Canoe
Overview
 
A canoe or Canadian canoe (British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

) is a small narrow boat
Boat
A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a...

, typically human-powered, though it may also be powered by sails or small electric or gas motors. Canoes are usually pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, but can be decked over (i.e. covered, similar to a kayak
Kayak
A kayak is a small, relatively narrow, human-powered boat primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double blade paddle.The traditional kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler...

).

In its human-powered form, the canoe is propelled by the use of paddle
Paddle
A paddle is a tool used for pushing against liquids, either as a form of propulsion in a boat or as an implement for mixing.-Materials and designs:...

s, usually by two people. Paddlers face in the direction of travel, either seated on supports in the hull, or kneeling directly upon the hull.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
A canoe or Canadian canoe (British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

) is a small narrow boat
Boat
A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a...

, typically human-powered, though it may also be powered by sails or small electric or gas motors. Canoes are usually pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, but can be decked over (i.e. covered, similar to a kayak
Kayak
A kayak is a small, relatively narrow, human-powered boat primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double blade paddle.The traditional kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler...

).

In its human-powered form, the canoe is propelled by the use of paddle
Paddle
A paddle is a tool used for pushing against liquids, either as a form of propulsion in a boat or as an implement for mixing.-Materials and designs:...

s, usually by two people. Paddlers face in the direction of travel, either seated on supports in the hull, or kneeling directly upon the hull. Paddling can be contrasted with rowing
Watercraft rowing
Watercraft rowing is the act of propelling a boat using the motion of oars in the water. The difference between paddling and rowing is that with rowing the oars have a mechanical connection with the boat whereas with paddling the paddles are hand-held with no mechanical connection.This article...

, where the rowers usually face away from the direction of travel and use mounted oars (though a wide canoe can be fitted with oarlock
Rowlock
A rowlock or oarlock is a brace that attaches an oar to a boat. When a boat is rowed, the rowlock acts as a fulcrum, and, in doing so, the propulsive force that the rower exerts on the water with the oar is transferred to the boat by the thrust force exerted on the rowlock.On ordinary rowing...

s and rowed). Paddles may be single-bladed or double-bladed.

The oldest recovered canoe in the world is the canoe of Pesse
Hoogeveen
Hoogeveen is a municipality and a town in the northeastern Netherlands.- Population centres :Elim, Fluitenberg, Hoogeveen and Noordscheschut, which still have the canals which used to be throughout the town...

 (the Netherlands). According to C14 dating
Radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dating is a radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 to estimate the age of carbon-bearing materials up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years. Raw, i.e. uncalibrated, radiocarbon ages are usually reported in radiocarbon years "Before Present" ,...

 analysis it was constructed somewhere between 8200 and 7600 BC. This canoe is exhibited in the Drents Museum
Drents Museum
The Drents Museum is a historical museum located in Assen, Netherlands. It was founded by the King's Commissioner of Drenthe on November 28, 1854 as the Provincial Museum of Drents Antiquities.-Collection:...

 in Assen
Assen
Assen is a municipality and a city in the north eastern Netherlands, capital of the province of Drenthe. It received city rights in 1809. Assen's main claim to fame is the TT Circuit Assen the motorcycle racing circuit, where on the last Saturday in June the Dutch TT is run...

, Netherlands.

Sailing canoes (see Canoe sailing
Canoe sailing
Canoe sailing refers to the practice of fitting a Polynesian outrigger or Western canoe with sails.See also log canoe, a type of sailboat used in the Chesapeake Bay region.-Polynesian sailing canoes:...

) are propelled by means of a variety of sailing rigs. Common classes of modern sailing canoes include the 5 m² and the International 10 m² Sailing canoes. The latter is otherwise known as the International Canoe, and is one of the fastest and oldest competitively sailed boat classes in the western world. The log canoe
Log canoe
The log canoe is a type of sailboat developed in the Chesapeake Bay region. Based on the dugout, it was the principal traditional fishing boat of the bay until superseded by the bugeye and the skipjack. However, it is most famous as a racing sailboat, and races continue to be held.The history of...

 of the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin covers in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West...

 is in the modern sense not a canoe at all, though it evolved through the enlargement of dugout
Dugout (boat)
A dugout or dugout canoe is a boat made from a hollowed tree trunk. Other names for this type of boat are logboat and monoxylon. Monoxylon is Greek -- mono- + ξύλον xylon -- and is mostly used in classic Greek texts. In Germany they are called einbaum )...

 canoes.

Parts

  1. Bow
    Bow (ship)
    The bow is a nautical term that refers to the forward part of the hull of a ship or boat, the point that is most forward when the vessel is underway. Both of the adjectives fore and forward mean towards the bow...

  2. Stern
    Stern
    The stern is the rear or aft-most part of a ship or boat, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter rail to the taffrail. The stern lies opposite of the bow, the foremost part of a ship. Originally, the term only referred to the aft port section...

  3. Hull
  4. Seat (whitewater canoes may have a foam 'saddle' in place of a seat)
  5. Thwart
    Thwart
    A thwart is a strut placed crosswise in a ship or boat, to brace it crosswise.In rowboats it can also serve as a seat for a rower....

     – a horizontal crossbeam near the top of the hull used to increase hull strength. Often serves the secondary purpose of providing a lashing point to secure dry bag
    Dry bag
    A dry bag is a type of bag which seals in a watertight manner. Dry bags are often used in kayaking, canoeing, rafting, and other outdoor activities where sensitive items would otherwise get wet as well as extreme sports such as skiing and snowboarding...

    s and other gear.
  6. Gunwale
    Gunwale
    The gunwale is a nautical term describing the top edge of the side of a boat.Wale is the same word as the skin injury, a wheal, which, too, forms a ridge. Originally the gunwale was the "Gun ridge" on a sailing warship. This represented the strengthening wale or structural band added to the design...

     – the reinforcing strip running along the top edge of the hull to which the thwart(s) are attached, usually made of wood, aluminum, or polyester
  7. Deck
    Deck (ship)
    A deck is a permanent covering over a compartment or a hull of a ship. On a boat or ship, the primary deck is the horizontal structure which forms the 'roof' for the hull, which both strengthens the hull and serves as the primary working surface...

     (under which a flotation compartment or foam
    Foam
    -Definition:A foam is a substance that is formed by trapping gas in a liquid or solid in a divided form, i.e. by forming gas regions inside liquid regions, leading to different kinds of dispersed media...

     block may be located that prevents the canoe from sinking if capsized or swamped)
  8. Yoke
    Yoke
    A yoke is a wooden beam, normally used between a pair of oxen or other animals to enable them to pull together on a load when working in pairs, as oxen usually do; some yokes are fitted to individual animals. There are several types of yoke, used in different cultures, and for different types of oxen...

     – a thwart at or near the center of the boat intended to allow one person to carry the canoe, often molded to the shape of the shoulders. The yoke is often positioned slightly ahead of the boat's centre of gravity so the bow tips slightly up when being portage
    Portage
    Portage or portaging refers to the practice of carrying watercraft or cargo over land to avoid river obstacles, or between two bodies of water. A place where this carrying occurs is also called a portage; a person doing the carrying is called a porter.The English word portage is derived from the...

    d, allowing the carrier to see where they are going.

Optional features in modern canoes (not shown in diagram):
  • Keel
    Keel
    In boats and ships, keel can refer to either of two parts: a structural element, or a hydrodynamic element. These parts overlap. As the laying down of the keel is the initial step in construction of a ship, in British and American shipbuilding traditions the construction is dated from this event...

