Canoe vs. kayak for PUP hauling & camping

rcfalcon56

New Member
May 3, 2018
4
We use an Intex Expedition 4. It fits in the proverbial hockey bag when deflated and works just fine for fishing. We have the motor mount for it and have a Minnkota trolling motor but we have also used it minus the motor out on a lake with just the included oars and it worked just fine. My grand daughters took it out solo on the same lake with no problems. Just be advised it's not for white water usage and would be subject to wind drift if a strong wind does come up. It's always good to keep a weather eye out anyway no matter what water craft you use. I'm not sure what state you live in but if you go the motor route you may have to register it. We did just because of the trolling motor. Without the motor there is no registration needed, at least in Utah. Happy sailing no matter what craft you decide on.
 

Devil's Slide Doug

New Member
Jan 5, 2020
3
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.
I have a dozen kayaks for whitewater, surfing, touring, rock gardening, hand built Baidarkas for historical events (singles and a double). That being said, a canoe is nice on a lake and you can just dump stuff into it. The important thing is put the boat on your tow vehicle. Camp is not always right on the water, you might be involved in a shuttle, unnecessary holes in a thin aluminum skinned foam core popup roof should be avoided. Besides your tow vehicle should already have a rack for a boat. Surely you don’t paddle only when your camping?
 

Miamama1

Member
Jan 23, 2020
26
Tx
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!
What kind/ brand of inflatable kayak do you have, and if you don't mind me asking, price?
I have 2 Pelicans, but they are difficult to travel with.
 

mamo1aw

Member
Jun 2, 2007
12
Livonia Michigan
I am in the same predicament. I'm looking at inflatable kayaks for the ease of portability. I agree on buying a good quality inflatable. Some can be used as tandem or solo. It's hard to decide to find one the fits all wants such as fishing and recreation. I'm currently leading toward the Sea Eagle 385 or an Advanced Elements model. The kayak will be used mainly by myself and occasionally a grandchild or two.
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,490
Northern Virginia
I'm currently leading toward the Sea Eagle 385
I had a sea eagle for about 7 years worked great until I cracked a valve by dropping something heavy on it and was no longer able to hold its air on the side. Unfortunately couldn’t figure out a way to fix the valve itself otherwise I would still have it. A buddy of mine has a sea eagle boat with the motor and had his for 10+ years no issues. It does ride quite high in the water so didn’t do great in the wind. Haven’t seen anyone with an advanced element inflatable kayak yet so no clue how that compares. Wish I knew as I have my eye on one myself.
 

mamo1aw

Member
Jun 2, 2007
12
Livonia Michigan
Some of the Sea Eagle's have 11" pontoons which would make sit up higher. I haven't pulled the trigger yet but I'm thinking of the Sea Eagle 385fta which is the fishing version. Thanks for sharing about the longevity.
 

Dingit

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2017
2,023
I don't know what Sea Eagle we have but it's great for one or two paddlers. Also a nice couch at the campsite. :)
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
840
Minnesota
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.
Easier to fish from a canoe though, if that's something you'd like to do. Were thinking of getting a lightweight canoe, we have a aliner, so we'd probably have to put the canoe on top of our minivan.
 

Mark CASTELLANI

Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Aug 23, 2019
497
New York State, Erie County
We Canoe...

IDK... we have always talked about kayaking but, I like being in the same boat with my DW... we get to share the awe and wonders we see as we paddle with each other.

Also, a canoe was convenient to have the younger kiddos in the same boat as they grew and not limit getting out on the water

We have an Old Town Saranac 14 footer... we load it on top of of our TV via a Reese Towpower 7018100 Canoe Loader

Here's a couple of recent pics ...
Ladies on the Lake.jpg


20200703_101558.jpg

Happy Trails!
 

davido

Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
1,345
I have a Malibu Two kayak. It seats two people comfortably, but does have a middle seat area for a third person, and that position works out fine if two of the three people are young kids. I carry it on top of the popup sometimes, along with some bikes. For that I installed a SportRack that I bought on eTrailer. And to the SportRack I attached the most inexpensive kayak mounts, and most inexpensive bike mounts I could find on Amazon (well, maybe not MOST inexpensive, but close to it). I think the bike racks were $35 each, and the kayak mount probably was in that same ballpark. I carry three bikes plus the kayak, or sometimes four bikes without the kayak. It all works great.

Canoes I've owned over the years tended to be heavier, but more utilitarian. If you need a canoe, the same SportRack would work fine, but you probably wouldn't also carry a bunch of bikes.
 

Mark CASTELLANI

Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Aug 23, 2019
497
New York State, Erie County
I have a Malibu Two kayak. It seats two people comfortably, but does have a middle seat area for a third person, and that position works out fine if two of the three people are young kids. I carry it on top of the popup sometimes, along with some bikes. For that I installed a SportRack that I bought on eTrailer. And to the SportRack I attached the most inexpensive kayak mounts, and most inexpensive bike mounts I could find on Amazon (well, maybe not MOST inexpensive, but close to it). I think the bike racks were $35 each, and the kayak mount probably was in that same ballpark. I carry three bikes plus the kayak, or sometimes four bikes without the kayak. It all works great.

Canoes I've owned over the years tended to be heavier, but more utilitarian. If you need a canoe, the same SportRack would work fine, but you probably wouldn't also carry a bunch of bikes.

@davido ...
do you ever feel like The Clampetts from "The Beverly Hillbillies”? LOL [lol]

There are times when we get a big laugh out of our excursions…. with the van loaded to the hilt, the canoe on top, the bike rack hanging off the back, the PUP in tow…. Other folks on the road must say, “look mommy, GYPSIES… who ARE these people?” [lol]

We hang the bikes off a rack like this....
Bike Rack.jpg




When the last 3 kiddos all came with us, we were able to get 4 bikes on a trip. With the “Stow ‘n Go”, 60/40 3rd row split seat, we were able to get the youngest’s 16” bike inside the back of the van.


