How to Save the Canoe? (Why?)
May 22, 2014
How to save the Canoe? ...Maybe 3-seaters about 16-ft long with a rudder could do the trick. Can be paddled solo and gives both solo and tandem setups easy control.
To my mind kayaks are best for wind and waves, otherwise a canoe is best: the view, sociability, ergonomics, weight-for-size, cargo/people capacity, hauling and access, all seem better with canoes. ...
Or will the 8-ft roto-kayak just keep winning? Maybe they're light'n'cheap and glide well coz they're slightly narrower (?) -- actually, I'm pretty sure they're slower. And I figure they gotta be per-size heavier coz they're twice the boat (have a deck) but they don't need gunnels/thwarts. But since they're usually solos and short I suppose they're lighter. And they don't really need skill to handle, like a canoe does.
Now, I have nothing against short cheap kayaks. If it gets people onto the water, that's all good. But I'm not sure they give good experience-return or that they'll get used much. It's like a bike-boom in not-so-useful bikes will mean resented bikes in garages. Or a ski boom in XC skis that are hard to use means dusty skis. It's an "idea purchase" and I'm worried these boats don't deliver, so the idea will fade.
Canoeing has given up on the casual market. Today the two (shrinking) directions seem to be: *expensive black batwing raceboats; *expensive artboats.
Could canoe mfg be economized/modernized/simplified? If so, apparently it's the Fishing Kayak sector that would do it. I've heard they're the leaders today in bestselling paddlesport design.
Like, maybe a canoe-ish thing could be roto'ed with an open top and more length (for people/cargo) yet also with height-adjusting seats for kayak-paddle use and maybe rounded components so standing/walking around is easy and SUP/SUC/poling can be done.
Hey, there is such a thing, almost! The Mad River Adventure 16. Looks like it has a center seat as well for solo use or 3rd person. No rudder. Likely heavy as a whale.
I've heard there's a new lighter rotomold material out this year -- T-Formex from Esquif -- tho it's only 10% liter. That's not enough 'wow' to boost a depressed format.