MIL wants a boats

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My mother in law wants a kayak... or so she thinks. I am going to try to convince her to get a pack canoe instead, just for ease of entry and lighter weight. She is all of 4'-10" and wants to be able to go herself. That means getting it on and off the car and in the water.

I'm thinking of pointing her towards a Nessmuk. I've not paddled any Hemlocks but they are local and the weight and size is what she would need. She seems to think canoes are tippy (and kayaks aren't) so I need to break her of that or find here something that she will be comfy in.

Any other suggestions? I told my wife I'd buy one for myself and let her mom use it whenever she wants ;) She didn't like that idea... can't imagine why??
 
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Put her in a kayak first... have her handle it herself and feel how heavy it is to get up and down off the car. Then get her into a pack canoe. She may also think you can't use a double blade in a canoe, or that you need some sort of special skill to paddle solo with a single blade. (practice, yes... skill, not so much, at least just to get going.)

And isn't there a paddle fest in July sometime up near Saranac Lake? Maybe you could get her some instruction there, if she wanted it.
 
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Hi Bird, Just wondering if you showed your MIL some trip reports of beautiful places and dropped in an little aside that to get to the second lake requires a portage of such and such distance. Maybe too if you could show her those videos of Becky Mason moving so gracefully in her canoes; I can't imagine anyone remaining untouched after watching them. If a concern about mastering paddling strokes is what is causing her to consider a kayak maybe the films would help.
Of course I'm biased, but the canoe seems so beautiful, so right, I can't imagine how someone could opt for something that looks like it ought to be a suppository for an elephant.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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Thanks guys.

I am very biased towards a canoe myself and also to a single blade paddle but my wife reminded me it isn't about me, it is about her... so I have to keep her needs in mind.

I brought up the idea that she should just come out when we go out and paddle tandem with either my wife or I. I can pick up another tandem that can be paddled solo or a dedicated solo boat that would work with a single blade or double blade paddle.

I guess we'll see. A Nessmuk or a Hornbeck would give her the most freedom but she won't learn much and I doubt she could carry any gear if she wanted to come camping with us.
 
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My mother in law wants a kayak... or so she thinks. I am going to try to convince her to get a pack canoe instead, just for ease of entry and lighter weight. She is all of 4'-10" and wants to be able to go herself. That means getting it on and off the car and in the water.

You could further her boating education by finding some place where she could try comparison paddling both a pack canoe and a kayak, and then try putting the kayak on the roof racks vs the pack canoe. I’m 6’ and still fairly strong and I don’t like putting our kayaks on the racks solo.

At 4’ 10” and wanting to be able to pack up and paddle solo a pack canoe would seem to be the ideal solution. If you are feeling especially devilish you could have her try heaving heavy poly kayak on the racks alongside one of the sub-20 pound composite pack canoes.

If she is insistent on a kayak one of the cross-bar extenders or other load-assist devices would probably be a good accessory.
 
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I'm going to take her to Bay Creek tomorrow. Hopefully they have a Swift ADK Pack 12 in stock so she can compare to some kayaks. If she likes the swift I'll have her try a Nessmuk. Maybe if we have time we'll head out to Hornbeck and have her try a 10.

I'm sure she'll like the price of a plastic kayak but I don't see her getting much use out of it unless I load and unload it, and I don't want to do that LOL!
 
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I just found out there is an ADK Mountain Club Expo tomorrow at Mendon Ponds Park near Rochester. Hemlock will be there with all their models from 9am-4pm. Should be a hoot!
 
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I see a happy ending to this, and you are a good SIL for doing the legwork and helping steer her in a more useful solo boat direction.
 
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The only Coleman I will allow is our lantern and stove for campground camping. :p
 
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A Nessmuk or a Hornbeck would give her the most freedom but she won't learn much and I doubt she could carry any gear if she wanted to come camping with us.

I don't follow... My daughter (just over 5' nothing) has been handling her own gear since she was 13, and I put her in her own (rented; I don't mean I bought her one) PBW Spitfire for a trip when she was 16, so she'd have to be responsible for her own canoe, paddle, and paddling on that trip... she did fine. Yes, the Spitfire's a little bigger than the Nessmuk or Hornbeck, but they both hold a full sized person and a pack just fine.
 
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I don't follow... My daughter (just over 5' nothing) has been handling her own gear since she was 13, and I put her in her own (rented; I don't mean I bought her one) PBW Spitfire for a trip when she was 16, so she'd have to be responsible for her own canoe, paddle, and paddling on that trip... she did fine. Yes, the Spitfire's a little bigger than the Nessmuk or Hornbeck, but they both hold a full sized person and a pack just fine.

That'd be all well and good if I could get her to carry JUST a pack LOL. Her camping experiences have been in RVs with coolers and screen tents, etc.
 
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That'd be all well and good if I could get her to carry JUST a pack LOL. Her camping experiences have been in RVs with coolers and screen tents, etc.

Ah... I see...

my daughter's "intro" to overnight camping, when she was about 4, was during my ultralight phase... so I've always insisted she pack light (at least once we got past the phase where I carried the Barbies and hair ribbons). Mostly, she keeps it that way.
 
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I don't know that she will ever canoe camp... so it may not be an issue. She talks about coming with us but I don't know if she ever will.
 
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Oldie Moldy said: "I can't imagine how someone could opt for something that looks like it ought to be a suppository for an elephant." Thanks man - I just spit a mouthful of beer on my LCD monitor - I sure hope I can get the beer off and it was also a waste of Guinness. Some funny. I just really hope that have the common sense not to go into my usual outdoor store and use that phrase.

Ted
 
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My MIL is out with a bad back this weekend but I tried a Nessmuk XL and a Swift Pack 13.6. They were both easy to use (I've never paddle a double blade solo before) and stable. The swift was a rocket, easy to turn and the seat and foot braces were more comfortable. Either would meet her needs I think. We'll have to let her try each and decide which she likes better.

Problem is I think my wife might like a pack canoe and I think I might have a little bit of the bug as well. It was so quick and easy to paddle I can't help but be tempted.

I also tried a solo single blade for the first time. WOW that was something. Painful (the kneeling part) and difficult. Part of me is wanting to master it though... I can't help but take on a challenge. For now I am going to throw a kneeling thwart in my Kee and see if I can get a little more proficient at that.
 
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