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Author Topic: Canoe or kayak  (Read 1095 times)

scottydl

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Canoe or kayak
« on: March 07, 2017, 06:31:10 pm »
We are interested in dipping our toes in the water (haha) of human-propelled boating, to go along with our RV'ing.  My wife wants a SUP (stand up paddleboard) because of the fitness angle, but they seem pretty expensive for what you get... and you'd need 2-3 of them for entire family use.  I think kayaking sounds/looks fun and have been shopping my local Craigslist for awhile.  I know from here to get something longer than 12' for better tracking. 

Our usage would be cruising in open water (lakes and ponds), not anything with sharp turns or heavy current.  So then there's the canoe option too, which would meet our needs I'm sure but seems slower and bulkier than a kayak.  There is such a wide range of prices (on all of the above) that I'm not really sure what a good bargain is there either.  I found a 17' canoe for $400 locally, and another (same size) for $2200!  They look about the same to me in style, and both come with everything you'd need.

I also need to learn about roof mounting, since that's how we would be transporting on top of our Suburban.  Any input from experienced paddlers is appreciated!
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
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UTTransplant

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 08:28:29 pm »
Are you looking at something that will hold two paddlers or the whole family? It will be a challenge to put 5 people in two kayaks. How big are the boys? For many years we canoed with our 4 kids using two 17' canoes. One adult and two kids in each boat worked out well. As the kids aged out of going with us, they either went to a cheap solo kayak or canoes (mostly canoes). BTW, putting two boats on a Suburban won't be a problem, but three will be whether canoe or kayak. You end up having to stack them, a real pain. We always used a Yakima rack system, very reliable and safe. It is expensive to buy the initial setup but the bars of mine are 25+ years old and still solid. The mounts are different for different cars. As for canoes being slower than a kayak, that generally depends on the paddler more than the boat. A canoe is more challenging to learn to paddle, and it takes a bit of practice. And a canoe is definitely less bulky than an equivalent kayak because it doesn't have the deck on it.

As for why canoes cost different amounts, it comes down to materials. You can buy a used aluminum canoe for $300-400. It will weigh 80 pounds and the design isn't optimal for paddling, but they are very durable. The $2200 canoes are made of high tech composites and will weight 40-45 pounds. They will be very efficient at paddling, and most of them are quite durable.
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scottydl

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 11:00:46 pm »
Boys are 15, 12, and 7 currently... I don't expect to have us all paddling together simultaneously, more like me or my wife taking 1-2 boys out at a time on short trips.  I ran across a 2.5 seat 17' Jocassee Aquatera kayak about an hour away from me, supposedly in good shape priced at $440 obo.  It's a sit-in style with lots of storage space and looks like a solid unit, but I haven't seen it in person & have no idea what these sell for new.  Plus I'd need the roof mounting system too.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

jackiemac

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2017, 01:26:56 am »
We went for an inflatable which we keep in the truck. It's a sea eagle, easy to blow up with the foot pump, there is room for 3 but it only comes with 2 seats. Not too heavy and we got it for a good price.

Here is the link to the company we bought the kayak from.  Really helpful on the phone and they have sent follow up email to ensure we were happy with the product, so overall a great service and price!

http://inflatableboats4less.com
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Peggyy

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2017, 07:47:18 am »
We have a blowup kayak we bought at academy sports.  Easy to carry with us and setup.
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Gods Country

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2017, 08:08:07 am »
If fishing is an option....canoe.

If your mainly paddling around...kayak.


Old Radios

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2017, 08:55:23 am »
There are a lot of considerations.  if you are going just use it at campground ponds just about anything will work but once you get out on larger lakes with wind and want to go longer distances then type and construction is extremely important. Length and hull construction makes a huge difference.  Kayaks and canoes are not all created the same.  Check into shallow V hulls for lakes and longer trips. We use both our canoe and kayaks for day tripping and remote camping.  When we take the dog we use the canoe. If it's just the two of us on a day trip we often take the kayaks.

With that said, after 18 years of kayaking I'm going to trade mine in for a good, lighter (26 lb) solo canoe. Getting to hard to get in and out of the kayak and the open solo canoe is just as fast and will carry more gear if needed. The lower weight will help when I portage between lakes up here in the Adirondacks. I can still use the kayak paddle with it. Going to be an investment though as the solo canoe I want to replace my kayak is just over $3,000.  I recommend you go to a shop that specializes in canoes and kayaks and actually look at the different types and designs.
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Great Horned Owl

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2017, 09:02:17 am »
I have a canoe and several kayaks. I have been a paddler for over 50 years, and used to teach white water paddling. I have several comments.

A well designed canoe is not slower than a kayak.

Two person kayaks are somewhat difficult to paddle. You keep getting your paddles bumping against each other.

Paddling a canoe efficiently, requires more skill and has a steeper learning curve than a kayak. There is nothing quite as comical as watching a canoe with inexperienced paddlers zic zaging along.

It is easier to carry and access your gear in a canoe.

I find a canoe to be a lot more comfortable than a kayak.

