I am a Canadian who has been transplanted into Florida. I used to be an intermediate whitewater canoeist in Canada. I was also a canoe trip guide for several years in Canada on both lakes and rivers. I am trying to transition to outdoor water travel and mostly overnight tripping in Florida. I have questions about kayaks versus canoes.
In Florida, I notice the boat of choice is the kayak. Pictures of meetup groups show a ton of people using the shorter sit-in kayaks, rather than sit-on-top kayaks. I called a rental place and the only thing they rent out is kayaks, and most are sit-ins. Most rental places don’t even rent out canoes – they are all sit-in kayaks for the most part.
I have a few questions, even if you aren’t a Floridian…
Why a sit-in kayak versus a sit-on? For me, the Sit-ons are better if you don’t care much about stability because they are easier to get into, and you normally have more room for gear.
Why kayaks rather than canoes in Florida? And if you aren’t a Floridian, please give your opinion on solo kayaks versus solo canoes in general for river and lake travel…to me, the sit-on kayaks are more for fishing than tripping, and the sit-in kayaks are more for whitewater than canoes since they shed water. But I am not sure if I’m missing anything.
Any advice you can give is appreciated. Personally, I don’t see the point of a Kayak at all given the availability of lower weight, longer, and roomier solo canoes like the first one at the links below. But I am certainly open to information that changes my mind.
Here are a few I am considering, but not sure about which is best.
Solo 11 foot 9" canoe (lighter than most kayaks).
Sit-On Top Kayak with room for gear behind, and in front of paddler (I have short legs)
Sit-in Kayak (my least favorite given lack of room for gear).