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Thread: New paddler (hopefully) in Suffolk.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Bury St Edmunds
    Posts
    39

    Default New paddler (hopefully) in Suffolk.

    Hi all,

    I have visited this site several times over the years but have only just registered. I live near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk (UK) - not blessed with a wealth of rivers or wilderness - and have finally decided I can't live without a canoe any longer.

    I'm not sure what to buy and that will no doubt be the subject of my next post - perhaps someone could advise where I should post that? - but for now I just wanted to give an advance thanks for the advice and help this site has already been and I'm sure will continue to be.

    Cheers,

    Mike.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Wirral
    Posts
    793

    Default

    Hi Mike and welcome to the forum. I think you've effectively already asked for advice on where to buy a canoe from. The usual questions will now come your way including, but not limited to:

    What are you expecting to use it for?
    Is it just you or will there be other paddlers too?
    Day trips or longer?
    Is light weight a nicety or essential for you?
    Budget?
    "I'd far rather be happy than right any day"..........Slartibartfast

    http://apachecanoes.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    21,675

    Default

    Hello and Welcome!

    There's actually some great paddling in Suffolk (Stour, estuaries etc), and not far to the west/NW too (Chelmer, Great Ouse, Nene etc), so there's plenty to go at. As Mark says, if you can narrow down your thoughts on what you want, you should get some good advice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Bury St Edmunds
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Thanks Guys,

    Good to hear there is so much paddling to be had around here.

    I've put a post up in the general section about canoe choice but I'll paste it here too:

    Hi all,


    We are looking for our first canoe and to be honest I'm finding the array of different designs and makes quite mind boggling. I'm sure there are as many different opinions on what suits best as there are members on the forum but I'd be interested to hear those opinions none the less.


    Use: Small, slow moving, inland rivers. Paddled mainly tandem with my wife for general paddling and up three night trips (never far from civilisation so restocking of food and drink easy) and solo by me for general paddling and the odd overnight stay. Also occasionally with one of our children (the other will be paddling the sit-on-top kayak) for general paddling.


    Our experience: I used to do a lot of kayak slalom but have only done a little canoeing. I'm 6' and athletic. Wife is 5', strong but not that athletic. Two daughters 9&12, fairly slight in build. We've all done a couple of day trips on the Bow River in Canada (grade 1 maybe occasional grade 2) and an afternoon on The Wye - no idea of the canoes we paddled - and a day on The Stour in an OT Penebscot in plastic. I know the one in Canada was Royalex and handled better than the others.


    So we need a canoe that isn't white water focused and is light enough for me to carry and put on the car on my own.


    Budget: I'm looking at buying used and for now up to 1000. If something amazing was out there for maybe 1,500 I would choose to wait another six months and get that instead.


    I don't have the opportunity (that I know of) to try out any canoes.


    I think I'm after a canoe 15.5 - 16.5' long. Along the lines of OT Penobscot or Charles River, Nova Craft Prospector 16, Wenonah Aurora 16? - all in Royalex for that budget but still meeting the light weight requirement. Don't think I will get a composite (TuffStuff) for that money?


    Over to you, I'm interested as much in what I don't want to buy as much as I am what I do want to buy ��.


    Many thanks,


    Mike.

  5. #5

    Default

    I can't help but if you can get to Norwich or the Broads, I think this guy hires out branded canoes
    http://www.thecanoeman.com/guidedcanoetrails.php

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Bury St Edmunds
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Might have a look at that, thanks. The only trouble is hire boats all seem to be heavy plastic. I don't know how much difference there is on the water between a 'plastic' and a Royalex (I know it's plastic too) version of the same canoe?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Eastern England
    Posts
    1,153

    Default

    The Little Ouse at Thetford to Brandon is a nice paddle not far from you. The shuttle can be completed by train.
    Ian

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Bury St Edmunds
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Thanks Ian.

    We've done a trip from Thetford to St Helens picnic site in an inflatable - lovely trip.

    But I hadn't thought of using the train to do the shuttle - that's great as it means I can do it solo. I'll look into the station locations and parking etc.

    Thanks again.

    (Time to get a Wanted post up for the canoe I think!)

  9. #9

    Default

    Hi Mike

    Have you decided on the boat you'd like? If not, I would highly recommend trying out as many as possible. If you haven't alread, a nice way to do this is to join a local club. You will find they will often have a variety to try and members may be willing to let you try theirs too. The Canoeman as mentioned earlier has a variety of boats and are very knowledgeable about the types and designs. The Canoeman and Whitlingham also sometimes arrange 'try it out' days.
    The big difference between the 'plastic' and the royalex boats is the weight and durability (plastic being heavier and more hard wearing). The model will be the same shape no matter the material. On the water, again the plastic one will be heavier to paddle but you may not notice, especially if you paddling tandem. The shape of the boat will have more impact on the water than weight.

    Personally, I have two royalex boats and found them to be plenty tough enough. I wouldn't want to man-handle a plastic one by myself after a long days paddling! Though there are plenty of tricks to make this easier. I am a 5'6 woman of slight build and can lift a 16' boat on and off my car by myself using technique rather than brute strength.

    The Norfolk broads are not far from you either, and there are heaps and heaps of paddling to be found there.

    One of our boats is a Mad River Explorer 16TT. This has been a very comfortable boat paddled tandem, giving the front paddler plenty of leg room. It has loads of capacity for those longer trips and is very stable while remaining very manoeuvrable and fun. Paddled solo, it is very manoeuvable, so we tend to weigh down the bow to improve tracking if touring. But overall, a nice general boat with characteristics suitable for more advanced paddling, which is worth considering should you 'grow' your trad boat skills.

    I hope this was of some help to you. Happy paddling!
    Rose

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Bury St Edmunds
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Hi Rose,

    Many thanks for your guidance and advice.

    No boat yet unfortunately - an unexpected car issue has eaten the budget so I'm back to saving for now.

    The problem with me and clubs is that I work funny shift patterns - so Sunday mornings often aren't free. But it's a good idea so I might give a club a call - I think Sudbury is probably closest.

    I'll also keep my eyes open with The Canoe Man in case he has a try out day - that really would be ideal.

    Many thanks again.

    Mike.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Wirral
    Posts
    793

    Default

    Mike

    Just re-visiting your requirements, I notice you mention your two daughters. It would be a very large canoe indeed for all four of you and I think you will almost certainly need a second canoe.
    "I'd far rather be happy than right any day"..........Slartibartfast

    http://apachecanoes.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Bury St Edmunds
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Hi Mark,

    You may have re-visited the post but you didn't read it all - and I don't blame you one minute for that with its weighty length ��

    We have a sit-on-top kayak already. We would only take the girls with us in very nice weather (at the moment ��) and so one of them would always be paddling the kayak - or as happened on our last outing in a rental canoe I end up paddling the kayak and towing the canoe in which all three of my girls lounged ��. Still, it was a good work-out!

    All the best,

    Mike.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Bury St Edmunds
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Aah, the emojis haven't worked. Should be suitably friendly faces in there!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    S. Yorkshire
    Posts
    760

    Default

    I'm surprised Mark hasn't mentioned the apache offerings that might suit - the tribe 16 and tribe 165 (or even the trex 15T as a pocket tandem/solo option). For your suggested use I don't see the advantage of royalex over a composite boat, and both of these are around your budget new. Weight-wise they both come in at 32kg in GRP lay-up, so a bit heavier than royalex but quite manageable.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Bury St Edmunds
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Hi Gordon,

    Yes, the Apaches have been mentioned both by Mark and other forum users - so they are certainly on the radar!

    Cheers,

    Mike

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