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Old 01-04-2012, 07:02 PM   #16
koncha
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Aquadog should get post of the week.

Wow. I've been canoeing for years and that was the most information I have seen packed into a 2 minute read.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:00 PM   #17
Jonex
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Please don't take this the wrong way. I grew up canoeing down rivers in Missouri and I loved it, but....

Now that I have kayaks, I'll never get in a canoe again. Better paddling ergonomics, more comfy, faster with less effort, less tippy, I can throw it on my Jeep's roof by myself, no coordinating two people paddling, etc....

We have three cheapy ten foot kayaks in the garage and I've hauled them all over Wisconsin on top of my wife's Highlander using foam blocks on the stock roof rack rails. No need for a $700 roof rack.

I've surfed mine in Lake Michigan in three foot waves. No spray skirt - I can see my feet my kayak is so open - just lots of fun. Never came close to tipping it.

Lots of cheap fun. The only thing I don't like is my dog has to stay home.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:30 AM   #18
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J stroke is your friend :)

IF i could only have one, i would pick the kayak for reasons already stated. i've had 7 whitewater kayaks, 1 sit on top kayak, 1 tandem whitewater kayak, 1 tandem decked kayak, 5 decked kayaks, 2 whitewater canoes and 4 various purpose canoes. for a beginner get the best boat you can find on craigs list for $100. SERIOUSLY. If it's a kayak, put your money in a good graphite paddle/bentshaft. if it's a canoe, learn the J stroke, brace and draw strokes. whatever you choise you make, take the time to learn to "drive" it. get a comfoortable pfd and wear it. take your boat to different places to paddle. it will become a lifestyle.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:50 AM   #19
ricochetrider
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Originally Posted by AlanCT View Post
As a raw beginner, I think I'll look for used Old Town designed for primary stability, or maybe one of those aluminum Grummans. My plan is simply to paddle around the big pond out behind the house with my wife or my young daughter, and maybe do a bit of casual fishing out there.
you got some really good info out of this thread. an aluminum Grumman is the perfect starter canoe (for your pond)- super stable and predictable as well as a pretty straight tracking canoe. but aluminum canoes can be a tough go in rivers or creeks, especially if they are shallow at all, as aluminum tends to stick quite well to rocks. tho heavy, as the man said, no UV degradation. if you wind up with a plastic canoe, store it and transport it upside down to avoid flattening out the bottom (or ruining its manufactured *shape*).
eventually you may want to reassess your needs and step up. IMO the modern *plastic* (ABS or whatever it is now) is the best build material going, if only for its sheer resilience. if you are going to paddle over rocks AT ALL, a fiberglass, carbon fibre or aluminum canoe prolly isn't gonna be your best bet.
canoeing is the type of thing that a guy can get into with ease and have fun right off the bat without a lot of prep, effort or thought- AND it's fun for the whole family.
cheers and happy paddling!

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Old 01-05-2012, 02:05 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by AlanCT View Post
Okay, I am an utter canoe n00b so I am not sure where to start. We moved last spring and there is a large pond/small lake behind our new place. What I want is a cheap, beater canoe that can hold two adults, and which is forgiving of poor technique. Is there anything in particular I should seek or avoid?
A lot of good info already posted...Craigslist led me to my current two canoes and I love both of them. I have a kayak also...keep an eye out for CL postings.

One thing that steers me toward my canoe now more than the kayak are two factors: when hauling one boat...i can use it to carry one, two or three people or gear....and two: I can sit on top of a seat, or kneel, feet under me, knees bent or straight...having position options helps my back over the hours.

This year your in your pond...next year...you might be carrying it atop a car/truck and such: Note that the material the kayak is made from makes hugh diffrences in weight. I have a 1980 Old Town Penobscot 16 in Royalex...about 50#...still kicking it and not to hard to lift. Practially the same canoe in other materials is over 75#...and much harder to lift/carry. Few people ever regret spending a bit of $ for a lighter canoe (or kayak).
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:18 PM   #21
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All good stuff. I'm a bit spoiled, as my inventory is currently 81 boats...yes, an ex-rental can be a good deal and is probably an appropriate hull shape since most rental liveries are going for stability (mine, not so much, as I deal with experienced paddlers doing expedition trips), but some are beat to crap. Be careful of plastic boats that have an "oil-canned" bottom, the foam core is gone, they're slugs and feel weird to paddle, not a good introduction.

Kayaks are an option, but less suitable if it's family use (wife and daughter), it's nice to have the ducklings under control. Also a bit different sense of paddling and use. A small kayak (I sell ones in the range of 13' - 17') is fun but only has volume for about a 3 day trip unless you go really light. After that, you're into a sea kayak for big bucks. There can also be issues with the fixed seating position as someone mentioned.

A canoe allows more flexibility in that sense, and the ease of in/out is good for someone with bum knees (me). A pack boat is a combination craft, and don't forget that there's nothing wrong with using a kayak paddle in a canoe. A canoe has the option of paddling with others, or solo, depending on the boat, rather than having a fleet of kayaks for each family member. I'd say your intent to start with a canoe is the right one, move forward from there as you see fit. We don't even want to talk kayak hull shapes, as that can just get strange. Kayaks are more a fashion item than canoes, so design trends come and go.

Royalex has been the plastic standard for some time and is still incredibly tough, but some composites have advanced significantly. Mention was made of abrasion with composites although you can add a wear strip - and if you're paddling in water so shallow the boat is always dragging, how are you wetting the paddle anyway? Don't drag it up on the beach without lifting. Aluminium does stick to rocks, more of an issue if you're river paddling.

