Mr. and Mrs. old people with disability

Hi, Im new here, been lurking trying to get something solid for our situation. I love the canoe, I like speed, lightweight, and solo. But this isnt really about me, it about finding a stable tandum canoe that isnt a barge, that is large enough for my hubby and I to fish out of, yet I can handle it myself with him and load or solo.

He is a big guy over 200lbs, and since having a stroke and heart attack his sence of balance is way off, meaning he cann barely get into a canoe without tipping it. We both want a canoe for the lighter weight and ability to hold gear inside, his buddies are getting kayaks.

My disabilities are in the spine and neck mostly and cant lift much over my waist when standing. I know that paddling allows me to exercize while being able to ignore the pain much easier because I enjoy it so much

I also think that a canoe will help hubby with balance.

Thing is we need to get the boat in the water and need it to be stable enough for hubby u til he gets his balance back.

Our budget is under $800.00 Any ideas and/suggestions?

Tough one
to advise about. An old aluminum Grumman would meet your needs for price and stability, but it sure falls short in the weight and solo departments.

A local outfitter in Rhode Island has an older Merrimack Osprey that he is selling on consignment. The asking price is a little over your max, it would be lighter than a Grumman but still tough to solo.

Perhaps other have better ideas.


you need a PakCanoe

– Last Updated: May-08-15 4:24 PM EST –

As a fellow "geezer" paddler (I'll be 65 next month) I'm sold on folding kayaks and canoes. The Pakboat PakCanoe 150 only weighs 45 lbs and can be paddled solo or tandem just by moving the seats. even the larger 160 is only 53 lbs. Their design, with inflatable sponson tubes along the side inside the frame, not only makes them very buoyant but adds to stability.. They are very "seaworthy" and can even be used in mild whitewater. Plus they are transportable on planes, trains and in automobiles once knocked down in their duffel bags. You don't have to knock them down, they can be stored and hauled set up for convenience.

Even lighter are the Pakboat open kayaks like the PakBoat Saranac at an amazing 29 lbs.

They are more costly than many hard boats and used ones are rare, but they do show up at times. I missed the chance to buy at 160 for $700 two years ago. I've owned 2 Pakboat kayaks and found them very well designed, easy to set up and durable, also very pleasing and comfortable to paddle in any conditions. In my humble opinion, any boat that is 1/3 to more than 1/2 lighter than conventional "hard" boats is a blessing for those of us who have to load and haul them and well worth the extra cost. Pakboat sometimes has demo or "old" models on sale but nothing at the moment. A new tandem will run you from around $1700 to $2500 on sale depending on model and accessories. The Saranac runs around $900 new.

The inflatable seats in their kayak models are extremely comfortable and adjustable.

Some of my balance problem turned
out to be peripheral neuropathy due to weakening kidneys. A lower potassium diet has improved my balance and coordination. I had blamed the balance deficit on a stroke, but that is now less certain. Swallowing has also improved, and my weight has dropped 20+ pounds, mostly water weight. So you might ask his docs whether he is showing neuropathy in his legs, and whether his kidneys are weakening in spite of apparently normal parameters.

balance and heart disease
This is good information, ty for sharing it, at this point everything else is working good, which is surprising as his heart isnt run at full capacity, I think it has more to do with the numb leg and brain damage, I am recovering from TBI from auto accident, and though its taken years Ive been improving in the balance department so we arent giving up hope for him.

metal boat
This is a posibility, as he would feel more comfortable in a vintage type boat that is more familar to him, I will concider it, even though I remember that they are kind of noisy, but stable.

fellow “geezer”

– Last Updated: May-08-15 6:00 PM EST –

Ty ty Im researching these as well, as a fellow "geezer" I see you understand the frustration of being young at heart while the body makes things difficult.

added: these sound like the perfect solution, but way too pricey for me... we only live once... I wonder if I can find a way, to get that pakcanoe.

Geezers galore here

– Last Updated: May-08-15 6:24 PM EST –

I too am in the geezer category. Membership in our tripping club (The Jazz Tones ala Bob Newhart fame) requires at least one missing organ.

Unfortunately light canoes are generally expensive canoes. Hard to avoid.

A cart could solve part of the weight
problem. A trailer the rest. But that eats up the budget.

Light boats exist but not for $800.

Remember that canoes are less tippy if the seat is lowered. Also some instruction might be handy to guide hubby into and out of the boat. Thats where balance problems pop up but they can be avoided.

Lots of us are in geezer stage but a looser budget really does help. I have three boats sub 40 lbs in the tandem realm but as they are all Kevlar not at your price point.

jon boat … ick
Yes I agee, I do have a cart, and we have been talking about a trailer.

