I have been paddling for over thirty years and have never tried a Kayak. They are ever more popular, and i know people who have canoes and Kayaks. I know they each have their strengths and best uses, but it seems to me a canoe is a better all round vessel if you're only going to have one kind. I'm curious what the opinions are from those who've used both?
Post by Ken Corbett on Feb 27, 2008 11:06:18 GMT -5
I've tried kayaking a few times and have never found a boat I could sit in comfortably. Every time I tried to sit down into it, I would launch myself backwards into the water. But I'm not very flexible, so I can only say I was not meant for a kayak.
I think it's apples and oranges, they are so different. Kayakers paddle steep drops most canoeists wouldn't dream of running.
Kayakers can't do multi-day trips unless someone else hauls their gear in a canoe. So each has its place, I guess. I sometimes use a spray skirt on my boat, and it gets me down some runs where an open boat would swamp.
Some folks use short solo canoes and tie in airbags, so they can extend their reach. I might get one of those next lottery win.
They each have their place. Personally, I find that my back gets sore if I'm in a kayak for any amount of time. I agree that a canoe is better for longer trips where gear has to be hauled and portages crossed and multiple paddlers accomodated.
I've never seen a portrayal of a Voyageur in a kayak.
To each his own.
"When the green dark forests were too silent to be real" - Gordon Lightfoot
I tried Sea Kayaking when I was working out west this summer on Vancouver Island. I'm still a voyageur at heart and always will be, but I loved Kayaking.
The main difference is you have a lot more control in a Kayak and can survive in heavy seas and waves that will swamp a canoe.
For a trip through the lakes and rivers a canoe will be better as its easier to pack and much easier to portage. However, you can get enough food into a sea kayak for a 2 week trip - you just might not be as comfortable.
So, in my opinion, a trip through lakes and rivers - a canoe. Playing in serious rapids - a kayak has much more control. Heading out into the ocean - definitely a Kayak!
As a note for the control - I know that a lot of river rafting companies will also have someone go down in a Kayak - they can easily get to people that have fallen off the raft and toe them to the end of the rapids in water that would swamp a canoe.
I don't have much experience with the canoes. Only lake paddling. I did own two Old Town adventure xl kayaks and found them to be a lot of fun. They are more of a flat bottomed Kayak. Very stable in any situation. I used these in rivers and on the ocean. I could paddle by myself up a good current which I'm a little ashamed to say I can't do with the canoe. The ocean was a little tricky but I never really felt like I was endangering myself.
I really could pack quite a bit of stuff into the Kayak but most of it was bought for backpacking so it didn't take much room anyway.(but no where near as much as the canoe) I sold them to a friend because I was moving and miss them dearly.
I guess in the end I enjoy paddling the canoe more, it gives me a sense of peace. Maybe because you need to think a little more about what your doing it helps get your mind off of the trials of life and onto the current task at hand. I love the sound of the waves slapping the hull and the joy it gives the kids to slide their hands into the water as we glide accross the lake. I really never got any of that in the kayak.
Each has their pros and cons I suppose. I prefer kayaks for the paddling I do, which is mostly day trips, or even going out for a few hours at most. I currently have 4 kayaks (sea kayak, a double sea kayak, and 2 river kayaks).
While you can put quite a bit of gear in (and on) a sea kayak, I think a canoe is the better boat for longer trips on rivers. My g/f and I did the Restigouche in our sea kayaks without any problems, but for ease of loading, quickly entering and exiting (stopping on the side of the river for 5 mins), fishing etc, the canoe semms a little better suited. It's also easier to drink beer in a canoe...lol.
If the weather turns ugly (which it did on the Restigouche) we found ourselves to be much warmer than our friends in the canoes, as half your body is obviously protected from the elements in a kayak (if you have a waterproof sprayskirt), and you are sitting much lower (less wind exposure). Also, having a foot controlled rudder, along with a double bladed paddle, makes turning a breeze.
