Design does play a part
Posted by: kayamedic on Mar-18-13 5:02 PM (EST)
in canoe seakindliness. A fat tandem of a tub with no secondary stability is not what you want in chop or waves.
I run Superior in a RapidFire. It IS a canoe, but paddled from the more stable low seated position that is in a kayak. Its hull shape bobs over waves and the shouldered tumble home deflects side waves to break down and not in. I do use a spray skirt (full) but mostly to make the hull shape more wind resistant. RF is about 23.5 inches wide at the waterline and 15 feet long. Its a canoe. Note its dimensions are not unlike many sea kayaks. (Some kayaks are 17 feet lonng but a foot or more of the length is not usually in the water)
On the Gulf of Mexico which I am going on tomorrow I am using a Curtis Nomad, a general all purpose solo canoe that is over 15 feet long. Again its no tub but I do have a standard canoe seat.
The skill set is more important....way more important than the equipment. On open water the canoeist must be able to get stable and kneel. NO sitting on a high seat in those conditions. They have to have the savvy to keep the head in bounds of the rails. The seamanship really only comes with time.. knowing how weather will change without a forecast given to you, and knowing how to handle various wind directions. Canoes are more sensitive to wind, and the paddler(s) really MUST know how to ferry, and deal with stern quartering winds.
On a river trip I really see no difference between canoe and kayak. I use a canoe since I sometimes portage and carry gear some half dozen times a day..and when there are kayaks along on those trips, the kayakers lose badly.
Please do not feel free to dump excess gear that won't fit in your kayak in the canoe..Then you really can overload them. They are just as sensitive to loads as yaks are. Its not always true that canoeists carry more. On some of my trips of two weeks everything including food comes to 50 lbs. I have done myself in on river trips by helping yakkers by carrying their three Coleman two burner stoves up front where there was room and wildly screwing up the trim of the canoe and hence the performance.
There are kayakers who have poor technique and hence go slower than faster better trained yakkers. Same for canoeists. Its true that the learning curve to get better with canoe can be daunting to some. Its up to your canoe companions how well they have trained. If they are arm paddlers, they probably will have trouble keeping up.
Also think about who is capable of doing the rescues. My kayaking friends at AMC did not want me to paddle the Gulf of Maine with them as they said I could not keep up. A two hour paddle of 12 miles had me out in front the whole time. Now the real reason they confided in me was that they as kayakers were familiar with rescuing kayakers, but had no idea how to deal with an upset canoe. So we all worked on that technique. and found that boat over boat workes fine with the kayak underneath and then the heel hook for an assisted reentry once the canoe is empty with the sunny side up.
I suspect that that too is your real concern, and its legit