On Saturday I bought a canoe. Spent a packet but I don't think I'll regret it. I did a lot of research. I also tested a number of boats over the last year. Canoe or kayak. Wood, inflatable or plastic. 2 seats or 3 seats. Secondhand or new. I eventually bought a Gumotex Scout inflatable canoe from Globetrotter in Munich.
Advantages? Easily transported. Big enough for the whole family. Good for lakes, gentle rivers and even some easier white water apparently. Disadvantages? It takes fifteen minutes to set up and then put away. It could puncture. I even read on a forum that an object in the river could pierce the boat and impale you!
Yesterday we took our first trip. I picked up Elliot and Etienne from school at 12:00. They don't have school on Wednesday afternoons.
We headed 40km South-West out of Munich to Worthsee and parked in the village of Walchstadt. There's a small car park right next to a grassy, lakeside area. Worthsee was perfect for our first outing. Calm, warm water, no big tourist boats and lots of other people using canoes, kayaks or stand up paddle boards.
We practiced some strokes and got a feel for the boat before heading to the beach in Steinebach. In total we covered 3.2KM. I really wanted to get an idea of how fast we could go on flat water. We're planning an overnight on the same lake in the Spring.
One Friday after school we will paddle 6km anti-clockwise around the lake from our laucnh point in Walchstadt to the campsite in Seefeld. The next morning, after breakfast, we will continue anti-clockwise around the lake for 6km to get back to the car.