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Which type of boat is best for you?

Understanding our boats

Boat options....

REMEMBER YOU CAN CHOOSE EITHER :

A GUIDED TRIP OR SELF GUIDED IN THE BOAT OF YOUR CHOICE!

People often use different and confusing terms for 'canoeing' but we need you to be clear when you book a trip.

  • "What kind of boat have I booked?"

  • "How many seats does it have?"

  • "How comfortable will that be for me and my group?"

Here are the 3 options we offer on our guided and self guided trips

  1. Sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks - solo

  2. Sit-on-top Kayak - tandem

  3. Rafted canoes

We also have the added option when on guided trips for

  1. Open canoes ( un-rafted)

  2. Stand Up Paddle Boards

Solo or tandem kayak?

AVAILABLE ON THE RIVER MERSEY & River Tame

All our kayaks are referred to as Sit-on-Tops. This means that you do not put your legs inside them and so, if they capsize, you cannot get your legs stuck inside anything. This means they are safer for us to hire out for self-guided trips.

Other things to note about SOT kayaks:

  • Solo means one seat. Tandem means two seats.

  • wide and therefore stable / less tippy - capsizes are rare.

  • You must wear helmets

  • If you are big and heavy you will struggle on a solo - best to come with someone on a tandem. Bigger boats have more floatation.

  • You must wear old training shoes! You cannot wear flip flops / crocs with these boats - if you fell out, these will float off and the bottom of the river has sharp bricks and metal in it.

  • long and therefore stay in a straight line / turn less (than shorter boats)

  • are self-draining - they have holes in the seat and leg area to allow splashes of water to drain back out under you. These holes also allow some water in and this will wet your bum as soon as you sit down.

  • You cannot stay dry in these boats. Water comes in through the drainage holes of the seat. Water splashes onto your legs.

  • You must be flexible! look at the leg position in these kayaks... it is like sitting on the floor with your legs out for at least 1 hour. Check you can sit like this comfortably before booking.

  • There very little room for a big bag of clothes and food. Be careful about how much you bring

  • Things (phones) fall out of pockets into the river.

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Solo vs tandem kayaks on the Mersey. Note the small area for bag.

Canoe or Rafted canoe?

AVAILABLE ON THE RIVER MERSEY & River Tame

Canoe

  • These canoes can be called 'canadian / open / traditional canoes'.

  • A canoe has 3 seats but an only comfortably take 2 adults and a child ( U-13yrs ) otherwise is is overladen and cramped and becomes very tippy. It could fit 3 children U-13yrs. )

  • Canoes can capsize and so we only use these for some guided trips. They cannot be hired out on the river as they are very difficult and heavy to rescue if they capsize.

Rafted canoes

  • 2 canoes secured together with a wooden beam to make a catamaran ( see photo)

  • Impossible to capsize and feels less wobbly when you climb into them or move around in them. They are east to get in and out without falling in.

  • You stay a lot drier

  • You don't need to wear helmets

  • A team craft for 6 adults ( families with small children might be able to get 8 in..please discuss with us before hand).

  • You can fit in big waterproof barrels - so good for carrying clothing and picnics

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Teamwork - stable rafted canoes with beam and barrels

Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPS)

AVAILABLE ON THE RIVER MERSEY and local canals.

  • We use inflatable paddle boards.

  • You can stand / kneel / sit.

  • They are robust and can manage quite heavy people ( but the heavier you are the more pressure on legs when standing).

  • To be able to stand up and paddle on these for longer than 30 minutes you will require strong leg, hip and core muscles.

  • Falling off in shallow water can cause injury and so you must wear training shoes ( not flip flops or crocs) and you must wear a helmet.

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