I am a whitewater guy who started out in SOTs because they were stable and fairly easy to self rescue with. In the recreational category, it's hard to beat an inexpensive SOT for light paddling and ease of self rescue. You flip it over and crawl back on -- some upper body strength and the right technique make it pretty easy, but you can add a stirrup using a paddle and webbing for anyone who has trouble.
Recreational SINKs rarely have both bulkheads and even those that do take a good bit longer to get back in and get all the water out. It can be done, even in rough seas, but it can be difficult even with assistance.
In the performance models you can certainly get SINKs that are unsinkable and SOTs that perform very well.
Because SINKs are typically narrower, they are easier to roll than most SOTs, but once you learn to roll with good technique, even a 31 inch wide SOT isn't beyond reach (I have rolled a Torrent many times). Once you have a solid roll, the SINKs are awesome in terms of performance and self-rescue (rolling takes very little time).
Much of which is best depends on what you want to do and how warm the waters are (SOTs aren't much fun in cold water and weather). Likewise, trying to rescue a recreational SINK is almost impossible out on a lake in rough conditions. I always keep a SOT or two for buddy boats -- the stability and ease of use (and self rescue) are tough to beat. I paddle a SINK about 99% of the rime (mostly whitewater).
Kayak & Canoe Covers
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