     – a structural element that runs along the bottom of the canoe's hull, from the bow to the stern, serving as the foundation or spine of its structure and, depending on its depth, providing some directional control and stability.
  • Flotation bags - Large inflatable air bags, usually sized to completely fill the space between 2 thwarts or a thwart and seat, and held in place by nylon netting secured to the gunwale, used to increase buoyancy
    Buoyancy
    In physics, buoyancy is a force exerted by a fluid that opposes an object's weight. In a column of fluid, pressure increases with depth as a result of the weight of the overlying fluid. Thus a column of fluid, or an object submerged in the fluid, experiences greater pressure at the bottom of the...

     and prevent swamping (by reducing the boat's internal volume) in whitewater
  • Spraydeck
    Spraydeck
    A spraydeck is a flexible cover for a boat, in particular for a kayak or a canoe. It is used in whitewater, inclement weather or sport to prevent water from entering the boat while allowing one or more passengers to sit in the boat and propel the boat by paddling or rowing.A spraydeck is a sheet...

     or spray cover – a cover to prevent water from entering the canoe
  • Painter
    Painter (rope)
    A painter is a rope that is attached to the bow of a boat and used for tying up or for towing.Ideally, the length of the painter should be no longer than the length of the boat, especially on small craft, to prevent fouling the propeller of an outboard engine....

     ring – ring used to attach "painters" (ropes) to the canoe for "lining" (walking) the canoe or tying up
  • Skid plate
    Skid plate
    A skid plate is a steel plate affixed to the underside of a vehicle to prevent damage to key components in the undercarriage. Skid plates are most frequently found on four-wheel drive vehicles designed for off-road use...

     – piece of Kevlar glued to the bottom of the canoe for protection against abrasion from rocks and the like


The portion of the hull between the waterline and the top of the gunwale is called the freeboard.

Materials

The earliest canoes were made from natural materials:
  • Early canoes were wood
    Wood
    Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

    en, often simply hollowed-out tree trunks (see dugout
    Dugout (boat)
    A dugout or dugout canoe is a boat made from a hollowed tree trunk. Other names for this type of boat are logboat and monoxylon. Monoxylon is Greek -- mono- + ξύλον xylon -- and is mostly used in classic Greek texts. In Germany they are called einbaum )...

    ). This technology is still practiced in some parts of the world. Modern wooden canoes may be wood strip
    Strip-built
    Strip-built is a method of boat building commonly used for canoes and kayaks, but also suitable for larger boats. The process involves securing narrow, flexible strips of wood edge-to-edge around temporary forms....

     (also, "stripper"), wood-and-canvas, stitch-and-glue, glued plywood lapstrake, or birchbark built by dedicated artisan
    Artisan
    An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

    s. Such canoes can be very functional, lightweight, and strong, and are frequently quite beautiful works of art.

  • Many indigenous peoples of the Americas
    Indigenous peoples of the Americas
    The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

     built canoes of birch bark
    Birch bark
    Birch bark or birchbark is the bark of several Eurasian and North American birch trees of the genus Betula.The strong and water-resistant cardboard-like bark can be easily cut, bent, and sewn, which made it a valuable building, crafting, and writing material, since pre-historic times...

    , sewn with tree roots and sealed with resin
    Resin
    Resin in the most specific use of the term is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees. Resins are valued for their chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents; as an important source of raw materials...

    . The indigenous people of the Amazon
    Amazon Basin
    The Amazon Basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries that drains an area of about , or roughly 40 percent of South America. The basin is located in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela...

     commonly used Hymenaea
    Hymenaea
    Hymenaea L. is a genus in the flowering plant family Fabaceae . Of fourteen living species in the genus, all but one are native to the tropics of the Americas, with one additional species on the east coast of Africa. Some authors place the African species in a separate monotypic genus, Trachylobium...

     trees. Australian Aboriginal people also made canoes using a variety of materials, including bark and hollowed out tree trunks, which were often carefully decorated with ochre. In temperate North America, white cedar
    Thuja occidentalis
    Thuja occidentalis is an evergreen coniferous tree, in the cypress family Cupressaceae, which is widely cultivated for use as an ornamental plant known as American Arbor Vitae. The endemic occurrence of this species is a northeastern distribution in North America...

     was used for the frame and bark of the Paper Birch
    Paper Birch
    Betula papyrifera is a species of birch native to northern North America.-Description:...

     for the exterior, with charcoal
    Charcoal
    Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

     and fats mixed into the resin. A few modern canoe builders have revived and continued building birchbark canoes, including Henri Vaillancourt, Tom MacKenzie and Marcel Labelle.


Modern technology has expanded the range of materials available for canoe construction.


  • Wood-and-canvas canoes are made by fastening an external waterproofed canvas
    Canvas
    Canvas is an extremely heavy-duty plain-woven fabric used for making sails, tents, marquees, backpacks, and other items for which sturdiness is required. It is also popularly used by artists as a painting surface, typically stretched across a wooden frame...

     shell to a wooden hull formed with white cedar planks and ribs. These canoes evolved directly from birchbark construction. The transition occurred in the 19th century, first, when canoe builders in Ontario
    Ontario
    Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

     laid canvas instead of bark into a traditional building bed and, later, when builders in Maine
    Maine
    Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

     adapted English boat-building inverted-forms technology. In areas where birchbark either was scarce or where demand exceeded ready supply, other materials, such as canvas, had to be used as there had been success in patching birchbark canoes with canvas or cloth. Efforts were made in various locations to improve upon the bark design such as in Peterborough, Ontario
    Peterborough, Ontario
    Peterborough is a city on the Otonabee River in southern Ontario, Canada, 125 kilometres northeast of Toronto. The population of the City of Peterborough was 74,898 as of the 2006 census, while the census metropolitan area has a population of 121,428 as of a 2009 estimate. It presently ranks...

    , Canada, where rib-and-plank construction was used by the Peterborough Canoe Company, and in Maine, U.S.A., where similar construction was used by various companies. Maine was the location of the development of commercial wood-and-canvas canoes.

In the adjoining Canadian province of New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

, from the late 19th century until being disbanded in 1979, the Chestnut Canoe Company, along with the Old Town Canoe Company in Maine, became the pre-eminent producers of wood-and-canvas canoes. American President Teddy Roosevelt purchased Chestnut canoes for a South American expedition. Wood-and-canvas canoes have undergone a resurgence in recent years, spurred in part by the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association. Builders abound, including Jerry Stelmok, Rollin Thurlow, Ken Solway, Joe Seliga
Joe seliga
Joe Seliga was a master builder of wood-and-canvas canoes in Ely, Minnesota.Joe Seliga was born to Steve and Anna Seliga in Ely, Minnesota and graduated from Ely Memorial High School....

, and many others.
  • Strip-built
    Strip-built
    Strip-built is a method of boat building commonly used for canoes and kayaks, but also suitable for larger boats. The process involves securing narrow, flexible strips of wood edge-to-edge around temporary forms....

     - These are the most popular among homebuilders. Some professional builders also offered both kits and finished boats. The canoes are constructed by gluing together 1/4" x 3/4" strips of wood over a building jig consisting of station molds that define the shape of the hull. The strips may be square cut, or for a better fit, they are shaped with bead and cove router bits. Once the strips are glued together, the inside and outside are sanded fair, and a fiberglass and epoxy covering is applied to the canoe inside and out. The fiberglass covering is transparent, allowing the wood strips to be seen. The strips are usually cedar, though sometimes pine is also used. Walnut or other contrasting woods are sometimes used as accent strips.

