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  Canoe vs Kayak
  Posted by: vcmtthws on Jan-12-11 8:07 PM (EST)

My to bits. I've been in a canoe since before I could walk. All of our kids nursed in the bow of our canoes. I was rolling kayaks before I knew there was more than one name for a roll, and whitewater didn't have a common scale of difficulty. Over the years we have made, repaired, horse traded and bought both canoes and kayaks. Currently we own 19 of them and one more that is being retired into a bookshelf. I've spent decades introducing newbees to the sport, because even though our thing is to disappear on an expedition, without a steady stream of new paddlers on the market we will lose much of our canoe and kayak waterway privileges.
That said, on the whole I agree with Jacobson. He's not talking about high end users, so most of this discussion is for not. However, I do believe he left one important factor out...Seating Comfort.
I tell people who want to get into kayaking, to spend a hour or so watching TV while sitting on the floor with their backs against the wall. If the position becomes unbearable, then they should seriously consider a canoe. Though this is not a true test of ones comfort in a kayak, it is a fairly accurate resemblance to the effects of up right sitting in a low slung chair (physiologically talking). It challenges the same muscles and body structures in a similar way that spending an hour or so in a kayak does.
And as to the why people like kayaks over canoes...My experience is that because they have a softer learning curve, they are immediately preferred to the canoe. Hence, more popular. You tend to stick with what you grow up with. It feels more at home, even though you might never realize how much your skill levels might have increased over time...You will still probably think it was easier than a canoe unless you give the canoe a proper try.
As for me, I love the back country, and I have to travel way out of my way to get it, so the fewer Kayaks and canoes the better.

Enjoy your paddle time.

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Messages in this Topic


  Inflatable kayak seats.
  Posted by: ronwagn on Jan-12-11 8:35 PM (EST)
Canoes are great too, and I started out on them. Sevylor and Sea Eagle kayaks come with optional inflatable seats that are equal in height to canoe seats. Good point though. Canoes are easier to sit in over the average kayak. The price is stability. Canoes were originally intended to be kneeled in. I have found the wind to be a major problem with canoes, since they have a higher profile.
  Canoes vs Kayaks
  Posted by: vcmtthws on Jan-13-11 12:14 PM (EST)
Agree with you on that. As for the wind, I've found there to be a great difference in how canoes handle the wind based on their shapes, trim, load, and skill of the paddler. We were once airborne on a lake when we topped a wave right when a very strong gust of wind swept up the swell and under our hull. We were broadsided and left the water by just a foot or less...Then came down with a slide on the back of the wave. Never even started to flip. Had we been in a kayak, we probably wouldn't have noticed anything more than good blow over the wave.
I refer to our Kevlar canoes as kites and sails. This is more true when portaging them than on the water. However, for windy days, we've found that next to a heavy loaded canoe (which means you have to paddle a heavy loaded canoe) that a canoe cover works wonders...kinda like a windshield/windscreen. We can go from unmanageable to traveling by simply covering most the deck.
Thanks for the reply.
  Canoe vs Kayak
  Posted by: old_user on Jan-13-11 10:04 AM (EST)
I enjoyed the article. As with all boating, there is no such thing as an all purpose boat. I have canoes, kayaks and motorboats. Conditions and purpose dictate which I use on any given day. It's nice to have choices which enable me to enjoy in a variety of situations. There are many days when I wouldn't venture out in my canoe due to conditions but properly geared up, I can go in the kayak. If I'm trying to gather oysters or take a toddler out for a spin in the marsh, it's going to be the canoe. Whatever I'm in, I'm just glad I can get out there.

Keep paddling.
  Canoe vs Kayak
  Posted by: vcmtthws on Jan-13-11 12:26 PM (EST)
I grew up around commercial farming and fishing. For me the canoe is almost the do-all. Which includes scuba diving from a canoe off the pacific coast. However, because the canoe is not quite the do-all, I'm forced to do a little less with the canoe than I'd like. Point being that my other hobbies either work with the canoeing or in place of...Just like yours. I've been on a small commercial fishing boat, row boats, dinghs, small motor boats, speed boats, sail boats, kayaks, rafts, and canoes. For me, I just really feel at home on the water in a canoe. For you, thank God, you also feel at home on the water, you just enjoy a bit more variety AND score more opportunities. So until we all become the same person, I suppose there will never be the perfect all around watercraft of any kind. May that day never come.

Thanks for the reply,
  Canoe vs Kayak
  Posted by: bellmagic on Jan-14-11 5:05 PM (EST)
I've been in and out of both Canoes and Kayaks for over 50 years, and have to admit to a preference for the canoes.I currently have 2 tandem canoes, a solo canoe, and a sea kayak in the garage, and will go out in whatever suits the conditions, but prefer the canoes. You can't put the family dog, the kids, a cooler, a tent; and the parents in a kayak. There are times a wind skirt would be nice on a windy day in the solo canoe, but I just adjust direction of travel. I just feel the canoes are a little more usable, especially with a family.
  Canoes vs Kayaks
  Posted by: vcmtthws on Jan-15-11 7:01 PM (EST)
We see eye to eye on this, nice to meet you. We refer to our canoes as SUV's and the expedition canoes as the mother ships when entertaining friends and family with kayaks. Kayaks we have dubbed The Sports Car of paddling. Not because they they are so much faster (my solo will keep pace with just about any kayak, as will our large tandem), but because they are so limited in space, they aren't good for much more than the bare minimums. Long and medium survival involves a considerable amount of prep and suffering, or a mother ship to come home to. If that's the paddlers bag, great. But it sure is hard to get a young family to go on an outing without backup.


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