Canoe vs. kayak for PUP hauling & camping

Discussion in 'Canoeing / Kayaking, Boating, & S.C.U.B.A.' started by Fix it first, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. Fix it first

    Fix it first New Member

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    As my kids have gotten older we’ve enjoyed fishing during our camping trips. I’ve been thinking about getting some type of boat I can haul on top of the PUP. We are a family of four but usually only go on the water two at a time (not sure why, just works out that way). We are also pretty simple, don’t need anything fancy! I’m debating a canoe vs. kayak, and if kayak, are two single kayaks or one double better? I think I can mount either/or on the PUP for travel or on our vehicle and can store either easily too.
     
  2. Lumbergodd

    Lumbergodd Active Member

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    If you can swing it, go with the kayaks. Canoes are fine for building a team, but kayaks can get in places that canoes may not be able to, plus you can work independently and build up your kid's confidence. Don't cheap out on the kayaks, though. Quality boats and good paddles will make your experiences more enjoyable. also, buy the kayaks with your paddling intentions in mind. Some styles do better on lakes than they do on rivers. Find the ones that are right for you.
     
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  3. Fix it first

    Fix it first New Member

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    Great thoughts! Are there any brands or features to look for (or avoid)?
     
  4. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered an inflatable? 37DDFFB1-50DD-4329-809E-CD097BFCB1C2.jpeg
     
  5. Fix it first

    Fix it first New Member

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    I’m intrigued! I’ve heard of them but never seen one in action. Seems more purpose-built than a plastic kayak but does it require more maintenance?
     
  6. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    Kayaks for lakes, flat water, especially with wind they are easier to control. 2 singles, definitely. Pay attention to weight ratings, smaller yaks for smaller people. Depending on the youngers ages and height they might be better with a smaller, shorter paddle also. And plan on carrying them on the TV, not on the pup. You can't always put in from the campsite.

    But moving water, rivers, I love a canoe and a single blade.
     
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  7. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Nope. No maintenance. Raft material is very tough. I use it on lakes and rivers. Fits in a hockey bag size duffel when I’m done. Frame breaks down as well. Mines a single but they come in many sizes and configurations. Very stable when compared to a kayak and especially a canoe
     
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  8. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    I have a good quality inflatable 1-2man kayak and a very large expedition-type canoe. I'll always prefer the canoe for on the water but I hate traveling with it. Makes me nervous. The kayak just gets smooshed into the back of the truck and inflates pretty fast. It's great for kids. We just do mountain lakes and the occasional calm estuary.

    Probably best to not take OUR inflatable kayak for fishing but I bet there are models that would work.

    Remember to save space for paddles and life jackets (or whatever they're called these days).
     
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  9. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah Gold Supporting Member

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    Know what you and your family would like to do and what type of waters you are like to see/be on. Some kayaks are only designed for flat waters and more stable for a fishing platform. Some kayaks are more designed for touring or a hybrid of the two. So sleeker and more able to move on the water but not as stable than a recreational kayak. I had an inflatable kayak which was great to putter around on a small lake or pond but not great with wind. My inflatable was good on moving water if only going in the direction of the water but difficult to fight against the current.
     
  10. JustRelax

    JustRelax Well-Known Member

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    Go with separate kayaks. My son was paddling his own at 5. He’s 9 now and for Christmas he wanted accessories for “his” yak.
     
  11. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    If your water activities will be limited to warm weather, I'd go with a couple of cheap sit on top kayaks. Zero maintenance and the kids will want to paddle on their own soon enough. We've had a couple of these at our cottage for about 20 years and they are still in great shape. It's true that nicer purpose built (and more expensive) yaks or canoes are better paddlers, but kids (and adults) can paddle these cheap yaks for hours and have fun. My wife and I always have an Advanced Elements Tandem inflatable kayak with us when we travel with the TT. (I love my 16lb Wenonah solo canoe when it is just me). We have a couple others as well, but the cheap sit on tops are great because they are 1. cheap and 2. very rugged.
     
