-- Last Updated: Jan-24-13 10:23 AM EST --
1. only you can answer that after you get all your info gathered
2. Stability. Yes you can compare the canoe to a kayak.
A skinny kayak is not too stable and a skinny canoe is not too stable. A a wide canoe is stabler and a wide kayak is stable
3.Entering a kayak in the water- canoe vs. kayak: they both require different methods and once you learn each, there ease is comparable although different except a wide sit on top rec kayak is the easiest
4. Sit in vs sit on: Equal widths are equally as confortable. If you are just paddling in the summer months and it is just lilly dipping, if it was a choice for me I would start with a sit on top.
If you will be paddling during colder temperatures a sit in with a skirt is nice and dry and warm
5. A tandem kayak vs two solos. A tandem is going to be much heavier than a solo unless you are going to spend some big bucks and get a light weight one.
We have fifteen boats, (canoes,and kayaks, sit ins and sit ons, solos and tandems, light weights and heavy weights, skinny ones and fat ones), so I speak with a little experience.
With all this said; do like all the others say, and "try before you buy" there are lots of liveries that rent various types.