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Canoes – Features

Water crafts include canoes and kayaks. Choose the one that’s right for you so you and your family can get the most out of your water adventures.


Canoes - Features

Types of Canoes

Round-bottom canoes are more ‘tippy’ but are more resistant to capsizing. Flat-bottom canoes are generally more stable, until you pass a ‘tilt threshold’, in which case they capsize fairly easily.

Recreational canoes are designed for everyday use on lakes and smaller bodies of water. They are made to be sturdy and will not tip over easily. They are shorter in length and often wider, which makes them easier to control. They can usually fit 2 or 3 paddlers, and won’t hold a lot of gear.

Tripping or wilderness canoes are longer and made to carry a lot of gear. They are built to handle larger loads and can handle rougher water conditions. Ideal for fishing or for overnight trips, these canoes can accommodate several paddlers comfortably.

Whitewater canoes will feel unstable to a beginner but they are designed that way so that the paddler can lean over further to cut through rough waters and rapids. They often have leg or knee straps so the paddler has ultimate control. They are smaller and made for one or two individuals to navigate in wilder water.



Choose your canoe based on how many people will be using it. 14 to 16 feet is a good size for one or two paddlers. If you are planning on more than 2, or have a lot of gear, you should consider a canoe that is 16 to 18 feet in length.

You should also consider the weight of the canoe. If you are smaller or have back problems think about a lighter model. Heavier canoes may be more durable, but they are harder to portage over long distances.


Canoe Materials

Wooden canoes are the traditional choice of material, but they are pricier. They are also very delicate and can be damaged easily. You can get wood models that have some canvas imbedded in them, but they can be more easily damaged. Both of these options have the advantage of staying cooler in the hot weather.

Aluminum is also a popular material for canoes. They are inexpensive and can handle a lot of abuse. Ideal for family outings and frequent trips, they do heat up in the summer and can be chilly in the spring and autumn. They can be heavy and more difficult to portage. It should be noted that they are noisy, and when paddles are banging repeatedly against them it could take away from the serenity you were seeking.

Fibreglass canoes are affordable and moderately heavy. This is the most common material for canoes being made today. Canoes that are made with “chopped fibre” fibreglass are not as hardy as ones made with fibreglass cloth. You may end up paying more than you planned on for repairs, since they tend to develop tears.