This is a follow up to my previous review as I have sold the boat. I was able to make the foot wells much more comfortable by gluing in foam camping pad material that I had cut into squares to fit the place where my feet went. This elevated them enough so the ridge no longer press against my Achilles tendon. I also found that this boat was not a very good boat for the surf. It just doesn't have the right shape for wave riding and the bulbous front makes punching out through the breakers very difficult.
I loved everything else about it and I'm sad to see it go, but there are other boats for me to try and I only have room for three boats. I'd buy one again in a heart beat, it is an awesome river boat and a fun lake boat when you are not in a hurry. My new to me Tarpon 160 is no faster, even though it does glide better.I paddled on Lake Huron (MI) and the boat was fast, handled waves very well, and tracked good (considering no rudder). As a bonus, the boat is very stable, a pretty dry ride, very comfortable, and a 60-lb child can ride on the back with no problem.
We practiced capsizing the boat and doing rescues, and found the boat to be very easy to upright and re-enter from deep water. The boat is also very buoyant and pearling did not occur when moving downwind in 2-ft breakers. The boat is watertight and lots of fun. I cruised at about 5.5 mph over a 6 mile distance and still felt fresh. I highly recommend this boat for a price of about $500 it can't be beat.I have been paddling and boating for at least 50years. My experience includes open water racing, owning and paddling a surf ski, and also some white water. The Scapa is a nicely made boat, and since owning one for the past 18 months I have had no problems with any indents forming in the hull from the padded bars while car topping. This is not uncommon with plastic boats and usually easily corrected by leaving out in the sun.
I am probably a little overweight for the Scapa having put on a little more weight than usual recently after suffering some health setbacks.
I have been thrown out of my Scapa twice without warning recently, an experience which has only occurred to me once before in the surf ski when I was not paying attention and a breaking wave caught me on a 45 degree angle from behind.
The Scapa has absolutely no secondary stability, and being flat bottomed is virtually impossible to prevent capsizing if not kept totally flat on the water. I have prevented countless tips only by a reflexive brace, however last week I was sitting on flat water adjusting my drip ring, got slightly off balance and without my paddle available to brace I was gone. On another occasion I was crossing a minor eddyline with small ripples and was entirely unable to prevent a capsize.
The bottom of the boat is a surfboard. Surfboards work well when lying down but a narrow surfboard is not designed for sitting. The boat may work if your weight is well below recommended limits, however with this shape I cannot imagine it not capsizing, if lent anywhere beyond 30 degrees, while not bracing. Don't ever expect to relax in turbulent water.This is my first Sit on Top and I like it a lot. It is perhaps the most stable kayak I've ever been in. I checked the top speed with a gps and got just over 5 mph after I was already tired and at the end of my normal paddle. With a bent shaft single blade paddle I got 4 mph pretty easily.
It tracks well enough to use a single blade paddle well if you know what you are doing. It is very maneuverable for a boat this long and edging really helps the turns. The flat bottom helps you scoot right over logs and rocks. The seat is very comfortable. The Deck rigging and handles are very nice.
The molded foot rests are an abomination. They should be outlawed! I've never tried these before but they were uncomfortable. The ridges on the bottom dug into my achilies tendons. The ridges on the sides were slippery and not big enough to hold my feet in place when I was paddling hard. I know I'd much prefer to grind these off and install real adjustable foot rests, but I don't think I can do it without leaving holes in the boat.
The boat is very light at about 50 pounds.Ahhhhhh, my long awaited Scapa! I special ordered it and it took ages to get in. It was worth the wait!
I am so excited about this boat. I live near the Ocean Kayak factory and outlet store and could buy any of the OK yaks for half of what I paid for the Scapa. I tried the OK Scupper, Venus, and Scrambler, the Wilderness Jazz, and the Necky Looksha IV. I did like the Scupper Pro quite well, but it was much too heavy for me to haul around and car top by myself. Also, the Scupper's butt print was just a titch too tight, shallow, and uncomfortable for my booty. Sorry to say, I am 5'4" and (eeek) 190 pounds.
I believe the Scapa is faster than the OK Scupper Pro. It is definitely lighter to carry and car top. It's slick and I get looks and questions about it. In the Pacific NW, I've never seen a Scapa and neither has anyone else in my area, I'm sure. Hopefully, I'll be a trend starter for Bic.
Positives: light weight, speed, comfort, styling, stability.
