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prettypaddle
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08/30/2019 12:58PM
My wonderful husband has given me a most excellent birthday present -- the opportunity to buy a new boat! The dilemma? I'm torn between a SUP and a solo canoe

Some info about us:
Current boats: 69 pound MNII and my son's little 6' sit-on-top kayak
Paddlers: Husband, myself, two kids (ages 6 and 3)
Location: live in the Chicago area and have family with a house in Ely

I feel like the SUP would be the "fun" boat that would get more use with kids. We could paddle them around on it, or use it as a swimming platform, or in a couple of years they could take it out on their own. Cons: seems like you'd need more than one for max enjoyment and not suited for BW trips.

For a solo canoe, the idea of having a boat I could easily get into the water on my own is alluring. In Ely this summer I tried to be a sneaky ninja and take a paddle in our MNII before anyone else was awake. I'm pretty fit, but getting a boat that long, that weighs more than half what I weigh, into the water QUIETLY is haaaarrrd. Once it's floating, I'm perfectly comfortable paddling it solo even in moderately windy conditions. And the peace and quiet is amazing.

The downside of a solo would be finding an opportunity to use it. Taking our tandem plus a solo out locally doesn't seem practical -- after about 15 minutes on the water it usually takes one parent to paddle and one to keep the kids from fighting or melting down or jumping overboard. But despite that they're always eager to go and we want to take our kids on the water and share what we love with them. Guess we could always tow the solo behind the tandem when things get dicey just like we do for the little kayak...

Anyhow, what would you do in my position?
 
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08/30/2019 01:19PM
Buy both. A gal can't have too many paddle powered boats.
 
AmarilloJim
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08/30/2019 01:27PM
You can buy inflatable SUP's for about $250
 
THEGrandRapids
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08/30/2019 01:56PM
Parlay that "new" boat to a used SUP and used Solo.... probably the same cost.

*unless he meant a "new-to-you" used boat.
 
prettypaddle
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08/30/2019 02:48PM
AmarilloJim: "You can buy inflatable SUP's for about $250"
Huh, interesting idea. Or garage is only 20x12 so a cheap inflatable would leave room and money for a solo too...

Know how they compare to the standard SUPs?
 
thebotanyguy
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08/30/2019 03:49PM
This is a birthday present, so the way I see it is this is YOUR boat. It is not a family boat and the kids, as much as you love them, should not figure into the decision.

Reading between the lines, I get the impression that you really want a canoe for yourself. Time to be a little self-indulgent and treat yourself to what you want. This is something you will own and enjoy for years to come, even beyond the childhood years of your kids.

I could be wrong, but I see a SUP as a bit fad-ish. Do you see yourself using it in 10 or 20 years?
 
muddyfeet
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08/30/2019 06:47PM
Hands down solo canoe. Early morning fishing or just an hour workout by yourself on a weeknight- solo canoe is it. Same paddles you already own, and the freedom to explore solo travel. Also, while they paddle well solo, I have paddled many hours with a happy three year old in the bow of my magic. Some special memories with both of my kids were made that way.
 
08/30/2019 07:02PM
Buy the one you'll use most.
 
Jaywalker
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08/30/2019 09:30PM
Bannock: "Buy the one you'll use most.
"

+1. Think through the opportunities you will have and pick whichever you will be likely to get the most use out of over the net several years. One way or the other, you will be able to fit the MN2, a SUP, and a solo in that garage if you eventually end up with all three.
 
jillpine
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08/31/2019 06:05AM
Solo.
 
OCDave
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09/01/2019 10:34AM
On this forum of canoe fanatics, you are certain to get more canoe leaning response. Personally, I love my Solo canoe, paddle it every day and think everyone should have one but, I would enjoy having a SUP if only finances would allow it. There are many reasons I'd say favor the SUP.

1) Would this purchase stay at your ELY place or would it also be used around your Chicago residence? In Minneapolis a SUP allows connecting with a whole different group of active, outdoors people that a canoe does not. A SUP might create social connections you don't currently have or strengthen those you do. A SUP might promote more active and more frequent exercise due to those social connections.

2) How old are your kids? As they get older, you might find you'll need to add a second tandem. A smaller tandem canoe might fill the same niche you are seeking to fill with the Solo. A lighter canoe you can launch quietly and alone that takes just the right amount of garage space. For me that was a Northstar Polaris with Carbon gunwales. Alternatively, as your children get older, they might find paddle boarding more appealing and adding a second paddle board becomes an attractive option.

3) What would be more fun? Maybe that relates back to #1. Maybe the skills related to controlling a solo canoe are more rewarding.

Good Luck and Happy Birthday
 
prettypaddle
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09/02/2019 07:34PM
And the winner is.......



We figure once the kids are bigger we might consider buying a couple paddle boards for use here on Lake Michigan. But for now, as thebotanyguy said, I treated myself to what I wanted. So exciting!
 
jillpine
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09/02/2019 08:14PM
A room of one's own.
Congratulations!!
 
x2jmorris
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09/03/2019 11:10PM
I am late to this but you went with what I would have said :)

Congrats and I hope you enjoy it.
 
muddyfeet
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09/04/2019 07:49AM
I’m excited for you. Enjoy the boat!
 
fraxinus
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09/04/2019 04:22PM
prettypaddle: "And the winner is.......





We figure once the kids are bigger we might consider buying a couple paddle boards for use here on Lake Michigan. But for now, as thebotanyguy said, I treated myself to what I wanted. So exciting!"


That's pretty, prettier than any SUP I've ever seen, is it a Magic? Enjoy. You'll have a smug grin on your face when you're paddling on a crisp fall day at the end of Oct., with the leaves in full color, and all the paddle boards put away for the season.
 
DownStrm
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09/05/2019 09:56PM
Don't be torn, learn to standup paddle your new solo. It is not that hard to learn. You will have fun. Also, I find I get a better aerobic workout when standing than when kneeling or sitting.
 
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