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Old 18-07-2011, 16:25   #16
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

I can imagine problems climbing over bow to a dock.

Also, not sure how well a canoe tows, should you need to do so. I tried it once years ago, using existing eye that was maybe a third of the way down from peak of bow. Did not work well, nearly turning over at speed.Maybe positioned lower would have been better.
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Old 18-07-2011, 16:45   #17
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

I take the point about swamping and I had considered it, but in that regard a tinny, pram or rowboat would suffer worse and many cruisers use them. I can't see how anyone could seriously say a kayak is more stable - they're by far skinnier and lower freeboard, and for the most part designed with minimal stability so that they can be righted by a seated occupant. Sponsons should provide more buoyancy, and some boats have foam-filled chambers; and I suppose outriggers could be fitted - I saw some in an outdoor store; googling 'canoe outriggers' provides some too.

Again on the size issue - I've seen here that some folks use prams and jon-boats, so can't see why a canoe is considered too big? A 12' canoe isn't much longer than a 9'4" Watertender, but at nearly half the weight and being narrower, would be easier to move around on deck, if necessary (it would be on davits most of the time).

Vasco, I don't see how a canoe would prevent anyone from exploring - particularly a square-stern, as I could fit a motor. If the motor conked out miles from nowhere, I'd rather paddle a canoe than row an inflateable back to home-plate. If I really needed to haul house batteries, I could unroll and inflate the zodiac, but I don't plan to do that chore on a daily basis. You wouldn't buy a u-haul truck just because you occasionally move large items.
Are you also saying I shouldn't have a canoe because it won't match the other boaters' boats?

I'm not dismissing any of these points - I'm hoisting in the valid considerations, and honestly trying to clarify what I see as questionable assumptions. I think we can agree that any dinghy choice seems to be a matter of compromise and I'm trying to decide whether the con's outweigh the pro's. Keep 'em coming!
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Old 18-07-2011, 17:05   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman
. I can't see how anyone could seriously say a kayak is more stable - they're by far skinnier and lower freeboard, and for the most part designed with minimal stability so that they can be righted by a seated occupant. :

Lodesman having done thousands of miles in kayaks and a good number if miles in a decked canoe, I can seriously say a proper sit inside kayak such as the NW Discover is much more stable than any canoe. I have surfed 12 foot rollers in a kayak, would not even think about that in a canoe. With a proper kayak and a spray skirt you take a quartering sea over the deck. The little 12 footers that are sold for recreation are nice toys, but I would not suggest you trust one in adverse conditions.

IMHO if you want a different tender get a sailing dingy with a centerboard.
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Old 18-07-2011, 17:12   #19
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
I take the point about swamping and I had considered it, but in that regard a tinny, pram or rowboat would suffer worse and many cruisers use them. I can't see how anyone could seriously say a kayak is more stable - they're by far skinnier and lower freeboard, and for the most part designed with minimal stability so that they can be righted by a seated occupant.
Your logic is skewed. The argument is basically: "Since some cruisers get away with X, I should be able to get away with Y."

Canoes are designed for lakes. Sea kayaks are designed for the ocean. The bow and stern sections of sea kayaks provide far more buoyancy than a canoe. The lower center of gravity gives them far greater secondary stability. If you broach a sea kayak in the surf, it will not get pooped, unlike a canoe. I've had waves completely break over me in a sea kayak without getting any water inside. Try that in a canoe. A sea kayak is capable of self-rescue; a swamped canoe is not. Even if you have to wet-exit in a sea kayak, your gear stays dry. Flip a canoe upside down, and your gear is gone.

Back to your original argument. Most cruisers don't get away with X. This is especially true if they plan to anchor in places where they'll have to take a tender through the surf. The vast majority of us use inflatables. We do that because they are unparalleled in terms of their usability.

Imagine that you're anchored in a cove, and you hear that there's some word-class snorkeling off the point a mile away. You grab your flippers, climb into your canoe, and paddle over to the reef. Now what? How do you get out of a canoe without swamping it? On an inflatable, you merely sit upon the tube and then roll back. Now assuming you found a way to get into the water without swamping your canoe, how will you get back in once you've explored the reef?
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Old 18-07-2011, 17:25   #20
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

