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Kayak or Canoe

I started posting here some time ago, because I wanted info on a possible very light weight, point A to B vessel. I would be primarily wade fishing (Mexican bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook) I was well rewarded and was all set. But then I happened on a thread somewhere (here or another forum) and for some reason did not save it. But in this thread, people brought up all kinds of names of canoes; names I had never heard of. The interesting thing was that several were very light weight (about 36-37 lbs.) boats there.

I was wondering why, if boats like this are available, are the smaller kayaks still more popular? Or is that just here in this forum? This IS a canoeing forum too, right? I would think that a small canoe, possibly with foam sponsons added, would be AS stable, and the additional freeboard/more storage couldn't hurt, either.

That said, could some of you chip in with names of some of these companies that make these lightweight canoes?

Now I am back in Florida, I tried to find canoe/kayak dealers in the yellow pages. NOTHING under kayaks or canoes in the Stuart pages. What should I look under?



  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,344 Moderator
    I think Canoes are not as popular as the sit-on-top kayaks because most people fear capsizing and/or water getting into the hull and the vessel sinking, something which doesn't happen with a sit-on-top kayak (unless you spring a leak [rare occurrence]). More inland, and in states where calm lakes are the primary water area, I think they have more canoe aficionados.
    Most surf shops here in FL have kayaks, paddleboards and surf boards but to your point canoes are not as easy to find.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    AHHHHH!!.....Maybe I should look under "surfing", "surfboards," etc. Thanks. I want to find the closest Native dealer.

    But anyway, for stability, that's where the sponsons come in. They have these foam ones that would probably add less that 10 lbs. to the rig, including mounting hardware. Weight is a huge issue with me.

    Who knows what people think, but leaking or filling with water should not be even a consideration with a canoe, more so than a kayak. But if it WERE to happen, I would rather be in a canoe where I could easily get to that water and get rid of it quick.

    Perhaps here is a good place to tell y'all that whereas I am a novice/newbie/whatever you call it, when it comes to kayaks....I do have more than 15 years experience floating at least 20 of the Ozarks' trout and bass rivers....in a canoe. They do not scare me. It's just that I am looking for 2 things: stability for standing and poling/fishing and light weight, because I am often alone and I am not a big person at 63 years old.
  • SuperFlukeSuperFluke Posts: 1,889 Captain
    Mohawk makes a great little solo canoe for not a lot of money. Wenonah makes some very versatile canoes that don't weigh much, but cost a little more. Of course, if you've got a couple grand to spend on a really really nice boat... get a Bell.

    There is no contest in paddling a well made canoe versus a SOT kayak. And you can take all the gear you want and the boat is more polite with the extra weight. The downside, I guess, is you are more prone to wind issues. But, that can be managed. Piloting a canoe takes skill, and once you have it you can dial-in your craft in way that just aren't available to SOT kayaks or hybrids.
  • oarknotoarknot Posts: 246 Deckhand
    check out wenonah, old town, and indian river canoes -some of these kevlar modles weigh around 30 lbs. if you've run the current and 11 point rivers you'll be fine in a good chop around here lol. I guided a few trips in a wenonah in quetico and was really worried about the transparency of the hull (I could see the trees through the bottom on the portages) but they were really stiff and more responsive than just about anything i've ever paddled. the native boats are more kayakish than a traditional double ender, weigh a little more, but look like a good compromise for florida waters- although I'm sure they are just as suseptable to windage as a good old canoe. You'll probably have to order online- since the SOT craze there doesn't seem like a lot of folks are willing to learn a good j-stroke and rely on rudders and paddle-right/turn-left basics.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    AAAAAAAH!! (again) Wenonah and Mohawk were two of the canoes in that other thread. Never heard of Bell. I owned the very last Old Town 17 ft. squareback that was made. (unless Old Town brought them back again). I had great plans for that canoe and the NMZ's in the Everglades and Mosquito Lagoon. So I am familiar with Old Town.