  • Glued Plywood Lapstrake
    Clinker (boat building)
    Clinker building is a method of constructing hulls of boats and ships by fixing wooden planks and, in the early nineteenth century, iron plates to each other so that the planks overlap along their edges. The overlapping joint is called a land. In any but a very small boat, the individual planks...

    - These canoes are made by cutting planks to shape out of marine grade plywood. The planks are positioned on a building jig, and are glued together with epoxy at the laps along the length of the canoe. This yields a stiff hull that requires few ribs or bulkheads. The result is a traditional-looking canoe that won't leak even after long-term storage.

  • Stitch and glue
    Stitch and glue
    Stitch and glue is a simple boat building method which uses plywood, epoxy glue, and "stitches" and eliminates the need for stems and chines. Plywood panels are cut to detailed profiles and stitched together to form an accurate hull shape, without the need for forms or special tools...

     - Sometimes also called "tortured plywood" construction. Here, panels are cut to pattern from plywood. The panels are brought together and temporarily fastened with wire or plastic ties. During this process, the plywood is forced into the shape of a canoe dictated by the shape of the panels. The seams are then reinforced with fiberglass tape and thickened epoxy.


  • Aluminum canoes were first made by the Grumman company in 1944, when demand for airplanes for World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

     began to drop off. Aluminum allowed a lighter and much stronger construction than contemporary wood technology. However, a capsized aluminum canoe will sink unless the ends are filled with flotation blocks. Moreover, an aluminum canoe can be noisy, often being equipped with pads on the gunwales to minimize the sound.

  • Composites of fiberglass
    Fiberglass
    Glass fiber is a material consisting of numerous extremely fine fibers of glass.Glassmakers throughout history have experimented with glass fibers, but mass manufacture of glass fiber was only made possible with the invention of finer machine tooling...

    , Kevlar
    Kevlar
    Kevlar is the registered trademark for a para-aramid synthetic fiber, related to other aramids such as Nomex and Technora. Developed at DuPont in 1965, this high strength material was first commercially used in the early 1970s as a replacement for steel in racing tires...

     and carbon fiber
    Carbon fiber
    Carbon fiber, alternatively graphite fiber, carbon graphite or CF, is a material consisting of fibers about 5–10 μm in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. The carbon atoms are bonded together in crystals that are more or less aligned parallel to the long axis of the fiber...

     are used in synthetic canoe construction. Developed over 50 years ago, these materials are light, strong, and maneuverable. Easily portaged, these canoes allow experienced paddlers access to remote wilderness areas. While Kevlar and Carbon Fiber are generally very expensive, they are usually more durable than other materials. Fiberglass retains the lightweight, but cracks easily with impact. Fiberglass is, however, very easily repaired, unlike almost all other materials.

  • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
    Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
    Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is a common thermoplastic. Its melting point is approximately 105 °C ....

     or ABS , trademarked as "Royalex
    Royalex
    Royalex is a composite material, comprising an outer layer of Vinyl and hard acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic and an inner layer of ABS foam...

    ", is another synthetic composite material
    Composite material
    Composite materials, often shortened to composites or called composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or...

     that makes an extremely flexible and durable hull. It is suitable, in particular, for whitewater canoes. ABS canoes have been known to pop back into their original shape with minimal creasing of the hull after having been wrapped around a rock in strong river currents. In the very unlikely event that they are punctured, they are however, very difficult to repair.In addition, they must be protected from continual sun exposure to prevent degradation of the plastic by ultraviolet light.

  • Roto-molded high density polyethylene (HDP) is a cheaper and heavier material used for synthetic canoe construction with the benefit of superior abrasion resistance and very low friction, primarily found in whitewater canoes. Ram-X and Tripletough are the trademarks for Pelican/Coleman and Mad River respectively. This material too can be welded with a hot air process if punctured.


Depending on the intended use of a canoe, the various kinds have different advantages. For example, a wood-and-canvas canoe is more fragile than an aluminum canoe, and thus less suitable for use in rough water; but it is much quieter—thus better for observing wildlife. However, canoes made of natural materials require regular maintenance without which they lack durability. A Kevlar canoe is tough and also light, good for wilderness tripping. Modern hybrids can combine the elegance and style of traditional wooden canoes with such benefits as modern materials can provide.

Shape

Many canoes are symmetrical about the centerline, meaning their shape can be mirrored along the center. When trimmed level (rarely the case) they should handle the same whether paddling forward or backward. Many modern designs are asymmetrical, usually having the widest beam
Beam (nautical)
The beam of a ship is its width at the widest point. Generally speaking, the wider the beam of a ship , the more initial stability it has, at expense of reserve stability in the event of a capsize, where more energy is required to right the vessel from its inverted position...

 slightly farther aft which improves efficiency and promotes more level fore and aft trim. A further improvement may be found in canoes with a straighter hull profile aft and rocker forward which improves tracking.

A traditionally shaped canoe, like a voyageur
Voyageurs
The Voyageurs were the persons who engaged in the transportation of furs by canoe during the fur trade era. Voyageur is a French word which literally translates to "traveler"...

 canoe, will have a tall rounded bow and stern. Although tall ends tend to catch the wind, they serve the purpose of shedding waves in rough whitewater or ocean travel.

Some canoes are made with squared sterns — "Y", "V", or "U" shaped — in order to permit the mounting of outboard motors. Very large freighter canoes can be powered with powerful motors, but canoes that are 18 feet (5.49 m) or less in length would normally be propelled by motors of 3 horsepower (2.2 kW) or less. Side brackets can be mounted on canoes with pointed sterns to mount small outboard motors of about 1+1/2 hp, which propel such canoes with surprising speed.

Cross section

The shape of the hull
Hull (watercraft)
A hull is the watertight body of a ship or boat. Above the hull is the superstructure and/or deckhouse, where present. The line where the hull meets the water surface is called the waterline.The structure of the hull varies depending on the vessel type...

's cross section significantly influences the canoe's stability under differing conditions. Stability is the resistance to (further) tipping motion. Flat-bottomed canoes generally have excellent initial stability
Initial stability
Initial stability is the resistance of a boat to a small amount of lateral tilting from its equilibrium position. It is determined by the difference in the volume of water displaced on each side of the boat as it tilts and is relatively independent of hull shape for small angles of tilt.The wider...

, but their stability diminishes rapidly with increased heel. Their high initial stability causes them to have a more abrupt motion in waves from the side. Secondary stability is the resistance to further tipping motion once the boat already has heel.

For a given beam, a rounded-bottom canoe will have less initial stability than its flatter bottomed cousin. Round sections have lower surface area for a given volume and have less resistance through the water. They are most often associated with racing canoes.

In between the flat and rounded bottom are the more common shallow-arc and "V" bottom canoes which provide a compromise between performance and stability. The shallow-vee bottom, where the hull centerline forms a ridge like a shallow "V", will behave similar to a shallow-arc bottom but its volume to surface ratio is worse.

Similar is the tumblehome hull which has the top portion of the hull curving back in slightly.

Many modern canoes combine a variety of cross sections to suit the canoe's purpose.

