How to Choose the Right Canoe for a Family?

Choose the Right Canoe for a Family

Are you planning a fun outing with your family? What can be more refreshing during the summers than a canoe ride on a lake? Here’s how to pick the best canoe for family outings so that you and your family get the most out of your trip.

How to Select the right Canoe for Family Outings?

Although canoes can handle various lake and river conditions, the design, material, and shape, determine how well they will perform when used for different activities. Hence, when selecting a canoe for your family outings, it is important to take some time to understand which features are useful.

Waterbody and Canoe Type

The best canoe for your outing will depend on whether you use it in a river or a lake.

  • Canoes for Lakes: Going to be using your canoe on a Lake with calm and shallow water? A recreational canoe will be ideal for such a trip; its flat-bottomed shape helps them maintain stability, even when you’re getting in and out of the canoe. Canoes designed for recreational use are also quite durable, can withstand some bumping and scraping, making them the best canoe for family outings.
  • Canoes for Rivers: Canoes that are designed for rougher waters are ideal for rivers. They are designed such that stability is only secondary, which allows you to tip your canoe one way or the other. Canoes designed for rivers emphasize their maneuverability and durability, which is crucial to withstand the impact of the rougher paddling techniques needed to navigate a river.
  • Multi-purpose Canoes: Don’t want to limit yourself to one type? Well, a multi-purpose canoe will be the best fit for your family. They can handle the rough waters of rivers, as well as calm lakes. They offer more capacity than recreational canoes and are ideal for extended trips.

What Should the Size of the Canoe Be?

Once you’ve picked out the type of canoe that would be the best canoe for family outings, it’s crucial to look at the size.

  • Length: Longer canoes are easier to paddle over a greater distance, while shorter canoes are more manageable and can take you into narrower spaces. Usually, canoes are between 16 to 17 feet, which offers speed, capacity, and manageability.
  • Width: The wider your canoe is, the more stable it will. Although narrow canoes are “tippy”, they are lighter and much easier to keep on track.
  • Depth: It refers to the distance between the side rails of the canoe (gunwales) and the bottom of the boat. The taller the sides are, the easier it is to keep the water out and increase capacity. However, such canoes tend to be more susceptible to winds.

When checking the size of the canoe, keep the number and position of the seats in mind as well. Most canoes will come with two seats, but some solo canoes have just one. The seats should be low enough not to interfere with the canoe’s stability but also high enough not to be uncomfortable.

Once you’ve got your checklist ready, it will be a breeze to find the best canoe for family outings! 

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