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Clarinetqueen

Canoe or Kayak?

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I'm sorry if this has been discussed before, but I need some recommendations for buying a canoe/kayak. I know absolutely nothing. I would mainly be using it in the rivers of Eastern NC (including the Cape Fear near the coast). If possible I would like to get something that would hold both my hubby and myself, but that I could also handle on my own.

 

1. Canoe or kayak...which would be better suited?

2. Specific brand names and approximate cost?

 

Thanks so much for your help!!

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Canoes are top heavy and difficult to maneuver compared to kayaks.

 

Short kayaks (8 or 9 feet) are harder to paddle, and tend to spin easier, but long kayaks are difficult to move about in small rivers. Overall, the best one I recommend is the Pungo 120 by Wilderness Systems. At 12 feet, it's pretty stable and probably the longest you'd want to use in smaller rivers. The V bottom makes it easy to paddle also. I compared a 10.5 foot Old Town to it on a trip and it took much more effort, having a flatter bottom. The Pungos are about $700 or so, but you can probably find a used one in new condition for much less.

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Canoes are top heavy and difficult to maneuver compared to kayaks.

 

Short kayaks (8 or 9 feet) are harder to paddle, and tend to spin easier, but long kayaks are difficult to move about in small rivers. Overall, the best one I recommend is the Pungo 120 by Wilderness Systems. At 12 feet, it's pretty stable and probably the longest you'd want to use in smaller rivers. The V bottom makes it easy to paddle also. I compared a 10.5 foot Old Town to it on a trip and it took much more effort, having a flatter bottom. The Pungos are about $700 or so, but you can probably find a used one in new condition for much less.

 

I agree with my friend the _fool about Wilderness Systems kayaks. I use a Tsunami 125 and have had it on 8' wide streams and half mile wide rivers. I do not know if tandems can be reasonably controlled by one person. I suggest you each get a single kayak. That way they fit and are comfortable. That's what works for us.

Good luck, it's a whole new world (and so much fun) out in a kayak!

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"I know absolutely nothing" is your starting point. Good to be honest.

 

Canoes allow paddlers to sit or kneel. There is only one way to sit in a kayak, which may become uncomfortable after a long period of time.

Canoes provide more space and easier access to gear and equipment. You need to plan carefully and have less immediate access in a kayak.

"Tandem" kayaks ( which you would need to, "hold both my hubby and myself") may require both to be in the craft for proper balance and handling, which means solos may be awkward. Canoes are easier to enter and exit than kayaks.

 

Though it sounds like I'm trying to sell canoes, we use kayaks. :laughing:

Sometimes I want to see something CJ doesn't. Having separate kayaks means she can head for that FTF, while I play a bit. :rolleyes:

CJ has an Old Town Dirigo 106 (10 1/2') around 500.

I have a 15' fishing model Dirigo (I believe no longer made) around 700+.

- We waited for a sale at LLBean.

 

Rather than get opinions from others, which usually means what suits them, talk to staff at REI, EMS, LLBean and the like and get a rough idea of what you need. Start from there.

Both EMS and REI usually have "try 'em out" demo days listed on their website. Look for one near you and have fun.

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If possible I would like to get something that would hold both my hubby and myself, but that I could also handle on my own.

 

nigh impossible. But what you're describing will be best met with smallish canoe. A tandem kayak is not going to work for you alone.

 

As others have said, your best bet will probably be 2 single recreational kayaks.

 

How you're going to carry it/them is another consideration. If on a car rooftop, can you load it when you are alone? (The guys responding to this thread are all oblivious to this, like my husband, they just toss 'em up there. ) There are costs to racking/carrying systems too.

 

I have a fairly complicated system to load an 18 foot touring 'yak on my car roof rack when I'm paddling without my husband. I can get my 8 foot 'yak loaded with just a towel to protect the finish.

 

As boats get longer, they get more efficient >>> faster for the same paddling effort, and track better. They also get heavier, are harder to handle in winding rivers, and cost more.

 

Rather then recommending specific brands, I'd recommend that you look around for dealers in your part of the world and try some boats. Try handling them to load too.

 

Buy used if possible.

 

Paddles! That's the working tool, that part moves you. For pretty good prices ($130 or so, kayak paddle) you can buy graphite shafted paddles with nylon ends. think about that cost too. I'd spend the money there, myself. Hard to find used.

 

My first kayak was an 8 foot rec boat, weighs 35 lbs, great in tight winding streams. A pain on long open water paddles. I got a lot of paddling and caching done in that boat, and still own it and use it. Under $400 will get one like it, new.

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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A few intemperate thoughts...

 

Longer = faster.

Shorter = easier to turn.

For rivers, being able to turn easily trumps speed every time.

 

The Pungo 120 is a very well made boat. Great primary and secondary stability. Quite fast for being so short.

For paddling creeks with lots of turns & obstructions, you want a nimble boat. One that turns easily. A 12 footer should work nicely for that. Pungo also has a 10' version, if you want something even shorter.

My biggest concern is that it is a sit-inside. These can be rather challenging for getting in and out. They are awesome as touring boats, but might not be the right answer for a caching boat unless you are limber and have good coordination/balance. Sticking with the Wilderness Systems brand, you might take a look at the Tarpon line. Like the Pungo, they come in a range of sizes, including 10 & 12'. Unlike the Pungo, they are a breeze to enter/exit, even in deep water.

 

There is an old adage experienced paddlers use: "Sleep Tandem / Paddle Solo".

Tandem boats are called divorce boats for a reason. You will be much happier if you each get your own boat.

 

I started my paddling life with canoes, and up until I tried a kayak, I loved them. If you need to haul 80 gazillion pounds of gear, and don't mind having a vessel that is tippy and hard to steer, canoes are the answer. I have a hybrid boat made by Native, called the Ultimate. It hauls gear like a canoe, but because of the hull shape and seat design, it is not tippy and handles like a kayak. Mine is the 14' version, which is not optimal for river paddles. It's more of an open water boat, as it tracks really well. I would like to try the 12' version.

 

My other two boats are made by Ocean Kayak. One is a Trident Prowler 15 and the other is a Drifter 12. The Trident is the best tracking boat I own, and is absolutely horrid in any kind of twisty water. It is a battle to turn. As a comparison, I can spin my Drifter 180* with 3 paddle strokes. It takes 9 to spin the Trident the same amount. But for open water paddling, the Drifter is awful. Because it is so easy to turn, every puff of wind tries to spin it around, and I end up exhausted from trying to keep it going in one direction.

 

Whichever boat you lean toward, try it before you buy it.

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I would keep a look out for demo days offered by an outfitter. You wouldn't buy a car without a test drive, why buy a boat without a test paddle? I'm not sure what is available out in your part of the state, but REI and Great Outdoor Provision Company in Raleigh usually have a day or two in the spring where you can try out some of their boats in local lakes.

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I would recommend two recreational kayaks. Find a place that lets you rent or try before you buy. A comfy seat is key.

 

I have four kayaks for me and the Pigs.

 

Old Town Vapor 10XT (10'). Paddled ponds, lakes, rivers and the (very) occasional ocean cove. Very stable. Big cockpit makes entry and exit easy, put you may get more water inside (although I have not had that problem). Only complaint is lack of water tight storage. ~$450 new.

