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Kate Gregory
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Does it make sense to use a kayak or canoe in Venice?

By does it make sense I mean whether it is at all legal, safe to an acceptable degree, technically possible (and at least a bit enjoyable) to use own canoe or kayak in the water canals of Venice.

I'd love to bring my 4.5 meter (14 feet) long foldable open double kayak (see picture) to Venice and paddle around a bit with one other person aboard, who may not be much skilled. I myself have reasonable experience on still waters and rivers up to Class II with single kayak, double kayak and canoe (and am certified skipper for coastal sea waters, if that matters). I am in a decent physical condition, can paddle leisurely all day long or around 10 kilometers in one take on still waters. The boat is reasonably quick and agile, but not as stable as, for example, a typical sea kayak. I plan to use flotation vests, sport gloves and perhaps helmets as well (all being standard for other scenarios with similar water/stone ratio). I don't speak a single word Italian, I do speak English and German decently.

Pouch Colibri

My main concerns are tight spots that may prove too difficult to navigate too late, heavy water traffic, waves from bigger boats, and in case of an incident the apparently limited possibility to get out of water, depth and cleanliness of water and existence of currents that may turn a bit of a problem into a life threatening situation.

I'd like to ask if somebody as already done this, seen this or knows anything relevant to this idea (local regulation, local news stories, even anecdotes are welcome).

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