I'm prejudiced - I love kayaking. And it has nothing to do with flexibilty! I'm about the least athletic and least co-ordinated person around (and I do mean round!). A good kayak can go darn near anywhere - I've had my 17 foot Boreal Designs plastic Fjord down the Magaguadavic (from Long Lookum to my cousin's cottage above the Flume) and on the lower river, and I've done almost the entire length of the Grand River here in SW Ontario, including some classs one rapids. It's not the most manoeverable in rapids greater than Class 1, but I've seen other, better paddlers do Class 2 & 3 with a 16 footer. What I like is the ability to go out on Passamaquoddy Bay, or Georgian Bay, and laugh at the waves & wind. Also, whoever made the crack about camping has obviously never tried packing a kayak. I've done 3-4 day weekends easily with my Fjord, and I know other people who have gone out for a week or more. In addition, I can cover a lot more miles a lot faster in a kayak, and with a lot less effort. I've paddled a canoe, and was wiped after a couple of hours, but I can do a 12 hour day in a kayak. It shouldn't bother your back but I have to admit, my butt goes numb after a few hours. So I get out and stretch every few hours, no big deal. On the other hand, you DON'T want to portage a sea kayak. Even a kevlar boat is too heavy when loaded and needs two people to carry. Another drawback is getting in & out of a kayak to get over beaver dams...not easy, trust me! Unless you're going down stream, and are brave enough to just slide on over! Each to his own, I guess, but mostly it depends on where you plan to spend the bulk of your paddling time. Me, I'm lazy, so I'll stick to my kayak! D
Hi beevar, I have been canoing for decades now, and just purchased a whitewater kayak late last fall. My first trip out this year was with this kayak and I was completely amazed at what it went through! If you flip your kayak, it doesn't mean you have to go swim...all you have to do is roll back up. I will be planning more kayak trips in the future... for places you couldn't easily take a canoe. But there is a 'however' for me too. I would never consider using a kayak to, say, go on a fiddleheading adventure. For starters I wouldn't be able to bring one or both of my daughters along. If it came right down to it, and I only had one choice, I would chose my canoe. Derek
I belive a canoe might be a little more classy but a 14 foot kayak is where it is at in my Op. The few times I have canoed we brought a bunch of junk we did not need. Kayaking you need to pack down and dirty, more of a challenge. I get a little chuckle when I See a canoe decked out with float bags, Basically a kayak. I think there is more skill to canoing but you get that too kayaking harder white water. Cool factor canoing wins 70/30 but I still like kayaking more so far.
Post by getmoresoon on May 13, 2009 21:34:30 GMT -5
After having both (a Discovery 169 Canoe, and now 3 kayaks, with 2 solos and 1 tandem) I'd have to vote for the Kayak. I find them more comfortable to sit in, faster and easier to paddle esp if you don't have your paddling skills finely tuned.
And Derek, with a Old Town Tandem bringing BOTH daughters along is a breeze. I've a 9 and 14 yr old that neatly fit in the center thingypit while I took the bow. Add to that 2 huge hatches and plenty of non-watertight storage space, and that boat's pretty darn equivalent to my old Discovery in functionality and stability, with all the speed advantages a kayak provides. Regards, Richard
Post by ryanward10 on May 14, 2009 13:10:23 GMT -5
Hey Richard, You ever take that big, wide tandem kayak on moving water? I find my 16ft sea kayak too tough to manoeuvre on anything quicker than the lower Nashwaak or St. Croix. Got my butt kicked on the Nasis stream to learn the lesson. The sea kayak is only 25" wide, i'm guessing the wider tandem would be even more unruly. I now use the 11ft kayak on the quick, twisty runs, but cargo capacity is an issue for an overnighter. I was thinking a Tripper or Appalachian (i.e. a canoe with some rocker) would be the ticket for an overnighter on something too quick or twisty for the sea kayak, and would allow a passenger or two. Thoughts anybody?
Post by getmoresoon on May 14, 2009 20:00:16 GMT -5
Haven't had any of the Yaks in fast water yet, but right now that's not the kind of paddling I have planned. Maybe down the road when the kids are more able to fend for themselves.
I don't think it's the width so much that's gonna be the issue, rather the length... once you get thingyed sideways the current would grab the keel of any sea or touring yak and take her away on you methinks. (A totally untested theory by me, perhaps more knowledgeable folks should share their wisdom?)