 

Wilderness Systems Pamlico 100 (10'). A little sleeker, stable, with a good sized cockpit. It has deck lines up front for open storage and a waterproof (mostly) hatch in back. These are not made anymore. About $500 new.

 

A friend has a Wilderness Systems Pungo 100 (10') and she loves it. Like the Pamlico but better amenities. About $650 new.

 

The LL Bean Manatee is made by the same folks who make Wilderness Systems and Perception kayaks. You can get a Manatee set up (kayak, cockpit cover and paddle) for about $600. Although I was just in a Bean outlet store and they had one for ~$400.

 

Craigslist is a great resource. A lot of people buy them, find out they don't like them, and then sell them at a loss. Look at the different models, and see which one(s) you like, than troll craigslist. You find ones with the usual scrapes and dings - the same dings and scrapes you'll put on the boat your first time out. You can save up to 50% buying off craigslist (I did!).

 

Don't forget about a car rack. If you have cross bars, you can make do with that. If it is not wide enough for two 'yaks, you'll need J racks or similar (~$150 new). You can also find these on craigslist at big savings (I got two sets for $60!).

 

Hope all of this helps.

 

(edit to correct a mistake)

Edited by BBWolf+3Pigs
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I have so little experience with the subject that I'd have to be crazy to give advice about it, but right now I'm looking into buying a Pakcanoe. We have a couple of limitations that resulted in that choice. The first is limited storage space and transportation. The second is my wife's bad case of sciatica. What experience I've had with kayaks makes me wonder why anyone uses them at all. Well, that's not entirely true. Kayaks handle very smoothly and tavel a lot farther with less energy than a canoe, but even I can't take sitting in one position, with my legs straight out in front of me for more than twenty minutes.

 

There's also the factor of being able to get from boat to land and back without stepping in the water (as much as possible). If a dock is available, then it's not a problem, but I'm looking to paddle remote lakes that are about two degrees above freezing. I have a harder time imagining getting between boat and land dryly on a kayak than a canoe. That, and the canoe allows more freedom of movement, both for myself and my stuff, which eases my mind tremendously. I don't like feeling trapped.

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Also, if many rivers you'll be on are the size of Cape Fear (always wanted to go there, but Cj's sister lives near Atlantic Beach and... :rolleyes: ) maybe you'd be better off with a smaller sized boat, rather than a canoe or kayak.

CJ has a 10' jon boat with a trolling motor that has taken us (as in, hold both CJ and myself - hint, hint) places I thought only a kayak would handle in depth. And we regularly cruise around large lakes, dams and small rivers with still lots of battery to go.

- Cape fear and two batteries... you're playing a long time - in comfort.

I have a 15' semi v fishing boat we take on most larger rivers in my area, use a small 9.9 gas motor up and the trolling motor just to steer back.

Most boats need a trailer and can't be pitched over your car, but one can release the boat and bring it back solo. CJ's jon boat will fit in my truck bed and we can lift it in together easily.

 

You've got a lot of research to do. :laughing:

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Rather than get opinions from others, which usually means what suits them, talk to staff at REI, EMS, LLBean and the like and get a rough idea of what you need. Start from there.

Both EMS and REI usually have "try 'em out" demo days listed on their website. Look for one near you and have fun.

 

I sent a rather lengthy PM to the OP but I disagree with this particular recommendation. Store such as REI, EMS, LLBean that sell merchandise for all sports rarely have staff that are very knowledgeable about kayaks and canoes. I've encountered salespeople at big box stores that have little or no experience actually paddling the boats that they sell. The recommendation for demo-days or renting before buying is a good one though, but I'd suggesting find dedicated kayak/canoe shop that exclusively deals with paddlesports where you're more likely going to talk with someone that lives and breaths kayaks or canoes.

 

This recommendation is based on 17 years as a avid kayaker, owner of three kayaks and a canoe (I've built two wooden kayaks), experience paddling well over 100 different models, lots of volunteer experience helping with rentals and teaching at the local kayak shop, and as a published author in SeaKayaker magazine.

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I will generally agree with not "listening" so intently to what a retailer has to say. Their interest is in selling, mostly. Especially the larger retailers! A smaller, non-corporate store would be better at wanting YOU to be happy with a purchase.

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Having a wife and daughter, i at first was thinking a canoe would be the way to go. But then i began to think of how often they probably wouldn't go, where i would be using it, and most importantly, how i was going to haul it. Decided on a kayak and couldn't be happier.

 

The brand and model that i ended up with is a Perception Sport Pescador at 10 feet in length. It's not too heavy at around 50 pounds, which makes it easy for me to place on top of any of my vehicles (using foam or a mount). It tracks well given it's shorter length and is pretty stable so i'm very happy with that. One of the things i really liked was getting lucky and finding it on Amazon for a good price with free shipping.

 

I attended a night time paddle event earlier this month and i figure that we paddled a little over 4 miles. Have to say that the kayak handled great without wearing me out. :D

 

Edited to add a big OOOPS. I missed reading that you wanted it to hold two people. Mine wouldn't work for you but Perception does make tandom kayaks.

 

While i'm here, and someone with more experience may correct me, i'm thinking that the Perception brand is kinda in the middle when it comes to quality and usability. I've heard and read bad things about the other brand that starts with a "P", otherwise i guess it may come down to cost versus how much you think you will use it when picking one out. No matter what you decide, if possible, try to demo before making the purchase.

Edited by Mudfrog
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Wow, I really appreciate all of the replies. Especially NYPaddleCacher, thanks for the email. It's a lot to process. But to answer your question, I do have a Ford Escape with one of those sport racks on top. It slides down the back of the vehicle so that you hook up whatever and then slide it back to the top. And I'm pretty strong so I think I could handle anything!

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While i'm here, and someone with more experience may correct me, i'm thinking that the Perception brand is kinda in the middle when it comes to quality and usability. I've heard and read bad things about the other brand that starts with a "P", otherwise i guess it may come down to cost versus how much you think you will use it when picking one out. No matter what you decide, if possible, try to demo before making the purchase.

 

Perception, Dagger, and Wilderness Systems are probably the best selling brands and cover a wide range of styles and prices. BTW, Perception is probably one of the oldest brands as well (they used to be called Aquaterra). I'm not sure which "P" company you're thinking of. Pygmy sells build-it-yourself kits, and a British company called P&H makes some high end touring kayaks, some designed by Derek Hutchinson (considered by many to be the grandfather of modern day sea kayaking). I've taken a couple of training classes with Derek and have paddled several of his designs. Pyranha is another "P" company that makes some nice whitewater boats but comes up a bit short in the sea kayaking market. Other brands worth considering are Necky, Current Designs, and Walden.

 

50 pounds for a 10' boat is fairly high. The 18' long cedar strip kayak I built weighs in abut about 40 pounds. Fiberglass boats are generally going to be 8-10 pounds lighter than a polyethylene (i.e. plastic) boat of the same design, and a kevlar layup even less. However, they're going to be a lot more expensive and are probably overkill for someone just looking for a boat that can be used to find paddle caches.

 

For someone that lives in North Carolina or other southern states I wouldn't rule out a sit-on-top like a Hobie or even a Pelican.

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...but even I can't take sitting in one position, with my legs straight out in front of me for more than twenty minutes.

That, and the canoe allows more freedom of movement, both for myself and my stuff, which eases my mind tremendously. I don't like feeling trapped.