Keels

Keels on canoes improve directional stability (the ability to 'track' in a straight line) but decrease the ability to turn quickly. Consequently, they are better suited for lake travel, especially when traveling on open water with crosswinds. Conversely, keels and "Vee"-bottoms are undesirable for whitewater
Whitewater
Whitewater is formed in a rapid, when a river's gradient increases enough to disturb its laminar flow and create turbulence, i.e. form a bubbly, or aerated and unstable current; the frothy water appears white...

 because often quick turns are required. Well-designed hulls may track straight without a keel, thus avoiding the additional drag and reducing the draft.

In aluminum canoes, small keels occur as manufacturing artifacts when the two halves of the hull are joined. In wood-and-canvas canoes, keels are rub-strips to protect the boat from rocks and as they are pulled up on shore. Plastic canoes feature keels to stiffen the hull and allow internal tubular framing to lie flush with the sole of the canoe. Primitive replica canoes fabricated from animal pelt and other natural materials often utilize green branches and other flexible, organic material to retain a buoyant form while resisting risk of puncture or abrasion.

Rocker

Curvature of the hull profile that rises up at the bow and stern is called "rocker". Increasing the rocker improves maneuverability at the expense of tracking (the hull's tendency to travel a straight line without the need for constant course correction). Specialized canoes for whitewater play have an extreme rocker and therefore allow quick turns and tricks. Increased rocker also tends to increase the stability of a canoe; by lifting the ends of the craft out of the water, rocker puts more of the wider, center section of the boat into the water, contributing significantly to the overall stability of the craft. A 35 millimetres (1.4 in) rocker at each end suffices to make a substantial difference to how safe a novice will feel in a canoe.

Gunwales

Modern cedar-strip canoes have gunwale
Gunwale
The gunwale is a nautical term describing the top edge of the side of a boat.Wale is the same word as the skin injury, a wheal, which, too, forms a ridge. Originally the gunwale was the "Gun ridge" on a sailing warship. This represented the strengthening wale or structural band added to the design...

s which consist of an inner and outer parts called "inwales" and "outwales". These two parts of the gunwale give rigidity and strength to the hull. The inwale will often have "scuppers" or slots cut into the inwale to allow water to drain when the canoe hull is turned upside down for storing.

Types

In the past, people around the world have built very different kinds of canoes, ranging from simple dugout
Dugout (boat)
A dugout or dugout canoe is a boat made from a hollowed tree trunk. Other names for this type of boat are logboat and monoxylon. Monoxylon is Greek -- mono- + ξύλον xylon -- and is mostly used in classic Greek texts. In Germany they are called einbaum )...

s to large outrigger
Outrigger canoe
The outrigger canoe is a type of canoe featuring one or more lateral support floats known as outriggers, which are fastened to one or both sides of the main hull...

 varieties. More recently, technologically advanced designs have emerged for particular sports.

Traditional designs

Early canoes have always incorporated the natural materials available to the local people. The different canoes (or canoe like) in many parts of the world were:

Dugout
Dugout (boat)
A dugout or dugout canoe is a boat made from a hollowed tree trunk. Other names for this type of boat are logboat and monoxylon. Monoxylon is Greek -- mono- + ξύλον xylon -- and is mostly used in classic Greek texts. In Germany they are called einbaum )...

Formed of hollowed logs; may have outriggers in some cultures. On the west coast of North America, large dugout canoes were used in the Pacific Ocean, from fishing to whaling.

Birch-bark canoe
In the temperate regions of eastern North America, canoes were traditionally made of a wooden frame covered with bark of a birch tree
Birch bark
Birch bark or birchbark is the bark of several Eurasian and North American birch trees of the genus Betula.The strong and water-resistant cardboard-like bark can be easily cut, bent, and sewn, which made it a valuable building, crafting, and writing material, since pre-historic times...

, pitched
Pitch (resin)
Pitch is the name for any of a number of viscoelastic, solid polymers. Pitch can be made from petroleum products or plants. Petroleum-derived pitch is also called bitumen. Pitch produced from plants is also known as resin. Products made from plant resin are also known as rosin.Pitch was...

 to make it waterproof.

Voyageur canoe
Traditional voyageur canoes were larger birch-bark canoes purpose built for the fur trade
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

 business, capable of carrying 12 to 20 passengers and 1400 kilograms (3,086.5 lb) of cargo. The two common sizes were the 36' long Montreal canoe for use on the Great Lakes and the 26' long North Canoe used on the interior rivers.

Wood-and-canvas canoe
The wood-and-canvas canoe evolved in Maine in the late 19th century from the birchbark canoe when canvas became much easier to acquire than the bark of the white birch tree. The canoe shown here was built by the late well-known craftsman, Joe Seliga
Joe seliga
Joe Seliga was a master builder of wood-and-canvas canoes in Ely, Minnesota.Joe Seliga was born to Steve and Anna Seliga in Ely, Minnesota and graduated from Ely Memorial High School....

, of Ely, Minnesota.

War canoe
War canoes have been extensively used in Africa to transport troops and supplies, and engage targets onshore. While documentation of canoe versus canoe battles in on the open ocean is rare, records from the 14th century mention various tribal peoples of West Africa using huge fighting canoes in inland waters, some up to 80 feet (24.4 m) and carrying over 100 men. Construction of the war canoe was typically from one massive tree trunk, with the silk cotton tree being particularly useful. The inside was dug out and carved using fire and hand tools. Braces and stays were used to prevent excessive expansion while the fire treatment was underway. Fire also served to release sap as a preservative against insect pests. Some canoes had 7 to 8 feet (2.4 m) of width inside, accommodating benches for rowers, and facilities such as fireplaces and sleeping berths.

Warriors onboard were typically armed with shield, spear and bow. In the gunpowder era, small iron or brass cannon were sometimes mounted on the bow or stern, although the firepower delivered from these areas and weapons was relatively ineffective. Musketeers delivering fire to cover raiding missions generally had better luck. The typical tactic was to maneuver close to shore, discharge weapons, then quickly pull out to open water to reload, before dashing in again to repeat the cycle. Troop and supply transport were the primary missions, but canoe versus canoe engagements in the lagoons, creeks and lakes of West Africa were also significant.

Modern designs

Modern canoe types are usually categorized by the intended use. Many modern canoe designs are hybrids (a combination of two or more designs, meant for multiple uses). The purpose of the canoe will also often determine the materials used. Most canoes are designed for either one person (solo) or two persons (tandem), but some are designed for more than two persons.

Touring and Tripping canoes.
In North America, a "touring canoe" is a straight tracking boat good for wind blown lakes etc. A "tripping canoe" has a larger capacity for wilderness travel and is designed with more rocker for better maneuverability on whitewater rivers but requiring some skill on the part of the canoeist in open windy waters, when lightly loaded. Touring canoes are often made of lighter materials and built for comfort and cargo space; whereas Tripping canoes (such as the Chestnut Prospector derivates, and the Old Town trippers), are typically made of heavier and tougher materials, and are of course usually a more traditional design.

Prospector canoe
A generic name for copies of the famed Chestnut model, a popular type of tripping canoe marked by a symmetrical hull and a relatively large amount of rocker; giving a nice balance for wilderness tripping, of the ability to carry large amounts of gear whilst being maneuverable enough for whitewater. This makes it a superb large capacity wilderness boat, but requires skill on windy, broad waters when lightly loaded. Made in a variety of materials. For home construction, 4 mm plywood is commonly used, mainly marine ply, using the "stitch and glue" technique. Commercially built canoes are commonly built of fibreglass, HDPE, Kevlar, Carbon Fiber, and Royalex which is although relatively heavy, very durable.
Long Distance Touring canoe A long-distance touring canoe is mostly covered with a greatly extended deck, forming a "cockpit" for the paddlers. A cockpit has many advantages: the gunwale can be made lower and narrower so the paddler can reach the water more easily, and the rim of the boat can be higher keeping the boat dryer. With a rounded hull shape and full ends there is less for turbulent water to work on.