Merry Christmas!

and...

Happy Trails!
 
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Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
840
Minnesota
We Canoe...

IDK... we have always talked about kayaking but, I like being in the same boat with my DW... we get to share the awe and wonders we see as we paddle with each other.

Also, a canoe was convenient to have the younger kiddos in the same boat as they grew and not limit getting out on the water

We have an Old Town Saranac 14 footer... we load it on top of of our TV via a Reese Towpower 7018100 Canoe Loader

Here's a couple of recent pics ...
View attachment 71141


View attachment 71142

Happy Trails!
I looked it up to see how much weight it would take, how much does your canoe weigh? Ours is 75 lb Grumman.
 

WrkrBee

Super Active Member
May 23, 2018
6,544
South Carolina
We saw couples paddling tandem kayaks and there is no way we could do that. We have separate kayaks, so she can check out areas she wants, and I check out the creeks and some shade, as we float down the river. I have an older Wilderness Systems 12' Pamlico and she has a Old Town Vapor 10'. I like the flat black water of the Edisto and she likes lakes. The 12' can almost be too long for some of the obstacles you encounter on skinny water. Mine also has a molded in keel for straight tracking, which isn't what you need for tight turns to avoid sweeps, strainers, filters, etc.
 
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seano3ca

No. Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.
Mar 8, 2009
114
Surrey, BC, Canada
We have 2 canoes (Clipper Tripper S and a homebuilt fishing canoe) and a good inflatable kayak (Aquaglide Chelan). I prefer the canoe for the reasons outlined by many here who share that feeling: better for fishing, more cargo, can add the third (small) person in the middle, and flexible to go from tandem to solo. I also find that the canoes ride much dryer - an inflatable kayak sits low, and you are putting the wet blade above your shoulders on every stroke - even with drip rings I get wet. I love the silence that surrounds me when I paddle a canoe; I can sneak right up to wildlife in it, and cannot manage that level of silence in the kayak. The artistry of paddling a canoe really well also appeals to me. Now, I have been solo paddling a canoe since I was 8 or so (and I'm 50 now), and I come from a 'canoe family' in northern Ontario, so my preference would likely remain even in the face of evidence that suggests I should switch.

That said, the Chelan paddles way better than I expected when we bought it. it tracks OK, handles great, and is unsinkable (barring catastrophic punctures). It feels (IS) less tippy than either canoe, to the point that I feel safe standing up it) It is much better and safer in waves and wind (though neither of these small craft is a wise choice if it's stormy), and the size we bought (the middle one) can be converted from a solo boat to a tandem (though it's a bit cramped for 2 adults). It is also quite easy to paddle reasonably well. My daughter who is small of stature and has an intellectual disability can still paddle it competently, which is not the case with the canoes. As an inflatable, it packs up small(ish) rather than needing the gorilla lift onto the top of the truck (or trailer). My wife much prefers the kayak - it feels (IS) less tippy, and is more responsive. For close-to-shore adventures, it's the better craft.

In either case, buy as good a boat as you can afford - the odds you'll love either goes down with their quality, I think. If you can, find someone who can take you out to test paddle your choice - in our region, there are paddlefests and companies that will let you try out boats. On canoe boards online, there are likely folks who would happily (post COVID, at least) take you out for a paddle in a canoe to get a feel for it, too. Also in either case, hull shape will make a difference - a prospector canoe of the same length feels very different from my Tripper in terms of tracking, agility, cargo capacity, stability (initial and secondary). I hope you end up with something you love, no matter which type you choose. Also, as other wise members have said, get a good, comfortable PFD and WEAR IT!
 

G.P.

Member
Jun 5, 2021
44
I own both .. my experience and preference is separate kayaks .. on a lake when and if a wind comes up there is a lot of "freeboard" exposed to catch the wind on a canoe and it can be near impossible for a child to be able to paddle it against the wind .. not so in a kayak .. like previously mentioned the canoe offers you many sitting positions .. a big plus .. the kayak yea not so much .. the kayak offers the kids more independence .. I have taught all 4 of our children [now grown] to kayak .. there is a learning curve for them .. mastering to paddle in a straight line does take time .. as for paddles my choice has been Werner paddles .. buy the proper length and look at the offset of the blades .. this is important .. I prefer the "tupperware" boats .. Plastic .. they are virtually indestructible .. pay attention to the style of the "cockpit" .. they make many style "skirts" to fit .. some are neoprene .. some are made just to shed the water as it comes off the paddle and prevents it from dripping into the boat .. make sure there is a drain in the front or rear of the boat so you can tip it upside down and drain the water out of the "nose" or back of the boat .. some thoughts .. glenn
 

davido

Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
1,345
I've owned canoes and kayaks.

I've had both. Kayaks are better in rougher water, and they're usually lighter. Sizes can range from one to three seats. A couple of single seat kayaks are easier to transport than a single two or three seater.

Canoes are more comfortable and have more cargo space. They're not as good on rough water. They're usually heavier.

Currently I own a kayak (3-seater) and may get a second one. But I do miss my old canoe, which I had to leave behind when I moved a few years ago. Maybe I'll get a canoe again, too. :)

For mounting, I prefer not carrying the kayak or canoe directly on the roof, even with pads. On my popup I've installed a roof rack. It's useful for bikes, the free-standing canopy, and small watercraft like canoes and kayaks. It's really easy to secure things to cross bar racks without damaging the roof. It's harder to secure things without them, and more likely to damage the roof.
 




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