WW Canoe volume vs. Kayak & Lg. Paddler

I have recently started looking for my first WW canoe (used preferrably.) I weigh around 230lbs. without gear, and after doing research it looks like paddlers over 190lbs. need to be in a boat such as a Prodigy X, Outrage X, Vertige, XL-13, all around 13’ boats. A WW Kayak such as a Liquid Logic XP 10 (which is a 10’ boat with much less hull volume)will handle paddlers up to 300 lbs. I know it is not fair comparing the two beasts, but I can’t figure why I need to be in a 13’ boat for solo WW play, when 3 more feet carry me and a passenger and all our camping gear for a week. Is it just to have a buffer for all the water that you ship in the bilge in WW?

Any ww boat has to be able to turn and
to not be pushed around excessively. This is achieved by the shape a boat presents to sideward and turning movement, and by how shallow or deep a footprint a boat has on the water.

Kayaks are shorter than open canoes designed for paddlers of similar weight. A kayak may turn more easily because it is shorter, and also because chines on a kayak can generally be shorter than those on open boats (like the Ocoee), and so the chines resist turning and side slipping less. (By the way, I don’t think a paddler weight of 300 is going to work well in an XP-10. But a kayak doesn’t take on water if it is way overloaded.)

So, to carry a 230 pound paddler (my weight is similar), to be narrow enough to paddle properly, an open canoe ends up being longer. Also, canoes have deep sides, which get slammed by waves, and so again they need to sit light enough on the water to have good control. (On the other hand, too large an open boat will blow around in the wind.)

An open canoe that is too short will sit deeper, get slammed around more, may in some ways be harder to control. On the other hand, if you carefully shop for and select an open boat, such as the Ocoee, you may find that you can learn to manage it well enough that you don’t take on water, can surf waves and holes, etc., as well or better than you can in a 13’ boat. I personally like to use a boat that sits light on the water, but for the easier stuff I paddle at my age (67), I know I could get by OK with a shorter boat.

a little more initial stability for 1st

– Last Updated: Apr-08-10 3:46 PM EST –

Surprisingly, just "volume" doesn't make a heck of a lot of difference, but hull design(ie lack of sharp edges) does. The Prodigy X(Bell), Nitro(Esquif), or a used Dagger(model?) might be some boats to talk to someone about...yes the XL-13(although agree...it's long). Think taking off some pounds previous would help..but will happen anyways before Day #3-4...imho. You know, everybody getting into paddling is always looking for the most efficient boat, but the more "stable"=slower a boat(thinking Prodigy-X) the more pounds you'll shed, given correctly using your torso/back instead of using all arms.
Not much new from me, think you're on the right track + what g2d said.


Design weight
Boats are designed to paddle within a certain weight range. The designer feels that his hull will perform well so long as you the paddler and your gear are within that range.

There’s no law that says you have to agree with him.

There are plenty of big people happily paddling little bitty canoes. There are plenty more like me who find the designers weight ranges pretty reasonable guides.

Which are you?

I only know one way to find out.