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Submitted: 08-18-2003 by RiptydRick

I had been wanting a SOT kayak for years but had a hard time finding one that "fit". I am a 6'1" and 295# Firefighter who loves the water. I am also a semi-retired NAUI SCUBA instructor. I had the chance to try the OK Drifter at a demo day. I was able to try the entire OK line and then some of the Hobie line. The hobies are for the narrow butt types. The drifter however was more than enuf room for my butt, and then some. Yes the ride was very wet. But on the day I tried it it was nearly 100 degrees out so I thought nothing of it. I decided to buy the drifter and have loved it ever since. After a month of enjoying the wet ride I decided to look into scupper plugs to dry out the ride for the comming colder months as I do not want to shelve the boat for the long hard southern california winter (yeah right). I went to my local Home Depot and found a variety of rubber plugs (in the hardware section in the drawers next to the screws) got 2 large ones for the footwells and 2 slightly smaller ones for the seat. The seat ones needed to have a rubberband wrapped around it to give it the perfect seal. Then I took it out to newport/balboa harbor (my favorite paddle spot) and found that the drifter sat about 4 inches higher in the water than before. Was completely dry for the duration of my 3 hour tour (except for paddle drips) Seemed to track better and was a lot easier to control. What a difference $5 worth of plugs have made to this boat. Forget the $16 plugs that OK sells (I hear that they tend to leak). But on the down side my plugs dont have to cool little pull loops. I suppose I could drill the center and push a cord through. If I wanted to latter on. In the end For a dryer ride try the HD plug trick, it worked wonders for me. If anybody is interested I will report back on how the boat and plugs did when I load it up for scuba diving. I expect it will ride lower again but we will see.
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