I have never owned a canoe before so this will be my first. It has to be big enough for 2 small adults and 1-2 kids as well as some gear. I am leaning towards 16’ because I know we will fit, but the pulling weight may become an issue with a bike. My neighbour has a 14’ canoe that us 2 small adults and toddler fit into easily with space for gear but it is a cheapo 70lb canoe.
The biggest thing I am stuck on is if I want carbon fiber. Like I said, I’ve never owned a canoe and can really only afford one canoe that will cost a couple grand. I need lightweight but I also will not sacrifice durability as much as possible. For example, my bicycle is chromoly steel and that is all I will ever use. I know carbon fiber is lighter, but it’s potential to fail catastrophically makes it useless to me. Are carbon fiber canoes the same deal? I live in Canada and have been thinking of the prospector 16’ from Novacraft in tuffstuff expedition. This would be about 62lbs (supposedly). I have seen a few videos of their blue steel canoes which look gorgeous and are like 50lbs but I have never seen videos about their durability. I will mostly be doing flat water, MAYBE great lakes if weather is calm and I have learned how to canoe but we do have some rivers here too. If a blue steel canoe can fail catastrophically by hitting a small rock then I am not interested.
Could a 15’ tuffstuff expedition prospector work for a small family as well? To cut on weight? It would be nice if I could get a 16’ canoe that is like 34" wide rather than 36" (prospector) to cut on weight and get to 60lbs or less. The trailer that I use for general daily use that I made is about 55lbs. I know SwiftCanoe is light too but they say they are stiff and brittle?
TL;DR I need a fairly light but durable canoe that can withstand small hits on rocks for a small family which I am pulling with a bicycle.