Help newbie pick a boat?

From the south suburbs to the northwest suburbs, the Des Plaines River provides some excellent fishing opportunities.

Help newbie pick a boat?

Postby deaddog » Mar Wed 18, 2020 10:48 am

While I used to canoe and fish a lot as a kid, I haven't done much in 25 years! I'm considering a sit-on-top kayak or a solo canoe primarily for use on the Des Plaines. I suspect at least half (or more) of the time, I'll just be paddling for fun and not fishing. My most frequent launch area will be Maywood. I'll be car-topping on a VW GTI (small car), hopefully with foam blocks and not investing in full roof rack system, so lighter is better. As I'm just dipping my toe in the water (so to speak), I'm trying to keep costs down, looking for used stuff. My stats relevant to boat capacity/loading - 60 y/o, male, 5'9, 170, reasonably fit but still a creaky old guy with ocassional shoulder stiffness and thumb arthritis. And while this is a boat inquiry, I welcome any comments on any aspect of boating/fishing the Des Plaines..... boats, paddles, launch areas, etc.

2 examples to start the discussion

1. Ocean Kayak Tetra 10'

vs

2. Old Town Discovery Sportsman Solo Canoe, 11'9"

THANKS
deaddog
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar Wed 18, 2020 10:37 am

Re: Help newbie pick a boat?

Postby DasGoby » Mar Wed 18, 2020 10:56 am

There is a lot out there about canoe vs. kayak. Do be realistic about loading, unloading, weight etc.

If you go canoe, I would look hard for a used one made from Royalex. The cost, strength, weight ratio is unmatched but they don't make Royalex materials anymore because the manufacturer decided the boating market was too small to trouble with. The other thing is used canoes are cheap and pretty easy to find.
DasGoby
Ichthyoid Artimus
 
Posts: 1353
Joined: Mar Fri 05, 2010 2:57 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: Help newbie pick a boat?

Postby RonG » Mar Wed 18, 2020 10:58 am

Some would say I'm biased but I would open door #1
User avatar
RonG
Rex Rgis Piscator
 
Posts: 5075
Joined: Jan Thu 22, 2009 3:34 pm
Location: In your favorite spots

Re: Help newbie pick a boat?

Postby joetrain » Mar Wed 18, 2020 12:20 pm

Yeah what Ron said. You won’t need anything fancy for floating the DPR. Wear a life jacket and leash your paddle. Probably will want to consider a cart too.
~JOE~
ad maioram Dei gloriam
User avatar
joetrain
Ichthyoid Artimus
 
Posts: 2863
Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 5:32 pm

Re: Help newbie pick a boat?

Postby Rambler » Mar Wed 18, 2020 1:42 pm

Not to be contrarian but I've got an Old Town solo. Used to have a SOT yak. Much prefer the canoe. Easier to get on / off car. Better (IMHO) in the water too.

PS - if you put in at Maywood & paddle a ways upstream watch for an old fart fishing for pike on the east bank. Stop & say hello.
Keep calm and fish on...

There's a fine line between fishing and just sitting there looking stupid
User avatar
Rambler
Ichthyoid Artimus
 
Posts: 4320
Joined: Sep Wed 03, 2014 1:25 pm
Location: Near West suburbs

Re: Help newbie pick a boat?

Postby DasGoby » Mar Wed 18, 2020 1:47 pm

canoe = more comfortable, drier in cold weather, more and easier storage, higher vantage point on water when seated, lighter, quicker loading and unloading.

kayak = faster, more maneuverable, handles better in current, more high end options.

I wrote a long post you can find exploring both options for tandem use. If I was looking for a solo though, I'd be very much on the fence. I'd probably go with an Old town peddle yak but if I was looking paddle only it would be a very close call.
DasGoby
Ichthyoid Artimus
 
Posts: 1353
Joined: Mar Fri 05, 2010 2:57 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: Help newbie pick a boat?

Postby RonG » Mar Wed 18, 2020 4:41 pm

Ok, here's my (twenty) two bits.

