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PostPosted: April 10th, 2020, 3:05 pm 
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Good day all! I am a new member from Edmonton Alberta Canada. I am a 59 year old male, 5'9" and 260 pounds. I have no experience. 2 years ago I purchased a used Sports Pal with a small square transom. I took it out to a small local lake and sure enough as I was reaching for something behind me the canoe flipped. I thought these canoes with all this foam on it could not flip or sink. Anyway I tried to flip back over but had a hell of a time. My feet kept tangling up in all the weed and it tired me out to the point that stopped trying and reached for my whistle and blew away. A couple of other boaters came to my rescue and we towed the canoe back to shore. Thank God for my life jacket! I sold the canoe right away. I now have a desire to try again, against my wife wishes.
The type of canoeing I envision myself doing is casual paddling on calm lakes, ponds and calm back water streams. No flowing rivers a few times a season. I will be paddling solo for 99% of the time and if my daughter has enough confidence in me she will let me take the grand kids out. If I get in better shape, I might do an over night trip.
I am not blessed with a big income and have been hit hard in business by the Covid-19 pandemic. I can't afford these beautiful fancy new canoes so it will have to be a basic starter. Here in Alberta there is not much choice for canoe shops and they usually do not have much for selection.
So with all that said, where do you suggest I start? What should I be looking for? What material options should I not look at and what length of canoe? Solo or Tandem? etc...
Thanks for your time and knowledge .


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PostPosted: April 10th, 2020, 3:37 pm 
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Location: HFX, Nova Scotia canada
First of all welcome.

Thinking that before you splash a bunch of $$ on a canoe by the sound of it you should take some lessons first. Buying a canoe now would be like buying a car before you get your drivers licence. Some skill will let you enjoy being in a canoe and be confident that you're not going to swim every time you go out. After some lessons rent some different canoes to see what you like/dislike. Then look at used canoes, lots out there.

Just my humble opinion. Am sure more will follow :wink:


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PostPosted: April 10th, 2020, 3:42 pm 
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I totally agree. I intend on taking lessons as soon as they open up for the season. As far as used, is there any I should not even consider?


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PostPosted: April 10th, 2020, 4:02 pm 
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I never really considered renting. Good idea for sure. Just thought it would be easier to buy and go from there.


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PostPosted: April 10th, 2020, 4:19 pm 
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Some outfitters will let you rent a few times and then apply the rental fee toward a new canoe after you decide. It can't hurt to ask. I definitely concur about getting lessons first.

Turning around to reach for something behind you is a nearly sure way to become unstable in most any canoe. I have done that myself. It is especially bad to do with an audience, particularly a group of kids who you are supposed to be teaching, kind of embarrassing... you have to turn it into a teaching experience for them, and a learning experience for you. A primary rule for staying upright is to always keep your head inside the line of the gunwales. Most times when in flat water a canoe does not tip over on its own. What happens is you lose your balance with you head outside of that magical line, and you fall out, then the canoe follows you over as you mistakenly attempt to hold on to stay upright.

There are definite techniques for righting an overturned canoe, but it may take some practice under controlled conditions. I suspect the foam sides on the Sports Pal make it more difficult. Don't get taken in by thinking those foam sides make the canoe safer than a normally designed canoe, as you have discovered.


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PostPosted: April 10th, 2020, 7:02 pm 
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Location: Saskatchewan
I started out my canoeing life as a 15 year old. I lived at a lake and was allowed to borrow the neighbors old fiberglass canoe. Solo was my first experience, I'd never been in a canoe before. I was very nervous about tipping it. To get over this I figured out that if I stayed close to shore, looked straight out at the opposite shore maintaining my head position, and shook the canoe on purpose, that I quickly got over the fear. It helped me to understand and/or develop a muscle/balance memory for what was reasonable movement in it. That's how I figure I got over it anyway. Give it a try if you have to go alone. might work. The canoe was a 16 foot tandem of unknown make with a shallow center depth and decent width with very little to no rocker.

Renting is an awesome idea and a chance to get to know the people at the outfitter as they'll (likely) help you load it on your vehicle.

