Pair of boats help

-- Last Updated: Mar-14-07 8:33 PM EST --

We are looking to purchase 2 new all purpose recreational kyaks. We want something we can paddle ourselves, but, we can possibly take the dogs with individually (both large dogs). Mostly looking to do smooth water rivers and lakes. Also for fishing. Generally day trips but an over nighter or 2 is not out of the question. We do not want to go over about $1500 for the pair. Any suggestions?

By the way one boat we are considering is the Mad River Syergy 12 Angler, but I can find no reviews of it, any comments on this boat?

As a first step related to big dogs or
camping gear, look at the seating area of any rec boats you are considering, and ask what will be the effect on boat trim of adding a 60 pound dog. Camping gear can be divided, fore and aft your seat, but the dog cannot.

You would want a seat with a substantial fore-and-aft adjustment range, so you could get the boat in trim with the dog aboard. Some rec boats, unlike canoes, just do not have enough extra floor area for a big dog.

Canoe not kayak?
the dog people will hopefully chip in soon with their actual experience with dogs on the water, which I don’t have.

Just from looking about the past few summers I’ve seen, actually, far more dogs (from terriers to goldens & all the wonderful muttly versions) in canoes than kayaks. Seems like width, different hull and stability make it easier to manage a dog in a canoe. And of course managing the dog is your safety as well as the dog’s.

And of course your dog will be wearing a stylish canine PFD, right?

Hope you find just the right vessel… and send pix when you are afloat, 'K?


– Last Updated: Mar-15-07 9:25 PM EST –

Thanks for the comments

We went and looked at the Mad River tonight and we are really leaning towards that. It is kind of a strange contraption, almost a hybrid of a canoe and kayak. The reason we are wanting to try and stay with a kayak instead of canoes is we want something easy to take out on our own if we go out by are selves.

In addition to the Mad River Synergy we are also considering the Native Watercraft Ultimate
Any one know anything about either boat????

Native Watercraft
Saw it first at Quiet Water Symposium May 3. Made in North Carolina, color I saw was goldenrod w. black trim and decking. Don’t know if what I saw was the Ultimate model so I’ll just generally describe.

Kind of like a SOT kayak very ingeniously adapted for fishing with a bow channel for rods, removable seat that can sit in or on top of the back deck. One end can be completely decked w. a solid black plastic cover. There is deck rigging on the opposite end. I think I recall a nice low cubby hole for bait or cooler.

With 6-8 lb seat out (can’t recall) for easy storage the kayak is less than 56 lbs. Not much depth though, not sure how dog friendly it would be to keep your best friend from sliding out.

I see you are in Michigan. Kayak Corral in Saline (SE Michigan SW and about 20 minutes from Ann Arbor) is this year a new dealer for NativeCraft. 734 944-9283 why not call and talk w. them? Family owned and they offer demos everyday of the week weather permitting: 8075 Warner Road, Saline MI 48176. Dana is one of the owners - ask for him if you like, great person.

Large cockpits
Take a look at folding kayaks. They have large cockpits and big payloads, suitable for your requirements. Look at for more info.

Another alternative that was already mentioned is a single canoe.

I have a folding kayak
that would work for you and your dogs. It’s a Nautiraid Double. It has a large center cockpit ‘area’ that’s about 4 feet long where both paddlers sit, but the front seat can be removed and the rear seat moved to the center to paddle solo. You could easily leave the rear seat in tandem configuration and put your dog in front without upsetting the trim of the boat. There are different spraydecks for both solo and tandem paddling.

Other folding kayak companies make similar tandem-to-solo boats - check out the Klepper Aerius II, the Folbot Greenland II, the Longhaul Mark II, and the Feathercraft Klondike, for starters.

Why do you think it is easier to take out a canoe by yourself than a kayak? It seems to me that they weigh about the same.

I hade no trouble using my mad River explorer 14 tt by myself. It was good for one adult, one adult and a dog or two adults and a dog. I had no trouble carrying it.

If you need a lighter and or larger option, there are many.

It just seems to me the main reason to have a kayak is to use it in rougher water.