If you ever decide to give kayaking another go, you could eliminate all of these concerns by test driving sit-on-top kayaks. They have none of the restrictions that traditional sit-inside boats have, you aren't stuck in one position, and exit/entry is a breeze, anywhere from dockside, beach and deep water. And they are orders of magnitude more stable than any canoe I've paddled.

 

Store such as REI, EMS, LLBean that sell merchandise for all sports rarely have staff that are very knowledgeable about kayaks and canoes. The recommendation for demo-days or renting before buying is a good one though, but I'd suggesting find dedicated kayak/canoe shop that exclusively deals with paddlesports where you're more likely going to talk with someone that lives and breaths kayaks or canoes.

Great advice! I've only been paddling about 10 years, but I can attest that most big box sporting goods stores are hopelessly inadequate for folks seeking specific knowledge. If you are looking for what I call toy boats, (the little 10' things sold at Wally World and similar stores), it really doesn't matter who you talk to. You will end up with a boat that is somewhat suitable for short duration trips. If you are seeking a quality paddle craft, you need to be fitted to the boat. This is best done with someone who has a wide range of knowledge regarding a host of brands/models.

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My husband and I bought kayaks In July and were clueless prior to that.

 

We decided on kayaks more for the weight & storage. We originally considered a tandem kayak but thought against it due to its overall length. Too big to comfortably haul with our vehicles or store.

 

We wanted a beginners style for mostly easy water. We did some research online and found the Emotion kayaks get really good reviews for both usage, fit, and materials. We went to our local outfitter and sat in several types. Size can and does matter. It's gotta fit properly. We ended up with a pair Glide kayaks.

 

We've used them every weekend over the summer and couldn't be happier. They haul easily on both vehicles and store in our garage nicely. They're only 9' long. Lightweight ...

 

We use them on lakes, creeks, and easy flowing rivers. Very beginners friendly.

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If you ever decide to give kayaking another go, you could eliminate all of these concerns by test driving sit-on-top kayaks. They have none of the restrictions that traditional sit-inside boats have, you aren't stuck in one position, and exit/entry is a breeze, anywhere from dockside, beach and deep water. And they are orders of magnitude more stable than any canoe I've paddled.

 

I have, actually, used one. I still ended up with a wet butt and a sore back. It was very stable and paddled at least twice as fast and three times as far as the canoe that I tried on the same lake, but the fact is that a sit-on-top kayak is technically a raft, not a boat, so the water had this way of creeping up over the top of it and puddling in the low spots. I just couldn't get comfortable on the thing like I could on the canoe, and it really lacks the potential for carrying gear, like a large cache that I'm making, now (had to keep this in the on-topic forum, somehow).

 

I sent a rather lengthy PM to the OP but I disagree with this particular recommendation. Store such as REI, EMS, LLBean that sell merchandise for all sports rarely have staff that are very knowledgeable about kayaks and canoes.

 

This month found me frequently in a Sport Challet asking questions of the employees. It was a pretty sad thing to realize these people never have the time and money to get out and actually use the equipment they sell. I don't know what they do with their spare time, if they have any, but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the great outdoors.

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If you ever decide to give kayaking another go, you could eliminate all of these concerns by test driving sit-on-top kayaks. They have none of the restrictions that traditional sit-inside boats have, you aren't stuck in one position, and exit/entry is a breeze, anywhere from dockside, beach and deep water. And they are orders of magnitude more stable than any canoe I've paddled.

 

I have, actually, used one. I still ended up with a wet butt and a sore back. It was very stable and paddled at least twice as fast and three times as far as the canoe that I tried on the same lake, but the fact is that a sit-on-top kayak is technically a raft, not a boat, so the water had this way of creeping up over the top of it and puddling in the low spots. I just couldn't get comfortable on the thing like I could on the canoe, and it really lacks the potential for carrying gear, like a large cache that I'm making, now (had to keep this in the on-topic forum, somehow).

 

You're certainly not the first person that's felt uncomfortable sitting for a long time in a kayak. The comfort level for kayak seats has improved quite a bit over the past few years and many avid kayakers will carve a seat out of foam rubber and will end up with something that is pretty comfortable. A lot of beginners also tend to have a poor posture when paddling that can have an impact on comfort. Personally, I have a hard time kneeling for a long time when paddling a canoe.

 

As far as getting wet in a sit-on-top kayak, I've found quite a few people that even though it involves a boat, didn't realize that kayaking is a wet sport. If you don't like getting wet it's probably not the sport for you. If you dress for the water temperature, and don't mind getting wet, a sit-on-top can be a good choice in warm water climates.

 

 

I sent a rather lengthy PM to the OP but I disagree with this particular recommendation. Store such as REI, EMS, LLBean that sell merchandise for all sports rarely have staff that are very knowledgeable about kayaks and canoes.

 

This month found me frequently in a Sport Challet asking questions of the employees. It was a pretty sad thing to realize these people never have the time and money to get out and actually use the equipment they sell. I don't know what they do with their spare time, if they have any, but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the great outdoors.

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Personally, I'd get a canoe. There's room for more gear and possibly a third person or a dog. There's more flexibility in seating position. It's easier to get in and out. It's easier to take along someone who knows nothing about canoeing, and who may or may not be able to paddle much. And last but not least, I'm much more familiar with canoes than with kayaks.

 

On the other hand, I've tipped a kayak in deep water, and I've tipped a canoe in deep water. I just rolled the kayak and was back upright within seconds. Getting everyone and everything back into the canoe was a lot harder.

 

Regardless, get a boat you're comfortable with in the water, which requires trying it in the water. I discovered a huge difference between kayaks designed for beginners and kayaks designed for experts. What experts call "responsive", I call "twitchy". I'm sure experts want that kind of handling, but it made a simple geo-paddle up and down the lake a lot harder for me. (It was still a great day though.)

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Personally, I'd get a canoe. There's room for more gear and possibly a third person or a dog. There's more flexibility in seating position. It's easier to get in and out. It's easier to take along someone who knows nothing about canoeing, and who may or may not be able to paddle much. And last but not least, I'm much more familiar with canoes than with kayaks.

 

All good points, but the reason that I didn't recommend a canoe vs. a kayak to the OP was that finding a canoe that is short enough to be paddled solo (assuming beginner level skills) and one that has room enough for two can be tricky. Actually, the same goes for a tandem kakak, which is the reason I suggested looking for two reasonable priced (possibly) used recreational or light touring kayaks.

 

On the other hand, I've tipped a kayak in deep water, and I've tipped a canoe in deep water. I just rolled the kayak and was back upright within seconds. Getting everyone and everything back into the canoe was a lot harder.

 

As a point of clarification, rolling a kayak (without leaving the cockpit) is not a beginner level skill. I know some sea kayakers that have been paddling for years and still don't know how to roll. On the other hand, I've taught a few people how to do it on the first day they were ever in a kayak. Most recreational class kayaks are very difficult to roll. They're specifically design to be stable (which means although they're harder to tip over, they're harder to roll back up) and the cockpits are often so big that you can't use your knees/legs to "drive" the boat back up. Someone that already has experience rolling can probably do it (I've done it, and have also rolled a 18 foot tandem kayak with a partner and a sit-on-top that was equipped with thigh straps). For flat water paddling it's more important to know how to exit a kayak after a capsize and to know how re-enter the kayak in deep water (with or without assistance). It's something I've taught to dozens of first time kayakers and something that should be practiced. I've gone out onto our local lake with a couple of friends when the wind has picked up and there are 2-3' waves and practiced "wet exits" and re-entries.