Building a light, strong boat is not cheap. For a given style and length, the price goes up as the weight goes down.

Get educated. Either a canoe or a kayak with a badly designed hull will feel like paddling a bath tub. They will not be fun, and there are a surprisingly large number of badly designed hulls out there. Even though is doesn't cost any more to manufacture an efficient design, for some, unknown reason, inefficient designs  seem to be much more prevalent in the cheaper price ranges,

Some dealers have demo boats and a place where you can try then out.

Join Prairie State Canoeists. They have kayakers too, but never changed their name. http://www.prairiestatecanoeists.org/

Even though it will be a bit of a drive, Canoecopia, in Madison Wisconsin,this coming weekend, is the world largest paddle sport expo, cover all types of craft. If you can get there, it will be worth the drive. The sponsor is a large dealer, but may not have demos available during the show. http://www.canoecopia.com/canoecopia/page.asp?pgid=1001.

There will be a smaller show in Carey, IL on May 13. It is at a lake, and there will be boats for you to try out. http://www.active.com/cary-il/boating/kayaking-classes/paddle-in-the-park-2017.

Joel
Joel & Dorothy
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scottydl

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2017, 09:45:04 am »
Thanks everyone, keep the comments coming.  Those canoe/kayak shows with boats you can actually try out is a great idea!  Cary, IL is closest to me (still a 2 hour drive one way) but I work odd hours on nights/weekends so probably wouldn't be able to make the upcoming events.

I would really classify our paddling wants as "short term recreation" on open waters.  No racing, no rapids, no competition, very little fishing (if any)... just something extra to add on to our campground trips since we stay at a lot of county/state parks and there's almost always a lake.

I suppose for the prices I'm seeing on purchases, I could just rent as needed.  Even this ~$400 tandem kayak I mentioned would still probably need a rudder, roof rack, carry cart, maybe better paddles, etc. which adds up the costs quickly.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Gary31

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2017, 09:50:30 am »
We have a blowup kayak we bought at academy sports.  Easy to carry with us and setup.

Which one  do you have?
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Great Horned Owl

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2017, 10:09:26 am »
You probably don't need a carry cart. I have a portage yoke installed in my 18' long canoe. I'm 75 years old, but I still pick it up and throw it onto my shoulders.

You can usually pick up a kayak, and carry it by resting the edge of the cockpit on a shoulder. I've seen my daughter carry two kayaks at the same time that war, one on each shoulder. They were smaller white water kayaks.

Joel
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

scottydl

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2017, 10:37:13 am »
Nice photos!  An online article I read regarding tandem kayaks warned new owners against them, because of their carry weight & difficulty for beginning paddlers.  My wife and I are both fairly fit & coordinated though, and one of the objectives here is to spend time together (either us together, or one + a kid)... so a tandem kayak seemed to make more sense, unless we go with a canoe.  We would not be likely to use 2-3 separate solo boats enough to justify the purchase.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

jackiemac

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2017, 11:26:57 am »
I am a total beginner but with just a couple of sessions I was fine. We are both overweight but fitted in our canoe ok and we're far enough apart that out paddles didn't hit.

Here's a couple of photos to give you an idea of size canoe 14ft long when inflated and abut a metre x 0.5 metre when folder up, weighs abut 35kg.  Steve is 6ft tall. I am 5ft 8.

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Great Horned Owl

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2017, 11:48:55 am »
Nice photos!  An online article I read regarding tandem kayaks warned new owners against them, because of their carry weight & difficulty for beginning paddlers.  My wife and I are both fairly fit & coordinated though, and one of the objectives here is to spend time together (either us together, or one + a kid)... so a tandem kayak seemed to make more sense, unless we go with a canoe.  We would not be likely to use 2-3 separate solo boats enough to justify the purchase.

I would not advise a tandem kayak without first trying one out. I have found it to be rather difficult to get the paddling co-ordinated. It is much less critical in a canoe.

My 18', kevlar canoe weighs a mere 44 lb. As you mentioned, the kayak will be much heavier. Expect 75 to 100 lbs.
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
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blw2

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2017, 03:54:01 pm »
my suggestion is to go a few places and rent.
see if you all like it.
Your 7 year old can go solo in a yak, but not likely very far....others are good to go on their own, would be my guess.
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Great Horned Owl

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2017, 06:51:33 pm »
my suggestion is to go a few places and rent.
see if you all like it.
Your 7 year old can go solo in a yak, but not likely very far....others are good to go on their own, would be my guess.

He might be able to go farther than you think. My younger grandson got his first kayak at the age of 4. By 7, he had mastered the eskimo roll, and was paddling class III white water.
 He was the youngest in his group, but there were a few others within a year of his age.

