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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any advice on WW canoeing? Just recently got into the WW kayaking and love it! My son is just not up to the task though and is struggling on calm water with it. So in order for me to be able to go and enjoy my kayak I've started looking into a Canoe. My wife and i both are new to kayaking, and i figure we could just swap back and forth. One of us in our kayak while the other paddles a canoe with my son and switch back and forth. I've also looked at the option of a 2 person kayak (both open and closed) but thinking a canoe might be better and more enjoyable since it would be different from the kayaks we already have, plus we would stay drier and my son be happier vs getting wet in like the tandem open kayak LL makes. Thoughts, people with kids that have been where i'm at, your thoughts? Opinions on paddling canoes in class 2/3 WW?
 

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My advice is try before you buy. I made the mistake of buying before trying. I have been a fan of Mohawk canoes because you can buy them outfitted from the factory. I bought a 16' Nova outfitted with a few air bags and it is a great boat. I wanted something I paddle in small creeks or big water and I ended up with a Maxim (made by Mohawk, luckily I bought it used). I consider myself a solid class III in an IK or raft, but this boat is a handful. It has almost no initial stability but they say a lot of secondary stability. I can barely make it down easy class II without swimming. I have learned to roll in my pool but I can only roll maybe 25% of the attempts I try. If I had solid technique this would be a great boat but I don't. I am considering selling it and getting a Blackfly Option. It is a plastic boat instead of royelex so it takes rock abuse a lot better and suppose to have great initial stability (and I will paddle one before I buy it). Just my 2 cents,
Dave
 

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Canoeing with kids

It sounds like you should consider the 14 ft. tandem WW canoes. I have a Dagger Caper with adjustable pedestals that I set up to do exactly want you describe. Me in the stern and one of the two kids (8 or 9) in the bow. I've not done more than class II in it, but I would feel comfortable in pool-drop IIIs. For difficult moves, I take over and can handle that sized boat solo. The adjustable pedestals allow it to be rigged solo and can adjust as weights of the paddlers change. Works well. I've also paddled a Dagger Caption, which is a better boat. I few manufacturers are still making these boats, Mad River, Mohawk, Esquif, etc. Look used and, if you can, try before you buy.
 

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Little Chief
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Other alternative

I'm longtime canoeist and it might be blasphemy but have you thought about the alternative of getting a tandem ducky. Reasons behind this is that paddling a whitewater canoe isn't as easy as it seems and less forgiving for mistakes, and who wants a wet and angry wife on the river. The tandem ducky is much more forgiving, basically it is a floating lounge chair, stable and drier than a kayak, takes up far less space in the garage, and is perfect for taking to the lake too, to just float around in. You give up some performance, but I have found the ladies to enjoy a ducky over a canoe. It's your marriage. Just wanted to add an alternative.
 

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A tandem canoe sounds like it would suit you well for what you would like to do. There is a slightly steeper learning curve in my opinion. I would say get a boat that has adjustable saddles or one with a triple saddle, that way you have multiple options for paddling with kids or others. On my profile page is a picture of my five year old daughter and I surfing my caption. There, I am sitting in the center position and she is in the bow paddler's position. The caption is a great whitewater tandem boat. The best one in my opinion. I paddled it on the grand last fall, and it's a lot of fun to go on leisurely floats with too. That said, a ducky or raft would also solve your problem and be much quicker to pick up. Get a canoe though!
 

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I'll try to be a little more supportive of your objective:

I'm old school! I've done class III's in an Grumman and a 26 yr old Mohawk. I grew up paddling in that Grumman, and my Dad and I did a father/son trip when I was in middle school. IT had a spot of class IIIs we took with no problem. Ran it a couple times. When my mom came on trips, they just had me sit in the middle. Ran that same stretch again in another grumman about 15 years later, and out here I've hit classII/IIIs in my Mohawk. I've never used flotation, and I've always had another up front.


My parent's Grumman is pretty long, at least 18', my Mohawk is around 16-17'.