Whitewater canoe
Whitewater canoeing
Whitewater canoeing is the sport of paddling a canoe on a moving body of water, typically a whitewater river. Whitewater canoeing can range from simple, carefree gently moving water, to demanding, dangerous whitewater. River rapids are graded like ski runs according to the difficulty, danger or...

Also known as river canoe - typically made of tough man-made materials, such as ABS or Kevlar, for strength; no keel and increased rocker for maneuverability; often extra internal lashing points are present to secure flotation bags, harness, and spraydeck. Some canoes are decked and look very much like a kayak, but are still paddled with the paddler in a kneeling position and with a single bladed paddle.

Playboating
Playboating
Playboating is a discipline of whitewater kayaking or canoeing where the paddler performs various technical moves in one place , as opposed to downriver whitewater canoeing or kayaking where the objective is to travel the length of a section of river...

 decked canoe
A subgroup of whitewater canoes specialized for whitewater play and tricks. Most are identical to short, flat-bottomed kayak playboats except for internal outfitting. The paddler kneels and uses a single-blade canoe paddle.

Whitewater slalom canoe
Decked canoes which look very much like a kayak, but are still paddled with the paddler in a kneeling position and with a single bladed paddle.
Whitewater Racing Canoe Decked canoes for whitewater racing competition, paddled in a kneeling position with a single bladed paddle similar to a slalom canoe but longer and of higher volume to maintain straight line speed.
Square stern canoe An asymmetrical canoe with a squared off stern for the mounting of an outboard motor
Outboard motor
An outboard motor is a propulsion system for boats, consisting of a self-contained unit that includes engine, gearbox and propeller or jet drive, designed to be affixed to the outside of the transom and are the most common motorized method of propelling small watercraft...

; meant for lake travel or fishing.

Racing canoe
Also known as sprint canoe
Sprint canoe
A sprint canoe is a special type of canoe used in the sport of flatwater canoe racing.A one-person sprint canoe is 5.20 metres long; a traveling canoe of a similar length would be suitable for 2 to 3 people with gear...

 - purpose-built racing
Canoe racing
This article discusses canoe sprint and canoe marathon, competitive forms of canoeing and kayaking on more or less flat water. Both sports are governed by the International Canoe Federation ....

 canoe for use in racing on flat water. To reduce drag
Drag (physics)
In fluid dynamics, drag refers to forces which act on a solid object in the direction of the relative fluid flow velocity...

, they are built long and with a narrow beam
Beam (nautical)
The beam of a ship is its width at the widest point. Generally speaking, the wider the beam of a ship , the more initial stability it has, at expense of reserve stability in the event of a capsize, where more energy is required to right the vessel from its inverted position...

, which makes them very unstable. A one-person sprint canoe is 5.2 meters or 17 feet (5.2 m) long. Sprint canoes are paddled kneeling on one knee, and only paddled on one side; in a C-1, the canoeist will have to j-stroke constantly to maintain a straight course. Marathon canoe races use a similar narrow boat.

Inflatable canoe
Similar in construction and materials to other inflatable boat
Inflatable boat
An inflatable boat is a lightweight boat constructed with its sides and bow made of flexible tubes containing pressurised gas. For smaller boats, the floor and hull beneath it is often flexible. On boats longer than , the floor often consists of three to five rigid plywood or aluminium sheets fixed...

s but shaped like a canoe. It is meant for serious whitewater and is usually difficult to use for flat water travel.

Outrigger canoe
Outrigger canoe
The outrigger canoe is a type of canoe featuring one or more lateral support floats known as outriggers, which are fastened to one or both sides of the main hull...

A canoe with an attached float, called an outrigger
Outrigger
An outrigger is a part of a boat's rigging which is rigid and extends beyond the side or gunwale of a boat.In an outrigger canoe and in sailboats such as the proa, an outrigger is a thin, long, solid, hull used to stabilise an inherently unstable main hull. The outrigger is positioned rigidly and...

 (or ama), to provide stability. Commonly used for racing.

Differences from other paddled boats

  • Kayak
    Kayak
    A kayak is a small, relatively narrow, human-powered boat primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double blade paddle.The traditional kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler...

    - A kayak differs from a canoe in that the kayak uses a double-bladed (one on each end) paddle while canoes use a single bladed (one blade at one end and a t-grip at the other) paddle, while canoes are generally open decked and kayaks are generally closed deck there are exceptions, such as wildwater canoes which are closed decked and surf kayaks which are open decked. A double-bladed paddle allows for more efficient propulsion (higher stroke rate possible, etc.), but is more difficult to use effectively in a wider craft (canoes tend to be wider than kayaks). In some parts of the world kayaks are considered canoes, and open-decked canoes are called "Canadian canoes".
  • Rowboat - Not considered a canoe. It is propelled by oars resting in pivots on the gunwales or on 'riggers' that extend out from the boat. A rower may use one (skulling) or two oars (sweep-oar). A rower sits with his or her back toward the direction of travel. Some rowboats, such as a McKenzie River dory
    McKenzie River dory
    The McKenzie dory or Rogue River dory also called by many a Drift Boat is an evolution of the open-water dory, converted for use in rivers. The design is characterized by a wide, flat bottom, flared sides, a narrow, flat bow, and a pointed stern. The sole identifying characteristic of the McKenzie...

     or a raft outfitted with a rowing frame are suitable for whitewater.
  • Adirondack guideboat
    Adirondack guideboat
    Adirondack guideboats were built since the early 19th century and evolved from a hunting skiff to today's highly refined design, virtually unchanged since the late 19th century...

    - a rowboat that has similar lines to a canoe. However the rower sits closer to the bilge and uses a set of pinned oars to propel the boat.
  • Dragon boat
    Dragon boat
    A dragon boat is a human-powered watercraft traditionally made, in the Pearl River delta region of southern China - Guangdong Province, of teak wood to various designs and sizes. In other parts of China different woods are used to build these traditional watercraft...

    - while it handles similarly to and is paddled the same way as a large canoe, a dragon boat is not considered a canoe since its construction is markedly different.
  • Pirogue
    Pirogue
    A pirogue is a small, flat-bottomed boat of a design associated particularly with the Cajuns of the Louisiana marsh. In West Africa they were used as traditional fishing boats. These boats are not usually intended for overnight travel but are light and small enough to be easily taken onto land...

    - a Cajun
    Cajun
    Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles...

    , flat-bottomed canoe that can be paddled or poled
    Punt (boat)
    A punt is a flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow, designed for use in small rivers or other shallow water. Punting refers to boating in a punt. The punter generally propels the punt by pushing against the river bed with a pole...

    .

Use



Canoes have a reputation for instability, but this is not true if they are handled properly. For example, the occupants need to keep their center of gravity
Center of gravity
In physics, a center of gravity of a material body is a point that may be used for a summary description of gravitational interactions. In a uniform gravitational field, the center of mass serves as the center of gravity...

 as low as possible. Canoes can navigate swift-moving water with careful scouting of rapids and good communication between the paddlers.

