How many boats did you go through to find the right one?

I built a Pygmy Coho a sea kayak made out of African mahogany that was straight forward stitch and glue. Now repairing a cedar and canvas Old Town is much more labor intensive.

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Decent higher-volume older touring kayak $300. In case you’re interested. :slight_smile:

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Looks like a deal.

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The boat search is eternal and evolves with life and need. I grew up with a 16-foot wood and canvas Old Town that was our family canoe and then passed to me when it became too much for my father to maintain. I loved that boat because of the memories it held and, when maintained, was truly a beautiful boat. But it was too much work to maintain properly and it was too heavy to move easily, so I sold it and bought a used Old Town Stillwater. Much lighter, sits outside patiently and requires zero maintenance. Eventually I want something that will sit on a trailer and support a small outboard. I figure it’s a lot easier and cheaper to trade boats than wives.

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None, but I had some advantages. I got into sea kayaking at a time and in a place where it was easy to find a great beginner class (learned what to look for in a kayak as well as how to paddle one) and easy to rent and/or demo a variety of models.

I grew up on the NC coast. Boats of some sort my whole life. Little skiffs to larger sailboats, surfboards, SUP, canoes and kayaks. Now my canoe interest has kicked up again with a zest. I always want the next canoe. I have my first a Old Town Laker 14, never seen another. Mad River Explorer that i bought as the shell, almost finished, and a Wenonah Argosy that I made a terrible trade for giving up my mint Advantage. The Advantage I just had a lust for, faster than a speeding bullet even in the hands of a rank amateur. The Advantage was unwilling to turn in my hands, the Argosy is lively and a little unpredictable but we manage and it actually fits my needs better. My next boat will be a solo I think. I always want the next boat…

Don’t we all. I have 3 kayaks on the rack and one new in the garage I’ve never paddled. Then I thought about taking our 60# puppy with me. Obviously, I need a canoe!

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In 1958 my Dad took us to Maine to camp for 2 weeks in the area around Rangeley Lakes. We rented an aluminum boat with an outboard to fish out of. One day we motored past a dock with a wood and canvas OT canoe for sale. It was in good shape and they wanted $40. My Dad wanted to buy it but we had no roof rack for the 600 miles trip in the 1957 Mercury.

My Dad has never stopped talking about that beautiful green canoe. Twenty five years ago I found an OT Guide 18. I patched it up and have paddled it every where. Lots of rivers. Sure it is old, heavy and an antique. But I could not sell it. I just bought a trailer for it a long time ago and try to never portage it. The hide is off and I am repairing it now. It doesn’t even matter if I never paddle it again. It doesn’t matter if I ever finish repairing it. Every time I look at it I see my Dad 62 years ago. Dad is now 96 and recuperating from a broken hip. I can still perk him up by mentioning the green Old Town on the dock in Maine in 1958.


Thank you for that beautiful imagery @ppine We rarely know in the moment how seemingly fleeting events can have such a powerful impact.


I have my eight and ninth kayaks in my garage, mostly likely I have the boat I need for the conditions we have where I live. I was happy with the Epic V5 I had, until my paddling buddy got a V7! He was so much faster, well, I could not have that.
All the boats I’ve had were the “right boat” at that time. Began with easy boats, broke three on our rocky seasonal rivers. Had a LL Coupe, that was fun when the smaller rivers were running. Got a Pungo 120 for free and beat the heck out that boat, sank it a few times, that was the wrong boat! I wanted to try a sit in and for that end it worked.
The smaller rivers have not run in a few years now. My little group started going down the San Marcos and seeing racers in long skinny boats. Soon there were three Epics in the group. I tend to be cheap and spending the money for the V7 was tough, but now I’m glad I bought it.

I’m the wrong man,
for all the right boats.
If I should ever get self righteous
I would be paddling in wrong boat.

So immersed in my inversions,
setting right no wrongs I’ve done,
perhaps I’ll go on paddling self
till right at last I find wrong one.