I see your from NC, I've paddled most of my life on the east coast. I moved out this way about a year and a half ago and canoeing just isn't as popular. People like their inflatables or kayaks. Not a lot of love for the canoe out here, but I stick to my guns, and I think you should do the same! Find yourself a decent canoe and stick some flotation in there and go have fun, for class II-II it doesn't have to be a WW canoe. When you're about to go through the nasty stuff just drop to your knees and paddle hard!
 

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Hay you are in the land of canoes . The nantahala has has duckys you can rent and see how you like them then you can try to find a 16 "ft blue hole canoe and bag it up . The dagger deminsion is also a for giving boat . Rent before you buy How old is your child ??
Join a padling club and they will guide you down the happy river of paddling . We will be out on the Nattie over Memorial day week end . we will stay at deep creek camp ground and would be happy to float with you and your family . We have canoes and rafts
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the advice and offers guys! My son just turned 9 this month. I have considered a small ducky for him and thought "maybe that would be an easy learning tool for him to help advance him into a kayak"? Another route i think about on the canoe is even if he decides he doesn't like paddling himself but enjoys riding through the rapids the canoe would be a better option. We took him on his first WW rafting trip last summer and although he didn't really paddle he loved the ride! Another thing i'm thinking about with the canoe is some of my friends like going up to WV to do weekend camping trips and the canoe might be handy for that to pack gear since we can't really get much in our kayaks.
 

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I agree with Little Chief. Learning curve on a WW canoe is steep. I've done my share of swimming, especially in the first few years. A ducky would get your son on the water right away with you.
 

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NikonFotoMatt
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Yup...consider an inflatable.

I'm longtime canoeist and it might be blasphemy but have you thought about the alternative of getting a tandem ducky. Reasons behind this is that paddling a whitewater canoe isn't as easy as it seems and less forgiving for mistakes, and who wants a wet and angry wife on the river. The tandem ducky is much more forgiving, basically it is a floating lounge chair, stable and drier than a kayak, takes up far less space in the garage, and is perfect for taking to the lake too, to just float around in. You give up some performance, but I have found the ladies to enjoy a ducky over a canoe. It's your marriage. Just wanted to add an alternative.
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Think about a tandem ducky - also referred to as inflatable canoes or inflatable kayaks. I run one similar to the Innova Orinoco and love it! Very capable boat, bomber stable (though flatwater & wind will make you cry).

There are many others out there, too, but none are as stable a platform as this one. And you can carry the gear you need for an overnighter, or with raft support, multi-day.

I ran Deso/Gray in mine...10 days, quickies down the Blue and many weekenders on upper C.

Oh, and it deflates, folds up and fits in a roof-top canvas carrier!

-fotomatt
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks guys, and i have started looking more into the duckies now. I think i'm gonna try to get a group to go paddle the Nantahala next weekend one day and rent a ducky for my son and see how he does. NOC does rent duckies i assume?
 

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wait! wait !. the biggest mistake I have seen is putting kids in a situation where they would fail. put him in a double ducky with you or your wife,NOT ALONE. I have paddled the nattie a lot and it is not a place to drop a kid in . I know they saw class 2-3 [really at best a 2 ]but the curves and some of the rocks instream can be a problem . Just relax and do a tandem with him in a duck . Do not get in a hurry . what you do the first few trips will make or break any kid as far as paddling goes.
 

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I would have to agree with the Ranch Man! Start your son off in a tandem ducky with you and/or your wife doing most of the driving.

As a beginner kayaker myself, I have loved it, but my first trips though class II-III rapids have been intimidating enough for me, I don't think my son would like it all.

When my son was 6, we took him in a tandem Aire ducky on some class II on the Colorado R. where I sat in the bow, with him in front of me, and my wife in the stern. He was pretty sacred in every set of waves, but overall, had a great time. My wife and I had a great time too, and it was helpful for us to control the boat, and be there for him if he ended up in the water. I think we will do this with him for a while, or get a raft until he expresses more interest in trying it on his own.

As for longer trips, my brother-in-law who owns the boat used to do overnighters with his dad frequently, so I don't think a tandem would limit you there.

When I have canoed on moving class I water, the canoe felt very unstable to me, but I have been very impressed by the stability of the tandem ducky in clas III+ rapids.

Just my 2 cents, good luck.
 
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