 

 

Regardless, get a boat you're comfortable with in the water, which requires trying it in the water. I discovered a huge difference between kayaks designed for beginners and kayaks designed for experts. What experts call "responsive", I call "twitchy". I'm sure experts want that kind of handling, but it made a simple geo-paddle up and down the lake a lot harder for me. (It was still a great day though.)

 

"Twitchy" is a term that I've used often to describe advanced kayaks with low initial stability and I've paddled some models that I considered unnecessarily unstable. Paddling an advanced boat requires a more advanced skills called bracing (essentially using the flat part of the paddle blade to provide support while tilting the boat to one side. Leaning (or as it's more commonly called, "tilting" or "edging) a kayak makes it much easier to turn (due to the shape of the boat and a shorter water line) but in order to keep the boat "on edge" you need to know how to brace (the article I wrote for SeaKayaker magazine was on exercises one can do to improve high bracing skills). A "responsive" can be tilted to one side easily is also better in steep waves. A flat bottom recreational boat will tend to follow the face of the wave, and if the wave is steep enough, it can cause a capsize. A boat that can be tilted to one side can be leaned into the wave while your upper body remains vertical, keeping your center of gravity over the middle of the boat. A "responsive" boat can be tilted into a wave, then titled back the other direction as you go over the crest of the wave. A responsive boat is also much easier to roll.

 

All that said, for geocaching purposes a decent quality recreational kayak or light touring boat in the 13-15 foot range, or a canoe, probably would be the best choice.

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I see a lot of generalizations here and as in the case of generalizations, many are wrong. There are heavy and difficult to turn kayaks and light and easy to turn canoes. There are wide and slow kayaks and sleek and fast canoes. There are very stable canoes and "tippy" kayaks

 

A whitewater canoe (like a Bell Ocoee) or Adirondack style canoe (like a Hornbeck) will turn circles around most recreational or tripping kayaks. You want light? Some Hornbeck canoes weigh as little as 12 lbs.

 

I've been paddling canoes and kayaks since I was about 10, so that gives me roughly 44 years of experience. For much of that time I was borrowing my parent's boats or renting. When it came time for me to buy my own I went with a canoe because I found them to be more versatile. Here is my take on the pros and cons of each.

 

Kayak pros

-Low profile is superior to a canoe in wind

-Decking combined with a skirt makes for a drier ride in whitewater, waves and on rainy days.

-Generally speaking, kayaks are faster, but there are buts. A canoe meant for racing will blow away a rec kayak. However if you compare a kayak and a canoe that were designed for a similar purpose, the kayak will be faster.

-Low center of gravity.

-fairly comfortable paddling position

 

Kayak cons

-can be difficult to enter and exit

-You're basically stuck in that one position all of the time.

-retreiving gear from the storage areas usually requires that you pull ashore to do it.

-they don't carry a lot. Need to bring a cooler? Forget that.

-if you want to go with your husband you need two kayaks unless you buy a tandem kayak, but they are very difficult to handle solo.

-leave the dog home unless you have a Chihuahua

 

Canoe pros

-easy in easy out

-a variety of paddling positions, sitting, kneeling, legs out in front or underneath or even up on a thwart or the gunwales.

-you can move around and even stand if you're careful.

-Easy access to gear

-You can carry a lot. Wanna bring the kids? The dog? A cooler? Go right ahead.

-Most tandem canoes are easily paddled solo.

-better view of the water and possible obstacles from a higher position.

-easier to fish from

-much more stable than people realize. Boats have primary and secondary stability. Primary is how "tippy" it feels, secondary is how difficult it is to actually tip over. Many canoes have a high secondary stability.

 

Canoe cons

-can be difficult to control when windy

-A wet ride in whitewater, waves and on rainy days. A big wave can swamp you if you aren't careful.

 

Bottom line is that you need to decide what your primary uses will be (camping? fishing? geocaching? tripping? birdwatching? fitness? whitewater? cruising? exploring?) whether you will be paddling alone or with friends and family and the type of water you'll usually be paddling. For me, when I considered all of that a canoe won hands down, but that's me.

 

Some good names in kayaks are Wilderness Systems, Dagger, Perception, Hurricane, Swift, QCC and NC

Some good names in canoes are We-No-Nah, Mad River, Old Town, Swift, Bell and Novacraft

Stay way from anything Pelican, whether canoe or kayak.

 

And I didn't even go into SINK vs SOT kayaks, that is a whole 'nother debate

 

A very good resource is www.paddling.net. The forums there are filled with paddling knowledge and there are reviews of nearly any boat you may be considering.

Edited by briansnat
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...but the fact is that a sit-on-top kayak is technically a raft, not a boat, so the water had this way of creeping up over the top of it and puddling in the low spots. I just couldn't get comfortable on the thing like I could on the canoe, and it really lacks the potential for carrying gear, like a large cache that I'm making, now

 

Do you recall what type of kayak it was? I have seen some ghetto sit-on-tops that might perform as you describe. But those are the exception, not the rule. As to carrying gear, you might be surprised.

 

Of my three boats, two, as I mentioned, are SOTs. The little one, (OK Drifter 12'), has the least storage/weight capacity, at about 500 pounds. The high back seat is very adjustable, allowing me to change my back position, and the foot scallops allow me to change my leg position. When I tire of sitting this way, I can kneel or stand, though since I have pretty poor coordination, standing often equates to splashing. :lol:

 

It has a fairly large front hatch for dry storage, and a tank well in the back for wet storage. While assisting a caching friend with a puzzle hide, I lugged an ammo can, an 80 pound slap of concrete and a lamp post, several miles up a river, so I could hide it in a swamp. I've had that same boat so loaded with trash bags during CITOs that I could barely see over the top of them.

 

My other SOT (OK Prowler Trident 15) is a dedicated fishing vessel, and has a slightly higher weight/storage capacity. (not sure why, as all I ever tote on it is fishing equipment) I haven't taken that one out on any clean ups, as it tracks too well for winding current. My hybrid boat (Native Ultimate 14.5) is closest to a canoe of all my vessels, though it lacks the tippy, rounded hull and high seating/high center of gravity of a canoe. This one is the easiest to stand in.

 

Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to turn you against canoes. I used to love canoes, and paddled many over the years, of various lengths and price ranges. When I need to carry more than a few hundred pounds of gear, I will choose my hybrid every time, as it has all the storage of a 14' canoe, with none of the drawbacks of a canoe. I just don't think you should write off SOTs based on limited experience. The market has evolved considerably in just the last few years.

 

(Yes, Virginia. A SOT is a boat, not a raft) :P:ph34r:

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Kayak cons

-can be difficult to enter and exit

Not if you paddle a SOT. :P

-You're basically stuck in that one position all of the time.

Not if you paddle a SOT. :P

-retreiving gear from the storage areas usually requires that you pull ashore to do it.

Not if you paddle a SOT. :P

-they don't carry a lot. Need to bring a cooler? Forget that.

Not if you paddle a SOT. :P

-if you want to go with your husband you need two kayaks unless you buy a tandem kayak, but they are very difficult to handle solo.