We used to take the kids canoeing so he used to know how to board a canoe.

I watched him, he placed feet correctly but is hanging on the sides in such a death grip it starts to rock and than its like once that starts, he cant get his brain to make him let go. Until he is swimming. He never did that before.

Maybe if he just keep trying, eventually his brain will make the correct pathway, but I want him In one peice, and as an adult he isnt going to let on to his buddies. Though they are strong enough to help and would do so, if they knew.

Im now concidering a jon boat, though It means no exercise and boring, and leaves me out of something I love to do. And leaves us both out of good physical therapy.

To bad insurance doesn’t help with those activities… :slight_smile:

Jon boat
I recommend a v hull 12 footer with a trailer and oars. They are stable and a hoot to row anywhere you migh take a canoe except for really tight rivers.

Another choice is a paddle board. Forget standing up. use your hands and have a ball.

dentist goes to Ireland
Yes, very expensive at least for me, I should be able to swing it in a few, but not for this season as I just had a non fun trip for dental surgury. Which I hear my dentist is now vacationing in Ireland. Hmmm glad Im good for something.

I digress… even if we stretch our budget, it will go to making sure hubby gets some enjoyment, and hopefully proper exercise. Which ever way we go, it would be best to get something used for this season, or continue with him fishing on the banks and me going solo. Until our budget grows.

I havent been on a paddle board for over 30 years, what fun!

Ty for the advice on the jon boat and trailer, we are going to go check out some used ones for him, of course I will join him, but Im not giving up on a good solo for when him and his buddies are out. Also will still be looking for a used tantum canoe just in case we find a deal on a light one.

Even though we started with getting a longer canoe, he is now eyeing jon boats, which I get, because fishing is his passion and its more stable, though it is kind of destroying my world.

It will be his toy, and Ill see if I can save enough for a pakcanoe, I eyed those a few years back, and now Im drooling again, as this will help me stay independent, instead of having to wait for some muscled person comes along and willing to help me get it off the rack.

Though if he gets a trailer for his jon boat, than I can slip a canoe on there … no lifting above my head… this might work!


– Last Updated: May-09-15 12:35 PM EST –

Have you considered one of the many types of inflatables? One thing about them is that, although they are slow and sort of bulky to paddle, many models are very solid for entry and difficult to capsize. They are also quite light and within your budget. I'm thinking something like the Aquaglide Chinook XP tandem ($500 new, 38 pound weight):

It’s a lot more stable if he
Gets in on his knees. Standing is almost guaranteed to cause gunwale grabbing and pulling the coffin lid shut. The latter is a slang phrase of how people fall out

Now there is a little practice required to get from kneeling to sitting

Remember the head rules. It should enter the boat first before the rest of the body and exit last

Lots of paddlers can ignore these rules at some point but. people with balance issues cannot. My husband has Ménière’s disease which manifests itself in poor balance and always gets in kneeling. Then transitions to sitting. He hasn’t fallen out yet

Adaptive Modifications
I’ve come across several couples in canoes they’ve modified by mounting some variation of outrigger, using the thwarts to attach the float or floats to the canoe. One had floats both sides, the other a single outrigger. Breaks down for transport, which keeps the components light enough to handle easily.

If you Google ‘adaptive paddling’, you’ll find links to many info sources. One helped me, years ago, design a one-arm kayak paddle holder for a daughter with arm problems. I just Googled ‘canoe stability float’, and there’s a tonne of DIY designs out there…Go for it, get out on the water safely, and enjoy…beats hell out of sitting in the rocker wishing you could.

I used to do biofeedback research with
stroke patients. On reflection, I’m wondering if canoeing is the right activity at this point in his recovery. A student of mine combined an exercise bicycle with EMG biofeedback to help stroke patients normalize their muscle activity from the normal to the affected leg. Lots of therapists can use means other than biofeedback to help a patient benefit from cycling activity. He might then try a three wheeled or “trike” bike to get around paved pathways.

Canoeing may come, but based on the effects of my own small stroke, the balance problem will be worst with activities that were not overlearned before the stroke. Like entering and exiting canoes.

He is back at looking for a light tandum
Canoe after looking at a few boats. I will try and remember this good advice. I saw it in his eyes, while looking at canoes. He is wanting to do this and is actually rejecting the jon boat.

Fish hooks in a inflatable
Makes me a bit uncomfortable, I wish another company or even pakcanoe made a less expensive canoe.

good advice
Yes, will have to look into this.