This is the first article in a series discussing wildlife photography from a kayak, the outfitting of the kayak, as well as techniques used for successful and productive outings. Please stay tuned for future articles!
What is a “NuCanoe”? The NuCanoe resembles a kayak more than it does a canoe. It comes in ten and twelve foot lengths and is easily customized for various applications including fishing, hunting, touring, as well as my primary purpose: photography on the water.
I selected the NuCanoe after doing substantial research on suitable platforms for photography on the water. My primary criteria included stability, available room, and comfort. The NuCanoe shined in all of these departments compared to traditional touring kayaks. At 42″ wide in the middle and 12′ long, the NuCanoe is quite roomy for a kayak. The boat weighs 77 lbs. empty, and has a weight capacity of 525 lbs. With these dimensions, a V-shaped hull, a triangular skeg, hard chines, and dual tracking channels, the NuCanoe is very responsive and easy to paddle. The NuCanoe is quite safe in addition to being very versatile. It features an innovative, high-flotation hull which is virtually unsinkable.
As for comfort, I knew I would be spending a considerable amount of time on the water, so I purchased what NuCanoe calls their “Captains Chairs”. These are well padded seats that are removable when you need to transport the boat or wash it out, and are quite comfortable for long periods of sitting. The back-rest is adjustable with two simple straps that clip into the hull. The NuCanoe Classic has five positions within the hull to allow the seats to be moved either fore, or aft. If only one person is using the kayak, the second seat can be removed and the rear seat moved more towards the center of the boat. Accessories such as a cooler can also utilize these fastening points.
Another really nice feature of the NuCanoe is that the rear of the kayak has a small flange to mount a trolling motor. Talk about cruising in style! Needless to say, this photographer utilizes this feature by incorporating a Minn Kota electric trolling motor which enables me to effortlessly cover a large area quickly. Not having to worry about currents and winds holding forward progress back, as well as safety are two huge benefits of having a powered canoe to act as a photography platform. In addition to the obvious benefits of utilizing a motor, the Minn Kota is silent. This allows me to slip into position easily, efficiently, and unobtrusively.
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To learn more about the NuCanoe, you can visit their website at www.nucanoe.com.