OK, ya got me on that one... :(

-leave the dog home unless you have a Chihuahua

Unless you paddle a SOT. Then you can bring a real pooch. :P

 

And I didn't even go into SINK vs SOT kayaks, that is a whole 'nother debate

Oh... To quote Emily Litella, "Nevermind..." :lol:

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A friend has a Wilderness Systems Pungo 100 (10') and she loves it. Like the Pamlico but better amenities. About $650 new.

 

 

This is me. :)

 

I borrowed three or four different kayak brands over the course of 2-3 years before researching what I wanted to purchase. I did most of my research online (paddling.net is a great resource). When I was pretty certain I wanted a Pungo 120, I ended up talking to the manager of a boat rental place on a local lake and learned a ton more. That's how I ended up with my Pungo 100. The extra 2', associated weight (and price) weren't going to get me enough extra to justify anything. Plus I knew I probably wouldn't be able to handle the 120 by myself on/off the car.

 

It definitely helps to talk to someone who has the knowledge, but neutral is in the transaction. That was one of the best conversations I had.

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While i'm here, and someone with more experience may correct me, i'm thinking that the Perception brand is kinda in the middle when it comes to quality and usability. I've heard and read bad things about the other brand that starts with a "P", otherwise i guess it may come down to cost versus how much you think you will use it when picking one out. No matter what you decide, if possible, try to demo before making the purchase.

 

Perception, Dagger, and Wilderness Systems are probably the best selling brands and cover a wide range of styles and prices. BTW, Perception is probably one of the oldest brands as well (they used to be called Aquaterra). I'm not sure which "P" company you're thinking of. Pygmy sells build-it-yourself kits, and a British company called P&H makes some high end touring kayaks, some designed by Derek Hutchinson (considered by many to be the grandfather of modern day sea kayaking). I've taken a couple of training classes with Derek and have paddled several of his designs. Pyranha is another "P" company that makes some nice whitewater boats but comes up a bit short in the sea kayaking market. Other brands worth considering are Necky, Current Designs, and Walden.

 

50 pounds for a 10' boat is fairly high. The 18' long cedar strip kayak I built weighs in abut about 40 pounds. Fiberglass boats are generally going to be 8-10 pounds lighter than a polyethylene (i.e. plastic) boat of the same design, and a kevlar layup even less. However, they're going to be a lot more expensive and are probably overkill for someone just looking for a boat that can be used to find paddle caches.

 

For someone that lives in North Carolina or other southern states I wouldn't rule out a sit-on-top like a Hobie or even a Pelican.

 

The "P" boat that i referred to is the Pelican brand,,, but i don't want to steer anyone wrong. I have no first hand experience with that brand. It's just that i did notice more negative comments about it during my research (reading reviews, browsing kayak forums, and talking with friends). I'm sure they are ok for the price but i would imagine that kayaks are like most products out there, in that the price goes up for better quality, durability, and performance. Since this was my first kayak purchase, i decided to go low to middle of the pack, so to speak, to see how i like it. I have to say that i feel i made the right decision.

 

On the wieght, it is a SOT which from my research, always seemed to be bit heavier than a sit inside of equal length.

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Kayak cons

-can be difficult to enter and exit

Not if you paddle a SOT. :P

-You're basically stuck in that one position all of the time.

Not if you paddle a SOT. :P

-retreiving gear from the storage areas usually requires that you pull ashore to do it.

Not if you paddle a SOT. :P

-they don't carry a lot. Need to bring a cooler? Forget that.

Not if you paddle a SOT. :P

-if you want to go with your husband you need two kayaks unless you buy a tandem kayak, but they are very difficult to handle solo.

OK, ya got me on that one... :(

-leave the dog home unless you have a Chihuahua

Unless you paddle a SOT. Then you can bring a real pooch. :P

 

And I didn't even go into SINK vs SOT kayaks, that is a whole 'nother debate

Oh... To quote Emily Litella, "Nevermind..." :lol:

 

As with all boats, SOTs have their advantages and disadvantages. A huge downside of SOTs is that they lose the major advantages of SINK kayaks - speed, maneuverability and low profile. SOTs are incredibly stable, often more so than most canoes or SINKs. Therefore they make nice fishing platforms and are great for novice paddlers. They can also be very wet rides as they don't offer the protection of either a SINK or canoe, so they are purely summer boats. I've found them be incredibly uncomfortable after an hour or so. They also tend to be rather heavy for their length.

 

All boat choices are a series of trade offs and in the end the key is to consider your skills and intended uses and decide what features are important.

 

There is a certain hipness with kayaks these days, so they out sell canoes by a wide margin. Kayaks have a cachet, while canoes are so "summer camp". But once you really look at your needs, the choice may be lean away from what is "cool".

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We kayak cache and I have also owned a canoe for years. All are great fun! I didn't cache when I had a canoe. The problem with the canoe I had was it was heavy and hard to load and unload. Now we have hobie kayaks. We like them because they have foot pedals. You don't have to paddle much. Maybe to back up or to get you off the beach but then you just put them in the holders and go. The thule hulivator is great! easy to load and unload. all of this is expensive just to go grab a cache though. We also use it for fishing but has came in handy now for our caching.

P1030645-2.jpg

Here is our tandom kayak actually at a cache.

Ready to go our for a cache.

P1030527-2.jpg

Didnt find pics of our hulivator but that can put it down by your feet if in a car and lift it up for you. no work at all!

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The "P" boat that i referred to is the Pelican brand,,, but i don't want to steer anyone wrong. I have no first hand experience with that brand. It's just that i did notice more negative comments about it during my research (reading reviews, browsing kayak forums, and talking with friends). I'm sure they are ok for the price but i would imagine that kayaks are like most products out there, in that the price goes up for better quality, durability, and performance. Since this was my first kayak purchase, i decided to go low to middle of the pack, so to speak, to see how i like it. I have to say that i feel i made the right decision.

 

On the wieght, it is a SOT which from my research, always seemed to be bit heavier than a sit inside of equal length.

 

As you suggest, doing plenty of research before buying is a really good idea. In addition to reading reviews, browsing kayak forums (I used to be a regular in the rec.boats.paddle usenet group), and talking to friends. More importantly, researching should include getting in an paddling as many different types of boats as you can (as I mentioned earlier, I've paddled well over 100 different kayak models). You're not really going to know if a certain model is going to be too slow, or too tippy, or two heavy until you try it.

 

As an example, although I've owned a couple of canoes since I was in my early 20s I had never paddled a kayak until I moved to Ithaca where I"m a stones throw from a 40 mile long lake. I'm also an avid flyfisherman so when I first moved here I looked at getting a boat that could get me around on the lake, into the tributaries and to take to other nearby waters. I was talked into getting a 12' recreational kayak by someone at the local outdoor store. About a week later I noticed that there was an 2 day Intro to Sea Kayaking course being taught through the local university outdoor education program and signed up. I spent two days learning the basic strokes, how to do a wet exit and re-entry and got to paddle 3-4 different touring kayaks. At the end of the second day one of the instructors invited me to go with him and several friends (one of them was the woman that sold me the rec boat) for an all day trip along the barge canals north of the lake. I paddled a couple of other touring boats including his fairly advanced kayak, a Wilderness Systems Arctic Hawk. A week later I was on craigslist looking for a "real" sea kayak and ended up finding a used fiberglass Valley Skerray, a 17', 23" wide touring boat. I sold that rec boat about a week later. Since then, I've built two wooden sea kayaks (one I sold after building the first one). During a trip to New Jersey to spend a weekend paddling with one of the rec.boats.paddle regulars he let me use his greenland style paddle. He ended up giving me one of the first greenland paddles he built and I refinished it and started using it to learn several greenland style rolls, and a couple of skills called deep sculling (basically lying sideways next to the boat in the water while slowly moving the paddle back and forth to maintain a "resting" position) and a balance brace. That prompted me to build the second wood boat, a cedar strip that is 17'10" long and 21" wide with a low rear deck that is very helpful for greenland style paddling. Somewhere along the line I picked up a whitewater kayak (which I mostly used for rolling practice) and a Wenonah canoe.