When two people occupy a canoe, they paddle on opposite sides. For example, the person in the bow (the bowman) might hold the paddle on the port side, with the left hand just above the blade and the right hand at the top end of the paddle. The left hand acts mostly as a pivot
Lever
In physics, a lever is a rigid object that is used with an appropriate fulcrum or pivot point to either multiply the mechanical force that can be applied to another object or resistance force , or multiply the distance and speed at which the opposite end of the rigid object travels.This leverage...

 and the right arm supplies most of the power. The sternman would paddle on the starboard side, with the right hand just above the blade and the left hand at the top. For travel straight ahead, they usually draw the paddle from bow to stern, in a straight line parallel to the gunwale.

Tandem steering

The paddling action of two paddlers will tend to turn the canoe toward the side opposite that on which the stern paddler is paddling. Thus, steering is very important, particularly because canoes have flat-bottomed hulls and are very responsive to turning actions. Steering techniques vary widely, even as to the basic question of which paddler should be responsible for steering.

Among experienced white water canoeists, the stern paddler is primarily responsible for steering the canoe, with the exception of two cases: The bow paddler will steer when avoiding rocks and other obstacles that the stern paddler cannot see. Also, in the case of back ferrying, the bow paddler is responsible for steering the canoe using small correctional strokes while back paddling with the stern paddler.

Among less-experienced canoeists, the canoe is typically steered from the bow. The advantage of steering in the bow is that the bow paddler can change sides more easily than the stern paddler. Steering in the bow is initially more intuitive than steering in the stern, because to steer to starboard, the stern paddler must actually switch to port. On the other hand, the paddler who does not steer usually produces the most forward power or thrust
Thrust
Thrust is a reaction force described quantitatively by Newton's second and third laws. When a system expels or accelerates mass in one direction the accelerated mass will cause a force of equal magnitude but opposite direction on that system....

, and the greater source of thrust should be placed in the bow for greater steering stability.

On flat water, a turn can also be made by simply leaning the canoe towards the outside of the turn while paddling normally with a forward stroke.

Paddle strokes

Paddle strokes are important to learn if the canoe is to move through the water in a safe and effective manner. Categorizing strokes makes learning them easier. After the strokes are mastered, they can be combined or modified so that maneuvers are accomplished in an efficient, effective, and skillful manner. Here are the primary strokes:

Forward Stroke
The cruising stroke or forward stroke is the easiest stroke and is considered to be the foundation of all the other strokes. The paddle blade is brought forward along the side of the canoe, dipped into the water, and drawn back. The paddle should be drawn straight back rather than following the gunwale's curvature. In a tandem canoe, it is used mainly by the bowman to simply propel the canoe forward without turning.

Back Stroke
The back stroke is essentially the same movement as the forward stroke, but done in reverse. The back face of the blade is used in this case. This stroke is used to make the canoe go backward or to stop the canoe. This stroke is also known as "back paddling".

J - Stroke
The J-stroke is so named because, when done on the port side, it resembles the letter J. It begins like a standard stroke, but towards the end the paddle is rotated and pushed away from the canoe with the power face of the paddle remaining the same throughout the stroke. This conveniently counteracts the natural tendency of the canoe to steer away from the side of the stern man's paddle. Advocates of steering in the stern of tandem canoes often use this stroke, and it is also used in reverse by the bowman while backpaddling or back ferrying in white water.

Superior Stroke
The Superior stroke is a less elegant stroke, often used by beginning paddlers before they learn the J-stroke, while sterning tandem canoes. It is more commonly referred to as the goon or rudder stroke. Unlike the J-stroke in which the side of the paddle pushing against the water during the stroke (the power face) is the side which is used to straighten the canoe, this stroke uses the opposite face of the paddle to make the steering motion. It is somewhat like a stroke with a small pry at the end of it. This stroke uses larger muscle groups, is preferable in rough water and is the one used in white water. It is commonly thought to be less efficient than the J-stroke when paddling long distances across relatively calm water.

Pitch Stroke
The pitch stroke is the preferred stroke to go straight in a canoe with a good traveling speed, because this stroke tries to correct the yaw caused by the forward stroke almost on the same moment that it starts, where other correction strokes do this after the forward stroke, when there already is considerable yaw from the canoe.

Indian Stroke
The Indian stroke or Canadian-J stroke may be used to paddle a straight course like the J. It can be useful against strong winds or running rapids. Move the paddle forward, rotate the grip of the paddle in the palm of your upper hand. Then you are ready for the next power stroke without taking the blade out of the water. If done carefully, there is no sound from the paddle, making it possible to paddle in calm water without sound.

Pry Stroke
The pry stroke begins with the paddle inserted vertically in the water, with the power face outward, and the shaft braced against the gunwale. A gentle prying motion is applied, forcing the canoe in the opposite direction of the paddling side.

Push-Away Stroke
The push-away stroke has an identical purpose to the pry stroke, but is performed differently. Instead of bracing the paddle against the gunwale, the paddle is held vertically, as in the draw stroke, and pushed away from the hull. This is more awkward and requires more force than the pry, but has the advantage of preventing damage to the paddle and canoe due to rubbing on the gunwale. It also uses force more efficiently, since the paddle is pushing straight out, instead of up and out.

Running Pry
The running pry, also known as a "cut", can be applied while the canoe is moving. As in the standard pry, the paddle is turned sideways and braced against the gunwale, but rather than forcing the paddle away from the hull, the paddler simply turns it at an angle and allows the motion of the water to provide the force.

Draw Stroke
The draw stroke exerts a force opposite to that of the pry. The paddle is inserted vertically in the water at arm's length from the gunwale, with the power face toward the canoe, and is then pulled inward to the paddler's hip. A draw can be applied while moving to create a running or hanging draw. For maximum efficiency, if multiple draw strokes are required, the paddle can be turned 90° and sliced through the water away from the boat between strokes. This prevent the paddler from having to lift the paddle out of the water and replace it for each stroke.

Sculling Draw
The scull, also known as a sculling draw is a more efficient and effective stroke where multiple draw strokes are required. Instead of performing repeated draw strokes, the paddle is "sculled" back and forth through the water. Beginning slightly in front of the paddler, the paddle is angled so that the power face points at a 45° angle toward the hull and astern. The paddle is drawn straight backward, maintaining the angle, and then the angle is rotated so that the power face is pointing 45° toward the hull and the bow. The paddle is pushed straight forward, and the whole process is repeated. The net effect is that the paddler's end of the canoe is drawn toward the paddling side.

Reverse Scull
The reverse scull (sometimes sculling pry or sculling push-away) is the opposite of the scull. The stroke is identical, but with the paddle angles reversed. The net effect is that the paddler's end of the canoe is pushed away from the paddling side.

Cross-Draw Stroke
The cross-draw stroke or cross-bow draw is a stroke that exerts the same vector of force as a pry, by moving the blade of the paddle to the other side of the canoe without moving the paddler's hands. The arm of bottom hand crosses in front of the bowman's body to insert the paddle in the water on the opposite side of the canoe some distance from the gunwale, facing towards the canoe, and is then pulled inward while the top hand pushes outward. The cross-draw is much stronger than the pry stroke, but normally can't be used by the stern paddler in a tandem canoe.

Sweep
The sweep is unique in that it steers the canoe away from the paddle regardless of which end of the canoe it is performed in. The paddle is inserted in the water some distance from the gunwale, facing forward, and is drawn backward in a wide sweeping motion. The paddler's bottom hand is choked up to extend the reach of the paddle. In the case of the bowman, the blade will pull a quarter-circle from the bow to the paddler's waist. If in the stern, the paddler pulls from the waist to the stern of the canoe. Backsweeps are the same stroke done in reverse.

