It may be difficult to know what accessories you'll need for that canoe you've just bought. If you're new to canoing, the range of items available can be confusing. Do you really need any of the equipment offered for sale or is your new canoe enough for what you're looking to achieve? It would be impossible to detail and discuss every single canoe accessory in such a short time, but there are some basic accessories that can be useful. The kinds of items for sale that you're most likely to find are anchors, chairs, motors, and covers.
An anchor can be a useful accessory for you to purchase. You may sometimes want to park your canoe in the middle of a quiet lake and float for a bit to rest or admire the scenery, but you don't want water currents to sweep you up or the wind to be continually blowing you over to the shore. Anchors weigh between five and ten pounds and their quality is similar from brand to brand. What you want to look for is that the part that secures your anchor to your canoe is of good quality.
Chairs to add onto your canoe are a personal choice. Most canoes come with sections to sit on, but many people find these flat boards uncomfortable. Most chairs are simply little more than a cushion that can be tied onto the already-existing section for sitting that your canoe has, but some of the fancier chairs come with a back. Chairs are wonderful devices for people who have a hard time sitting on something hard and flat or for those with back problems.
There are several kinds of covers for your canoe. Some covers are used for when you keep your canoe stored outside. These covers go over the entire canoe and help protect your precious boat from the elements. If purchasing a full cover make sure it is a durable material and able to firmly attach to the canoe in order to keep rain and cold out. The other types of widely-available covers are spray covers. These attach to part of the canoe and are used to keep excess water from collecting inside. Spray covers can be more trouble than they're worth, since you must remove them after each use and they don't really do the best job.
For keeping water out of your canoe, a bilge pump is usually much more useful. Bilge pumps are simple pumps that hook up to the inside of the canoe. By pumping manually, you can suck up the water that sits inside the canoe and spray it back out of your watercraft. Some bilge pumps have a motor available which cuts the task down in manual labor.
The last kind of most commonly-available accessory is motors. Motors help propel the boat, so that you aren't required to paddle. Many people enjoy buying motors for their canoe to save their arm strength for fishing. Others use their canoe for whitewater rafting, and motors would be absolutely useless while trying to navigate rapids.
While you may be perfectly happy with a set of paddles for your canoe, sometimes having a few accessories can make your life a little easier when you're out on the lake. Take a look at what you're planning to do with your canoe and how you want to use it, and then base your choices of accessories on those wants and needs. Sometimes spending for an item that just makes life easier is well worth the money.
Robert G. Knechtel operates several websites addressing a variety of interesting topics, including Kayaks, Canoes and Inflatable Rafts , and About Inflatable Rafts and saving money on Kayak and Canoe Accessories