I am totally new to paddling, have only gone out on rec kayaks and sit-on top kayaks a few times. I now have a small cabin quite close to a lake in the Sierras, and really want to get a boat I can paddle on this lake (need to drive 3-4 miles to the lake, though). I have been doing a lot of reading on this site, I and I think a family canoe might be the right answer, but I thought I would ask for some advice before I pulled the trigger.
- I want this primarily to be a family activity. One kid is going to go to college soon, but the other will be around for a few years
- I think it would be nice for us all to be in the same boat; also, I thought it would be easier to transport only one boat.
- I think that my family is more likely to go if they are likely to stay reasonably dry.
- We would use the boat to go out on nice days, paddle around and look at the scenery, maybe do some picnics etc. I don’t think we would do any camping or anything longer than a day.
- I don’t know if my family would stick with it, so it may happen that I would end up going out by myself too (hard to find a compromise solution for both, I know.)
- After getting some experience, I would want to go out on Lake Tahoe perhaps on nice days, but will stay home for any bad weather/waves.
The first question is, does a canoe seem like the right choice, or should I look at two rec kayaks instead?
The second question is, given our lack of experience, are we going to get too frustrated with a canoe? I think we will have to learn mostly by trial and error, most clubs/classes around here (SF bay area) are on kayaking.
Assuming canoe is the way to go, I am looking at a used Royalex Spirit II. There is also a used Wenonah Kingfisher available. Leaning towards the Spirit – would that make a good beginner canoe for above use? (Seems a little long/big, which intimidates me a little bit, but that’s probably because I am only used to carrying around bicycles…)
Thanks in advance for your help!