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Thread: Hello from Durham

  1. #1

    Default Hello from Durham

    Hi, I'm thinking about buying an open canoe for me and my family and would appreciate some advice. I've a young family of two girls, 4 years and 1 year old, plus swmbo. Can you reccomend a good place to start looking? We have been out on flat water with my oldest daughter in a hire boat and thoroughly enjoyed it. Is there a classic starter boat that you can recommend?

    All advice greatly appreciated, especially with links and pics.

    Nick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Nr Rochester in Kent
    Posts
    3,832

    Default

    Hmm, I think there are lots of boats that could fit the bill. You really need to think about just what you want to do with it. Factors you might initially consider are :-

    Cost/weight - polyethylene(PE) boats are cheap but heavy - can be hard to car top on your own; royalex is lighter but more expensive.

    Do you just want to paddle for days out or do you hope to camp with it? This might decide you on a longer boat. 16' is probably the minimum for a family of four, but there are plenty of larger boats.

    Boats from Coleman, Venture or Old Town will probably fit the bill, or a second hand one. You are probably better off with a fairly straight keeled boat to begin with, avoid boats with a lot of "rocker" (curvature of the keel from bow to stern). Old Town conveniently categorise their boats into General/Family and Expediion. Boats in the first category should be a good choice.

    I've got a Charles River RX (http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/old...les_river.html), and it has been great as a first canoe for family use. But I'm sure there are plenty of other good boats that would suit. Good luck.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the reply Matt,

    at this stage I'd like a stable boat that I can paddle about on flat water and get the kids involved. I can camp in the lakes quite often and would love to be able to spend a day exploring derwent water or maybe Coniston.

    As for expense, I think at this stage until I know that we're all going to enjoy canoeing regularly I'd like to keep the cost down and a second hand boat sounds appealing. I'd like to think that in a few years when the kids are a bit older we could canoe camp. At the moment the 1 year old travels with a boot full of gear!

    Are there any good canoe shops in hte North that keep second hand boats?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
    Posts
    17,309

    Default

    As Matto says you need to get a clear idea of what use the canoe will be out too. If it will all be tandem or family use all the time then 17 foot would be the sort of length to look at. If it will be occasionally solo you will probably want a 16 foot one.

    After that you get onto price etc but for a good starter canoe the Coleman from Costco is hard to beat at the moment for value.
    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Darlington - Co. Durham
    Posts
    16

    Default

    No connection with them, but I've recently bought the "family package from familyadventurestore. co. uk on ebay. Canoe - 2 paddles - barell - 2 buoyancy aids and even some roap Cost just over 500-00. service and delivery no problem. This might be of interest if you are just starting. As mentioned earlier on this thread, the canoe seems robust but is a bit heavy although its fine solo. I live in Darlington, not a million miles away so, if you want to see the canoe before you buy email me tonycdonnell " AT" tiscali.co.uk and you are welcome to pop down and check it out. I'm off to the lakes this weekend though.
    Last edited by MagiKelly; 6th-June-2006 at 09:10 PM. Reason: Make email spam safe

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
    Posts
    17,309

    Default

    Tony I have edited your email address to make it less likely to be harvested by spam spiders.
    John

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks for the offer Tony, I have seen these kits on e-bay and wondered how good the canoe was, its good to have a recommendation.

    Nick

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Hunter Lake, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    3,753

    Default

    I guess I can only speak to what I know. If you are thinking of a Coleman, which is often a starter canoe, I wouldn't go any longer than 16 foot and would consider a 15 foot as they are a relatively stable (intitially) canoe. The longer ones get extremely heavy, and the 15 foot is still no light weight.

    I have a 16 foot Mad River explorer in royalex - which is a very nice canoe for what you are considering. It has a shallow V bottom which I like very much and again, has that feeling of stability you don't get in more speciallized flatwater canoes.

    Many of the midsize Oldtowns would also be a good choice.

    If you have the option of buying a used canoe - unlike cars, they hold their value quite well, as long as you don't beat them up too bad.
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

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