Canoe paddling is my favorite paddle sport. It really is nice if you have the right water for it. I must admit though that I'm not as limber as I used to be, kneeling in the center to solo paddle concerns me. You look like you had some high end canoes. I've seen two really nice canoes on Craig's list recently with the right attributes I would be looking for in a canoe. One was a Kevlar model with seats you could trim, the other a really nice cedar strip in near perfect condition.durangopipe wrote: ↑Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:19 pmI have fished lakes and mild rivers out of a canoe for years. At one time I had canoe acquisition disorder. My shed at our old place was full of them. Obviously, I'm biased, but for me there's a pleasure in paddling a canoe well that is very hard to equal in other small water craft.
Dorys/drift boats are beautiful and wonderful in big rivers and whitewater, small pontoon boats are becoming popular but rowing one is a clunky, awkward affair at best, rubber rafts can't be beat for rocky, pinball rivers, but for reasonable rivers and lakes nothing beats a canoe in my opinion.
Learning to paddle a canoe well is as rewarding as learning to cast well and as never ending and joyful a process.
My vote would be for the best tandem, 16' canoe you can manage and a pair of decent wooden paddles.
They're addicting in the very best sense of the word.
This is me at a local lake in my 14' solo, a Mad River Ladyslipper freestyle canoe:
With a buddy and one of my bird dogs in our tandem, a 16' Mad River Explorer:
Tell me that doesn't look like fun.
Imagine you and Hockeyboy out in a tandem yanking in hogs!
I apologize for the poor quality of the photos--I just copied them from 5X7 prints on textured paper that were tacked to a cork board in my office.
Of course, being land-locked, my advice is worthless if you also want to use whatever you get, out in the salt.
I think one consideration to make is whether you simply want something to fish from a lot and paddle with a little, only to fish. Or if you want to take up paddling itself for activities other than fishing. I definitely fall on the latter side of the equation which is why I would chosoe a craft that really paddles nicely that can be called into service and outfitted to fish from. Canoeing, sea kayaking and touring are probably the most popular "extreme" outdoor activities for folks over 50 because it's low impact. Anyway, a canoe or kayak designed primarily for near shore fishing are often comfortable and stable even when not being paddled. Some high performance kayaks and canoes are not good fishing designs, but there's so much in between that I think is worth consideration. Stability and comfort is, to a degree, learned through practice. A lot of people start off in a cheap boat, use it a couple of times never to use it again because they didn't enjoy it as much as they thought they would. They never paddled a good one though.