Kayak for canoe??

I am thinking about getting rid of my kayak & getting a solo canoe. Have actually been thinking about this for awhile, but a recent conversation with Longshadow had really brought it into more perspective. The thing he said that really “opened the thought” was:

Something that you can literally “throw your pack in and be on your way”, without “stuffing & stashing”.

What do you all think, is this good logic? I feel it is, especially since I really don’t get out and “paddle/camp” anymore, it is either paddle or camp…

If so, what do you all think about the light weight Raddisson Canoes? Are they “solo-able”.

Paddle easy,


Yeah, Right! You mention Raddisson Canoe
and expect us to take you serious!!!

Go Fish Coffee!



canoes work well
One of the things I like about a canoe is what you described - just toss your gear in and go.

I’m not a big fan of the Radissons, but then again, I’ve never had one. If you are looking for a small boat to solo, there are several other models that you could look at. The Mohawk solos and the smaller Wenonah solos come to mind, as well as some of the pack canoes.

I agree…
It seems like everybody is getting into kayaks these days. In stream fishing boards I participate in, kayaks are extremely popular and relatively few people are using solo canoes. Usually, the refrain is that they paddled tandem canoes before, but not solos, and they love the solo fishing and paddling they can do in the kayak. I continually point out that comparing a kayak to a tandem canoe is comparing apples to oranges.

Kayaks do some things very well. But, in my opinion, for the fisherman or non-specialist paddler, a good solo canoe does all the same things a kayak can do, and does some of them better. And carrying gear and tackle is at the top of the list. I’ve spent time in both, and find the kayak to be less comfortable to sit in for long periods, and a whole lot more difficult to get in and out of. And for somebody like me, who carries 5 fishing rods and a bunch of tackle all the time, and goes on frequent overnight float trips, the kayak is impractical.


Is that the web site? If so, they look a little wide to make a decent solo.

From the pictures I’ve seen you post
I’d say a small solo canoe would be ideal. As you said, your gear would be a lot easier to manage. And it would be easier to get in and out of.

Big question is though, are you thinking of giving single blading a try? Once you put in the time (and yes, some “practice”) I think you’d really enjoy it for your tight little creeks.

More free advice (worth every penny)
Don’t get a canoe that is “soloable.” Get a dedicated solo. As far as I know, you don’t have kids to take along or anything that prevents you from getting a true solo.

Don’t be too cheap about it either. Sell a gun or something and drop a little coin. You won’t regret it.

agree + price range
I agree with Clarion on not trying to go the least expensive route, as well as on using a dedicated solo as opposed to trying to make do with a small tandem. I know that you tend to be pretty price-conscious, but a decent solo that will handle the small streams you seem to like doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Grumman has a small solo; Mohawk has 13’ and 14’ solos; Wenonah has three solos under 15’; there are some older Mad River solos floating around; there are some old Sawyers that occasionally come up for sale; etc. All of these boats can be found used if money is really tight

Get a dedicated solo canoe and keep
your kayak if possible. I have both and enjoy both depending on mood. I definately appreciate the relative easy of loading and unloading and getting in and out of a canoe as compared to kayaks. I feel a little more comfortable in a kayak with water skirt when conditions are rough and water is splashing over the boat.

Most of the time I use a bent shaft canoe paddle in my solo canoes, but sometimes I use a kayak paddle - depending on mood, which muscles are tired and how fast I want to go. In my Sawyer Summersong, my 230cm kayak paddle moves the boat right along when I want that kayak paddling sensation.

You might even enjoy a decked canoe like the Rob Roy if you can find one used.

I suggest that you do get a good used solo canoe and a good paddle. Until I got a good bent shaft canoe paddle this summer, I only used my kayak paddles in my canoes. With good canoe paddles, I use single blades 95% of the time.

I can also paddle my solo canoes comfortably for more hours than I can my solo kayaks. That is probably partly due to my kayaks not being that comfortable. There are many kayaks more comfortable than mine.

Footbraces are very nice also if you go for a solo canoe.

If you’ll be doing much open water with wind in the solo canoe, you might consider adding a rudder at some point. I paddle waters in my Summersong with rudder that I wouldn’t even consider without rudder.

Have fun choosing.

Yanoer, remind me why you like a rudder
in your Summersong.

couple thoughts
How are you gonig to transport /shuttle this boat? What of rougher conditions ,heavy waves such? I like the idea of a solo canoe, but perhaps holding on to your yak as well would be a better option. I doubt you will get much selling your yak .

Guys Guys C’mon
This is Coffee you are talking to. He’s no hull junkie like some of us.


The best thing about canoes is that you can jump in and out with ease. No sitting on the floor. No wedging yourself in. Just toss in your gear, hop in and go.

Try as many as you can before you buy something and trust your common sense. You are the only one who can decide which boat will do what you want.

If the Radisons are the ones that JEM put up the link for then yeah they are wide boats. Wide boats are tough to solo hit and switch but if you stay on one side and J Stroke they aren’t so bad. If you plan to use a double blade you’re going to want a long one. You won’t win any races in them either but you won’t have any trouble getting around small rivers and streams.

