Some stupid questions..

I have little experience with canoeing and kayaking.

On a Kayak like the Tarpon 140, how exactly does someone access the tankwells for them to be useful? What about the stuff behind the seat.

Like the large tank in front the front of the kayak here:

I can’t see any way to get to it without some serious wobbling as you’d have to like, stand up, then kneel?

And the storage area behind the seat poses the same issue. You’d have to stand up, turn around, kneel with your knees on the seat in order to access that section comfortably.


when you open those hatches while
on the water, you put your positive buoyancy at risk. If you were to flip at that point, water could get inside, create instability, and even cause the boat to sink if enough water got inside. I’m assuming from your comment that you want to do this while sitting in the boat on the water. Having limited access to stuff is part of being on the water in a small craft. You got to plan ahead for what you think you will need. One option if paddling with someone else is to have them raft up with you and they get stuff out for you.

That makes sense
Thanks, that makes sense. I was a little confused on how to use them. It sounded like people were accessing them easily, so I thought I might have been missing something.

I.E. It sounds like people use the front storage area to put fish in while angling. That seems REALLY difficult to do. Holding the fishing pole, getting the hook out without taking your eye out, and moving to a position where you can open/close it.

Might be a good reason to use a canoe

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Are you on really big water, or water that's suitable for a canoe? You might be in the wrong kind of boat.

I've noticed that sit-on-top kayaks are even starting to show up around here being used by fishermen. Maybe it's just the low cost and anybody-can-do-it method of propulsion, but canoes have a huge advantage if you don't need a sit-on-top's seaworthiness.

I’m on smaller lakes and rivers. So canoes probably do suit me well.

However, I’m also working on getting in shape. Kayaks seem to be more fun for paddling longer distances, and I’d like to try ocean kayaking (I live in the SF Bay Area).

Ideally though I’m coming to believe that at some point I’m going to want both a Canoe and a Kayak depending on my mood. I was thinking I’d buy a Kayak now, and when Fall comes and the weather gets cooler, I’d pick up a canoe.

For the time being I’m just trying to figure out how to maximize what I can do with a Kayak.

anybody can propel either craft
…and, what advantages?

i think
He means that canoes have the advantage of being able to move around and access packs while in the water. Since its way easier to stand up and walk in one.

Feet in water

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To increase balance, stick your feet in water. On any sit on top, sticking your feet out on both sides is an easy way to increase balance. This helps lower your center of balance, spreads the weight over more area, and also increases floatation as the feet and leg slightly float. See this pic as an example:

I agree you likely don't want to access the main hatch up front while on the water, as if it got flooded, you'd be in a lot of trouble. The one right in front of you would be easy to access. The tank well behind you involves spinning around in your seat, and sticking both feet into the water on one side.

Of course, this all involves wearing the right clothes. But in reality, a sit on top is a wet ride to start with, so you should be wearing appropriate clothes for getting wet whether you stuck your feet in the water or not.

So a disdvantage is not anyone can propel a canoe?

Bupkus. I started out in canoes as a kid before moving to kayaks. I was propelling a canoe at age 12.

I was referring to traditional single-

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blade paddling. Solo-paddling a canoe with a single blade is not something that can be done well enough for decent travel efficiency without a lot of practice. Double-blade paddling is another story, but not everyone automatically thinks of doing that with canoes.

Edit: Regarding your post above, I've seen this mentioned a hundred times before and you've never chimed-in to argue the point at those times. Yeah, I see people with no developed paddling skills single-blading canoes solo all the time, but I've yet to see one who can travel far or be in good control when the wind kicks up. Why do you think so many solo canoers start out with a double-blade, and often just stick with that method? The double-blade canoe paddlers I know can't do much with a single because they never went through the learning process. That's their choice and there's nothing wrong with it, but to deny what's been well recognized in countless discussions seems silly to me.

The advantages of a canoe for fishing small waters should be pretty obvious. You really need me to explain?

