Greetings! I’m new to canoeing and am looking for advice on my first canoe purchase, please. I have a wife and two young boys (currently ages 2 and 4) and I’m looking for a good, multipurpose canoe to take the family out for recreation. I’ll sometimes have my wife along and sometimes it will be just me and the boys. I hope to fish, paddle, and occasionally take the canoe for overnight camping. I live in Kentucky and will generally be limited to fairly calm waters like lakes and slow-moving creeks. Here are my criteria, I think, and I’m asking for advice on what make and model canoe is right for my family:
- Stable enough that an excited four year-old won’t put us all in the drink.
- Easy-to-medium portage difficulty for one man. I have a small pickup and will be transporting and loading/offloading on my own. (My internet searches have led me to the conclusion that lighter generally means more expensive and this will, of course, impact #3, below.)
- I’d like to spend no more than $650 or so on the canoe, not counting accessories.
I thank you all in advance for your kind assistance.