Light Canoe + Toddler!

-- Last Updated: May-26-07 6:38 AM EST --

My wife and I are adopting from Guatemala!!
Long story short..sold our touring kayaks to afford the adoption.

We would like to save enough $ to get a flat water canoe we can put all 3 of us in! I has to be very light. We are so used to our kayaks we don't want a slow boat either or get too blown around by the wind?

Any suggestions!! used and not incredibly expensive fits in there too!!

couple of questions
How big are you two, and how light is “light”?

A 16’ tandem in Royalex typically weighs around 60 lbs. I wouldn’t get anything shorter for 3 passengers. If you need something lighter you’ll probably end up looking for a used composite boat. Polyethylene is less expensive but much heavier.

In the 16’ Royalex catagory, possibilities would include the Old Town Camper or Penobscot, Wenonah Adironack, or Bell Morningstar or Northwind.

Don’t be afraid to look for something used – I’ve seen some great deals on used canoes.

I 2nd the above, and about that wind
I wouldn’t worry about getting blown about by the wind, as it’s only a problem with canoes when one chooses to paddle solo.

With a person seated at the bow, it is much less of a factor than you would imagine.

You want a “very light boat”, but
you also “don’t want to get blown around in the wind”

As both a canoer and a kayaker and one who owns several light weight tandem canoes, you won’t find a light weight canoe that will handle high winds like a kayak will.

As much as we love our canoes, if the wind is above 15MPH we would much rather be in our solo kayaks.



OT Penobscot 16 and stay out of the wind
I think you’ll really like it and you’re new child will too. Canoes are not bad in the wind but if it gets really windy you’ll wish you were in a sailboat.

Get him/her a really good PFD, a hand dipping net, a small paddle and a boat on a string. Bring a cooler with snacks and drinks. Bring bug juice, sunscreen, a sleeping pad, and an umbrella!

Mine would alway fall or jump out at the worst times until I got them the dipping net, then they would lurch over the side trying to catch a minnow or a pretty leaf as often.

When they get older get those floats that will keep the rod at the surface when they drop it in.

what canoe
I am a devout canoeist but I vote tandem Yak with room for the child also. I is what you are most use to.

narrowing it down…
What composite boats are out there I may be able to find used that would work for my wife, myself, and a young child. Flat water use. I am a pretty small guy so the lighter the better!

16 foot
Check for performance loads. Some boats are OK without lots of gear. Others have a hull shape that is meant to carry gear and you will get blown around.

Dont just get misled by heavier boat =more stable boat. Sometimes not true.

Mad River Explorers often come up for sale and the OT Penobscots or Camper will also work. In a reasonable price range you are looking for ABS orused. Polyethlene is really heavy.

The sixteen foot is a minimum because kids grow up and its nice not to have to buy another boat next year!

The secondary stability is going to be important as toddlers like to hang over the edge. I have an Algonquin 15 that my grandson likes to ride in as he can help paddle or splash water with his hands. Its a kevlar boat.

Dont discount a Grumman either! When I had small kids they started tripping in the BWCA at six months of age. The Grummans are reputed to have louse secondary stablity but when I try Canadian Style they firm up at the “gunwale” trememdously

The most common brands of composite canoes you’re likely to see in the US are probably Wenonah, Bell, Mad River, and Old Town. I’d go to their websites and become familiar with the models – all have good descriptions, and Wenonah has a lot of good general information on canoes. Other good brands you might see include Nova Craft, Souris River, and Swift

By becoming parents, you are embarking on an adventure more courageous (and rewarding)than any described by the world paddlers here in

My wife and I adopted a daughter from the Philippines over 20 years ago. We now have four granddaughters, age 6 and under, who seem to have a strong interest in nature and the outdoors. I have nurtured that interest by including at least the eldest granddaughter in canoeing at local lakes and ponds. We have taken her in our 18 ft. Wenonah Sundowner–she flipped over the gunwale when she was two years old, despite the solid stability of the Sundowner. I have also taken her in my RX Wildfire with no problems, and she is the wiggly rambunctious type. I would not take a grandchild in a less stable hull like the Blackhawk Zephyr, but would not hesitate using our OT Penobscot or Sundowner or Sawyer Shockwave.

Congratulations, and enjoy the adventures around the bend–both on and off the water.