This is Man Season – Looking for a canoe? Part 2 – What type should I buy?
Translating technical information in Man Language, it’s just part of what we’re here for. If you read our last post (you better have!), you now know what type of material you want your personal Man-Craft cruiser to be made out of. Now it’s time to choose the length and type of boat you want. Recreation or Touring, Tripping, Expedition, River Trippers or Whitewater (and of course our BattleTank)
Recreational/Touring Boat – Some may disagree but we consider these boats to be an hour paddler. A boat you can take out for an hour or two at the cottage and muck around for a while. They are very stable (Not tippy), but aren’t designed to carry much more than a day pack and passenger. Short (13′ -16′ foot lengths) and wide are characteristic for these boats. They are less expensive and you can buy these at almost any big store that has outdoor products (Walmart, Canadian Tire, etc. as well as advanced outdoor shops) Want to go exploring for an afternoon, or sneak out to that favorite fishing spot for a few minutes? This is the boat for you.
Tripping and Expedition Boats – This is more likely what you are looking for. Most men want a boat to head out on a trek. A boat that will carry some more gear, glides easily along the water and is meant to be portaged when you hit the water’s dead end allowing you to continue exploring. These boats are longer in length (15′-18′ Feet), designed for this multi-day trips and streamlined for paddling efficiency (and a little more tippy). These boats will hold your gear whether you’re hauling a truck load of booze to an island for the weekend or arsenal of equipment for an epic 2-3 week journey. Expedition boats are usually a little bigger allowing for 3+ guys and enough gear for the trip.
River Trippers – Longer boats (15′ – 17′ feet) that are designed for fast-moving water. Usually symmetrical on both ends and they will have a rocker on either end allowing either end to be in or out of the water maximizing turning capabilities. Great for river trips but they are difficult in lakes and flat-water. They will carry your gear and give you excellent control when you need to move out of the way of rocks and edges in a hurry.
Whitewater – ‘Nuff said. These boats are for those who want to launch themselves down rapids and survive the ordeal. They are built tough and have even more of a rocker than the river trippers. Used only for rapids (Not designed for lakes)
Battle Tank – We love these things. We’re not sure what they are classed as, but they will handle almost all of it. (Not recommended for whitewater but you’re a man… try it out and prove us wrong! *Not recommended by us). They have one basic shape, a partial rocker, sturdy enough to attempt sex in a canoe (Like you didn’t consider this in your list of wants/needs), and have only two lengths – “How can a boat this size be this heavy”, and “This is your turn to portage” aka 14′ and 16′ foot.
Any boat that gets you out in the wild is a good one in our books, but hopefully this will help you get the right one and make your trips better. We’ll continue with our guide to Man Season with everything you need to know about paddles shortly. Check back with us soon