Have you considered an inflatable?
Posted by: goobs on Nov-03-12 3:12 PM (EST)
Now that I have more information I can hopefully make a good suggestion.
For a solo fisher an Old Town Pack or the Nova Craft Trapper would probably work well for the lakes and relatively calm rivers. Both boats are from well respected manufacturers so quality wise you should be happy with either one. The Old Town is about 10 pounds lighter than the Nova Craft so that might be something you want and need to consider?
If storage, weight, and portability are all equally important to you may want to consider an inflatable boat? You'll spend a little time setting one up and taking it down but the idea of putting it in bag in your trunk rather than the roof of your car might appeal to you?
If you stay away from "pool toy" type boats there are a number of inflatable boat makers to consider. Just a few worth considering based on reviews I have read are in no particular order, Aire, Innova, SOAR, Saturn, Adavnce Elements, and the better grade Sea Eagle's. I'm sure I've missed as many as I've mentioned but looking at those brands on line will give you an idea of what is out there.
One advantage to the inflatables when you move away from the pool toy type is that they are all easily capable of handling class II or greater whitewater, and they are far more forgiving of poor technique than any hard sided canoe.
They have disadvantages too, not the least of which is that they generally don't paddle as well as a hard boat.
You are right when you say that no one boat will do all that you want it to do perfectly. You'll have to decide which features and capabilities are the most important to you and go from there.
You are probably much more likely to find a used hard side canoe than you are to find a used inflatable. Your location will have a lot to do with that though.
If you go for a new boat then either an inflatable or a hard sided boat will cost close to same amount of money. For arguments sake I'll say $ 650 to $ 850 will get you something new in the size you find most appropriate for your use. Exotic or lightweight materials will increase the cost of either style.
I hope this helped.
Tim Murphy AKA Goobs
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