage).However because it is a little heavy, it works perfectly in the bay when there is a bit of chop or current in the water. It cuts through the water so easily, even when the current is contrary. Because it is narrow in the middle, it is absolutely effortless to paddle. You never bang your knuckles on the gunwales. The person who designed it put a lot of thought into it.
I'm close to 6' tall 180 lbs and it is molded to fit my body perfectly. Shorter people have gone with me and loved it too. It is not for people with wide hips. Also, it is low to the water. If the chop is more than 1 foot, and coming from the side, you are going to get wet.
There are two sore points to this boat though. Its not maneuverable and hard to move by yourself. Its heavy, but not excessively for its size. Its hard to move by yourself simply because there is nowhere to grab onto near the middle. Its turn radius is huge, which can lead to problems in a winding river. Because of the scupper holes you will ALWAYS be wet, when sitting in it the water sits a bit inside.
To sum it up, this boat is amazing in open water in warm climates. Its designed to move quickly and carry a moderate amount of gear. It can be used for slow rivers as well. It is a poor choice for cold or rapidly moving water, or for anyone that needs a lot of stability.
The Scrupper Classic cockpit was too short for my legs (6'2"). I could not stretch my legs out flat totally. Also it was very narrow on the seat width. I actually fell into the pool on my demo test ride before I purchased this kayak. It is not to be lean into the sides too much if you are very tall, the center of gravity shifts and you will find yourself shifting among water.
The pluses are that it is a very fast touring class boat!! Every boat has compromise, if you want fast, then you have to give up stability. I had no problem pushing this thing into the ocean in a mere few seconds and bye bye to the shore. It is also not too bad at only 48lbs, much lighter than any other models/makers in the length and touring class.
The negatives is it is too small for anyone over 6' tall! It is also very cramped and somewhat unstable at that height. I am afraid to take on too many waves with it, so it will remain a lake/river kayak from now on. I was hoping to do saltwater fishing with it, but every kayak has its give and takes. Trying to cast a huge 7' heavy action rod from the Scrupper Classic is like praying for uprightness each time. If you swing your arm too much while casting your bait or lure, you will probably find yourself unstabilized and perhaps meet the water for a date. This is all, if you are, over 6' tall and around 200LBS. My girlfriend had a hoot with it, but she is only 5'4" and 120lbs.
The Ocean Kayak Scupper Classic is a fairly quick, well-tracking sit-on-top. It has two sizable hatches fore and aft, and a convenient cup holder between the paddlers knees. It handles well in a constant chop of 1-2 foot seas though in a quartering rear sea it needs to be herded on a straight track. My wife enjoyed it only slightly less than the Freedom, whereas I thought it was a little more stable. And while it tracks quite well, it does take just a wee a bit of work to turn without a rudder. I’m 6 feet tall and a very fit 205# with something of a wide beam (the family hipbones just CANNOT be narrowed!), and it fits me very nicely, and it fits my wife quite well, too. My son’s 6-1, and he liked it. I can see doing an overnight river run and camping trip in it. Now all I need to do is convince my wife… Overall, I’m quite pleased, and score it as an 8 out of 10.