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Paddling The Paddling forum is for discussion that relates directly to wilderness paddling (canoeing, kayaking, rafting). Topics focus on trip planning and gear.


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  #1  
Old 08-20-2007, 10:27 PM
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stuco stuco is offline
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What type of boat?

I want to get a kayak but am a little confused as to what I need. I want something that can cruise on flatwater with decent speed that is also suited to whitewater. If I get a creek/river runner will that be any good on flatwater?

Can anyone recommend a good all around kayak style that can run class 2-3 rapids as well as keep up (or come close) with the recreational and smaller touring types of kayaks?
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2007, 11:10 PM
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WildlifeNate WildlifeNate is offline
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Eh, I'm afraid you're not going to find quite what you're looking for.

You can get a whitewater boat and paddle it on flatwater, but in order to keep up with a light touring boat, you're going to be relying on the person paddling the touring boat to really lay off the throttle. Maneuverability, not speed, is the strength of the whitewater boat, so putting one on flatwater is fine for tooling around inlets or doing safety practice, but not for trying to get from A to B with a group of folks in boats made for that purpose.

I've seen folks paddle up to class II whitewater in 16' touring boats and 12' rec boats. Class III would be too much for them to handle, I'm afraid.

I was in the same sort of boat (pun intended) awhile back and I realized that the sort of versatility I wanted could only be achieved in a canoe. I've read many places that canoes are the pickups/SUV's of the paddlecraft world and that kayaks are more the race cars of the paddlecraft world.

If you plan on paddling in the boat solo exclusively, I would look at a versatile solo canoe. Something like a Bell Yellowstone Solo can do a lot of things, and if you want to keep up with yaks, just paddle it with a double blade. If you want to hit whitewater, put some float bags inside. If you're going to cross a large body of water, find a spray deck to reduce windage. If you want to go on a trip, just put your gear in dry bags and toss it in. Paddle it with a double or single blade (or carry both and use what suits you at the moment).

A good solo canoe will cost you more than a rec or ww kayak, but will be far more versatile than either of those. If finances had allowed, I'd have bought two solo canoes instead of a tandem.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2007, 02:49 AM
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Flyingyetiman Flyingyetiman is offline
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I agree with WildlifeNate 100%. If you're willing to cut back slightly on the difficulty of whitewater, there are some very good recreational kayaks that I've seen run Class II with no real problem and still travel pretty fast on flatwater, although signficantly slower than a sea kayak. The bottom line is that if you don't want to compromise in either area, you'll need two different boats. Even if you're willing to compromise at both ends, you're not going to get quite the range of versatility that you were hoping for, but you can get pretty close.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2007, 08:55 AM
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stuco stuco is offline
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Thanks for the responses, I guess you can't really have your cake and eat it too. Maybe I'll pickup a Rec boat for now and pick up a whitewater kayak when I can afford another boat.

Canoes are nice but I drive a compact truck and it might be hard to transport without a trailer. Canoes are pretty vesatile though, good for fishing, flatwater, light whitewater. For some reason though I think I would prefer the lower sitting height and feel of a kayak if I'm going to do whitewater.

Argh!, I wish these things were cheaper.

Edit:

Ok, After reading up a little on canoes I have a question.

Will a Whitewater canoe work well on flatwater or is it the same compromise as with kayaks?

Last edited by stuco : 08-21-2007 at 09:12 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2007, 09:44 AM
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Chaos Chaos is offline
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Creek boats and touring kayaks are two very different animals, sharing little in common.
It would be the equivalent of asking for a vehicle with the offroad performance of a ‘Hummer’ and the ability to keep up with Ferrari’s on the track.

My suggestion would be to take a class in whitewater boating or kayak touring before you even consider buying a boat. You need to try different boats for fit and function. An instructor can help you make a more informed decision.

Additionally, you shouldn’t ever venture out on the water until you know how to safely self-rescue. Different boat designs require different recovery techniques. Every year, several people die here in the Pacific NW because they never learned how to properly re-enter their kayaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuco
.

Canoes are nice but I drive a compact truck and it might be hard to transport without a trailer.
A canoe will fit fine on a compact truck.
Install a single bar roof rack (Thule or Yakama) over the cab, and a raised cross-bar mounted in across the bed.



