Thinking about another boat.....

Howdy folks, this is going to be a long post as I blurt out all my thoughts.

I currently have two loon 138 kayaks in the stable for my wife and myself. We love them as we are just recreational paddlers.

My son has just gone on a couple of short paddles with us. He’s 2.5 yrs old. He’s sitting in my kayak, which leaves little room for me to move my feet around at all, especailly after my right one goes numb. I’m a big guy at 260lbs and only 5’5. Which is why I have a 138.

So I was debating maybe purchasing a loon 138 tandem which is the same boat with a bigger opening and two seats, designed for an adult and a kid. Figuring he could sit in the front and me in the back and when it was just me, I believe you can slide the forward seat to the middle and paddle it solo.

For the last couple of years, I’ve also been thinking that I would like eventually to try some different kind of trips, like one or two day camping trips on rivers or up in the Adirondacks. (not necessarily taking my son on the trips yet, we’ll have to gauge how long his “fun” span is in a boat) My one concern is with getting out of the kayak, unless I have some type of relatively smooth surface to paddle the front boat up onto so I can get out into shallow water. I have difficulty getting out. Especially if it was something like where I’d have to paddle up to the side of a dock or ledge and get out of the boat while it was still completely floating in the water. I could get out if someone was stabilizing the kayak for me. Which leads me to believe that it’s easier to get out of a canoe than a kayak in conditions like that. I think it’s easier to get out of a canoe seat than a kayak seat.

So I started thinking that maybe I should add a canoe to the fleet instead. But it would have to be something that I could paddle solo or with my son sitting in it with me (til he’s old enough to get his own boat). I believe if we were to do camping trips, if the take-out location were an issue, I’d be able to get out of the canoe easier. I think (but I’m not sure) that trips between the lakes up there where portaging is required, favor using a canoe. It would also be a boat that would make it easier to pack gear for camping, etc. I’m not sure if I was to start looking for canoes, if I should look for a tandem and paddle it backwards from the front seat for solo paddling. Or try to add a seat to the middle, or maybe just look for a solo canoe. Also what length should I be looking at. I have not looked at much of canoe stuff yet. But just from paddling my kayak in some twisty creeks, at 14ft, I’m not sure I’d want to solo paddle a canoe that’s longer than that. There’s a bunch of stuff for me to research, so I’ll start here.

I’d preferably like to buy a used boat for the next purchase to save on the cost.

Any suggestions, thoughts, comments?



I’d say yes to a canoe
for several of the reasons you mention, then again I am partial to canoes. AS for which canoes, that is a tough question, a lot of boats to choose from. Of the top of my head I would say the Old Town Penobscot 16 would be a good choice, it solos well, but works well as a tandem, pretty good prices new or used and not terribly heavy at 58 Lbs in royalex. Wenonah has several boats in the 16 ft range, check out the Adirondack for one. I like Bell’s Morningstar and Northwind as well. Good luck on what ever you choose.

Canoe, Kayak Exit
There are uncomplicated ways to get out of a kayak without having the bow already up on land, and at some point you should probably ask someone to show you that. But there really isn’t anything you say about what you want to do that requires a kayak, and if you are talking about longer trips involving portaging you would find a canoe much easier to deal with.

Thanks for the info. I’m just starting my research now. I’d like to find a place near me that may rent different boats so I can demo them for a good amount of time.



Uncomplicated but still impossible
I appreciate what you’re trying to say about “uncomplicated” ways to get into and out of a kayak without being beached, but the reality for some of us is that these “uncomplicated” techniques still don’t work. I’ve taken kayaking classes from a lady who is very well qualified and attends kayaking teaching seminars all over the country. She has gone over the proper techniques with me, but the reality is still that I don’t have the balance, coordination, or flexibility to use these techniques. I’ve seen x-rays showing joint deformities in one of my knees, and from the feel of things, I think I have similar deformities in my right shoulder. I have mobility problems with that shoulder, and they don’t improve with stretching. Those problems keep the techniques from working. Beyond any shoulder problems, I’ve always had poor balance and coordination. To top things off, I’m also a heavyweight like the guy who initiated this thread. It’s good to mention the techniques so that he can find a teacher and give them a try. However, they aren’t so simple that anyone can be successful with them.