 

I suppose the point is that it's hard to tell what kind of paddling you're going to want to do until you actually try, so choosing a first boat that's going allow you to "grow" is a really good idea.

 

I have no idea if the rec.boats.paddle usenet group is still active, but it used to be frequented by a really good and knowledgeable group of people, including several boat designers. John Winters (of QCC kayaks that briansnat mentioned) and Nick Schade (of Guillemot kayaks, a wooden kayak designer) used to get into some boat design debates that would make your eyes glaze over. Through the usenet group I also heard about a sea kayaking symposium in Maine and attended it two years in a row. At that symposium, as well as several others, I got the chance to take some training classes with several world class kayakers including Derek Hutchinson (the grandfather of modern day sea kayaking), Nigel Dennis (designer of the NDK Romany, probably one of the best all around touring kayaks ever made), Nigel Foster (one of best surf kayakers in the world), Greg Stamer (first American to ever compete in the Greenland Kayak Olympics), Nick Schade (I actually only had lunch with him), and Shawna Franklin and Leon Somme (a couple of very accomplished paddlers from Washington state that trained and assessed me for the British Canoe Union 3 star Test and all around good people). If the OP or anyone else considers taking kayaking a little more seriously I highly recommend attending a sea kayaking symposium. Sea Kayaker magazine lists all the major ones here

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We kayak cache and I have also owned a canoe for years. All are great fun! I didn't cache when I had a canoe. The problem with the canoe I had was it was heavy and hard to load and unload. Now we have hobie kayaks. We like them because they have foot pedals. You don't have to paddle much. Maybe to back up or to get you off the beach but then you just put them in the holders and go. The thule hulivator is great! easy to load and unload. all of this is expensive just to go grab a cache though. We also use it for fishing but has came in handy now for our caching.

P1030645-2.jpg

Here is our tandom kayak actually at a cache.

Ready to go our for a cache.

P1030527-2.jpg

Didnt find pics of our hulivator but that can put it down by your feet if in a car and lift it up for you. no work at all!

 

You had to go and post those photos. I've been drooling over the Hobie Mirage kayaks ever since I saw my first one. Very nice for fishing

out of the way places where you can't bring a regular boat. I was hoping to buy a Hobie Mirage Outback this spring, but since my car died, my extra money will go to buying a new car instead.

 

But one consistent theme here is that canoes are "heavy", but often people are comparing tandem canoes with solo kayaks. Even with that at 66 lbs, a solo Hobie Mirage kayak weighs just 7 lbs less than my tandem Mad River Explorer canoe and my Explorer is considered to be one of the heavier canoes out there.

 

I just picked a few of the more popular canoes at random for comparison. The Bell Morningstar is a highly regarded tandem canoe that paddles nicely solo as well. The Morningstar comes in three hull materials and depending on the hull material weighs 37, 42 or 56 lbs. A Novacraft Prospector comes on at 45 - 72 lbs depending materials. Those weights are for tandem canoes. Picking some popular tandem kayaks at random, the Wilderness Systems Northstar checks in at a whopping 93 lbs. and a Perception Prodigy II is 73 lbs.

 

And there is the always Hornbeck 8 canoe which checks in at twelve lbs.

 

For those who shaving weight is a key factor, canoe weights can be very competitive with kayak weights. I know a petite, 82 year old woman who paddles frequently. She has a solo canoe that she loads and unloads from the roof of her car by herself.

Edited by briansnat
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Canoe's are all we've ever done......we had always rented them for runs down creeks and rivers. Some years they were several put out locally ( several you had to stand up in the boat to get them) but there are no local rentals. I ended up going to Sams and buying a canoe, I think around $400....very nice with plenty storage and may have come with paddles. I made a bracket and bought a trolling motor so I can go all day and not paddle if I want. We always carry lots of stuff so I like a canoe.

One thing.....be prepared to flip over....it will happen. There is a local creek with moving current, very mild white water-falls, but many snags and obstacles. I've come down that creek multiple times without flipping once then on the next outing flipped three times.

All your gear needs to be waterproofed and tied in ( double and triple ziplock your sandwiches).

The other folks on here are the pros.....I think if you want to paddle together,sit comfortable, and carry a bunch of stuff go with the canoe.

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I'm not sure if someone mentioned it yet or not but my issue between kayaks and canoes is comfort. I'd suggest borrowing or renting each first before committing. I've been on a couple of long kayak and canoe paddles and the canoe was much harder on the back where it wasn't as much of a problem in the kayak. I use a Wilderness kayak and can attest to their toughness but I have a tough time keeping up when in a group.

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P8260069_zps89524c88.jpg

I don't know how close you are to Greenesboro but there is a nice paddle sport shop there called "Get Outdoors." It's at 1515 West Lee Street.

 

I recently sold my LIncoln 14 foot Canoe and bought a Native Ultimate 12 which is a light Kayak/Canoe hybred . I love this friggin boat. It's very light and very stable and a fantastic fishing boat. The seat is so comfortable I can stay in the boat all day. It's amazing.

The canoe was just getting to be to heavy to lift and secure. It became a chore to take it out. I can lift the Native by my self with out my husbands help.

I mostly paddle local lakes, CT River, and the coastal nook/coves down the shore with the Native..

If I started fishing stripers or off shore caches I would switch to a self draining sit on top. These boats are way safer for open water and not likely to swamp or sink when you get hit by a wave.

 

Just my two cents tossed in.

 

 

edit to add picture

Edited by snowcrustracer
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I don't know how close you are to Greenesboro but there is a nice paddle sport shop there called "Get Outdoors." It's at 1515 West Lee Street.

 

I recently sold my LIncoln 14 foot Canoe and bought a Native Ultimate 12 which is a light Kayak/Canoe hybred . I love this friggin boat. It's very light and very stable and a fantastic fishing boat. The seat is so comfortable I can stay in the boat all day. It's amazing.

 

That reminds me of something I had not thought of. The use of a double bladed paddle while sitting n the center of a canoe has become a lot more common. I think 12' would be a little short as a tandem, but something like the folding Pakboat Puffin II can be rigged as a tendem or as a solo boat. Probably more expensive than what the OP wanted but it can be packed up and taken on a plane to places that might have a lot of paddle caches.

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I recently sold my LIncoln 14 foot Canoe and bought a Native Ultimate 12 which is a light Kayak/Canoe hybred .

Gotta echo what you say about comfort. Of all the 'yaks and canoes I've ever paddled, my Ultimate 14.5 is the most comfortable. I compare it to paddling a Lazy Boy. I had been looking at the Ultimate line for a while, and jumped on that one when a friend sold it. The price was right. The only drawback I see to my boat is the length. It is set up so you can paddle it solo, or switch the seating set up and go tandem. Since I really don't like paddling tandem, it's a feature I seldom use. I would love to check out a 12 footer.

