Sea Otter R Description
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Sea Otter R Reviews
I bought this little boat…
First of all, this is probably not a boat for beginners. It is fairly narrow (20") and has a V-hull that doesn't have much initial stability. That being said, the secondary stability has never failed me. I have done some fairly stupid things and thought for SURE I was going to swim, but she always just popped right back up. Even without a skirt, very little water gets in; the cockpit opening is pretty small and it is raised up from the deck.
This boat is a Greenland, is fairly short, and has no skeg. It should, therefore, weathercock quite readily, but I have really had no problems with it at all. It does drift a little in the wind, probably because it is so lightweight (<30 lbs.), but it always responds well to corrective strokes.
My boat had no outfitting at all when I got it, not even a floor. I put in a simple board floor, which can be a little slippery. I cut a little pad out of a yoga mat and tied to the frame-problem solved! I got tired of slouching back against the wooden coaming (I know, I should sit up away from the back, but I get tired). I made a little foam pad that I can slip behind myself when I want to rest, and I am happy. Many people find Greenland cockpits uncomfortable, but I have found that regular stretching makes all the difference. I can paddle for hours now.
The only problem I have had is that tiny coaming (16x22"). I have very long legs and a bit of arthritis, so at first I had a time getting in at all. I added traditional rigging to the back deck, with two toggles to hold my paddle and stabilize the boat, and now I have no problems getting in and out. I just don't know if I could get back in if I swam in deep water (I'm not able to roll at present because of a shoulder injury). My teenage son can tuck the paddle under the toggles and cowboy back in, but I'm not as nimble as he is.
I love skin-on-frames. They are so close to the water. You can feel the water through the skin, feel the ripples, find where incoming water changes the temperature. The boat flexes in rough water; it's like a live thing. This is a lovely little boat. It may not be for everyone, but for a kayaker with some experience, this is a small, light, and fairly stable Greenland. I gave it a 10 because it deserves it.