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PostPosted: April 10th, 2020, 7:10 pm 
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Welcome!
I suggest you join the Ceyana Canoe Club in Edmonton.

https://ceyanacanoeclub.wildapricot.org/

You can borrow canoes from the club and, if Covid permits, take lessons.


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PostPosted: April 10th, 2020, 7:43 pm 
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Thank you Ralph, I will join them for sure, they even offer courses which is perfect for me. I am getting excited for the snow to melt and start my new hobby. Unfortunately My wife is scared of water and will not be joining me on this new adventure.


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PostPosted: April 10th, 2020, 8:36 pm 
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My standard advice is to buy a used one(Kijiji etc) Take it canoeing with a group/club. You will get lots of opinions on which is good and which is better and start to understand the variables. You next canoe, if you ever get to replacing your first one, will be more tuned to your needs.

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PostPosted: April 10th, 2020, 10:45 pm 
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Glad there's a canoe club and lessons mentioned.

Sounds to me like you are looking for a 14-15' canoe that could be solo or tandem and has good stability, e.g. a Novacraft Bob Special.

Search that and you should find some discussion of those types of boats.

Pat.

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Learning to paddle is like learning a language:
It's easy to learn the basics, but will you be understood in a strong wind?


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PostPosted: April 11th, 2020, 10:38 am 
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Fourtrax wrote:
... Unfortunately My wife is scared of water and will not be joining me on this new adventure.


It would be nice for you to have your wife involved. Not sure how scared of water she is but you might consider going to a nice warm swimming pool (whenever those open again) and get in the water while wearing a pfd. In the pool, she can start out in the shallow end and let herself float in her pfd, knowing that she can stand up at any time. I've found it to be a real confidence booster.


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PostPosted: April 11th, 2020, 11:12 am 
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Ralph, I have offered many options for her. She lost a close relative to her in a drowning accident many yers ago and as young child she fell through some ice on a pond on the farm back in Ontario so this fear is something that is deep inside her. I respect that and pushing her will do no good. Bad enough she does not want me on the water. This is something I need to do for myself as this has always been a dream of mine ,to be proficient in a canoe. Growing up my dad was a workaholic and never spent time with me. I always wanted the outdoors but never did it. As a young man I moved out to Alberta and followed in the same foot steps as my dad. Now at 59 the kids are gone and I am left with my dream. I want to try it and if it becomes a problem for my wife, out of respect and love, I will sell the canoe. She is to precious to me.
Boy I feel better getting that off my chest! This site is more therapeutic than meets the eye :D


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PostPosted: April 11th, 2020, 1:47 pm 
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Location: Manitoba
Definitely join the local recreational canoe/paddling club and lessons (Paddle Canada) as already mentioned.

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http://www.JohnstonPursuits.ca

 


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PostPosted: April 11th, 2020, 4:48 pm 
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Location: HFX, Nova Scotia canada
Fourtrax wrote:
Ralph, I have offered many options for her. She lost a close relative to her in a drowning accident many yers ago and as young child she fell through some ice on a pond on the farm back in Ontario so this fear is something that is deep inside her. I respect that and pushing her will do no good. Bad enough she does not want me on the water. This is something I need to do for myself as this has always been a dream of mine ,to be proficient in a canoe. Growing up my dad was a workaholic and never spent time with me. I always wanted the outdoors but never did it. As a young man I moved out to Alberta and followed in the same foot steps as my dad. Now at 59 the kids are gone and I am left with my dream. I want to try it and if it becomes a problem for my wife, out of respect and love, I will sell the canoe. She is to precious to me.
Boy I feel better getting that off my chest! This site is more therapeutic than meets the eye :D

I understand completely. My wife was terrified of canoes. Started with day trips on small lakes staying close to shore working up to bigger lakes and now even some whitewater. Big thing is trust. She is confident in my skills knowing that I wont put us in a situation where she isn't comfortable.

There is hope.


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PostPosted: April 12th, 2020, 11:18 am 
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There is hope.
Thank you scoops. Well I need to prove to myself first of my ability and confidence before I can even ask her to hop in. Once she sees that I can come back from and outing as well as watch the way I handle the canoe, she might then be willing to try. But like I said before, I won't push or insist that will not get me anywhere.


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