I picked up an Emotion Mojo SOT kayak second hand off craigslist. I have been kayaking since I was 9 years old (I am 48 yrs old now) and paddle at least 20 nautical miles a week (sometimes in one day), and paddle year round in all conditions, so I have quite a bit of experience I guess. My main reason for getting it was to have a decent boat for my beginner friends to use. With the stability and open "cockpit" of an SOT kayak, worries about flipping and dealing with open water rescues and pumping out the water from a flipped boat are taken care of for the most part. Just flip it over and crawl back on! My primary flat water/ocean kayak is a Cape Falcon LPB in Skin over Frame construction. I prefer fast boats that need aggressive handling. So that means I'll hate the Mojo, right? Uh, nope!
My "baptism" for the Mojo was (after a basic test paddle at the launch site) to load up my 8 year old daughter in the tank well with a 5 gallon bucket and have us paddle from the Oregon side of the Columbia River over to Government Island (near I-205) and pick blackberries. The boat performed very admirably! My daughter's 55 lbs was not an issue to the boat's stability or handling. The boat has decent primary stability, and excellent secondary stability. I can stand up in the cockpit area without too much of a problem, and my daughter was able to stand up in the tank well without throwing the boar over. You can also sit sideways with your feet in the water and it's stable. It's a decent fishing platform, if you are so inclined. Sitting, you can tip it over IF you lean WAY WAY over, but you will not go over accidentally with this boat.
Loaded with me and my daughter, I was able to maintain a 3 knot speed over to the island, so it's not fast, but that's still pretty good for a 12 ft boat. It tracks well, and turns well with sweep strokes as well as lean turns. With the boat empty (except for me in the cockpit), I was able to short sprint it up to 4 knots, but at that point it starts to plane and won't go any faster. It's "fast cruising" speed is about 3.5 knots. The Columbia does have a current that runs about .5 knot to 1 knot in this area, and there are spots where the water gets funny, but the Mojo handled it with no problem. It's a VERY predictable handling little boat.
The Mojo is a bit noisy while paddling. Because it's short and fat, it does push some water at the bow and you can hear it splashing, but not as much as other SOT or recreational kayaks I've paddled, and about the same as others. But, it's very compliant and predictable and has no funny quirks about it, so it's perfect for what I will use it for. The grab loops are functional and strong, and the front hatch stayed dry. The only thing I wasn't too happy about was that water would occasionally wash up through the scuppers in the seat. Not a problem on an 80º day, but I will be getting some stoppers for the seat scuppers to take care of that for when the water gets colder.
So, if you're in the market for a stable, predictable handling boat that is fast for it's length, can carry a decent amount of weight and is one person car top-able, the Mojo is a boat to consider. I think the best recommendation I can give it is that I'm used to very fast, narrow, high performance sea kayaks, and when paddling the Mojo, I didn't feel like I was paddling a barge. It's a fun little boat that is good for beginners and won't drive an experienced paddler crazy.This is my first kayak and only my 5th time being on one. My first experience was 4 weeks ago. I live in SW Florida. I took it out today for its maiden voyage. We went to Placida where there is a free parking kayak launch point that is too small for trailered boats but just right for kayaks and canoes. I went out into some mangrove trails, crossed busy boat channels, got visited dolphins, scared a few sea birds.
The Mojo handles well although it tracks so true it doesn't like to turn. I mean it TRACKS! Straight as an arrow! It totally wants to go go go . The only time I was wondering why it was strange paddling was because the Mojo was going so much faster than I thought I was hardly able to keep up. It is scary spending a lot of money on your first kayak. Especially with so little experience. But I have few bad things to say about this little boat. I am certainly glad I bought it. I also bought the Emotion carbon fiber handled paddle and it is nice too.Really great stable boats! I bought two of them around two and a half years ago (one for me and one for my wife). We found that in calm waters its nice to plug the scupper holes for a completely dry ride.
All in all, these boats are quite stable, they track straight and are awesome for fishing. There are bungees under the side handles to hold your paddle when not in use.
Last spring my friend and I took them several miles from shore on the Chesapeake. This was his first experience in a kayak, and on the return trip we got caught in a storm about a mile from shore. The boats handled pretty well considering they are really not designed for those conditions!
I would recommend this boat for any type of inland waters, and fair weather surf use they are awesome boats for families and fishing use. The back luggage area is reinforced to carry a large cooler or serve as a child seat. One advantage with the sit on top design is that it would require a major hull breach to flood the boat with water. My friend capsized in 2 1/2 foot waves, and was able to easily right the boat and climb back on. Its nearly impossible to swamp this boat!
Mostly I use this boat for fishing/ recreation on large rivers and lakes. If I used it more in rough water I'd like a lower seat. The seating position on this boat gives a fairly high center of gravityBased on the design and reviews I gambled and bought two of them, one for my wife and one for my 16 year old son. Went out on a 10mi trip (through the Mosquito Lagoon, Cape Canaveral) and they both loved it. I gave it a try, but my son took it back from me soon after.
Pros - quiet, cruises well against the current, lots of leg room, stable at 1½ft waves, high side walls and seat that keeps most waves out, adjustable foot pedals, lots of storage room.I am new to kayaking and was looking for a used yak. I had been to two kayak demo days and was more confused than I was before going. I went to a dealer and tried out a Ocean Venice and thought that was the boat I was going to buy. That was until we went to another dealer and demoed a Mojo. This kayak would coast straight and true when I quit paddling and there was no wobble from right to left as I paddled like there was in the Venice.
Cons - no draining from the seat and the far rear section of the rear cargo area (they both hold about one glass of water each).
The cockpit is wide enough, I can sit Indian style (which I like to do) and give my legs a break. When we got back to the dock I pulled up along side and wondered if I could stand up in the yak to step out onto the dock. So, I grabbed hold of the dock post and stood up! I never felt like this kayak was going to tip even standing. This cinched it for me. I gave up my search for a used kayak and bought this one on the spot.