It's the length, not the width. The longer the kayak, the straighter it tracks, but the less easy it is to turn. Anything over 14 feet is going to be a major challenge in fast water. On the other hand, on say Spednic Lake, the sea kayak will out-perform any canoe or shorter kayak. Each to their own.
Post by cantyakwithoutbeer on Jul 22, 2009 19:33:51 GMT -5
I can understand the appeal of a canoe because of the cargo room and ability to take wife/kids/dogs/neighbors daughter or whatever you're luggin around but I'd still take a kayak any day, personaly.
Your question isn't really at all a fair one though. Canoes come in different sizes and all, but there is pretty much only one kind of canoe that's all used for the same thing. Kayaks on the other hand are way more of a diverse kind of boat and preference will be highly dependant on what you're doing.
Kayaks can be divided into a bunch of different categores: You have white water kayaks which are typicaly 8 feet long or shoter, have practicaly no cargo space at all and weigh next to nothing because they are so small.
Then you have what could be described as "recreational" kayaks usually somewhere between 9 and 12 feet long. This is likely the most popular category as they come in many variations. Some are available with dry compartments and lots of other features (such as angling add ons) but others are little more that an oversized white water vessel, really. This is your all around kayak though, being suitable for mild-moderate rapids, long paddles in a lake and overnight trips.
Then there are sea kayaks, these boats would usually run somewhere between 12 and 17 feet long, have two dry compartments and rudders. Best suited for long long paddles and multi night trips.
For those torn between the storage/cargo space of a canoe and the practicality and conveinience of a kayak, you have Tandem kayaks which are available in all the previous categories, only build for two.
And finaly you have sit on top kayaks. There has been a recent explosion in SOT popularity particularly in sport fisherman. They have incredible stability and come in shapes that make them not even resemble a kayak but a mini pontoon boat and are often outfitted with motors, sonar, GPS and fish finders. The downside to all this is that with an SOT kayak, the slightest rapid or wave on the water is going to soak you!
Personaly, I have an Old Town Dirigo 120 Angler Edition and would never go back to canoeing. I can pack enough gear for overnight trips easily, as long as I use the bungee cords abd dry bags. It's much more comftorable that a canoe with the seat that is fully adjustable. (I can sit upright or lean right back like I'm in a lazyboy, I can even kick my feet up onto the front hatch and stretch out). I've got a small dry compartment up front for stuff like my wallet, cell phone and keys and three fishing rod holders for angling trips.
So to draw a conclusion I would identify what is most important to you while on the water, sift through the list above and make your call. I'd take the recreational kayak
I have to disagree with the comment "only one kind of canoe that's all used for the same thing" CYWB. As with kayaks, there are several types of canoes made for different purposes. You have whitewater playboat canoes ranging from 8 to 12' in length. You either strap yourself in or wedge into a foam saddle. By the time you outfit them with floatation bags, there is little room for anything else. I perosnally own one of these boats called the Esquif Nitro. They can be a lot of fun once you can roll them successfully.
You also have heavily rockered canoes ranging from 12' to 17' that are designed specifically for whitewater. Examples are the Esquif Canyon and Pocket Canyon. Both are superb craft that take on almost no water through class 3 rapids. These craft can go places where more traditional canoes would either swamp or would require a spray deck or flotation.
Tripping canoes are made with a little bit of rocker and decent tracking ability to make extended trips through lakes and rivers with the ability to carry lots of gear.
You also have the keeled canoes which have more of a flat bottom and used mostly for lakes and flathingyer. Fishermen prefer these boats for the stability.
These are the basic canoes. Others include square back, north canoes capable of holding 10 people, war canoes, etc.
I do kayak a fair bit where I live on the headpond, but when I plan on leaving for a river I much prefer the canoe. Besides from the carrying capacity, I find canoes much more comfortable. I can either sit on the bottom and stretch out, kneel, sit on the seat or stand, which allows me to paddle all day in a canoe without having to get out. I don't seem to be able to sit in a kayak for much more than an hour at a time. I've tried shifting around but I just can't get comfortable. Everyone has different preferences, but the important thing is to enjoy our waterways no matter what you are paddling.