Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Should you buy a canoe or a kayak

When I was growing up my father and I would rent a canoe from an outfitter on the Current River and load it with a couple of days worth of gear. Usually, they gave us a 17’ Alumacraft that required a splash of cool water on the seat and gunwale before climbing aboard on a hot sunny day. Think fried ham steaks (which I also hate). These boats looked like they had been through a bad plane crash and, in my eyes, lacked anything that could pass for style, grace or beauty. While they allowed us to successfully navigate or, in my dads words, perpetually crash from the left to the right bank of the river, it always seemed like a fight. The grabby aluminum hulls weren’t able to slide over logs or gravel bars without getting stuck. The boat made terrible noises with every bump of a paddle or rock. There was no chance of observing wildlife in its natural habitat because the animals could hear you coming from a mile away and, frankly, wanted no part of all that commotion. I hated canoes. It got worse too.

Canoe Advantages

  • Canoes can be paddled solo or with several passengers
  • Canoes sit up higher giving you a better view of the water
  • Canoes allow easy access to gear and more room for it
  • Canoes offer a variety of sitting and kneeling positions
  • Canoes are easy to get in and out of

Kayak Advantages

  • Kayaks ride lower in the water and offer less wind resistance and more stability
  • A skirt will help keep the inside of a kayak and any gear stored there drier
  • Kayaks are often faster than canoes
Read the rest of the Canoe vs Kayak post on

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