There are lots of things to do with all of these Idaho rivers and lakes, but maybe the best and most enjoyable time you might have is to get on the water with a nice and buoyant boat under you to do some paddling or motoring around.Boating is a whole lot of fun, and while you might be saying that it is too expensive and one of the best ways to lose a lot of money is to own a boat, that is not always the case. We are going to talk about boats today, and while we give some time to your classic motor boat that makes your wallet bleed, we are also going to talk about all the boats you can get that are cheap and do not require constant maintenance and refueling.
One great place to start is something like a canoe or a kayak, which you probably cannot call cheap, but they are far less expensive than your own personal yacht that guzzles fuel and never gets used as often as you might like. You can get a good canoe or kayak for a hundred dollars (Maybe even less if you look in the right places), and while some of these boats might range into the thousand dollar mark, you only really need those if you have grand plans for doing some incredible things with your fancy new paddle boat, such as extended camping trips down a long river or extreme water sports. You only really need to invest in these things if you know you are going to spend a lot of time in them and want to get some extra features, such as a larger hull or more space to stow away gear for a long time spent traveling. Sometimes all you need is something that floats, that has a couple of seats, and has some solid oars that will propel you across calm and smooth waters. The more advanced forms of kayaking and canoeing you can do are a lot of fun, but maybe all you need is that serene lake experience.
So, what makes canoeing different from kayaking? For the most part, they are very similar. Both have relatively small hulls (Unless you have one of those giant canoes that are meant for crossing parts of the ocean, but I do not imagine you will be doing much of that in Idaho or the Treasure Valley) of a somewhat similar shape. Both are meant to be propelled by the use of oars. Where the big differences come in are where you take a canoe versus where you take a kayak and some of the special techniques you use depending on which kind of boat you find yourself in. As you are probably well aware, a kayak is most useful when the waters you are traversing are violent and difficult to travel across. A Kayak is more stable under extreme conditions than a canoe, partly because of its size and partly because of a single person’s ability to control it with more dexterity and ease. For example, if you are on a nasty part of a river in a canoe and you roll it over, you are quite literally sunk. That boat is useless to you now and you either have to get it out of the river to empty it out or you are in some kind of danger of drowning or getting dashed against some rocks. With a kayak, as long as you are practiced enough and know what you are doing, it is much easier to get yourself out of a bad roll by keeping up your momentum and rolling back over so that you are right side up. In fact, there are a number of maneuvers you can do to recover from capsizing in a kayak, and what comes after recovering is a little easier as well, as water does not get into a kayak quite as fast as a canoe and it can be easier to get out. Still, a canoe can be a little bit easier for those moments when you have to get out of the water and cross over land. It is easiest when you have two people and you can both turn the canoe over and get under it to carry it over your shoulders. A kayak is not that much harder, but because of its shape and the tendency to have one person per kayak, it can be a little more frustrating.
But what about actual motor boats? For the most part, it is probably a bad idea for anyone who is not rich to buy a large motor boat. They are a pain to get out and use, and they cost a whole lot of money, so you are adding up expense and a probable lack of use. Still, there are options available to you, such as sharing the boat with yourself and a friend or member of your family. Using a motorized boat is also probably not as easy as you think. It is not like driving a car. Regardless, maybe it is the right choice for you. Maybe you live somewhere in Idaho where it is especially easy to find large bodies of water and you have the wealth and free time to support frequent use of the boat. If this is the case, go for it if you want.