kayaks vs. canoes

I am considering buying a glass or kevlar kayak in the 13-15 foot range.I am also considering a light solo canoe in the same range. Can anyone tell me some of the advantages and disadvantages of each. I enjoy day tripping, camping for 1 or 2 nights, and occasionally fishing from my present kayak (a Hurricane Santee 116), but I am looking for something a little longer and quicker. Any thoughts on this?

I use both

– Last Updated: Sep-11-06 10:07 PM EST –

I have a Bell Merlin solo and also a Wenonah Vagabond solo. Easy in and out, lot's of room for gear without dealing with hatches. Not as wind susceptible as a tandem canoe. Nearly as fast as a touring kayak if paddled sit switch style or a kayak paddle (add footbraces). Can be fitted with spray deck when going out in larger lakes and bays. You can move around, kneel or sit as opposed to a touring kayak where changing positions is not possible.

For the coastal island paddling in rougher weather I do prefer my kayak which is about 15-6 a QCC 400x similar to solo canoe. But put up with less comfort for feeling safer in higher wind/waves. Of course, I am still in the learning stages of solo canoeing so an expert may think I am not correct in this assumption and will go out in coastal conditions with the solo canoe without problems.

Wow a tough decision
Have you ever thought of both?

I paddle both, and if I had to choose just one I would pick the kayak.

The reason being a canoe is not good in the ocean or a large lake (think wind).

With that said, the canoe would be easier to fish out of and your gear is within a hands reach.



Or None

– Last Updated: Sep-12-06 10:08 AM EST –

Get a SOT... best of both worlds.. Or get all 3

How are your knees?
Mine would never stand for kneeling in a canoe and I don’t like paddling in the sitting position that a canoe requires. I think its the lack of support. Obviously many people like and prefer canoes. I think they are an inferior craft for me.

Go look at Placid Boatworks and have

– Last Updated: Sep-12-06 2:27 PM EST –

"the best of worlds" per say. They are in your neck 'o the woods.

Have the room, access, ability to move, very light hull, etc along with the stability, speed, small size, etc

Paddle with either a double or single blade.

The 15' RapidFire is quite fast.




Wow nice link
Those sure are some nice boats. another thing I’m starting to see is that canoes cost more that kayaks. Or maybe I’m not up to date on kayak prices. Lots of links have canoes fron 2500 to 3500. How much does a FRP kayak cost these days?

I love both equally
I own a flatwater kayak though. But I love canoes too. The thing I found out is a canoe is harder to enter. Kayaks are easier to padle 'cause the paddle has blades on both sides. But canoes seem to be a nicer Rec boat, you can just chill with a budy or a dog in it. Fish, Read, nap, or just sit and enjoy yourself. You can do it in a kayak too.

Kayaks are very different from canoes. Canoes seem bigger, like alot taller and a kayak seems like it’s real low-close to the water like an exotic car.

Thanks for all the good input. I mostly paddle Adirondack lakes and slow rivers. I’m thinking of maybe a Hornbeck 12’ or 14’ canoe. They can be paddled kayak style. Does anyone know how a canoe like these would compare in speed to an average rec kayak?

the Sandpiper from Wenonah is light and I had the Vagabond and paddled with a double blade it was faster than comparable rec kayaks in the same size. Don’t know about the Hornbecks but the Sandpiper would probably be less $$

canoe v. kayak
Unless I missed it, an item not yet mentioned is relative portability of each. Canoes portage much easier than kayaks. If you’re traveling w/ overnight gear the differences are vastly magnified. W/ a canoe, reach landing, step out, put pack on back, lift canoe overhead, cross portage, set canoe in water, add pack, sit down, go.

W/ a kayak, climb out, unload each piece of gear thru hatch, pack gear into lg portage pack, heft pack, heft kayak (or dbl trip) cross portage, unload, empty pack, repack kayak, return for 2nd load if necessary, scramble back in, go. Repeat process @ every portage.

It’s easy to understand why kayaks were developed for & ideally suited to coastal travel while canoes were designed for inland waters (like the Adks)

If I ever get north of the Mason-Dixon line it will take me a month to get back just paddling different solo canoes.Those Placid boats are beautiful.

My Odyssey 14 is not fast, but it is
no problem keeping up with rec kayaks. Definitely faster than most SOTs used for fishing. The Hornbeck design is generaly a faster hull than my boat.

I have my canoe set up for sitting. We lowered the seat and I have a removeable backband and footbraces for support and boat control. I use an Aquabound Manta Ray kayak paddle. We canoe camp and fish.

I have paddled kayaks and canoes and we decided on solo canoes because they haul a load and work better for our purposes. I would consider a kayak for lake paddling, but I really prefer rivers.

Oddyssey 14
Who makes the oddysey 14?

canoe vs kayak
I have paddled decked canoes (sitting on bottom with double paddle) for over 20 years. I also have paddled true sea kayaks for a few years.

Hornbeck canoes and the similar Bart Hauthaway designed canoes take little effort to paddle, but are slow. They are lighter than plastic decked canoes (now called rec kayaks), and more expensive. Besides three Hauthaway canoes I have a black gold Bell Rob Roy. It is much faster than Hornbeck/Hauthaway canoes and faster than rec kayaks. Long narrow sea kayaks are faster yet, but take more effort to maintain that higher speed.

The 15’ Placid Rapidfire is quite fast, superbly constructed and very light. Paddled one this summer for a while and I was extreemly impressed. It weighed 27lbs. The only drawback is the price- as usual, you get what you pay for. I’m thinking of ordering one.

All the above canoes are suitable for small lakes and flatwater rivers. Very large lakes and ocean paddling are better done in long covered canoes and sea kayaks. Open canoes are much easier to use in places with linked small ponds with “carries” between.

Nobody now. Used to be Mohawk.

Hornbeck or RapidFirie
The original Hornbeck (10.5 ft Lost Pond) was meant for pondhop portaging and it excels at that purpose. I have paddled it also in big waves without any problem other than some spray coming in. Peter has several larger, newer models available now. All are wider than the LP RapidFire.

The RapidFire sweet. I recently bought one and it is much more stable in rough water than I had been told, even with the optional higher seat. It paddles well from the sitting position with either double paddle or single (my preference).

To see how well it can do at speed, check out boat #240, a RapidFire, in the 90 Miler at:


The operative word is "made"
The Odyssey 14 WAS made by Mohawk. Mohawk made canoes for decades but just recently went out of business. I bought an Odyssey 14 a little more than a year ago, not knowing at the time that in less than a year the company would be history. I love that boat, and consider myself lucky to have gotten it when it did.

Rapidfire’s speed

Joe Moore smoked me @ the Classic but just to keep things clear, the boat’s specs would put it in the Amateur class if it were actually entered in a competitive class. A double blade paddle would not be allowed & the huge advantage of going in 1st wave & not dealing w/ lots of traffic ahead & 10 min wait to put in @ Brown’s tract would be eliminated.

That said it’s a great hull & their workmanship is superb (but you won’t see it in other canoe races)

Sour grapes make bitter w(h)ine

Mowhawk did. They quit making them.