    Again, thanks to all. This forum has come yet through again.
  • krashkrash Posts: 677 Officer
    I have a Wenonah Vagabond solo canoe and love it. To get there I've been through 3 kayaks and 2 other canoes. Never had a problem or fear of filling with water, it would hold a lot, now if I was fishing offshore in rough choppy waters I might think differently. Also Native Ultimate is more loke a canoe than a SOT kayak as it has no scuppers to drain water,

    I do carry a bilge sponge to dry up any water that does splash in or drip from the paddles, also carry a quart gatorade bottle for bailing if needed, like when I lean it to far and take some water over the sides or a heavy down pour that sneaks up on me.

    The Vagabond I have is 14'6" Kevlar/Flexcoat and weighs 38 pounds, paddles as well or better than most (all current) SOT's, yes its much easier on the body with the extra room and seating position, I can carefully stand and fish or easily stretch my legs, and certainly easier to load/unload/carry. Its very easy to stake off, or drag up on shore, and wade from.
    I have a friend with one who is a photographer and takes a lot of very expensive equipment in it with no worries of damage or loss.
    The canoe is also great if you want to camp, as you can actually take enough camping equipment along with you for several days worth.

    Wenonah Vagabon can be purchased in Royalex 45 ponuds, and what they call Kevlar/Ultralight 30 pounds. If you are interested I know of a Skincoat one in excelent condition for sale in Florida, PM me and I can send you a link to his add. Royalex might be getting hard to find I think the only company that made the raw material may have shut down.


    Old Town, Mohawk, Indian River make many of the canoes you'll find for sale locally in Florida, but yes if you want light weight you'll have to look at canoes built up North.
    I also have another friend, who fishes inshore and does multiday camping trips, that has a carbon fiber/gelcoat Kestral that weighs 29 pounds, great paddling canoe but you don;t want to try and stand in hers.

    PM me if you have other questions about this subject so as I do not get involved never ended opinionated replies. I'm not sponsored by any one so I can say what ever I want about all brands.
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Thanks to everyone for some great information. I think I have made up my mind on the Old Town Pack. It is 12 ft. long, 32 inches at the gunwales, (no tumblehome) and weighs just 33 lbs. That's less that the Native Ultima Tegris!

    Mohawk has a 13 footer that weighs 3 lbs. more, but I wonder about rigidity and overall quality, as compared to an Old Town.

    I'll hit the usual venues for a used one, but I'll probably have to go new.....which means ordering one through BPS. I have the time, so I'll let them add it to their next normal shipment and save the special order shipping costs. Can't wait to splash her in Mexico.
  • YaksquatchYaksquatch Posts: 499 Officer
    In answer to your question of why small lightweight canoes don't seem as popular on this forum is probably due to a couple things.

    A) There are A LOT of anglers on this forum who fish both inshore and offshore in their kayak. Canoes are not self bailing which would leave you with maybe 3 days out of the whole year you could get offshore. When launching in surf, you will take waves over the bow and in a sit-on-top kayak there's no harm/no foul because the water drains right out on it's own allowing you to continue paddling to get through the breakers. If you stop to bail out a canoe while you're in the breakers, you're going down!

    B) Canoes tend to have a lot more freeboard than kayaks which is great for carrying lots of gear say on an extended camping trip. However, all that height above the water means more surface area for wind to blow you around and waste your paddling effort. Sit-on-top kayaks are much lower and experience far less wind drag than canoes.

    That's not to say that canoes are bad paddlefishing boats. Just that they're not as well suited to a variety of situations as kayaks are. There are situations where canoes are superior to kayaks, ex: extended camping trips through the everglades or other protected waters.

    Good luck!
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    I'm actually hoping to be able to stand on a cooler and pole this boat. I'm used to poling and should be pretty good at it by now. So control and windage should not be a problem while in transit. I also think that at least in a canoe, I can pole (and with a lot less effort) somewhat faster than I would be able to paddle, at least if I were alone.

    The only unfortunate thing is that whereas the prevailing winds and the geographical lay of the Florida Keys make it almost a joy to pole and drift, This is just the opposite in Mexico, where there is **** little current and the wind is 90 degrees to the lay of the land in most places.
  • PickledvolvoPickledvolvo Posts: 189 Officer

    Super easy to stand. Super fly First Class seating. Quality you can trust.
    "I throw empty beer cans at the TV when I'm watching the news.
    I hate republicans, I hate democrats, I hate liberals too!"
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