If you want to get on the water and fish, but want to keep things as simple as possible you may consider purchasing a canoe or kayak to fish out of this summer.
Here is an offering of a couple crucial things that may be considered prior to purchasing a new canoe or kayak:
How many people will be going?
If you are intending to bring a family fishing (this includes dogs), you want to make sure you are buying a craft that is made to handle the load. We get many people asking if they can put their children with them in a single person kayak and often it is not a safe idea. Small dogs may be an option on a single person boat with a larger weight capacity but if you want to bring children or larger dogs it is wise to purchase a craft made for more than one person. Tandem kayaks offer options for two people and more weight capacity, Canoes can often fit 3 people and some gear, and often have significantly higher weight capacities than kayaks that only weigh a few pounds less.
Can I transport it out of water?
Most canoes and kayaks are swift and nimble on the water, but not so much out of water, before you buy a boat, make sure you can handle it, or have the means to move it about.
10 foot kayaks are small and light, and often fit into the bed of a pickup truck without much hassle or equipment, larger kayaks and canoes can often be transported in longer beds with flags, or you can purchase trailer hitch carriers that carry the longer boats roof height and balance the load between the roof and the carrier on pickups.
Getting a larger boat on the roof of a car or SUV can be more difficult, Roof Racks help with loading kayaks and minimizing damage to vehicles roof, but even with these, the boat still has to be lifted up to the roof - often this can be eased by going out with another paddler, and assisting one another with the boats. If you go out by yourself, especially with a large kayak or any canoe, make sure you can safely lift the weight of the boat before you find yourself struggling underneath it.
If you have physical limitations, this needs be considered prior to purchasing a boat, be realistic, because if you cannot move it about out of water, you cannot get it to water.
A cart can greatly assist moving any boat, but especially larger boats to water.
I personally, have started using a cart to get my boat to water when I go solo paddling with my 17’ Canoe, and it has improved my enjoyment with the launching of the boat a great deal.
Can I store it?
Make sure you have a safe place to store the boat, outside is not usually the best option, especially with rotomolded boats.
Pick a place in your home to keep the boat before purchasing, even if you really like a 12 foot fishing kayak, if you are unable to store or transport that boat, consider compromising for a 10 foot fishing kayak.
No matter what you choose , remember to lift safely, don’t rush, and always wear the appropriate PFD’s on the water, if you choose what suits your needs best, you will find yourself experiencing the outdoors in a wonderful new way.
Jeff L. Camping Lead