Edit: well, again I'll add to what's above. There's no need for trolley systems to allow easy anchoring. Poles can be laid flat on the floor or thwarts instead of being kept behind the paddler in vertical rod holders (vertically stored rods are no problem on big water, but a huge problem on small creeks or near shore). You can turn your upper body to face a much wider range of directions when sitting high, and even more so when kneeling (sitting low with legs outstretch limits you to facing one direction only), and that's a huge advantage for casting or maintaining control of your lure when the boat pivots away from where you first pointed it after the cast was made. The whole floor of the boat is suitable storage space, so nothing that you set down is at risk of falling overboard, and for a fishermen with a few small tackle boxes to keep handy, that's a huge convenience.

One more comment about what's above would be I think the OP was referring to a tandem canoe when he talked about standing up to access your gear. Not many solo canoes are all that safe for standing, but you can still turn completely around if you have to, and you can easily reach anything that's in the boat, no matter where it is.

Tank wells are for on water access

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they were originally designed for holding diving air tanks and you access them by turning around and stradding the boat cowboy style. A lot of fishing kayaks have very high seat backs, these make accessing the rear tank well hard. You want to get low seat back for kayaking. Yes the boat will wobble but with practice you can side surf a six foot wave with your legs hanging down. The tarpon is a fine boat for ocean fishing and seaworthy, a canoe will not work.

If you are interested in California kayak ocean fishing I would look for some forums based here in California for fishing, I know there are several. A lot of flat water paddlers post advice here and they have never sat in a SOT or paddled on the ocean.

I know the advantages, I’ve canoed befor

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As I said. When I was twelve. with a single blade. I would paddle downstream to a fishing spot a bit over a mile away.

No offense, but I don't think I was dreaming. that makes your claim wrong. I'm sort of like EZWater in that I don't like bad advice and misleading blanket statements.

Where I live people travel to the north annualy to float numerous rivers. After doing so, people develop the ability to propel themselves efficiently through the water, as they would a canoe, or a raft, or a rowboat. FWIW, I don't think you've spent much time in a kayak or watching kayakers, because if you did, you'd notice that novice kayakers have the same problem that novice single-blade canoeists do. The unbelievable thing is that it's because they're new - go figure!

I apologize for not commenting every other time this false claim has been made, but I appreciate your keeping track.

No need to be a smart aleck

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That's not like you - not so much in this kind of situation anyway.

If you already know the advantages of a canoe for fishing, I don't see why you asked about that part.

Anyway, I think the idea of controlling direction by naturally alternating which side you paddle on works pretty well for most people right from the start, while the usual methods used by a beginner with a single blade are not too effective. Traveling a mile and back in any boat doesn't really say much about control or efficiency, but that's probably far enough for some people.

I just thought it was odd that you'd jump on me for saying something that's been said a bunch of times before, whenever people talk about reasons rec kayaks have nearly taken over the canoe market. I don't actually recall these things being contradicted by anyone at all before, so I didn't need to "keep score" regarding what you might have said to figure it was probably true that you hadn't.

canoes are rare in SF Bay area
Canoes are relatively rare in the SF Bay Area. Not saying one may not be right for you, but you may have trouble finding them.

Truthfully, I’d spend the money on immersion clothing rather than a canoe for cold weather use. A SOT paddled by someone with appropriate clothing can be a year round vessel here.

I agree…
kayaks, at least properly designed ones, are far more practical for ocean paddling. But perhaps even more so than canoes, a design that does one thing well will do others poorly. You don’t want to take a short kayak any farther into the ocean than playing in the surf along the beach, but it’s great on small to medium size streams. And a long sea kayak is great for…the sea. But not a whole lot of fun on twisty creeks.

And for fishing in streams and small lakes, the canoe has many advantages over kayaks. I’m a dedicated canoe angler, own and use several of them, although I’ve also fished from kayaks (and just about every other human powered craft). The canoe is by far the most versatile. I carry five rods and reels, all with rod handles within instance reach and tips stowed within the gunwales so that they’re not in danger of either getting snagged on bankside brush or getting in the way when I hook that big fish that wants to dive under the canoe and out the other side and I have to bring my rod around the front end. I also carry a box full of Plano plastic boxes of lures, strapped beneath the bench seat within instant reach as well. And for multi-day trips you can carry everything but the kitchen sink…just for myself, I carry a four person tent, ground cloth, sleeping bag, 2 inch thick self inflating pad and a closed cell foam pad to go under it, two medium size coolers for most of the food, dry bags full of clothing, a box with cooking stuff…meanwhile the kayakers are carrying backpacking gear.