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Although it isn't a top quality Kayak, my Emotion Glide has a large enough cockpit that I can stretch my legs out over the front in calm water and drift when I start to feel cramped. And it sure beats heaving the old Grumman Shoe keel onto the roof rack....

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I don't know how close you are to Greenesboro but there is a nice paddle sport shop there called "Get Outdoors." It's at 1515 West Lee Street.

 

I recently sold my LIncoln 14 foot Canoe and bought a Native Ultimate 12 which is a light Kayak/Canoe hybred . I love this friggin boat. It's very light and very stable and a fantastic fishing boat. The seat is so comfortable I can stay in the boat all day. It's amazing.

 

That reminds me of something I had not thought of. The use of a double bladed paddle while sitting n the center of a canoe has become a lot more common. I think 12' would be a little short as a tandem, but something like the folding Pakboat Puffin II can be rigged as a tendem or as a solo boat. Probably more expensive than what the OP wanted but it can be packed up and taken on a plane to places that might have a lot of paddle caches.

 

The Adirondack pack canoes are gaining in popularity. They are designed so the paddler sits on the floor, as in a kayak and uses a double bladed paddle. The Hornbeck I've mentioned a few times is one (kind of pricy though). The Adirondack style canoes are extremely light weight and many canoe mfrs are producing at least one Adirondack style model. Here is a Swift Pack 12, only 19 lbs.

Edited by briansnat
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I am going to do something I don't think I have seen anyone else suggest - rent. Find a place near a lake or river (or both) and rent a kayak, then rent a canoe. Often, you can rent different types of kayaks (sit on tops, sit-ins, tandems). Your best bet, especially starting, is to stick with a recreational kayak. No need to mess with white water kayaks or touring kayaks just yet. As for a canoe - same deal - just rent a standard 12 - 15 foot canoe - but again canoes do require team work. They are more versatile as far as how much gear you can bring along, and you can stuff more then two people in them (such as bringing kids along). But by all means, RENT first, rent twice, rent three times before you invest in a boat of your own, to see what you guys are most comfy with.

 

I personally own a kayak and a canoe. Love both of them, though the kayak more - because I only have to worry about me in my kayak ;-)

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I am going to do something I don't think I have seen anyone else suggest - rent. Find a place near a lake or river (or both) and rent a kayak, then rent a canoe. Often, you can rent different types of kayaks (sit on tops, sit-ins, tandems). Your best bet, especially starting, is to stick with a recreational kayak. No need to mess with white water kayaks or touring kayaks just yet.

 

I strongly suggested renting to the OP in a PM I sent her. Renting a whitewater kayak wouldn't make sense for the OP or for a boat that would be used to find paddle caches, but I disagree with the suggestion to avoid trying out touring kayaks. I haven't done it in awhile but I used to spend many a weekend hanging out at my friends kayak shop helping him out with rentals. He has a wide range of rentals from longer recreational boats, many light touring models (i.e such as a Perception Carolina) and a bunch for touring kayaks (most around 17' long, and 23-24" wide). I've helped put hundreds of people into rental boats from his fleet and there were only a few occasions where someone had difficulty with a touring boat. I've see a lot of first timers get into a touring boat and look a bit wobbly at first, but come back an hour or two later looking quite comfortable. The learning curve for a touring boat is not as steep as a big box sporting goods store that only carries recreational boats would like you to believe. As I mentioned in an earlier posts, after buying a recreational kayak it only took me one day paddling a few touring kayaks to convince me to sell the recreational kayak and buy a fiberglass touring boat (which I still own after 17 years).

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A few intemperate thoughts...

 

Longer = faster.

Shorter = easier to turn.

I can certainly understand the shorter = easier to run, but I don't understand the longer=faster. Doesn't make sense to me. More surface area = more drag, right? How can longer be faster (assuming equal displacement, of course. I can see how a longer vessel might ride higher in the water due to greater displacement)

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A few intemperate thoughts...

 

Longer = faster.

Shorter = easier to turn.

I can certainly understand the shorter = easier to run, but I don't understand the longer=faster. Doesn't make sense to me. More surface area = more drag, right? How can longer be faster (assuming equal displacement, of course. I can see how a longer vessel might ride higher in the water due to greater displacement)

 

I think you answered your question with the last sentence.

 

Shorter isn't necessarily easier to turn however. Maneuverability also has to do with rocker (bow to stern curve of the hull). A longer boat with a lot of rocker will turn easier than a shorter boat with little rocker.

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A few intemperate thoughts...

 

Longer = faster.

Shorter = easier to turn.

I can certainly understand the shorter = easier to run, but I don't understand the longer=faster. Doesn't make sense to me. More surface area = more drag, right? How can longer be faster (assuming equal displacement, of course. I can see how a longer vessel might ride higher in the water due to greater displacement)

As Brian referenced earlier, both principles are generalizations. But, as generalizations, they hold true much of the time. Most consumer grade kayaks shoot for a weight capacity between 200 to 300 pounds. When builders reduce the length of a kayak, and wish to retain the weight capacity, many do so by increasing width. Thus, short boats are often wider than long boats. The end result is a squat body shape that is less efficient at gliding through the water. Maybe? :unsure:

 

I'm sure someone who is actually versed in the science of aquadynamics could give an actual answer, but that's the best I can come up with. It might even turn out to be correct. ^_^

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Longer kayaks have a narrower footprint in the water. It's that simple. The shape of the hull is important also. Flat means slower but a little more clearance in shallow waters, and easier turning.

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I've never thought about kayaks as being trendy. They are just much more stable and easier to haul than canoes. The recent popularity could probably be attributed to lower costs and ease of use. I grew up using canoes, and for 30 years never considered using a kayak until only a few years ago. I sold my orange polyethylene 15' Coleman for $100 and researched nearly every kayak I could find. I was simply amazed at how easy it was to paddle, as there was nothing much to learn, it was just easy. I've frequently tipped canoes, but haven't tipped any kayaks in the last 5 years or so. Transportation is simple also. My canoe was a bear to strap to the top of the Wrangler and I always worried about it coming off. Now, I just strap the kayak on top of 2 foam blocks on my car in less than 10 minutes and have nothing to worry about.

 

SOTs are even more stable but a little slower, as the bottom is more flat. If you wear a hole in the bottom of a traditional kayak it will fill up with water and eventually sink. However many SOTs already have holes in them, as there is no worry about sinking. You just get wet more often. They are designed for the ocean, as a traditional kayak will sink after getting pummeled with a few wakes, but on a SOT they will just wash overtop. My personal preference is for anything by Wilderness Systems, and about 12 feet long as I mentioned earlier. There are better kayaks, but I don't think the extra cost would be worth it. Mine has a removable front cover which has a dry area, as well as a large storage area in the back. At 6'3", I have plenty of legroom, and I've never felt uncomfortable.