Speaking as someone who used inflatable kayaks as my sole tenders for quite a few years, I think eventually you will want something stable that can motor fairly fast as your dink. Think of it more as a pickup truck than a tender. We routinely put hundreds of pounds of water, fuel, gear, supplies, and people stacked on top in the inflatable and then proceed to motor miles in rough water to get back to the boat. I have found that in many cruising places off the beaten path you need to ferry all your water and fuel long distances out to the boat. In our case that might mean 4 x 6 gallon cans of diesel fuel, plus 4 x 6 gallons of water, plus numerous smaller water jugs, plus other stuff. Plus, with a motorized dink you have a decent tugboat if your main engine conks out and you need to move the mother ship. Somebody mentioned climbing ashore through a gaggle of other boats at the dock--you need stability. Diving and snorkeling are favorite pastimes of most, and you need the stability and soft tubes for that. I wouldn't even think of mounting a dinghy on davits that is wider than the boat--it would make docking or locking anywhere a nightmare, and wouldn't be too great in bad weather offshore. Plus, for some reason canoes do not tow at all. On the plus side, it would be great fun to paddle around in a sheltered harbor seeing what there is to see, but it would not be as useful day to day.
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Old 18-07-2011, 17:41   #21
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post

Vasco, I don't see how a canoe would prevent anyone from exploring - particularly a square-stern, as I could fit a motor. If the motor conked out miles from nowhere, I'd rather paddle a canoe than row an inflateable back to home-plate. :
Lodesman,

My point was that we always travel with a buddy or two on these excursions, the reason for that being they'd tow us back. It would be hard to find someone who would buddy with a canoe. They're all RIB's out there.

I don't know where you're going to cruise with the canoe but if you go to Georgetown in the Bahamas you might have to wait for a week or two before trying to get into town. Canoes are for lakes and rivers and maybe a rapid or two, not for three foot waves, real close together, on the nose.
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Old 18-07-2011, 17:48   #22
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

Canoes have along history of ocean use. However I believe they are always very large. First Nations around here made some significant voyages in canoe but they had a large crew and when time came to cross an open body of water they grabbed the weather window and paddled hard. Around Gabriola I see people paddling canoes but they are usually decent ones. Clippers seem popular.
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Old 18-07-2011, 17:52   #23
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

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My point was that we always travel with a buddy or two on these excursions, the reason for that being they'd tow us back. It would be hard to find someone who would buddy with a canoe. They're all RIB's out there.
yes!! the ultimate buddy-boating. these have been some of my best all-time excursions. Three boats going up river, each boat carrying two fuel tanks, going as far as the threesome can go until the first boat runs it's first tank out of fuel. Then we all turn back and make the downriver run to the anchorage.

Or the week in Baja where we kept sending two boats out, further and further each day, until we discovered a reef where we were pretty certain no one had ever dove.

It's hard enough to have to buddy up with a non-RIB on such an excursion. A canoe (or a tinny or a pram) would be totally out of the question.
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Old 18-07-2011, 17:56   #24
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

Comparing kayaks to canoes is like comparing monohulls to multis. You can make some generalizations but there is a a great variance in the characteristics of both.

True, canoes were designed more for lakes and rivers than for oceans, but one typically doesn't use a tender in open ocean conditions. The voyageurs traveling the great lakes and lakes of Canada (in canoes) encountered conditions far more severe than most will ever encounter with their tender. I've frequently paddled in 3 foot waves without tipping. I've logged at least 500 days of canoeing and can count the number of times I've flipped in non-white water on one hand.

Both canoes and kayaks can be either open or decked, so I disagree the security of gear is necessarily more secure in either. I also disagree it's prone to being lost easily. Even in an open boat loosing the gear requires that the boat tip, the gear fall out and either sink or float away unnoticed. A simple dry bag and lanyard prevent that. A dry bag filled with heavy groceries will still float.

Sure, some kayaks can be rolled (some canoes too by the way), but most rigid kayaks and canoes designed to hold 4 people are not going to be rolled even by competent rollers.

Something that I have not seen suggested yet that might provide most of the benefits of a canoe without some of the drawbacks mentioned are some of the better inflatable PVC or Hypalon canoes. I've paddled a couple. They are very stable, can be either rowed or paddled, can take an outboard and have tubes much like a typical inflatable. Let just a little air out and they can be folded in half. They have a bit more resistance than a rigid canoe, but still move through the water much easier than most typical tenders. Having tubes, they won't sink and can be bailed out if swamped. They are built such that they may be marketed as either canoes or kayaks.

