Posted by: ppine on Oct-20-13 12:34 PM (EST)
A keel will definitely track better, but once you learn your strokes that is of little consequence.
Short beamy boats might be just the thing for a short paddle on a pond or small lake, but they really handicap a paddler that wants to carry gear for overnight or go somewhere, or bring a partner or a couple of dogs.
I have had good luck using tandem boats solo on overnight trips even on fast rivers. Turn them around and paddle from the bow seat if they are symmetrical hulls. A kayak paddle is not traditional but in fast water and windy conditions it can be a great help. I have never wished a canoe was shorter on a trip, but have often wished one was longer. My favorite boats have all been 18 or 18 1/2 feet. Many of the best solo boats are 15-16 feet long.
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