When people think of canoes they usually think of slowly paddling around a small lake or tranquil stream, the idea of ocean canoes seems like a strange one to many people. If you do think of taking a canoe into the ocean you probably think of the outrigger canoes you so often see in movies. These types of canoes are still used today, but it is also possible to use a regular canoe and take it into the ocean.
In order to make your experience safer, and more fun, it’s best to only attempt to take a canoe into the ocean in a protected cove or if the water is unusually calm. Canoes don’t have very high sides, though some are higher than others, so it would be easy to have waves come up over the sides and swamp the boat and make it capsize, or sink.
In most cases when people are referring to ocean canoes they are actually talking about a kayak, the two can be very similar in appearance and it’s easy to get them confused. Kayaks are used in the ocean for many reasons but two of the main ones are the fact that they tend to be somewhat more stable since they sit lower to the water and they can also be equipped with a spray skirt which can help keep your lower body, and the inside of the kayak, dry from water spray.
There are many people who are devotees of a kayak and many who are huge fans of a canoe, to a large degree it’s simply a matter of preference. Since both canoes and kayaks come in many different varieties it’s largely just a matter of preference. Each has it’s own pros and cons so it’s just really a matter of what you are planning on using your boat for as well as other factors such as how many people you will have to carry, the amount of equipment you will need, etc. Some styles of canoes even allow you to add a small outboard motor which can make it easier to travel for long distances in much shorter times.
You can also buy canoes that are made with many different materials, everything from wood to aluminum to advanced kevlar styles. Depending on what the canoe is made of will determine the overall weight, strength and cost of the canoe. Kayak are made mostly of plastic and fiberglass, and again the material will determine it’s weight, strength and price.
Whether you choose a canoe or kayak, you should take the time to gain the experience necessary to safely take your boat into the unpredictable waters of the ocean. Even a calm cove on a calm day can turn nasty very quickly.
Spending a tranquil day in ocean canoes can be a wonderful way to enjoy nature and the company of that special someone…or your dog. When it comes time to find the best fit for you your needs and your budget just be willing to take some time to explore all of your options, you do have many.