Something along the lines of this:

http://www.soar1.com/soar_16.htm
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Old 18-07-2011, 17:59   #25
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

You could easily try a canoe out for not too much if you wanted to. Around here used ones are cheap and plentiful. I'd suggest seeing how it works for you if you are set on it.
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Old 18-07-2011, 17:59   #26
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

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Canoes have along history of ocean use. However I believe they are always very large. First Nations around here made some significant voyages in canoe but they had a large crew and when time came to cross an open body of water they grabbed the weather window and paddled hard. Around Gabriola I see people paddling canoes but they are usually decent ones. Clippers seem popular.
You're not talking here about a canoe that can be carried on a davit.
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Old 18-07-2011, 18:08   #27
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

1. RIBs are basically hard dinghies with inflatable sponsons permanently attached. You can attach inflatable sponsons to a canoe if you want additional stability.

2. I've used an inflatable kayak as a dinghy for years. It paddles better than most inflatable dinghies row. It's very stable and can carry quite a load.

3. People who do a lot of cruising and use their dinghies a lot seem to prefer inflatables with outboard motors. That would be my recommendation for your primary transportation between boat and shore.

4. There's nothing wrong with carrying a canoe (or kayak) along too, if you have room for it. There are lots of times when a boat that is a pleasure to paddle will be the one you prefer to use. But a canoe doesn't provide the kind of practical, reliable, fast load carrying capacity that you will need a great deal of the time.

5. If you're cruising ground is close to home and well protected the question of what to use as a dinghy is less important. Also, if your draft permits you to anchor close to shore you needn't worry much about your dinghy. With my 18" draft I don't even need a dinghy much of the time. I can easily wade to and from the boat, or sometime step directly off onto the beach.

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Old 18-07-2011, 18:13   #28
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

You mention a 12' canoe. I have a lot of miles in canoes and once went with a friend who had a 14' canoe. It was very unstable with 2 adult men in it, both around 180 lbs. I have owned 2 17' aluminum canoes in my life and they were very stable, especially when loaded, but they were not meant to be used as a tender. They are more difficult to get in and out of than an inflatable, partly because of their shape.

Others have mentioned how difficult it is for 2 men to unswamp a canoe. Yeah, I know, unswamp isn't a word, but it fits. It is truly difficult and in most situations maybe impossible. Canoes are wonderful boats for what they were designed for. They were not designed to be used as a tender on a sailboat.

I would never use a canoe as a tender.

IMHO
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Old 18-07-2011, 18:27   #29
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

Down in the San Blas the Kuna use wooden dugout canoes to get around and it was interesting to run into one of these boats well offshore, often loaded with many people, very little freeboard, and absolutely no safety equipment of any sort. We had to rescue a couple of them. One time a group of young fishermen came up to us after a storm and they had just capsized, were soaking wet, and wanted some food and matches so they could build a fire on a nearby island and warm up. They came back later and left us with some nice fish. Another time we saw a whole family caught out in a bad squall between islands. Grandpa was in the stern, with his little grandson in the bow and they were both paddling for all they were worth while mom holding a little baby in one arm and her daughter bailed like crazy. We took them off in our inflatable and had a hard time towing their canoe to shore in the rough seas. Their boat must have weighed 1000 pounds and been close to 20 feet long. We later ran into various members of the family on other islands and we were always greeted with a swarm of wonderful kids and big smiles.
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Old 18-07-2011, 21:48   #30
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Re: Canoe as a Tender / Dinghy ?

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Your logic is skewed. The argument is basically: "Since some cruisers get away with X, I should be able to get away with Y."

Back to your original argument. Most cruisers don't get away with X. This is especially true if they plan to anchor in places where they'll have to take a tender through the surf. The vast majority of us use inflatables. We do that because they are unparalleled in terms of their usability.
Canoes are made for a variety of waters from still to white; similarly, not all kayaks are designed for open ocean. My "argument" as you put it, is that no single boat is ideal in every way, and that some cruisers choose to use kayaks, rowboats, prams and other non-inflateables. What I'm trying to determine is how well a canoe would compare with these options. You say inflateables are unparalleled in usability, but you have to admit they're crap to row, they can't be sailed, and leaks are a pita. There are trade-offs. From this, and other previous threads, it's clear that not all cruisers think inflateables are all that: Downgrade to a Hard Dinghy ?

Just looking at the Lawton tender, which looks like a square-backed canoe, I wondered 'why not a canoe?' I'll still keep the inflateable stowed on board just in case, but for day-to-day use I want a hard dink. Watertender, Walker Bay, Livingstone and Sportyak are the ones I've been looking at, but trying to cover all the bases I thought I should at least plumb the group wisdom pool on the canoe idea. Thanks for your input.
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