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Fun on the Water for One and All
One of the best things about going to the lake, oceanfront or even the backyard pool is getting out onto the water itself. There are many different kinds of watercraft and water sports that can be enjoyed and several different types of boats and other options for getting you there so you, your family and your friends can get out and enjoy warm summer days on the water.
Canoes and Kayaks
For those who like some exercise and a sense of adventure while on the water, a canoe or kayak fits the bill nicely. Many canoes and kayaks are made for a single person, some can carry two people at once. Most canoes are made to sit inside of while kayaks can be either sit-in or sit-on styles. Kayaks range in length from 6 to 12 feet and can be as wide as 45 inches. Canoes run about the same width as kayaks but tend to run a few feet longer. Kayaks are better on smooth water surface while some canoes can handle rougher water. Canoes and kayaks are lightweight and easy to carry and some even have convenient handles built into the sides. Although there are a few that are inflatable, most kayaks and canoes are made of rotomolded polyethylene while some are made of fiberglass or Kevlar, which tends to be somewhat more expensive. Both styles of watercraft typically have benches for users to sit on or in, but some come with molded seats with backs for added comfort. Each comes with paddles that are used by hand or can be anchored to the watercraft.
Other Styles of Boats
While canoes and kayaks require more work to use while on the water, there are also watercraft that allow you to just drift lazily on the surface of the water. For example, inflatable boats can carry up to four people comfortably. These boats can be as much as 10 feet or more in length and run up to 45 or more inches wide. They also come with paddles and some have a bag to carry the boat in when not in use and even a foot-operated air pump.
Another style of boat, typically for one person, is the pontoon fishing boat. Modeled after the larger style pontoon boats, these are crafted from PVC that is abrasion-resistant on the bottom and come with oars that attach via oar locks on the pontoon boat.
Towables and Water Tubes
Not only are boats fun to pilot on the water themselves, but they can also add to the excitement with their ability to tow people behind them. Most people are familiar with water skiing, but that only allows one person at a time to get his or her kicks on the water. There are also many different towables that work in conjunction with a boat that can haul two or more people at a time behind a boat, similar to water skiing. These are built to allow the users to steer themselves so they can avoid or if they so desire ride into the wake made by the boat. Towables come in a multitude of shapes. With round towables, everyone can be placed forward while in narrow crafts passengers are sit in a line like a canoe.
For relaxing on a calm lake or pond or even in a swimming pool, water and float tubes are the ultimate in comfort. These allow users to sit or lie comfortably above the water, and some even come with convenient drink holders for that frosty beverage that completes the experience.
For people who do have their own boat, there are many accessories that are must-have items when operating a vessel. These include marine electronics, such as waterproof walkie-talkies, GPS systems and fish finders. Portable coolers are also convenient for keeping drinks and food cold or for keeping any catches on ice until you get back into port. It is always a good idea to have extras of certain items, such as dock lines, fenders and seat cushions. life jackets and vests are crucial to have on any boat traveling through deep water, and a cover is essential for those who store their boat outside. A trolling motor is an ideal addition to any small boat, giving you a little extra power when you need it and added control of your vessel when fishing.