Hi All…first, I just want to thank everyone for the great posts and sharing all of their knowledge…I’ve been “lurking” for awhile now and really find this message board informative and helpful.
I grew up canoeing with my Dad and this upcoming season, I’m getting my Family (wife, 2 boys–ages 6 & 4, and the family dog) out on a canoe for 2-3 night camp trips (to start) on slow-medium rivers (no plans for whitewater) and lakes, etc. I currently do not own a canoe and my previous experience as a youth w/canoeing has been with the cheaper variety (sorry Coleman!), so I want to spend alittle money and have a nicer, higher performance canoe for my Family.
I realize this topic has been discussed multiple times on the board; but I have to ask you all a question: what is the best Family canoe? I’ve done alot of research and have narrrowed my choice to either the We-no-nah Champlain or the Old Town Tripper 172 BUT am leaning HEAVILY toward the We-no-nah in Royalex for the following reasons:
- extra 1’ of length will be helpful but I think still managable
- about 5lbs lighter than the OT
- availability; I’m thinking of buying a lightly used canoe; there are several Champlains for sale within a reasonable driving distance for appx. $1000 (I’d like to stay in the $1000-$1500 price point)…
Any thoughts on how well the Champlain would do for me?
One question may be why Royalex? Besides cost, I don’t expect to do alot of portages but perhaps more importantly, as I get my family into canoeing, I envision alot of bumps, drops, running up on shore, young boys filling it with sand/rocks, etc., I’m going to be FAR less concerned (and thus more fun for me) when those moments happen with a tough $1000 canoe than a $2500 kevlar canoe that may not be as durable…so I need a bit of a horse…I think I can live with the weight for a few years (although within reason, i.e. the barge Tripper XL is out!). Thoughts?
Also, I am planning ahead; my wife has NEVER canoed before, so I’m thinking the Champlain, although may be tight for all of us + dog and camp gear would work for us for a few seasons and then, assuming we continue, we will either need to look at adding a 2nd, shorter canoe and put my wife in the stern and I could continue to paddle, or maybe buying 2 more shorter boats and selling the Champlain or hanging on to it to pass it on to the boys when they get older (I like that option better).
THX in advance for your comments!