Joel
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 06:53:26 pm by Great Horned Owl »
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

UTTransplant

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2017, 08:33:00 pm »
I paddled last October with a group,of young whitewater canoe paddlers. The youngest was 8, and he was a fully qualified Class III paddler. Cool family with 5 fully qualified whitewater solo canoeists (mom, dad, 3 kids aged 8 to 12).
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tanglemoose

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2017, 08:40:04 pm »
We have both 17' sea kayaks and a small 10' from costco....love em all but the 237.00 one from costco is awesome, Grand kids love them, easy to load. We have a rack on our topper on truck with holly rollers, I can load myself. Love to paddle!...  go to rackattack.com to see what is available. But I would go to a local person, as they need to put holes in roof to put rack on right... the holders thru windows.. are so so....
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scottydl

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2017, 07:13:46 pm »
I'm the proud new owner of a gently used Advanced Frame Convertible Inflatable kayak!  (see photo below)  It's a great looking boat, 15' in length with semi-rigid sides, bow, and stern, with an internal air bladder and floor that inflates.  I was originally hesitant to go the inflatable route, but this style is the best of both worlds and easily deflates/stows in its large zippered bag, in the back of the trailer or Suburban without the need for a roof rack.  This model can be a solo or tandem depending on how the seats are clipped in. 

I got one paddle (Advanced Frame 4 piece collapsible model) with it, but still want a second one if anybody has suggestions.  The seller is an avid kayaker with an entire fleet (!) and said he's been pretty pleased with ~$40 basic paddles, but owns some composite-material ones valued at around $150 also.

Thanks for all the suggestions!  Now to await a nice day to get out on the water.  :)  I discovered the PaddleTV Youtube channel and have been studying up on their many How-To videos.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Tom

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2017, 07:27:10 pm »
Congratulations Scott!
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Fyrediver

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2017, 08:43:08 pm »
As others have said, Tandem kayaks can be troublesome for inexperienced paddlers.  There are models with a compartment between the paddlers which distances you far enough apart that you aren't hitting paddles.  They are, however, VERY long boats and cumbersome to handle outside of the water.

Depending on where you're thinking of paddling you may consider sit on top kayaks.  They make single and doubles.  Have less chance of being entangled in a capsize.  Since you're on top of rather than inside of the kayak you're not protected from the weather and waves and you sit higher.  They do tend to get heavy as they are thermoplastic.  They're generally pretty stable which is good for beginners and just tooling around.  Storage is inside the boats so you can pack pretty much whatever you want and keep your center of gravity lower.

I've got two skin on frame collapsible sea kayaks that pack down into large backpacks.  Durable, high quality boats and store easily but tend to be more expensive and a bit more specialized.

The modern inflatables look interesting.  Much more hydrodynamic and well built than the inflatable boats of yesterday!  That boat looks very nice!

I strongly suggest high quality PFDs for each family member with strobe, waterproof aerial flares, and orange smoke.  Doesn't take much to get out too far if the wind is blowing or the current changes in the sea.  Immersion clothing is another thing to consider if you're heading to colder waters. 
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Triple Slide Jayco

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2017, 08:43:14 am »
Purchased one from Menards for about 200.00. I think a 8 to 10 footer.  A one person. They run them on sale at certain times as well as Dicks sporting goods etc. here in the Michigan area. I suggest the inflatable model for storage and limited use reason, see below.
For storage:
I bought a outdoor chair hanger from General RV that hooks on the ladder and holds chairs about $14.00, It holds the kayak by itself perfectly for storage by hanging the kayak off ladder on my 33ft Jayco.

Honestly, without easy storage, I'd get rid of it like I know others have. Its kinda like camping, you either do it or you don't. To dabble in Kayaking is a pain in the butt, storage, hauling it, moving it, concerns about theft etc.

We use it a handfull of times, my wife or I will take one of our 9 or 10 year old's out with us and tool around Lake Michigan in the morning usually when water is calmest. Not a huge return on investment, by all means.!







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scottydl

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2017, 09:53:07 am »
As others have said, Tandem kayaks can be troublesome for inexperienced paddlers.  There are models with a compartment between the paddlers which distances you far enough apart that you aren't hitting paddles.  They are, however, VERY long boats and cumbersome to handle outside of the water.

Not saying my wife and I will be instant experts (as I know we won't! ;)) but we're both fit & active folks and I think we'll be able to get the coordination down with tandem paddling.  Our use will be purely recreational, on smaller, smooth water lakes and ponds... for now anyway.  It's just an add-on for RV'ing, since we camp at a lot of public parks/campgrounds that are often situated around a lake of some kind.  I'm not really into fishing, but have been intrigued by paddling for some time... and always disliked paying for rentals, with the time & use limitations. 

If we really get into this as a pastime, I'm sure we'll eventually end up with some other styles (hard-sided, solo's, sit on vs. sit in).  As I mentioned, the guy I bought it from had an entire fleet of kayaks that he has been downgrading.  He has even more compact inflatables that they pack in suitcases and take on planes to wherever they want to paddle!  If/until we get more interested, this style of inflatable seemed like the perfect compromise for stability (15 footer) and versatility (1-2 person).  I got several accessories with it, including a zip-in decking portion for colder climates or bigger waves.  We'll start with warm & calm though.  :)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

jackiemac

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Re: Canoe or kayak
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2017, 01:45:59 am »
Congratulations Scott! Happy paddling  8)
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

8th May to 30th October 2017 - Touring Western US

 

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