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  12. tzmartin

    tzmartin Not here for a long time but here for a good time! Diamond Supporting Member

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    We take a tandem, lightweight kayak when we camp near lakes. They are a lot of fun to fish from and there is a lot of room. I like the lower center of gravity and somewhat more wave resistant as boat traffic amps up in the day time. I carry it on the top of the PUP.
     
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  13. DanLee

    DanLee Member

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    I don't have any experience with kayaks but have used canoes extensively over the past 45 years. Fishing would seem to be easier with a canoe, if only because there's more room for carrying equipment. I do see "fishing kayaks" advertised these days so perhaps my perception is outdated. Kayaks are generally lighter than canoes, but I have a couple 17-footers that weigh 60 lbs or less. That's important as one's body ages and strength declines.
     
  14. NEODon

    NEODon Tired but not retired Gold Supporting Member

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    As far as what to buy, I won't be much help. I don't fish and have had limited experience with either a canoe or a kayak. I had a bad experience in a rental canoe with the wife but good experience in rental kayaks for a lazy river pleasure trip so we bought these kayaks (1 new, 1 used). I now use pools noodles under the kayaks and ratchet straps to hold them down. The kayaks do cut down on the view of traffic following behind which won't be as much of an issue if your tow vehicle is bigger than my little Tucson. We had seen an inflatable or 2 and have considered their advantages. With a family of 4, I would guess that you don't have much room left inside to transport a deflated inflatable. Together time in separate kayaks might be a bit like sitting at the dinner table while everyone looks at their electronic device - together but apart.


    kayaks on pup.jpg
     
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  15. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    We love kayaking. Not particularly for fishing, but many fishermen kayak specifically to fish. I had a fishing kayak once, but it just seemed to be too much to do at once. but—don’t laugh—I was always nervous about what to do with a big fish if I caught one!
    The only kayaking I’m talking about here is recreational lakes. To start out, don’t go further from shore than you can swim back. Sit in kayaks should have some kind of flotation...either foam in the body somewhere or a storage compartment that is water tight. Even for non moving water, a sit in kayak should stay afloat if you happen to capsize.
    If you are looking to have fun in the water, and want to get wet, sit on tops are good for that.
    We go kayaking in all kinds of weather, so we sit inside.
    We have two single recreational hard side kayaks and a rack on our truck. I also have a really good inflatable that is honesty just as good as the hard side. It is an advanced element, advance design sport with a drop stitched floor. It isn’t cheap, but it is a very good kayak. I have had no problems with it, in all kinds of weather, adjusting the inflation for the temperature. it does take some care in drying it out before packing it back up. It also is un-sinkable!

    I had a sea eagle, a fun, tough, well made inflatable, but it was very difficult in wind.
    An inflatable can easily go where you go, in case you happen to “find” water.

    If we are specifically headed to a lake to kayak, we put the two relatively inexpensive hard kayaks on the truck rack. One kayak is a Perception I got on craigslist. The other is a field and stream Blade that was under $300. I really enjoy that kayak! It is very straight tracking and stable in design. I got a bow insert for flotation. As mentioned, you will need life vests and paddles too. In paddles, length and weight matter. Heavy paddles or those too long or too short can really make it difficult to learn to paddle correctly and can be very fatiguing.

    Kayaking adds a lot of fun to our camping trips!
     
  16. Coulter Wood

    Coulter Wood Member

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    We spent the first couple of years using these inflatables which are often on sale for 89.99, but are a bit marked up now for the holidays.
    https://www.amazon.com/Intex-Explorer-2-Person-Inflatable-Aluminum/dp/B00A7EXF4C
    Either way, they really are a great way to get on the water. Super easy to inflate and they're surprisingly durable and sturdy. They're nice because you can remove one of the inflatable seats and move the other one toward the center so they're great for one person or two. Even two adults can use them.
    After about two years of exploring with these, we purchased a used hardside kayak. Then I won a second hardside kayak in a local photography contest. So next season, I'll be getting a rack for my tv to load up the two hardsides. One consideration is that the rack for the kayaks is really inexpensive. Not sure how easy transporting a canoe is. My girls are 10 and 12 and love taking a kayak out on their own and exploring.
     
