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ILLUSTRATION [KAYAKING] UNITONEVECTOR/ISTOCK; [SHOP TALK] ARTHUR MOUNT. PHOTOGRAPHY GILAXIA/ISTOCK "PEOPLE HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH PADDLING AGAIN," says Beth Peterson, owner of Oawa Valley Canoe and Kayak near Kanata, Ont. With travel restrictions still in place, more Canadians are looking to explore the outdoors for exercise. It's no surprise that so many have turned their aention to canoeing and kayaking. If you're looking to buy one this summer, keep these tips in mind. CANOE OR KAYAK Kayaks suit solo paddlers, especially on big water where waves can swamp inexperienced canoeists. "But if you usually paddle with your partner, your dog and your kids, you're probably better suited to a canoe," says Dyan MacDonald, who manages the Swift Canoe & Kayak store in Gravenhurst, Ont. HEAVY OR LIGHT In general, the less it weighs, the steeper the price. A 35 kg polyethylene-hull canoe can cost as little as $1,250, MacDonald says, while an 18 kg Swift canoe with a Kevlar fusion hull is about $3,400. For multi-day trips with frequent portages or a large canoe that holds more gear and paddlers, invest in a lightweight boat. Weight doesn't affect performance in the water much, so a heavy boat is fine for cottagers who never carry it far and fit paddlers who can shoulder more weight. NEW OR USED Used canoes and kayaks can be great buys, particularly if you find an owner who is selling a well-loved, well-maintained boat to upgrade to a lighter model. Do a visual inspection to check for structural issues, Peterson says. She looks for any hairline fractures and presses the hull to see if there is any give: a soft spot can indicate delamination in the gelcoat surface, which can usually be repaired. RACK OR BLOCKS A roof rack makes tying a canoe or kayak onto your car a little faster, but inexpensive foam blocks can also provide secure support. Straps—two around the midsection of the boat and one on each end—hold it down. Check the straps about 15 minutes into your drive and periodically after that. "Always position strap buckles on the passenger side," Peterson says. "When you stop to check them, you won't be standing in the road." 14 | CAA MAGAZINE compass . PADDLE ON Tempted to buy a canoe or kayak for the first time? Here's what you need to consider. –Martin Zibauer OUTDOORS Whether you're looking for a new watercraft, camping gear or a new tackle box, Members earn up to 5% in CAA Dollars® when shopping online at Sail. Go to for details. GET OUTSIDE Go to to learn which types of watercraft need insurance SHOP SHOP TALK CAA auto expert Ryan Peterson answers your questions ASK AN EXPERT SEND YOUR CAR QUESTIONS TO The auto stop/start feature on my 2020 Kia Soul has never really functioned properly. When auto stop/start is engaged, a green "A" should display on the dash, but my car shows an orange "A" and doesn't engage. It worked when I first purchased the car, but there was a significant grinding n oise when I accelerated. My dealer said the problem is that I don't drive enough. He said I should take it on runs to keep the baery charged. Can you confirm that lack of driving can be a problem with the auto stop/start feature? — Julia Doig A: Your dealer is correct. For your vehicle to fully utilize the stop/start feature, it needs a properly charged battery. Short trips and in-town driving offer little charging opportunities for the battery, leading to a discharged state. If the vehicle sits for longer periods, I highly recommend the use of an automatic battery tender to ensure your battery is fully charged.

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