Does anyone have any recommendations for a solo canoe that won’t break the bank? I contacted Old Town about their Discovery 119, and they say it’s a 500lb weight limit and a great solo canoe that would fit my needs (and weight). I’m not going to be using it for racing, and I might try to cross the St. Johns river if I’m feeling froggy or bored, but it will mostly be used close® to shore.
About three weeks ago I went on a kayak for the first time, a 12 foot Ocean Kayak “Scrambler” that my buddy and I rented. My buddy could glide through the water easily but I could not due to my weight of 336lbs. I spent most of the trip sitting in 3-4 inches of water since the scupper holes were working in reverse and eventually I fell in after changing my center of gravity. I also figure the kayak I was on was like a beach ball trying to be held under water… and as soon as the path of least resistance was found, out it went
Over the course of three hours I basically paddled non stop just to keep up with my much lighter friend who was paddling, coasting, and taking it easy. It was a LOT of fun, super relaxing and I wanted to do it again, but wanted to look at a larger kayak so I went to Black Creek Outfitters here in Jacksonville FL and they were super helpful, and told me that most kayaks, to be “fun” need to be operated at 35-50% max capacity. This pretty much rules out all of the kayaks, except for the most expensive brands out there. I was pretty discouraged by it, but my wife suggested a canoe, and I started looking at weight limits… and I think this is the ticket to get out and paddle, and eventually fish.
I’ve looked online and found several larger canoe’s in the 15,16,17, etc length… but to me they all seem too long for the creeks and bays I want to explore and eventually fish. The main thing for me is that I’m going to be going at this solo. My wife and kids say they don’t want to go due to hazards in the water (Gators, Water Moccasins) and rather than get a boat that’s too big and won’t be used by multiple people, I was thinking of a solo craft. Would a 12-14’ canoe be a good starting point?
I don’t know a lot about the various manufacturers, but have more or less only been looking at Old Town due to price point for a new canoe (Discovery 119 seems to fit the bill).
Used, I have no idea what I’m looking at to be honest, though I see a LOT of tandem canoe’s and some fiber glass canoe’s as well. A lot of the sellers either don’t know what they have and can’t tell you much about it, haven’t taken care of their boats, or are asking too much money (at least it seems that way) for what they have, and a lot must not own a tape measure and can’t get me measurements.
Yes, I’ll be wearing a PFD before I get out there in a canoe, and I’ll also get canoe floats as well.
No, I haven’t tried a canoe yet, as I can’t seem to locate any place that actually rents them (though they list online that they do). I’m ok getting a used boat and trying it if it’s cheap enough, if it doesn’t work out I can just resell it.
I took up cycling several years ago, but after some close calls with people on their phones, I would rather deal with the Gator’s, Water Moccasins, and other wild life than get on a bicycle again.