Canoeing, Solo or Tandem?

Qually

Lofty Wiseman
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I just watched Phrayzars youtube vid of him and Lepmiester canoe camping at Myall lakes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XPRlSVAYkY&list=UURjyrmHQEi9X9Y00b6PAT4g

Looked like a great trip guys, very jealous. I have a question regarding canoes. I am hoping to get one soon so I need some advice from experienced folks.

You both had a canoe each on the vids, as opposed to going in one canoe. Is there a reason for this(gear space etc). Also is it more difficult to paddle a canoe solo than with another person, and does it take more skill to do it solo? Just wondering what the pro's and con's are.

Any help would be appreciated, Ta, Qually.
 

Lepmeister

Richard Proenneke
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Hey mate,

Thanks for watching, it sure was a great trip. We had a mix of paddling conditions which gave us a great opportunity to test our skills in the canoes.

We tossed up taking just one canoe, we would have had room and weight capacity to spare in my Wenonah for everything we took. We also tossed in the benefits of paddling tandem if the wind was up ( as we had some good sections in each direction )

But in the end we openly discussed the feeling of being out on the water for a longer trip solo, and how whilst we may have to make allowances to our intended route we both longed for the solo feel.

With regards to the difficulty or skill required to go solo or tandem, I actually find it easier to paddle solo. It could be due to most of my paddling and learning was done solo, could also be that its just more difficult for two people to work as one than it is for one to work alone.

Solo and tandem really do have two separate feels to them for me. Both very enjoyable for their reasons, solo for the man and machine feel that one gets being in the outdoors and relying or trusting in yourself and gear to get where you want to go. Tandem I find a little more relaxed, whilst the stern paddler does the correction work, much as if you well solo. The rewards associated with team work and comradery come into the experience.

Either way, canoes are great. What are you waiting for... And what sort are you looking at?
 
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vanNek

Malcolm Douglas
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Following this, keen for a canoe or kayak that I can paddle solo or with 2.5 passengers...

Ripper shots, need to watch the video know!
 

Qually

Lofty Wiseman
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Thanks Lepmiester, Good to get a bit more of the whole picture. I'm just waiting for the funds to be available before I buy. I've been looking on eBay plus online at things. Really I think I'm gonna go for something 15 or 16" and not too heavy. Both the brands that are in the vid are on my radar but I haven't yet seen a second hand wenonah.

After years of car camping and some hiking, I like the middle ground that the canoes seem to provide, some luxuries yet still right out in the wilds etc. I also like to have a bit of a fish.
 

Ticklebellly

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Not so much the pros or cons, Qually, I suggest you think most about how and where you will use a canoe. I have a sit-in Kayak, a sit-on-top, and have spent time in a canoe. Mate has Hobies, a single and a tandem. A recent trip up to the 6th gorge at Carnarvon, had us pulling the kayaks across the rocks on the end of a bit of rope. The plastic got scratched but no actual damage. I have done the Brisbane River downstream from the dam wall in both a Coleman canoe (2 up) and my kayak. The kayak is better in the skinny water and the canoe was better in the longer reaches. The only thing I am firm on is that a tandem sit-on-top or a dual Hobie should be avoided unless you are always going to go paddling with a like minded person with similar interests. If you want a canoe that will fit 2 but might be taken out alone, needs to be on the small end for ease of single use. Don't forget to consider how you might get your vessel to the water's edge. For example, the mate's dual Hobie is a very, very long item and it is difficult to transport on his Suzuki Jimny.

The decision on what to get can be complex. Do not be put off. At some point you will be floating along wondering why you didn't get one years ago.

TB
 

barefoot dave

Mors Kochanski
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Gday qually. As tickle belly says, don't over think it. I appreciate that few of us have the money to buy a few different types and pick what suits you.
I agree with what the others have said. I'll add some other observations from a canoe leaders point of view.
When activity time is limited,I prefer to split up couples or siblings as they often end up getting quite narky with each other.
My advice; whoever you are considering doing a long tandem paddle with, start with a few short paddles (~1_2 hours) in differing conditions then build up to the big one.
At work, we exclusively use poly Wobbegongs 3 seaters. They are heavy, stable, very little rocker, can pack a huge load and pretty much bomb proof! Probably twice as heavy as a Prospector, but you know what: with correct technique and guidance,I daily have children as young as 6 making decent rate of progress.
If you are not a well practised paddler then do what I do (purests avert your eyes) I carry 2 piece modular paddles. When I get tired of J stroking or get a nasty head wind,I switch to kayak mode, double ended. I always carry a spare paddle, as should you, so it serves 2 purposes which pleases my bushcraft sensibilities ;)
In closing, let me say that I'd love a prospector our similar (a trad birch would be sweet) but I have what I can afford and can fit a few of us in. get what you need and can afford, you will change your mind, but that is how it goes.
Good luck and enjoy the time on water.

Now, about that trip to Harrys hut.....
 

MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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I bought a canoe for the first time late last year. I find I more often paddle solo with my daughter just enjoying the ride. I do plan on doing some short trips with it at some point. My budget did not stretch far enough for a Wenonah so I ended up buying a Mad River Journey. It I a bit heavier but it is very strong and manageable with one person. I also prefer to paddle solo as I just find it simpler and quite a relaxing pastime. I settled on this canoe because it had a good general purpose feel to it. I plan on doing some fishing in the river with it too.
 
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Walker

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Had a Canadian canoe for years - too heavy and needed two people to row. Now have a one-person kayak. Two person kayaks can usually be used by a single person particularly if they have a rudder.

Horses for courses. Canoes for long expeditions trips, where people wanna take everything including the kitchen sink Not easy to manoeuvre in white water. Kayaks for fast travelling, easy to manoeuvre, lightweight, good for all-round use if you get the correct one to suit your needs.

From experience, if you tip a canoe it's a bastard to refloat. Kayaks are relatively easy because all the gear is loaded into watertight compartments that form a component of the craft. If you're doing long distances, on open water, kayaks are less affected by cross winds = fatigue.
 

Qually

Lofty Wiseman
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Thanks everyone for your helpful and considered advice. I already have a sea kayak and want to get into canoeing too. I'm really chomping at the bit after all your thoughts, ta.
 

hillbilly

Lofty Wiseman
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I run a 16ft fibre glass canoe, been to long. quite heavy but I can paddle it myself easy and fast. Get a 20lt jerry can full of water in the front and steering will be easy with nose level in the water.
 
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