The good thing about aluminum boats is that they last and last. The bad things are they are noisy and they stick to rocks.

Paddle Easy


kayak to canoe
I went from kayak to canoe, sort of. Here’s my take on it. I’ve been fishing out of a SOT. I’ve always thought of my kayak as a tool for fishing. It has been a convenient, effective and cheap way of fishing the bays and Gulf of Mexico here in NW FL. Then I bought a canoe for the local rivers and streams. The canoe isn’t as easy or fast as my kayak but it is lighter, more comfortable and a helluva lot more fun to paddle. I still have and will use the kayak for its original purpose of getting out in the salt but if I just want to hit the water and enjoy the ride I pick the canoe.

That said, if I lived further inland, away from the coast, I’d probably stick with paddling canoes. As others have said it is a lot easier stowing gear and getting in and out and for me, sitting high enough to allow a bit of bend in my knees makes for a lot less fatigue. Four hours on the SOT and I need to find a beach to stretch my legs, not so much with the canoe. The kayak is superb for its purpose but the canoe makes getting there fun. The only drawback to buying the canoe has been the desire to buy another. I hope I can stop at two.

I like the rudder on the Summersong for
handling the rougher conditions. Of course, you already knew that. Leaning the Summersong in large waves to facilitate turning is a good way to get swamped in short order. I don’t have to lean it to turn when using the rudder. I prefer the solo canoes that I have over the solo kayaks that I have because the canoes are more comfortable for me to paddle on a long trip. At this point, I don’t have a good long distance solo kayak.

Neither of my kayaks have rudders and both can handle rougher conditions with the spray skirts installed than the Summersong with rudder and have a much lower likelihood of swamping.

I know that you’re just having fun with me G2d, and that’s ok.

I made the change …
I began as a whitewater kayaker and have evolved into a flatwater canoer with no regrets.

I think a good analogy would be camping.

Some people are backpackers and some people are car campers who pack all their stuff in the car trunk.

Think of a solo canoe as a backpack with a trunk.

They’re also, on average, much lighter as there’s no deck. Mine weighs 33 lbs. and I can carry it on my shoulder.

Of course, canoes are no longer “cool” and you’ll take some flack, but it’s worth it.

Keep the kayaks and if you can get a solo canoe.

My eyes were opened up a bit at Raystown. Canoes out numbered kayaks by a long shot. There were some really sweet canoes there. Kayaks do some things better than canoes and canoes do something better than kayaks.

As someone else said, throw your gear in the canoe and go. Kayaks have to be packed. I’d rather fish in a canoe than a kayak.

My next boat will be a solo canoe.

Here’s EDR56 doing it well in his Merlin II.


Some nice canoes lined up on the shore with only a couple of kayaks in the background at Raystown.




If you want it for fishing or hunting, it is a great choice, but if you want to “canoe” as a sport, for exercise, to commune with nature, without a shotgun or rod in your hand. Or to fish on occassion, then there are better choices out there.

I love the Sportspal Canoe for what it is. But I don’t kid myself about what it isn’t.

you asked what they are like and if they are solo able.

Of the 2 Sportspal variants the Radisson is the lighter and less durable. The hull is formed from a single piece of aluminum by cutting bending and the seams are closed with silicone like sealant and sheet metal screws. They do not come with conventional seats, but loose foam seats that put you on the bottom similar to a kayak.

As for paddling, the 12’ is very wide 39-41, and solos like paddling a tractor tire. High ends to catch the wind and no tracking at all from the hull. Positioned in the middle you have lean way out just to reach the water, and heeling the hull over for better paddle access makes it even shorter at the waterline. First canoe i ever got out and waded back to shore was a 12’ Radisson on the Susquehanna, faster to wade than paddle against the wind.

The 14 and 16 are narrower and much easier to solo, but are still wide compared to a dedicated solo. Coming from a kayak you will feel like you are in a big Jonboat.

The Radisson is very thin skinned for an aluminum hull and not nearly so puncture resistant as a Grumman. It is lightweight and stable with the foam sponsons. Good fishing canoe, poor solo paddling canoe.


Actully in a Radison you do sit

– Last Updated: Jan-03-06 4:21 PM EST –

on the floor (or a foam block) also they are so very wide that you can square dance in one. same with a Sports Pal.

For Coffee the perfect canoe is a composite Bell Wildfire. 14 ft. about 35 lbs of boat.

YES, actually I was…
Considering the Radisson… It is light, nice looking, short, accessorizable & inexpensive.

I need a small craft that would be ideal for 1 plus a pack &/or accomodate 2 & minimal equipment. Yes, there are two kids in the option, but doubtful of takig them on many “water born” trips yet…

Not looking for speed, not looking for luxeries… Just a small, nice looking boat that I wouldn’t care if it gets banged up too bad or scratched all to hell & back…

Thanks for the replies. I think this is one of the first topics that I have almost a 100% serious reply status?! What a far cry from the usual 9%…lol

Paddle easy,