Last edited by Chaos : 08-21-2007 at 09:58 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2007, 11:02 AM
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WildlifeNate WildlifeNate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuco
Thanks for the responses, I guess you can't really have your cake and eat it too. Maybe I'll pickup a Rec boat for now and pick up a whitewater kayak when I can afford another boat.

Canoes are nice but I drive a compact truck and it might be hard to transport without a trailer. Canoes are pretty vesatile though, good for fishing, flatwater, light whitewater. For some reason though I think I would prefer the lower sitting height and feel of a kayak if I'm going to do whitewater.

Argh!, I wish these things were cheaper.

Edit:

Ok, After reading up a little on canoes I have a question.

Will a Whitewater canoe work well on flatwater or is it the same compromise as with kayaks?

It really depends on the canoe you're considering. A canoe made for playing in holes and such will still be a major compromise on flatwater. A canoe made for just downriver paddling on whitewater will handle much better on flatwater than a play boat. With some practice on paddling technique, you'll be able to handle it just fine, though it will be a little slower than a flatwater-specific boat. I have a Wenonah Aurora 16'. It's tagged as a 'versatile' boat. It could handle class III if I outfitted it correctly with flotation. Since I bought it, I've spent more time in flatwater scenarios. It has forced me to really learn my paddle strokes to keep it tracking straight and to correct for windage (it has very deep ends, and catches the wind like a kite).

It is still a compromise, but much less of a compromise than a recreational kayak. If you want to feel more a part of the boat with a lower center of gravity, consider learning to kneel in a canoe. With the right outfitting (knee pads, thigh straps), you can feel just as tight in the boat as in a yak. In a ww play canoe properly outfitted with flotation, a kneeling pedestal, and thigh straps, you can roll just like you can in a yak, so you can get the same control of a canoe that you get in a kayak.

Carrying a long boat on a pickup is no problem. Get yourself a contractor's truck rack, a recreational truck rack (Yakima or Thule), or maybe even cobble something together out of wood. Chaos' post is an illustration of only one method. There are rear bars you can get from Thule or Yakima that fit in the hitch receiver. You can use foam blocks on the roof if you want, though they're a little more of a hassle than just putting a bar on the front.
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2007, 03:16 PM
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Squints Squints is offline
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I too had your delema last summer when i finally went to buy my own. I wanted the exact same things you are looking for. I ended up buying a Manitou 14. Great great boat for Flat water and mellow rivers but i wouldn't ever run a river with anything over a normal class II............So then this year i went and bought myself a Diesel 65.

Kayaks are very specific for intended use. If i had it all to do over again i'd buy the wavesport diesel for running rivers which for me is way more fun the padleing flat water. Then i would rent a touring yak for when i did long flat water padles. You can flat water paddle the Wavesport just fine but if winds pick up on the lake it sucks.

I love having both boats depending on what we are going to go do. If i had to go out right now and buy one boat to make me able to do both okay i'd buy a Manitou Sport.
It will work good for paddleing on lakes and has descent speed. It can also do up to a solid classII......Hope that helps

Last edited by Squints : 08-28-2007 at 03:21 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-29-2007, 10:32 PM
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Wayback Wayback is offline
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FWIW, If you are going to be having to get in and out of your boat a lot to haul it over shallows, snags, etc., as you will have to do in Alabama and the Southeast 6 months of the year, a canoe is a better choice. (I seem to recall you live in Alabama.) I can remember a not particulary dry August when I seemed to be pulling or pushing my canoe down the Cahaba River more than I paddled it on a three day trip. Getting in and out of a kayak that many times would have been exhausting and a pain in the rear. In the summer, a canoe should also be a little cooler than being inside a kayak. Speaking of cooler, a decent-sized cooler will fit a lot easier in a canoe than any kayak I have seen.
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2007, 02:09 AM
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Anderz Anderz is offline
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It depends completely on your own preferences. Rent as many different brands and types you can and try in different conditions and then make up your mind. Simple. And yet not so simple :-)
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2008, 12:21 PM
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Tarytoons Tarytoons is offline
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Has anyone ever tried slow-water paddling (lakes or small rivers) with a small jon boat?
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