Different Types of Open Canoes
Open canoes or Canadian canoes (as
they're known in the UK) are simple "canoes" in Canada and the
United States. Where a distinction between open and closed canoes
are drawn, the primary difference between the two is whether or not
the top is covered. This leaves all uncovered canoes lumped together
into the rather large category of open canoes. There are, in fact,
many different types of open canoes, each with their own particular
strengths and weaknesses.
You might need car insurance for a short
term, perhaps a month or so. Click here for
monthly car insurance
for new drivers
In business in the UK?
You may need
goods in transit insurance,
legal protection insurance,
insurance. Need short term car cover? This is a great site for
short term car insurance or a
cheap short term policy .
Open canoes are distinguished by
differences in dimensions (width, length, and depth), keel line
(straight, straight with rockered ends, highly rockered), and shape
(flat bottom, shallow arch, shallow vee, rounded). Each of these
qualities poses its own advantages and disadvantages. Fortunately,
making the distinctions between open canoes a bit easier to draw is
that their names usually reflect their use, for example a touring
canoe would be best for taking wilderness trips while whitewhiter
canoes would be best for river canoeing. The following is a more
detailed breakdown of the various distinctions.
Touring canoes (or wilderness tripping canoes) are made of lighter
weight materials than whitewater canoes, as they are designed to
hold cargo and so are usually built larger than those used in river
canoeing. Touring canoes are also designed for greater comfort on
One popular kind of touring canoe is a prospector canoe, which
features a single continuous arc extending from bow to stern, and a
symmetrical hull. Long-distance touring canoes, on the other hand,
boast a cockpit that lowers the gunnel line, making it easier for
the paddler to reach the water, and raises the rim of the boat,
allowing it to stay drier inside.
Whitewater canoes are made of stronger, more rugged materials than
touring canoes, as they are subject to greater force and impact, and
so are designed to protect their riders from harm in rough waters.
As such, they have no keel that might keep them too stable to
respond fluidly to rapid changes in water flow and pressure, while
having a bigger rocker to allow for that fluidity in movement. Many
river canoes also include additional safety features like extra
lashing points on the inside for tying harnesses, flotation bags and
securing equipment from being thrown about (and potentially lost).
Whitewater canoes are also built smaller and more streamlined for
easier maneuverability along twisting and turning waterways.
Playboating canoes are a special kind of whitewater canoe used
specifically for performing tricks and for competitive whitewater
slalom racing. These are also known as banana boat because of their
shape, with a short length and a big rocker. Hardcore whitewater
canoers tend to prefer inflatable canoes.
Racing canoes, also known as sprint canoes, are built long and thin
to reduce drag on flat-water. Sailing canoes are propelled by use of
a sailing rig, similar to that of a sailboat. Often combined with
sailing canoes are outriggers, or lateral supports that provide
extra balance. These are called outrigger canoes and work well with
motors, making them a popular choice for recreational canoeing.
Another type of open canoe that works well with motors are square
stern canoes, literally built with the stern squared off to support
an outboard motor. These square stern canoes are best used for
fishing and lake boating.
Within these different categories of open canoe, each type may be
made in a variety of different materials. In modern canoes the most
common, by far, is an alloy made of aluminum mixed with silicone,
magnesium, and/or other metals. The easiest to find in the widest
array of styles, the one drawback with metal canoes is that they
heat up in summer and get cold in winter. Fiberglass canoes are
among the cheapest on the market, but in this case the word "cheap"
means not only affordable but of poorer quality and more easily
damageable. Fiberglass canoes are, however, incredibly lightweight.
By the same token, one of the most durable canoes, those made of
kevlar, are also among the most expensive. Kevlar canoes are built
to last, however, and benefit from still being lightweight despite
Looking at the breadth in variety of open canoes available, it's
clear that a kind of canoe exists for pretty much any
Copyright Dave Bloor 2010