C - Stroke
The C-stroke is used in both solo and tandem paddling. It is generally used to turn the canoe to the side opposite of the sterner. With only one paddler, doing a simple bow stroke will cause the canoe to turn rapidly away from the paddling side. To counteract this, the paddler draws toward the boat, paddles forward as in a normal stroke, and pushes away as in a j-stroke. This is opposite to a sweep. It serves the same purpose as a J-stroke (counteracting the natural turn of the canoe away from the paddling side), but provides more correction which is necessary when starting a solo canoe from a standstill or paddling in strong wind or current. When tandem paddling, the C-stroke is generally used in the stern only. To turn the boat to the side opposite of the sterner, the sterner moves the paddle in a "C" shape, by paddling in an ark, whose apex points away from the boat. In tandem canoes, complementary strokes are selected by the bow and stern paddlers in order to quickly and sharply steer the canoe. It is important that the paddlers remain in unison, particularly in white water, in order to keep the boat stable and to maximize efficiency.


There are some differences in techniques in how the above strokes are utilized.
  • One of these techniques involves locking or nearly locking the elbow, that is on the side of the canoe the paddle is, to minimize muscular usage of that arm to increase endurance. Another benefit of this technique is that along with using less muscle you gain longer strokes which results in an increase of the power to stroke ratio. This is generally used more with the 'stay on one side' method of paddling.
  • The other technique is generally what newer canoeists use and that is where they bend the elbow to pull the paddle out of the water before they have finished the stroke. This is generally used more with the 'switch sides often' method of paddling.
  • The stay on one side method is where each canoeist takes opposite sides and the stern paddler uses occasional J-strokes to correct direction of travel. The side chosen is can be based on the wind and/or current direction, so the stern paddler's forward strokes are pushing the boat in the opposite direction the wind and/or current is, reducing the number of J-strokes required to keep forward momentum, or sides can be chosen based on the paddlers' stronger side, since this is more comfortable and less tiring. A combination of methods for picking sides can be used, and some canoeists will switch sides after twenty to thirty minutes or longer as a means of lessening muscle fatigue, when changing the direction of the boat, or in response to new weather conditions. Both paddlers must paddle on opposite sides from each other except when trying to turn the boat quickly, or in high winds or strong currents.
  • The switch sides often method (also called hit and switch, hut stroke, or Minnesota switch) allows the canoeists to switch sides frequently (usually every 5 to 10 strokes, on a vocal signal, commonly "hut") to maintain their heading. This method is the fastest one on flat water and is used by all marathon canoeists in the US and Canada. The method works well with bent-shaft paddles. Racer/designer Eugene Jensen is credited with the development of both "hit and switch" paddling and the bent shaft paddle .

Setting poles

On swift river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

s, the stern canoeist may use a setting pole
Setting pole
A setting pole is a pole, handled by a single individual, made to move watercraft by pushing the craft in the desired direction. Because it is a pushing tool, it is generally used from the stern of the craft....

. It allows the canoe to move through water too shallow for a paddle to create thrust, or against a current too quick for the paddlers to make headway. With skillful use of eddies
Eddy (fluid dynamics)
In fluid dynamics, an eddy is the swirling of a fluid and the reverse current created when the fluid flows past an obstacle. The moving fluid creates a space devoid of downstream-flowing fluid on the downstream side of the object...

, a setting pole can propel a canoe even against moderate (class III) rapids.

Gunwale bobbing

A trick called "gunwale bobbing" or "gunwaling" allows a canoe to be propelled without a paddle. The canoeist stands on the gunwales, near the bow or the stern, and squats up and down to make the canoe rock backward and forward. This propulsion method is inefficient and unstable; additionally, standing on the gunwales can be dangerous. However, this can be turned into a game where two people stand one on each end, and attempt to cause the other to lose balance and fall into the water, while remaining standing themselves.

Notable Canoeists

The following persons have made historically significant or remarkable canoe expeditions:

Traditional

  • Samuel de Champlain
    Samuel de Champlain
    Samuel de Champlain , "The Father of New France", was a French navigator, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler. He founded New France and Quebec City on July 3, 1608....

     - the first European to explore Canada's interior, canoeing as far as the Georgian Bay
    Georgian Bay
    Georgian Bay is a large bay of Lake Huron, located entirely within Ontario, Canada...

     in 1615
  • Alexander Mackenzie - the first explorer to cross the North American continent, reaching the Arctic in 1789 and the Pacific in 1793
  • Meriwether Lewis
    Meriwether Lewis
    Meriwether Lewis was an American explorer, soldier, and public administrator, best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition also known as the Corps of Discovery, with William Clark...

     and William Clark - the Lewis and Clark Expedition
    Lewis and Clark Expedition
    The Lewis and Clark Expedition, or ″Corps of Discovery Expedition" was the first transcontinental expedition to the Pacific Coast by the United States. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson and led by two Virginia-born veterans of Indian wars in the Ohio Valley, Meriwether Lewis and William...

     of 1804 was the first U.S. expedition to the Pacific coast and back
  • David Thompson
    David Thompson (explorer)
    David Thompson was an English-Canadian fur trader, surveyor, and map-maker, known to some native peoples as "Koo-Koo-Sint" or "the Stargazer"...

     - explorer and geographer who travelled 80000 miles (128,747.2 km) and mapped over 1500000 square miles (3,884,982.2 km²) of North America
  • John MacGregor
    John MacGregor (sportsman)
    John MacGregor , nicknamed Rob Roy after a renowned relative, was a Scottish explorer, travel writer and philanthropist. He is generally credited with the development of the first sailing canoes and with popularising canoeing as a middle class sport in Europe and the United States...

     - credited with the development of the first sailing canoes and with popularising canoeing as a middle class sport in Europe and the United States
  • Bill Mason
    Bill Mason
    Bill Mason was an award-winning Canadian naturalist, author, artist, filmmaker, and conservationist, noted primarily for his popular canoeing books, films, and art as well as his documentaries on wolves. Mason was also known for including passages from Christian sermons in his films...

     - Canadian naturalist, author, artist, filmmaker, and conservationist, noted primarily for his popular canoeing books, films, and art
  • Calvin Rutstrum
    Calvin Rutstrum
    Calvin Rutstrum was an author who wrote fifteen books, most relating to wilderness camping experiences and techniques. Most of his books were written at his cabin on Cloud Bay, Ontario...

     Wilderness canoeist and author. Described by Bill Mason as his hero, and the person who totally influenced him.

Modern - Distance

  • Verlen Kruger
    Verlen Kruger
    Verlen Kruger was a canoe enthusiast who paddled over in his lifetime according to the Guinness Book of World Records, all the more remarkable because he did not start until age 41. Of particular note are the and the , the longest canoe journey ever.-Video:-External links:* *...

     - marathon canoeist having paddled nearly 100000 miles (160,934 km), including 2 trips over 20000 miles (32,186.8 km)
  • Don Starkell
    Don Starkell
    Don Starkell is a Canadian adventurer, diarist and author.Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he had a difficult childhood including an abusive father, four and a half years in an orphanage, and later with a foster family in North Kildonan. He took up canoeing in his teens and at age 17 was named Most...

     - paddled a distance of 12181 miles (19,603.4 km) from Winnipeg
    Winnipeg
    Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...

     to Belém
    Belém
    Belém is a Brazilian city, the capital and largest city of state of Pará, in the country's north region. It is the entrance gate to the Amazon with a busy port, airport and bus/coach station...

