just maybe a canoe?

I have been thinking about getting a canoe. there are times when it would be great to have some of the family with me on an outing. As it stands now, we have two kayaks, one sea kayak and one rec kayak and there is no way to have everyone along for an excursion. I have been thinking of a canoe but would like to have some advice from the forum as to which would be good.

as is the case with most things related to padling…I don’t know squat about any canoes.

My wife is 5’8 and 140, 9 year old girl around 60 lbs and a 6 year old boy around 45 lbs. No dog. And of course i am 200.

Two canoes? or is there one that could take everyone relatively comfortably? Or should I just go buy an aluminum bass boat? (just kidding)


17 footer
I’d look at a 17 foot (or larger) general rec canoe. Most should work just fine for you. A 17’aluminum is fine. An Old Town Penobscott 17 is good. Get the kids a boat cushion to sit on or add snap-in seats. A 17 foot will handle two adults and two kids for a day trip on easy water.

With no reference to $$$
Mike McCrea is right; two canoes for the reasons stated.

You need to give a little more info.
Does your wife paddle, and if yes does she paddle both canoes and kayaks.

If she paddles the kayak, you could get by very easily with a Penobscot 17, (or equal), but keep in mind that until one of the kids learns to paddle, you are going to be doing a lot of “J” stroking and on windy days it won’t be as much fun as in your yak.

If all four of you are all going to be in the canoe, than make 17 feet your minimum and preferably an eighteen footer.

As one who loves and paddles both canoes and kayaks which ever way you go you should be happy.



It is beautiful to see a family canoe together. Always jealous of teams who do races such as 90 miler. Real magic watching father and son teams such as the newmans of grasse river canoe. How will you haul these boats. Maybe you could get a deal on a used trailer.

two canoes or one long one.

– Last Updated: Oct-13-05 5:11 PM EST –

Souris River Quetico 18 and Wenonah Minnesota III ... both three seaters that will hold two adults and two kids with little problem.

that said, two canoes would be my choice.

One canoe
You would be fine right now with one canoe in the 17 foot range. The Bell Northwind in plastic or composite would be a fine canoe for day trips, etc… For overnight trips, maybe bring along one of the kayaks. A Blue Water Freedom 17 is also a nice family canoe that can serve double duty as a tripper.

Wenonah Minnesota
Some say this is the best boat for the money that will fit your purposes.

two canoes vote
I bought a solo canoe and really enjoy paddling rivers and estuaries here in south florida. This canoe replaced my SOT and I haven’t missed the kayak at all. Your wife might prefer it as well especially if she likes the rec kayak. My Vagabond has footbrace and I use a kayak paddle with it, keeps up with other kayaks same size.

There are other brands of canoes that are alot better than the vagabond but it suits my needs for now. If she likes the canoe, she’ll probably start experimenting with the single blade and end up prefering it to the kayak paddle.

It’s a good way to get her into canoeing. If she already likes canoes then look at the Mohawk tandem canoes they are in FL and you can get used ones. Some models are better than others so ask the professionals here. They may not like the Mohawks at all.

Once you establish your family likes and will use the tandem…get an upgrade from Souris River, Bell or Wenonah. Now that I discovered how much fun canoeing is…I don’t even mind tandem canoes.

kids are still small
A 17’ canoe with some volume will work fine for the four of you. I was in the same position 25 years ago and had 4 kids. 1 canoe was all we could afford. Still have the same canoe; 17 Wenonah Spirit. We paddled it with the oldest boy in the bow seat, the two younger boys on sling seats in the middle and the daughter on the ice chest in front of me in the stern seat.

As the boys got big enough to paddle a tandem, we added a Solitude to the fleet and they would paddle it from sling seats as a pocket tandem. Later it became my first solo and the kids would paddle the Spirit. When they hit the teen age years itwas hard to get all four to go paddling on the same day.

You have the back up of the kayaks for when they want to be independent, but now they are small enough that you may not want to depend on their ability to keep paddling one end of a tandem with an adult on the other end. Your wife may really tire of paddling if she has to propel a tandem from the stern with a tired kid in the bow.

Get the kids paddles that fit them and let them help out from the middle positions. Your total weight will not be much of load for any recreational class tandem. 16 footers with volume will carry you, but 4 in the boat need a bit of room between the paddlers, so I say stay with a 17’ or longer.


two canoes – most definitely
With two canoes you’ll have a great time while the kids are little and when they turn into teenagers you and your wife will be able to invite another couple to join you to go paddling.

We all know the drill (because we did it ourselves!): their bicycles gather dust while they need rides to everywhere and anywhere, but they can’t walk either (except in the mall), and everything is slow and boring, especially if includes doing something with the parents and a motor is not involved …

But cheer up, I have heard that there are some poeple in the world who have had perfect children!

Maybe Two…
Jet Skis… :wink:

You no good rotten…
lake lice frizza-fraten trouble maker.

You keep out of this!



humor appreciated.
My son kayaked with me… switched to Remote Control …aircraft, cars, rockets, and ROV’s.

I still paddle.