Negatives: I was expecting it to have the bow and keel protectors and the wheel. It had neither. The foot rests don't have a setting that fits me well, but I will adjust to that fine. No access to storage.
Overall, I feel in good contact with the boat (as much as more comfortably than the Looksha I've been paddling for years). I did get the seat back with seems to be of great quality, and feel the seat area is quite comfy enough without it.Bought my Scapa new about 4 weeks ago...love this SOT! At 14.5' it tracks and glides very well and I have no trouble keeping up with experienced paddlers in traditional SIK kayaks...it's fast.
This French made boat has excellent build quality and perfect deck layout...very comfortable. After trying a Tarpon 120 and a Redfish 12', the Scapa wins hands down. Had it out last night in some very choppy water and large boat waves and it performed well with some light spray coming over the front deck, but maybe due to me being 6-2/215lbs. Great "feel" with this kayak and turns quickly. Next step is to paddle it with thigh braces and really push it...happy guy here.I have been paddling this Scapa around for a couple of seasons now and it has served my flabby out of shape 210 pounds well. My first reason for looking at this boat was it is easy for one guy to handle out of the water. It is light and has a nicely centered carry handle on either side. How many other kayaks in the over 14' class let you comfortably carry them with one hand?
The second reason for getting this boat was speed. I suppose it is because of the narrow beam and lighter weight? In no wake zones you pass the power boats.
The boat is very tippy initially, but you rapidly adjust to it. I recently did a 16 mile trip - 2/3's of which were an open ocean crossing in white capping seas the Scapa and felt very secure. Now I am scuba diving off of it too, and it gets out there faster than the more well known rides.
Didn't give it a 10 because you have to add your own front hatch, but at least you can access it while underway by putting one leg over either side and sliding up to it. That is a super huge storage area up there, you should add the hatch as soon as you get the boat. A snap on style works great (I use a Wilderness Kayak hatch cover).The Scapa is a speedy kayak! With little effort, this boat slices through the water. Take the characteristics of an Islander Moku, magnify them, and you have an idea of how this boat is on the water.
One word of warning though: this boat is twitchy! Do little more than tilt your head, and the boat will let you know. That's to be expected, as this kayak has a high waterline length to beam ratio. It is 440 cm (14' 5") length; it is 66 cm (2' 2"). That equates to a 6.7 waterline length to beam ratio. That's why it's so fast; that's also why it's twitchy.
My friend, Larry (owner & operator of Yak's Kayaks in Lavallette, NJ), said that he'd observed the same thing. Since we're both the same size (6'2" @ 270#), we can compare notes on a boat's handling. He went on to say that, when he'd rented the Scapa to a couple of different people weighing in @ 220#, and that the Scapa worked fine for them. That goes to show that the manufacturer's capacity rating is a guide only, not a hard and fast number.
The Scapa likes to weathercock. When I was out in it during the Labor Day weekend, there was a stiff breeze up (whitecaps were everywhere), and the Scapa felt it. If the wind as on the beam, or abaft the beam, the Scapa pointed to the windward side. This was corrected by pulling the leeward leg in; this bent the leg, and a 'J' lean could be induced to counteract the weathercocking tendency of the Scapa.
As for the boat's layout and construction, both are top notch. It uses twin sheet construction vs. the rotomolding construction found on most SOT kayaks. It's lighter, stronger, and less susceptible to leaks. It has a nice little wheel in the stern, so you can roll it for short distances while protecting the hull; there's an abrasion protector on the bow as well. The carrying handles are robust-one is even molded into the bow. Finally, the boat doesn't take on water like other, rotomolded SOT kayaks I've used.
The Scapa has a good seating position; it's so good that you could get by without the attachable seatback. There are ample foot wells for most size people. The carrying area aft of the cockpit is spacious; you can carry a lot of stuff with you, such as fishing gear, a SCUBA tank, etc. One could do some light touring with the Scapa.
Overall, the Scapa is a good, fast (and I do mean fast!) kayak; even with minimal effort, you'll go at a good clip. However, even though it's rated for a big guy like me (286#), it's twitchy; if you're 220# or less, you'll be fine. The construction, ergonomics, and thoughtful little touches (like the abrasion protectors) are awesome. If you want a quality boat for fitness, light touring, and all-out speed, you cannot beat the Scapa; for an SOT, it has great performance. The only reason I didn't give it a '10' is because, even though they're rated for 286#, bigger people like me and Larry can't use the boat without getting that twitchy feeling.