  17. Jerold Harter

    Jerold Harter New Member

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    I have a lot of experience fishing in canoes and kayaks, including fly fishing and portaging through BWCA and Quetico. A canoe is much better for fishing. You can carry much more gear, you sit higher, you learn better paddling skills, you can more easily camp out of the canoe, and a single tandem canoe is easy to load on the vehicle so long as you have room for its length. You don't mention budget. A Kevlar canoe is the best for fishing but expensive. A Royalex or similar material canoe is much cheaper but heavier. I used a Souris River kevlar canoe for years and it is an elegant, light canoe - but not for rocky, beat the keel into the ground, terrain. My friend has an Old Towne plastic canoe - it is an indestructible pig of a canoe.

    For kayaks, the downsides for fishing are: sitting lower; less storage, back pain from sitting with legs at 90 degree angle, getting separated from fishing partner, wetter ride in cold weather, potentially cramped quarters in a too-short tandem kayak. They are easier to paddle for inexperienced kids who are just dinking around.

    If you are thinking of an inflatable kayak, don't cheap out. You don't want to watch a slow leak happen as the young ones paddle around. A pair of STAR Pike inflatable kayaks is the ticket.

    Pedal kayaks (I have a Native Watercraft Titan) are excellent kayaks for fishing. You can stand in them and pedaling works great - it is easy, hands-free, and you can go in reverse. But they are expensive and very heavy (not the great for car-topping).

    Whatever you buy, get some top quality PFD's and require them to be worn at all times, even when it's hot.
     
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  18. carbonunit

    carbonunit New Member

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    Hi...

    I can see the value in either choice and I recently faced the same dilemma. I choose the canoe, mainly because of it's carrying capacity. My wife and I camp with our black lab and occasionally one of our grown children or with a friend, so it had to be big enough for 3 adults and a dog. We choose a 17' square back canoe because it had the capacity, reputation for quality and we could carry it easily on our roof rack on our pop-up. I have a 30 year old Johnson 2.5 gas kicker that works very well on this canoe, and I am also looking at buying a Min Kota or equivalent electric outboard as a replacement for the motor.
    Many of our camping friends have also switched to kayak's and I am very impressed with them, but they make taking your mutt friend with you difficult. I still covet the Hobie's (tandem adventure especially) but they are very pricey and quite heavy.
     
  19. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    I have a large, high capacity canoe for a similar reason--kids, spouse, and dog. It's pretty wide in the middle and for some reason the dog must lay on one side of the canoe, no matter how well we center his pad. Everyone else has to adjust themselves to offset this.

    If you have any suggestions on how to center the dog (short of giving up and just packing an 80 lb sandbag next to him), I'd love to hear them. :)
     
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  20. carbonunit

    carbonunit New Member

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    We got lucky with this dog. Being an older lab (8) she has no fear of water and she sits very quietly near the centre. Occasionally she adjusts her sit and we may have to adjust ourselves slightly to keep the canoe flat but she can literally sit for about 1 hour in the canoe. She does lie down sometimes, which is where I would prefer her to be, but she likes the view like everyone else. I have a pad for her also but rarely does she centre herself on it. She wears a life jacket but doesn't really like it. I think she feels constrained in it and sits quietly without much movement. Being a lab she responds to food very well so I reward her in the canoe for sitting quietly. This dog jacket has a handle so I have sometimes lifted her into the centre before we shove off and have her sit stay with a food reward. Every dog I have camped with has been different. Some love it some hate it and some just tolerate a boat.
     

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