    , Brazil
  • Gary and Joanie McGuffin - paddled across Canada on their honeymoon, circumnavigated Lake Superior
    Lake Superior
    Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...

    , and canoed 1200 miles (1,931.2 km) through 12 previously unconnected watersheds of northern Ontario
  • Ian and Sally Wilson - followed 1200 miles (1,931.2 km) of fur trade routes from Lake Superior to northern Saskatchewan while using authentic Voyageur
    Coureur des bois
    A coureur des bois or coureur de bois was an independent entrepreneurial French-Canadian woodsman who traveled in New France and the interior of North America. They travelled in the woods to trade various things for fur....

     methods and gear

  • Todd Foster, Scott Miller and Matt Lutz - followed famed CBS reporter Eric Sevaried's 1935 route from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay, a distance of over 2250 miles (3,621 km).

See also

  • Adirondack guideboat
    Adirondack guideboat
    Adirondack guideboats were built since the early 19th century and evolved from a hunting skiff to today's highly refined design, virtually unchanged since the late 19th century...

  • Boat building
    Boat building
    Boat building, one of the oldest branches of engineering, is concerned with constructing the hulls of boats and, for sailboats, the masts, spars and rigging.-Parts:* Bow - the front and generally sharp end of the hull...

  • Canadian Canoe Museum
    Canadian Canoe Museum
    The Canadian Canoe Museum is a museum dedicated to canoes located in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. The museum's mission is to preserve and share the culture and history of the canoe.- History :...

  • Canoeing
    Canoeing
    Canoeing is an outdoor activity that involves a special kind of canoe.Open canoes may be 'poled' , sailed, 'lined and tracked' or even 'gunnel-bobbed'....

  • Coracle
    Coracle
    The coracle is a small, lightweight boat of the sort traditionally used in Wales but also in parts of Western and South Western England, Ireland , and Scotland ; the word is also used of similar boats found in India, Vietnam, Iraq and Tibet...

  • Dugout
    Dugout (boat)
    A dugout or dugout canoe is a boat made from a hollowed tree trunk. Other names for this type of boat are logboat and monoxylon. Monoxylon is Greek -- mono- + ξύλον xylon -- and is mostly used in classic Greek texts. In Germany they are called einbaum )...

  • Grumman sport boat
    Grumman sport boat
    A Grumman Sportboat or Sport Boat is a 15' 4" long, 43" wide square stern canoe manufactured in America. It A Grumman Sportboat or Sport Boat is a 15' 4" long, 43" wide square stern canoe manufactured in America. It A Grumman Sportboat or Sport Boat is a 15' 4" long, 43" wide square stern canoe...

  • Joe Seliga
    Joe seliga
    Joe Seliga was a master builder of wood-and-canvas canoes in Ely, Minnesota.Joe Seliga was born to Steve and Anna Seliga in Ely, Minnesota and graduated from Ely Memorial High School....

  • Jukung
    Jukung
    A jukung or canoe is a small wooden Indonesian boat. It is a traditional fishing boat, but newer uses include "Jukung Dives", using the boat as a vehicle for small groups of SCUBA divers...

     - type of canoe used in the Oceania
    Oceania
    Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

    .

  • Kayak
    Kayak
    A kayak is a small, relatively narrow, human-powered boat primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double blade paddle.The traditional kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler...

  • Kayaking
    Kayaking
    Kayaking is the use of a kayak for moving across water. Kayaking and canoeing are also known as paddling. Kayaking is distinguished from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle...

  • Log canoe
    Log canoe
    The log canoe is a type of sailboat developed in the Chesapeake Bay region. Based on the dugout, it was the principal traditional fishing boat of the bay until superseded by the bugeye and the skipjack. However, it is most famous as a racing sailboat, and races continue to be held.The history of...

  • Scanoe
    Scanoe
    A Scanoe is a brand of boat by Coleman, which is a cross between a skiff and a canoe. It is wider than a conventional canoe and has a flat stern so that a small outboard motor can be mounted if needed, but it is lightweight enough to be portaged or transported on a vehicle roof as opposed to a...

  • Stitch and glue
    Stitch and glue
    Stitch and glue is a simple boat building method which uses plywood, epoxy glue, and "stitches" and eliminates the need for stems and chines. Plywood panels are cut to detailed profiles and stitched together to form an accurate hull shape, without the need for forms or special tools...

  • Ten Canoes
    Ten Canoes
    Ten Canoes is a 2006 film. It was directed by Rolf de Heer and Peter Djigirr and starred Crusoe Kurddal. The title of the film arose from discussions between de Heer and David Gulpilil about a photograph of ten canoeists poling across the Arafura Swamp, taken by anthropologist Donald Thomson in...

  • Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum
    Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum
    The Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum, located at 312 Front Street, Spooner, Wisconsin, United States, is a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the canoe...

  • York boat
    York boat
    The York boat was an inland boat used by the Hudson's Bay Company to carry furs and trade goods along inland waterways in Rupert's Land and the Columbia District. It was named after York Factory, the headquarters of the HBC, and modeled after Orkney Islands fishing boats...

     - the canoes counterpart/competitor in the Canadian fur trade
    Fur trade
    The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

    .


Further reading

  • The Canoe, Its Selection, Care, and Use, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1914, by Robert E. Pinkerton
  • The Bark Cannoes and Skin Boats of North America, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 1983, by Edwin Tappan Adney
    Edwin Tappan Adney
    Edwin Tappan Adney was an artist, a writer, a photographer and the man credited with saving the art of birchbark canoe construction. He built more than 100 models of different types, which are now housed at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, VA. He authored a book, The Klondike Stampede about...

     and Howard I. Chapelle
    Howard I. Chapelle
    Howard Irving Chapelle was an American naval architect, and curator of maritime history at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.. In addition, he authored many books and articles books on maritime history and marine architecture.-Biography:...

  • Pole, Paddle, & Portage, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1969, by Bill Riviere
  • The Complete Wilderness Paddler, ISBN 0-394-49347-8, by James West Davidson and Jon Rugge
  • North American Canoe Country, Macmillan Company, Toronto, 1964, by Calvin Rutstrum
  • Building the Maine Guide Canoe, ISBN 0-87742-120-X, by Jerry Stelmok
  • The Wood & Canvas Canoe, ISBN 0-88448-046-1, by Jerry Stelmok and Rollin Thurlow
  • The Survival of the Bark Canoe ISBN 0-374-27207-7, by John McPhee
    John McPhee
    John Angus McPhee is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, widely considered one of the pioneers of creative nonfiction....

  • Path of the Paddle ISBN 1-55209-328-X, by Bill Mason
    Bill Mason
    Bill Mason was an award-winning Canadian naturalist, author, artist, filmmaker, and conservationist, noted primarily for his popular canoeing books, films, and art as well as his documentaries on wolves. Mason was also known for including passages from Christian sermons in his films...

  • Song of the Paddle ISBN 1-55209-089-2, by Bill Mason
  • Thrill of the Paddle ISBN 1-55209-451-0, by Paul Mason
    Paul Mason (canoeist and cartoonist)
    Paul Mason , son of Bill Mason is featured in the "Path of the Paddle" series of books and films/DVDs. Mason has had an extensive career as a canoe instructor and wilderness guide, having led groups on rivers in Ontario, Quebec, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories...

  • Canoecraft: An Illustrated Guide to Fine Woodstrip Construction ISBN 1-55209-342-5, by Ted Moores
  • Bark Canoes Bibliography, by Lars Bruzelius

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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