Plains Ranger and others have mentioned the other aspects. Always, always wear your PFD. A pocket or two is not amiss for the whistle, etc. If it's not on your body, don't count on having it with you after a dump. For the pond, leave your wallet at home. Bailer (cut down plastic milk bottle) tied in, sponge in the bailer to mop up the last wet spots, throw rope in a bag, spare paddle.

Start cheap to see if you like it, you can always unload the first canoe. One thing, get a canoe that you can easily handle. Too heavy and it's going to sit on the beach or car top. As I get older, the thought of heaving a big Royalex expedition canoe onto the truck sometimes makes me avoid paddling. My Kevlar solo boat has no second thoughts regarding dropping it in the water for an hour.

Last thought, you will learn to paddle more quickly and get a better feel for action/reaction of your strokes if you paddle solo some of the time, which means a boat no longer than 16' (and at that, you'll have to reach/lean forward and back to be effective, from a slightly aft-of-centre position). Most people learn to paddle tandem, but it's tough to discern what was you, and what was the other person. A strong solo paddler, when paddling tandem, can pretty much overcome the goofs of a noob bow person; someone who only learned tandem probably can't. Just like riding a motorcycle makes you more aware of the road surface than a cage driver, paddling solo makes you more capable of reading water and handling the canoe appropriately.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:59 PM   #22
Dan Alexander
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OK, I need to ask Aquadog a question now that we're onto canoe/kayaks.

I've been seriously pondering a Canak. Looking at solo with camping ability.

Thoughts?

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Old 01-05-2012, 09:48 PM   #23
aquadog
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I think the hybrid is an interesting idea, although I don't have experience with the Canak. The concept is very similar to a "pack canoe", but it leans to the kayak side of the equation (a kayoe?), while the Swift version leans to the canoe (canyak?) side http://swiftcanoe.com/packcanoes/pack12.html , two sizes at 12' and 13'-6".

The Canak is lower volume (thus needs to be longer), so perhaps check if the packs you want to use will fit in the "hatches" or if they'll hump up - maybe not a bad thing to shed water. Also that the covers are really tight fitting and not going to let water in if the waves come up. I suspect the Canak is a little faster, while the Pack Canoe can take more gear, although you'd need to add a spray deck to get the same "waterproofness". The paddling experience is probably pretty similar. Pack light, I bet you can get a week into a Canak, depending on weight. Like any boat, it's going to get sluggish if it's low in the water.

Is there a test paddle opportunity? Report back!
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:55 PM   #24
aquadog
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I ordered one of these http://www.swiftcanoe.com/canoe/solo/osprey.htm in Kevlar, but got shipped a Carbon boat with integrated gunnels by mistake. 27 pounds, stiff and strong, of little black lightning. I have resisted taking it off the "sales" rack and using it myself...so far . Then I ordered some boats in the coloured Kevlar cloth and am also addicted to that now. The "barracuda" (silver) Kevlar looks like little fish scales and the reflection shimmers in the water. This can be as bad as bikes. Be warned!
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:09 AM   #25
hwy61
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Don't know if you have looked here...http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...ighlight=canoe
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:27 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Sonex522 View Post
Lots of cheap fun. The only thing I don't like is my dog has to stay home.
You just need a smaller dog


I pretty much feel the same way about the Kayaks. I had a 16' Perception Chinook NW "Sea Kayak" that I picked up for $700 from a group of college kids that paddled down the Mississippi from MN to New Orleans (The boat I'm in above is a rental). The only downside is you need 2 if you want to go out on the lake with the SO, Kid, Buddy etc.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:27 PM   #27
AlanCT OP
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I want to start with a canoe, since I want to be able to take my wife and/or daughter all in one craft. I can add a kayak or two later as my daughter gets old enough to handle one.

My previous boating experience involved ownership of a Hobie 16 catamaran about 15 or 20 years ago. It was fun but a pain in the ass to set up, take down, and haul around since I didn't live near water back then. A canoe will be much easier if I decide to take it anywhere.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:51 PM   #28
Mista Vern
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Originally Posted by AlanCT View Post
I want to start with a canoe, since I want to be able to take my wife and/or daughter all in one craft. I can add a kayak or two later as my daughter gets old enough to handle one.

My previous boating experience involved ownership of a Hobie 16 catamaran about 15 or 20 years ago. It was fun but a pain in the ass to set up, take down, and haul around since I didn't live near water back then. A canoe will be much easier if I decide to take it anywhere.
Look for something that is light enough for your wife to handle when you take it on and off racks - we bought a Discovery 169 once, and while it was great on the water, we hardly used it because it was such a heavy thing to load and unload.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:05 PM   #29
aquadog
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And once you're into a while, learn the Canadian stroke, a modified J stroke that is much smoother and way classier. And quieter, and more flowing, and...
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:48 AM   #30
AKDuc
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Originally Posted by koncha View Post
Aquadog should get post of the week.

Wow. I've been canoeing for years and that was the most information I have seen packed into a 2 minute read.
2min?!? You a speed reader?! Yeah, a lot of good info but Aquadog, you must REALLY like to type!!!

To the op Alan, you haven't said if the canoe will just be left at water's edge or if you'll be carrying it. When talking to customers about boats, I tell 'em they're kinda divided into cheap & heavy (approx 80lbs) or lightweight (60lbs or less) & expensive. If it's a couple shopping I'll encourage them to pick each up and carry it just a few feet then put it back up on the rack just to see how much difference 20lbs can be.

I have a lot of photos in that Canoe and Kayak Photo thread on here tho mostly ocean kayaking, my passion for years before turning Ducatisti.

Good luck and have fun. Paddle on, Mark H.
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