The first rule of safety for any boating excursion hinges on whether you trust the skills and judgement of your fellow paddlers. If yes, go with them. If no, the decision is really easy. The only difficult call is whether you are unsure of their abilities. In that case, you should probably start with a smaller excursion to assess their judgement and skills.
There is no reason that canoes and kayaks cannot intermingle. We've done this before and because the canoes can hold so much gear, they can be a joy to paddle with as long as the personalities don't clash.
There are conditions that can overwhelm equipment and or paddler ability, regardless of the type of craft. Well outfitted canoes have been used in class 5 water and there is no reason the craft itself should be considered inferior to a kayak (though you won't find these old knees in a canoe) :).
Cartop Kayak Carriers
Wabakimi Canoe Pack
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