MOTORBOAT vs KAYAK: the best boat for tours along the coast

kayak vs boat - Puglia and Salento by kayak!
motorboat vs kayak

Motorboat vs kayak: what is the best type of boat to visit the coast during a tour? To answer this question it is necessary to make a necessary premise. To what extent are you willing to upset your way of thinking about the sea and holidays? I ask this question because years ago I asked myself the same question and the answer completely upset my existence. For the better, of course!

The first boat experience

In the summer of 1990, together with my family, I had a wonderful experience touring the Maddalena archipelago with a 3.75m aluminum boat.

barca alluminio
aluminum motorboat

Aside from my father’s inexperience and the funny skits that still make me laugh when I think about it, I perfectly remember how beautiful it was to reach any beach in complete autonomy. In the morning we already had in mind which island to reach and which beaches to stop on. It started from the marina of the campsite in Palau and arrived in Caprera, Maddalena, Budelli, simply pointing the bow in the right direction to reach that island. In this way I was able to see fabulous places that are still carved in my mind. The only regret remained that of not being able to get too close to the coast due to the risk of running aground or ruining the engine propeller on the rocky seabed. We remained at a safe distance from the coast of about 100m and still had to pay attention to the outcropping rocks.

The first sea kayaking experience

In 2011, now an adult, mindful of the experience of 1990 in Sardinia, I was looking for a way to visit the stretch of coast near Maratea on my own . Searching the internet, I found myself reading something about canoes and sea kayaks. The topic was interesting and it opened my mind to the possibilities that until then I had never imagined: visiting a stretch of coast on board a boat that moves with the strength of your arms and having the freedom to be able to go practically anywhere! I would no longer be afraid of the proximity to the coast or the shallow water, I thought, and I could even have entered the many caves of the Gulf of Policastro without fear of getting stuck in it or ruining an expensive boat. That summer went exactly like that! With a small open kayak (canoe sit on top in slang) 2.40m long

bic ouassou
my frist sit on top kayak

I was able to see dozens of caves, from the largest to the smallest. Even those with an entrance so low that they cannot enter it except by lowering their heads. The stretch of coast north and south of Maratea visited him palm by palm, covering several km every day with the kayak, sometimes using it as a signal buoy during the spearfishing sessions and other times as a comfortable floating chair inside the caves to eat a meal in a cool and shady place. It was a sensational discovery! Since then I would never have separated myself from this way of exploring the coast. I would gradually go to more and more performing kayaks, until I finally got to the real sea kayak, or the kayak with the cockpit where you sit inside, in all respects similar to kayaks that we make available for our trips .

The return to Sardinia with my kayak

Not even 2 years had passed since that fateful 2011 that the desire to return, this time with my kayak, to the marine paradise of the Maddalena archipelago pushed me to leave for my first solo trip. The idea of being able to review those beautiful places and rediscover them palm by palm with a kayak literally drove me crazy. In the summer of 2013, I then made a long solo trek touring the entire Costa Smeralda and the Maddalena Archipelago in Sardinia, covering 304km in 19 days. 

Sardegna kayak tour 2013 - Puglia and Salento by kayak!
kayaking around the Maddalena Archipelago

The advantages of sea kayaking

I made this brief personal historical excursus to introduce you to the idea that the closer you get to the coast, the closer you want to look at it and the more the kayak becomes the best boat useful for this purpose . Let’s see why the sea kayak responds perfectly to the need for navigation along the coast better than any other boat:

  • Dimensions

    it is narrow enough (less than 70cm) to enter practically anywhere: caves, ravines, rock gardens

  • Weight

    it is light enough to be carried by hand by one person. For long stretches you can use a comfortable trolley to put under the keel

  • Flexibility of use

    it allows you to embark from anywhere: beach, pier or waterslide of a port

  • Draft

    it has an extremely reduced draft (about 10cm) which allows you to navigate in shallow waters

  • Respect for nature

    it does not pollute, it is a 100% ecological boat

  • Noise

    it does not make noise and therefore allows you to listen to any sound from the surrounding environment and to observe the fish without frightening them

  • Immersivity

    it's low on the water to the point that it gives the paddler the impression of feeling at one with the sea

  • Fitness

    it allows moderate and beneficial exercise during a trip

Motorboat or kayak? Now you know the answer!

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