A long, long time ago I decided to motorize my canoe and take it out to the Chicago lighthouse for those monster jumbos that are hard to get from shore. (that's 1 mile from shore and a 1/2 mile from the tip of Navy Pier). I posted my idea on a fishing forum and got a ton of these as responses. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

I thought it through, especially in the event of an emergency or encountering waves. I remembered the disaster at Busse where me and my dad rolled a canoe in some very icy water. We never did get it uprighted and he drank a lot of that water and choked quite a bit. I remembered seeing a grampa and g-kid dump their canoe in fast water on the Fox. They lost everything including their paddle and sat stranded on a small island. :shock: I imagined myself flipped and swamped, maybe sunk a mile from shore and gave up on my hot idea. I decided on a kayak instead and became the first Chicago area kayak fishing guy that I or pretty much anyone else ever heard of. I bought one, geared it up and was out there Aug 1st, the very first day of the season re-opening.

DSCF0005_(960_x_720).jpg


..still a crazy idea for a first fishing trip with zero experience. Many good voyages followed. I got stuck a mile from shore once with huge winds and 5.5 ft waves. (weather was calm with 0.5 ft waves at launch). Landing was a capsize that even my added outriggers couldn't save me from. In a canoe, well, you know what it would have been like. Another time I launched in Waukegan. I raised my outriggers to make better time and unexplanadely rolled it in 35° water. Wetsuit was a lifesaver. I made it back to shore, towel dried my hair, switched my coat and paddled out 2.5 miles, shot a video and caught a boat load of perch.

2002_0101_045751AA.JPG


But that was it. After two times in the drink @Lake Michigan, I decided I needed a sit-on-top kayak and picked an Ocean Trident Angler 13. Eleven years later and it's never failed me. It's never sent me for a swim. I don't ever even have to think of staying balanced. Moving forward, I ended up doing things with it I never even conceive like trolling Lake Michigan and night time walleye trolling. So it all depends on what your plans and wishes are, but I have no use for a canoe or sit-in kayak for my fishing and paddling. Up until two years ago, I had never kayakked where the intent is not to go fishing. Now I use mine for exercise too on the Fox or laps on a local pond. Usually I still start out with some fishing, then the laps.

8)

rgyak.JPG



and leash your paddle.


I keep a spare short paddle below deck. :idea: If you get the Tetra, you can open the middle hatch and store one there along with extra rods, gear etc.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
User avatar
RonG
Rex Rgis Piscator
 
Posts: 5075
Joined: Jan Thu 22, 2009 3:34 pm
Location: In your favorite spots

Re: Help newbie pick a boat?

Postby Skifish1 » Mar Wed 18, 2020 10:09 pm

Had a tetra 10 many hours in it. Durable and light for a SOT. Narrow moves pretty good, tracks well. I got rid of it eventually. Have a couple different yaks now.

I would recommend this https://thirdcoastpaddlesports.com/

Avalon 10ft model. Why? Efficient moving upcurrent, good blend of tracking and maneuvering. Decent quality for low price yak .recommend over tetra 10.
User avatar
Skifish1
Ichthyoid Artimus
 
Posts: 4835
Joined: Nov Thu 03, 2011 10:54 pm

Re: Help newbie pick a boat?

Postby FloridaRigger » Mar Thu 19, 2020 8:31 pm

Native Ultimate or a used wilderness systems commander if you can find one. both are hybrid kayak/canoes and a lot lighter and easier to car top than a comparable length SOT. I love my commander after having two SOT's.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
User avatar
FloridaRigger
Fishing Czar
 
Posts: 555
Joined: Mar Tue 08, 2011 1:30 am
Location: Lake County

Re: Help newbie pick a boat?

Postby deaddog » Mar Sun 22, 2020 1:46 pm

Thanks guys. This has been incredibly helpful. I'm keeping my eyes on Craiglist and hope to get on the water asap. I've decided not to decide -- I'm going to go with whatever pops up as the most boat (for my purposes) for the money. Hopefully, I'll get in cheap and learn a bit more about my personal preferences and then, if necessary, move up to a better choice. If you have a kayak/canoe sitting in the garage/yard that fits the bill - and you'd like to turn it into a bit of cash - let me know. Thanks again.
deaddog
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar Wed 18, 2020 10:37 am


Return to Des Plaines River

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests