Choosing a craft is very personal since it depends on the experience and preferences of each individual. This section is therefore mostly intended to beginners.
We have a fleet of 114 canoes, 2 solo sea kayaks and 5 tandem sea kayaks. Here are some basic criterias that must be considered when choosing a craft.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS
All our canoes are designed to accomodate two adults with their luggage for several days expedition. For security and comfort, it is strongly NOT recommended to be three people in a canoe, regardless of its length. Thus, for an odd number of perticipants, take into consideration that one will have to paddle in solo in a two-person canoe (16') or a solo kayak.
DURATION OF EXPEDITION
For a weekend expedition, a 16 feet canoe is recommended. For longer expeditions, you should choose a 17 or 18 feet canoe which allows you to bring more luggage without compromising the performance of the canoe.
FLAT WATER OR WHITE WATER?
For river circuits or if you intend to shoot the rapids, it is recommended to choose a Royalex canoe: this material is highly resistant to shocks. For the section 2 or Gens de terre river, reserved for experts, we do not rent any canoes.
For lakes circuits, you can choose a canoe according to its maneuverability (which depends on its rocker) and weight (which depends on the material of which it is made of).
CANOE MANEUVERABILITY (ROCKER)
Some canoes have completely flat, or straight, keels, and other lift a bit at the ends giving them a "banana shape". This lift is called rocker, and it makes canoes easier to turn. Meaning that higher the rocker, harder it is to move in a straight line. If the rocker is small, the canoe holds its line very well but turning is more difficult (rapids). Note also that longer canoes have more stable trajectory. Here are the models and their paricularities (16 feet canoes) available for rent at Le Domaine:
PROSPECTOR: high rocker, available in fiberglass or Kevlar
CLASS IV: high rocker, only available in Kevlar
ODYSSEY: small rocker, only available in fiberglass
EUREKA: no rocker, available in fiberglass or Kevlar.
PRESAGE : high rocker, available in Royalex
If your circuit have frequent or long portages, choose a lighter canoe. Its weight depends on the material of which it is made:
FIBERGLASS: This is the type of canoe we rent most often. The 16 ft weighs between 75 and 78 lbs (82 lbs for the 18 ft). The fabric is made of a blend of fiberglass and synthetic resin (polyester or vinylester). Its qualities are: resistance, ease of repair, flexibility and affordable price.
KEVLAR: It's lighter than fiberglass models – 60 to 65 lbs (both 16 and 18 1/2 ft). It is a composite canoe like the fiberglass canoe, but the fiber is lighter, more supple and more resistant to puncturing. This canoe is three times as expensive as the fiberglass model. It is recommended for lake use, for those seeking a lighter canoe for portages.
ROYALEX: It weighs 72 lbs and is very tough. This one is made with a cellular foam coat sandwiched between two thicknesses of ABS and covered with layers of vinyl for protection against UV rays. It can be folded in two and will return to its original shape without breaking. This feature makes it popular for use in whitewater canoes. Since it is not very scratch-resistant, we equip our canoes with bow stem protector. It glides less smoothly on the water than composite canoes (fiberglass, kevlar). This canoe is 3 times as expensive as the fiberglass. We recommend it for river circuits (Section 1 of Gens-de-Terre, Chococouane, Canimiti).
If you need additional information or support in planning your expedition, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team members will be happy to inform you and advise you. We are open 7 days a week, from 8 am to 8 pm, mid-May to mid-September.