Hull options for flat water trip...?

Question: Are there any disadvantages (other than speed) in using a recreational hull for the follwoing trip?

I am planning a portage free trip to the BWCA. We will be starting from the Western end of Lac La Croix and will follow the U.S. side all the way to Bottle portage, where we will be picked up by an outfitter and towed back to Crane Lake. It will be a follow-the-shoreline, paddle-when-calm, wind-at-our-back:), warm-water-August trip. We will be out 7 days.

I will be with another adult, an 11 year old, 12 year old, and two 14 yos. Each of us in our own boat. I am paddling my wenonah solo canoe, and we have two Old Town Loons, (a solo and a tandem. We will be renting, borrowing or begging three more boats.

I find the loons very stable and the kids like paddling them. I am a novice kayaker having spent all my on water time in canoes.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Only 4 boats allowed
The most obvious problem is that a group is limited to a maximum of 4 boats in the BWCA. You are planning to use 6.

Another problem is capacity for gear. A day trip is one thing, but if you’re out for seven days you’ll need space for gear. Those solo kayaks like OT Loons just don’t have the capacity.

The other is ability of the kids. I have a 12 and a 14 yo. Both like to paddle their kayaks on local day trips with me. Neither could paddle on their own in the BWCA. The situation is very different. The load is different. Furthermore, you need to keep them herded together. Winds can come up unexpectantly. You’d hate to have the boats strung out and have whitecaps on the lake suddenly. Your speed will be determined by the slowest/weakest paddler. All the kayaks will have to have to have sprayskirts.

I think 3 tandem canoes for the 6 of you is a much better choice. Pair up the 14 yos and have an adult paired with the 11 and 12 yo. You’ll be safer, faster, and be able to take more gear.

The original design of the Loon by Verlen Kruger actually holds the worlds record for the longest paddling trip in the world at 28,000 miles so I dont think it as a recreactional hull even through Old Town changed the design somewhat. Its still a good solid, stable and comfortable boat to paddle.


you are right
Thank you. I completely forgot about that rule. It used to be a three boat maxium. We have a cabin near the BWCA, and have done a lot of trips in tandem canoes, but we were looking for something different, HMM. Time to rethink.

The idea of getting strung out as a group and the dangers of that is a tough one to argue against as well. I’ve been caught in relatively small crossings by sudden storms (in a canoe), and I am a good paddler. I can think of at least three sudden, unexpected situations my kids could not have handled by themselves. Not to mention the bad weather you see coming that just bogs you down.

hmm. Time to rethink. That is what winters are for. Thanks

2 mn 3’s
how about renting 2 minnesota 3’s they would hold every one and be faster and safer .

Can you supply more information on this
resemblance? It is not obvious why Old Town would use a Kruger boat as a model, and Old Town says nothing about it on their website. The design requirements for the 28k challenge and for recreational kayaking (Kruger being ONLY a canoeist) are strikingly different.

Our kayak club has a rule “NO LOONS” We have had several members bring loons for club paddles on several occasions. Some of them took a swim in water that gave other kayaks (even some rec. boats) no problem, and they are slow.

I believe Sawyer Canoe Co. not Old Town Canoe built the comercial version of Kruger’s Loon. They no longer offer it.