 

 

pungo-120.jpg

 

 

•Gen2™ high-density polyethylene construction offers great performance and rugged durability

•Multichine, distinct-keel hull delivers stability and easy handling with tracking unexpected in kayaks of this shorter length

•Roomy cockpit offers comfort and a boat that's easy to get in and out of, even for full-size paddlers

•Phase3™ seats allow you to easily adjust angle of recline, back height and thigh support

•Seat adjusts on the fly via comfy T-grip handle to relieve fatigue on long paddles; thigh/knee pads just inside cockpit rim offer extra comfort

•Slidelock footrail system is easily adjustable, comfortable and rugged; footbraces adjust via extension rod that places positioning at your fingertips

•Generous stern hatch holds your lunch, paddling gear and extra clothes; hatch measures 18.5 x 12.5 in.

•Redesigned hatch cover features a hinged design and locking lever; to open hatch, simply slide lever to unlock cover and flip open to access gear

•Redesigned dashboard features a dry storage area with a hinged hatch cover, mesh utility compartments, cup holder and gear trays—perfect for keys, phone or GPS

•Comes with bulkhead? flotation, carry handles and a cup holder built into the seat

•Bungee deck rigging provides quick-and-easy external storage

 

Made in USA.

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I've never thought about kayaks as being trendy. They are just much more stable and easier to haul than canoes.

 

More generalizations. A rec kayak will usually be extremely stable, as are SOT kayaks, but when you get into whitewater and touring kayaks, they are not always particularly stable. I remember my first try in a pure whitewater kayak and it wasn't pretty. I couldn't keep the thing upright and I had been using kayaks for years. Many types of canoes will be more stable than some kayaks. It will take some doing to tip a We-no-nah Fisherman, Old Town Stillwater and similar canoes. My Explorer is extremely stable and I've never flipped in in 10 years, that includes on big lakes (Fully loaded on Lake George and Little Tupper Lake with whitecaps), white water (Chase Rapids on the Allagash) and twisty, rocky streams.

 

Same for hauling. A 18 ft long tandem kayak is not going to be any easier to load than than a similar sized tandem canoe and a 12 ft solo canoe will be just as light and easy to load as a similar sized solo kayak. And the great thing about canoes, no need to buy a special rack. Many kayaks, depending on the cockpit size and shape, don't ride particularly well on the roof without a rack. With canoes as long as the roof is wide enough you're set.

Edited by briansnat
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I wouldn't put a canoe on top of most cars. In general, they are bigger, heavier and unwieldy. And also more likely to dent the roof. I'm sure there are a few examples to prove the opposite, but overall kayaks are much easier to transport and use in my experience. Most kayaks are 12 feet and under and ride fine on top of cars, provided the car is not too tiny. The two center straps that go through the passenger compartment do the best job in keeping it stable. Most canoes are longer than 12 feet and stick up higher. In fact, I haven't seen too many people riding with canoes on top of their cars, as its probably best to use an SUV or pickup with those.

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I wouldn't put a canoe on top of most cars. In general, they are bigger, heavier and unwieldy. And also more likely to dent the roof. I'm sure there are a few examples to prove the opposite, but overall kayaks are much easier to transport and use in my experience. Most kayaks are 12 feet and under and ride fine on top of cars, provided the car is not too tiny. The two center straps that go through the passenger compartment do the best job in keeping it stable. Most canoes are longer than 12 feet and stick up higher. In fact, I haven't seen too many people riding with canoes on top of their cars, as its probably best to use an SUV or pickup with those.

 

For one you are comparing tandem canoes, with solo rec kayaks. Sure a tandem canoe will be longer and heavier than most solo rec kayaks, though a solo touring or ocean kayak can be 16 - 18 feet long, longer than and just as heavy as many tandem canoes.

 

When comparing apples to apples, solo canoe to solo kayak, and tandem canoe to tandem kayak, weight and length will generally be competitive.

 

I've transported my canoe on my Honda Civic, my Honda CRV and my Subaru Outback without a problem. 12 hour drives to Maine, 6 hour drives to the Adirondacks. On the CRV I just used the roof, no need even for foam blocks, on the Outback all I used was the factory rack that the car came with. Take a summer drive on any highway in Maine and you'll see canoes of the roofs of cars galore.

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...but overall kayaks are much easier to transport and use in my experience.

Absolutely. I would even say orders of magnitude easier.

I will be 50 in May. I have been paddling regularly since I was about 10. All but the last 10 years or so have been in canoes, Gheenoes & pirogues of many different lengths and price ranges. The learning curve for most kayaks, (gotta add the generalization disclaimer), is much shorter than the learning curve for most kayaks. Because most kayaks are so much more stable than most canoes, new paddlers get to focus on stroke technique sooner, rather than spending that time adjusting to the constant fear of tipping over.

 

Because of their basic shapes, most kayaks are much easier to transport than most canoes. The average recreational level paddle craft user transports their boat(s) on a roof rack. (I use a Yakima trailer, but used to use roof racks) The cross bars on most roof racks, (more pesky generalizations), are between 20 and 30 inches apart. With most canoes, the stretch of boat between 10 to 15 inches both directions from the midpoint have very little taper. Whereas with most kayaks, the taper is more pronounced. With straps across the boat at both cross bars, the pronounced taper of most kayaks keep the boat from slipping forward or backward. With most canoes, you almost have to use bow & stern tie downs to keep your boat from sliding. Another point toward transportation is where you put your gear. With most kayaks, they prefer to ride on the rack either bow down, if just resting on foam pads, on their sides with uprights, or at an angle, bow down, on J saddles. With this configuration, the paddler simply stows his/her gear inside the hull. But since most canoes prefer to ride inverted on roof racks, stowing your gear in the boat becomes problematic. Obviously, carrying it bow down somewhat solves that problem, but you still need to worry about your gear blowing out, or your boat filling up with water if it rains. There are tools available to canoeists to prevent these, but now you are adding more expense.

 

While I know generalizations cause their own host of problems, when discussing a beginner lever paddler, I think they are a good thing. Brian and I could hurl specifics at each other all day long, 'disproving' each other's claims, (like comparing my 18' Mohawk to my sister's 18' kevlar SINK), but that would only leave the beginner more confused than when they first arrived.

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A few intemperate thoughts...

 

Longer = faster.

Shorter = easier to turn.

I can certainly understand the shorter = easier to run, but I don't understand the longer=faster. Doesn't make sense to me. More surface area = more drag, right? How can longer be faster (assuming equal displacement, of course. I can see how a longer vessel might ride higher in the water due to greater displacement)

As Brian referenced earlier, both principles are generalizations. But, as generalizations, they hold true much of the time. Most consumer grade kayaks shoot for a weight capacity between 200 to 300 pounds. When builders reduce the length of a kayak, and wish to retain the weight capacity, many do so by increasing width. Thus, short boats are often wider than long boats. The end result is a squat body shape that is less efficient at gliding through the water. Maybe? :unsure:

 

I'm sure someone who is actually versed in the science of aquadynamics could give an actual answer, but that's the best I can come up with. It might even turn out to be correct. ^_^

 

As i mentioned earlier the old rec.boats.paddle usenet forum used to have some lively debates about boat design and performance, which usually involving John Winters (kayak designer, QCC Kayaks) and Matt Broze (kayak designer at Mariner kayaks). John has an excellent, though highly technical which covers the topic quite well here: http://www.greenval.com/shape_part1.html

 

BTW, Matt's book called "Deep Trouble" should be mandatory reading for anyone considering paddling a kayak on open waters. It chronicles a dozen or so real life scenarios where one or more kayakers got into "Deep Trouble", what went wrong and why, and how it could have been prevented.

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