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A canoe offers the ability to step off land and enjoy the quiet pleasure of an aquatic adventure while staying dry. You can interact with nature silently with paddles or eliminate the self-propelled paddle and opt for a motor. Choose a vessel tailored for your needs to improve the odds of staying dry, whether the plan is to go fishing or take an expedition.

What is a canoe?

These narrow boats have pointed ends with no keel, and they are typically self-propelled by a paddle. Based on the number of people capable of rowing, multiple paddles can be used with a blade on one end. Canoes are capable of carrying one to three people, depending on the length, and are either hollow for people to kneel inside or designed with raised seats.

What are the different types of canoes?

Each type of canoe comes in two categories, solo or tandem, based on the number of people it holds. Tandem canoes hold two or more people.

  • Expedition: Approximately 18 feet – 20 feet long and designed for long trips and heavy loads.
  • River Tripping: Approximately 15 feet – 17 feet long and designed for maximum maneuverability during river runs in whitewater or racing.
  • Wilderness Tripping: Approximately 15 feet – 18 feet long and designed for running big rivers and portaging.
  • Recreational: Approximately 13 feet – 16 feet long and designed with wider hulls suitable for fishing and overnight trips.

What is the difference between an outboard and inboard motor?

  • Inboard: This is permanently mounted inside the boat or canoe and penetrates the hull to drive a prop shaft. These are often gas powered, but electric options are also available.
  • Outboard: This is a self-contained portable motor mounted to the edge or outside the boat or canoe. This is the most common option for smaller boats or watercrafts. Gas and electric options are available.

What should you consider before buying a canoe?

  • Weight: Solo travelers will want to opt for a smaller and lightweight option to easily unload it and maneuver on the water. Larger canoes will need more power to steer, turn, and portage.
  • Capacity: Consider the space needed inside the canoe to fit the number of people desired as well as the weight of all the people and any supplies.
  • Water: The surface and current conditions of the ocean, lake, or river affect how the boat or canoe paddles. Fishing trips could mean boat rocking, so steadiness will need to be considered.
  • Materials: Kevlar, wood, and aluminum are the standard materials and will offer different handling capabilities based on the water, number of paddles, and chosen activity.