How to Choose a Family Canoe: The Easy Way

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There are no doubts that the family’s that own canoes have significantly increased in the last few years. This has to do with the variety of leisure activities which involve canoes.

Check out our comprehensive buying guide and selection on the top canoe.

A few of the activities include enjoying waterways with your folks, fishing, or traveling from one side of a river or lake to the other fand hiking or camping activities. These types of activities are ideal for bringing families closer together and often creates a special bond between the different members. There are also activities such as deer hunting and duck hunting which are really fun and use canoes.

Regardless of whether this is the first canoe that you are buying or you are already an experienced paddler, the most important goal is to ensure you invest in a best canoe that is efficient and convenient.

Things To Consider

• The Type Of Canoe

Your first consideration will involve finding out what canoe type will be suitable for your folks. Today there are many options to choose from, some of these include river, multipurpose, and recreational canoes.

When it comes to canoes for your loved one’s, you can leave the river canoes out. These canoes are usually designed for use in rough conditions such as whitewater rapids, which is something you are probably not planning to do. For this reason, it is best to start looking at the recreational canoes.

This type of canoe is designed for paddling on flat water and is regarded as stable and won’t capsize very easily. You can use this type of canoe for cruising, fishing, birding, or even for photography.

Another type you may want to consider includes the multipurpose types. These canoes are made to adapt according to the type of water that you paddle in. These canoes match up to calm waters and whitewater rapids.

The multipurpose canoe is usually larger in capacity and is easy to maneuver over waterways. This is the ideal canoe for carrying large loads and for longer trips.

• The Size Of The Canoe

There are 3 different aspects to consider when looking at the overall size of a canoe. This includes depth, width, and length. Some of the big canoes can be difficult to transport, while others are not suitable for certain waterways.

When it comes to the length, the longer canoes are typically easier to maneuver, manageable, fast and they offer a better carrying capacity. The short canoes are usually easier to control, yet they offer less stability and space.

It is also important to look at how tall the canoe is. If the height is enough it will stop water from getting into the canoe. This will help your loved one’s and you to stay dry for most of your cruises.

The last aspect includes the width. The wider canoes are obviously more stable and provide added capacity. The canoes that are narrow are easier to control and maintain. However, these canoes are also easier to tip. So from this information, it would be best to choose a tall, wide and long canoe. This is the type that will offer you with speed, greater capacity, and easy maneuverability.

• The Weight

The overall weight of a canoe is going to determine whether it will be easy to move from one area to another. If you choose one of the heavier canoes, keep in mind that it may be difficult to transport it from your car or campsite to a river and back again.

For this reason, it is always a better idea to look for a lightweight canoe. This will ensure that the canoe is more portable as well as easier to manage. When considering how much the canoe should weigh, you need to be looking at how many people will be using the canoe at the same time. You should also think about which of your members will be able to assist you in carrying the canoe.

• Seating

You need to ensure that the canoe that you choose has enough seating space to accommodate all your members. The typical canoes are able to accommodate between 1 to 4 paddlers. If you have a larger sized family, you may have to make two trips or more.

You will want to avoid overloading the canoe as this could cause the canoe to capsize or tip. If you exceed the recommended weight requirement the canoe could even sink.

Another important consideration when it comes to the seats is to look at what type of material they are made out of. The common materials generally include foam, metal, wood, or plastic. You need to ensure that you have chosen a material which will provide comfort to each of the paddlers.

Top 4 Canoes For Folks(Buying guide can be found here.)

Here is our list of the top picks for your loved one’s in brief.

  • The Sun Dolphin Mackinaw Double-Ended 15.6 Foot

This is a canoe that was definitely designed with families in mind. This canoe comes equipped with exceptional features to make sure your trips are easier when out on the waters. This canoe is made from a high-density UV stabilized polythene.

This is a highly durable material, and the length of 15.6 inches makes it easy to manage. These canoes come in a few attractive color selections which include Camo, Navy, or Hazelnut.

The Sun Dolphin Mackinaw only weighs in at 95 pounds and comes with handles on either side which makes it convenient and easier to transport. Inside this canoe is 3 well-padded seats which are made for 1 passenger and 2 paddlers. Each of the seats features its own cup holder, while there is also a cooler positioned under the center seat to store cold drinks or anything else you would like to keep cool.

These canoes also come with a rugged rub-rail which will stop an inexperienced paddler from scouring or scratching the sides while paddling. This canoe type is made to ensure you have an enjoyable and comfortable time with loved one’s while paddling over calm waters.

  • The Old Town Rogue River Recreational Square Stern Canoe 154

The Old Town Rogue 154 River canoe measures 15.5 inches and features a far better build. The thermoformed-polythene hull is what guarantees this canoe’s durability. It weighs in at 118 pounds which makes it slightly heavier when compared to other canoes in this category.

On the inside of this canoe are stern seats and the contoured bow which makes the ride comfortable and enjoyable. Each of the seats comes with its own molded cup-holder, while the middle seat doubles up as a functional cooler where you can store numerous food and drink items.

This is a recreational canoe that can accommodate a maximum weight of 850 pounds. The end is also square which means you can add a motor if you do not enjoy paddling. The horsepower of the motor should not exceed 4.

If you use a motor it will be easier to reach your destinations. It is also rated as one of the best when you are in search of something that is spacious, easy to maneuver, and convenient.

The Old Town Rogue 154 Recreational canoe also features a hatch that is water-resistant to carry your personal belongings.

  • The Sun Dolphin Scout Elite SS

This is a highly durable canoe packed with outstanding features made for recreational activities the Scout Elite SS measures 14 feet in length which makes it ideal for maneuverability.

These canoes are constructed out of a Fortiflex UV stabilized High-Density polythene which utilizes both flat-back and double-ended canoe features. The canoes’ hull provides a traditional appeal.

Unlike the other canoes, this one comes with a far smaller motor mount, which is why you need to think carefully before you install a motor. It also features a paddle and rod holder should you decide that you would rather use your motor.

The interior of these canoes is fantastic. This has to do with the spacious hull along with comfortable and durable molded seats which help to prevent the canoe from tipping or capsizing. Each of the seats comes with its own storage section where you can store your valuable along with a handy cup holder to store water or beverages.

This is 3-person canoe, which makes it ideal for small families. It only weighs 84 pounds, which makes it easy to transport. Due to its great capacity, outstanding space along with other impressive inclusions, the Scout Elite SS by Sun Dolphin, is definitely rated as one of the best canoes for families.

  • The Grumman Square Stern Canoe

The Grumman Square-Stern canoe is described as a 17-foot aluminum canoe which is made for high durability and recreational paddling. The square stern allows for a way to add your own trolling motor, yet you can also choose to paddle traditionally if you prefer.

The hull which is made out of aluminum provides strength to these vessels along with keeping the canoe lightweight enough to accommodate the length. This is a very stable craft when it comes to recreational paddling, while there is more than enough space to accommodate your folks along with all your necessary gear.

The additional length on this canoe is the perfect choice for all those adventures when you need more space for your camping or hiking equipment.