Posted by: Waterbird on Mar-17-13 2:12 PM (EST)
That was a realistic answer.
Maybe I should have phrased my question something like, "Given paddlers of equal, moderate ability on large lakes prone to high winds . . . "
My worry is that a canoe could be overwhelmed more easily than a kayak. I would not have the skill to rescue a canoeist from my kayak. My attempt to do that would put us both at risk.
As a kayaker it's hard to imagine an open craft 30" wide making much progress against a strong headwind that goes on for hours. That irritates and exhausts a kayaker, but it might just be impossible for a canoe. In those conditions what has saved me in the past was not my skill, but the kayak itself because:
a) it requires less energy than a canoe to keep moving forward against a headwind
b) it tracks better
c) double blading keeps it on course better
d) the low sitting position is more stable and aerodynamic
e) a kayak is more forgiving of paddler error. You can take a large wave over the bow and recover. You can take water in the cockpit and recover with a pump.