Canoes have existed since man decided it was time to take on the open water. The first canoe appeared around 8000 BC. These days there are many types of canoes floating around the market and they are made from materials like wood, canvas, aluminum, and even ABS plastics.
The common canoe is made up of seven fundamental parts. The bow and stern are typically made to have identical ends are efficient designs as they can be used for multiple purposes. Asymmetrical canoes have allowed us to determine that a user may want it for a specialty purpose, such as speed when equipped with a motor or use in harsh water. Usually the hull of a canoe will be symmetrical along its center line. Hulls come with different bottom shapes depending on what conditions the canoe will primarily be used in. A flat bottom canoe is good for stable, calm waters. With a shallow arched bottom, a canoe can turn faster, giving it an advantage in whitewater rapids or waves. Round-bottomed canoes are designed for speed and low initial stability. The seat is another fundamental part of the canoe, and in most models there are two seats. Canoes have a segment called the thwart that is used to add strength to the hull and sometimes serves to secure any gear you may carry along. The gunwale is a protective strip of material such as metal, wood, or soft plastic that reinforces the top of the hull. Small decks are typically at the bow and stern of every canoe, but in whitewater vessels, most came with a larger deck to prevent the canoe from sinking if it was turned over.
With so many parts involved that effect maneuverability it may be hard to determine which is right for you. We provide you with a simple tip and that is to pay attention to rocker. Rocker is the curve of the keel line from bow to stern. A canoe with straight-line rocker can move with great speed but lacks turning ability. Heave rocker canoes do not move very fast but give incredible response. Canoes with moderate rocker have shown us that you can have the best of both worlds if you are typically using your canoe for recreation.
Whether you are on a swamp expedition, racing against others, or just using it to get some classic recreation, there is some form of canoe for you.
Check out the 8 Best Canoes on the market right now:
1. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery Sport 15 Square Stern Recreational Canoe
With a square stern, the Old Town Discovery Sport 15 can be paddled traditionally or motored with up to a 5 HP motor. Extremely versatile, the Discovery 15 is great for any outdoor enthusiast. Designed with full-length stabilizing chines and a generous beam, the Discovery 15 provides a dry and confident ride. Whether rowed, paddled or motored, you will enjoy the Discovery 15.
2. Grumman 12′ 9″ Solo Canoe
Solo is easy to maneuver and glides efficiently with a single or double bladed paddle. Only 44 pounds, yet it has a generous carrying capacity. Tough as nails. Designed to last and perform, every Grumman® Canoe is hand-crafted from a special age-hardened, stretch-formed aluminum alloy substantially stronger than traditional alloys.
3. Grumman 17′ Double-End .050 Canoe
Whether out tackling a rushing stream or a glass-calm lake, a first timer or professional outfitter, a Grumman versatile double-ender is the right choice. Its wide beam and low profile gives stability and reduced wind resistance. The 17 ft. heavy-duty version is built specifically for camps and outfitters.
4. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery 133 Recreational Canoe
The Old Town Discovery 133 is a versatile sporting canoe with an assortment of unique features. Paddle it tandem from the bow and stern seats, or paddle or pole it solo from center seat. Row it effortlessly from the center oar sockets, or preposition yourself to the bow seat and use the forward oar sockets to ferry your passengers. The Discovery 133 is a dependable choice for strength, flexibility and lightweight manageability.
5. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Saranac 160 Recreational Family Canoe
The thermoplastic hull is durable and provides high abrasion and impact resistance and a quiet time on the water. Contoured comfortable bow and stern seats with molded in cup holders, and an integral center bench seat with storage inside. Molded-In storage trays on all three seats. End caps feature comfortable molded handles, flush mount rod holder or anchor system mounting point and line easy-cleat. Maximum load range is 700 to 750 pounds.
6. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery 119 Solo Canoe
Compact and fun to paddle, the Old Town Discovery 119 Canoe has been a long time favorite. This solo canoe is agile, stable and easy to handle. Its construction makes is super tough but not super heavy.
7. Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS 15.6-Foot Canoe
The Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS Canoe is a hybrid, square-backed canoe for paddling as well as using electric trolling motor. This canoe is a three-seater with built-in cooler and dry storage built into center seat. Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex polyethylene hull. Measurements: Length: 15.6′, Width: 40″, Height: 18.5″, Weight: 95 lbs., Capacity: 800 lbs. Backed by 2-year warranty on hull and parts.
8. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Saranac 146 Recreational Family Canoe
Hull material is thermoformed polyethylene for great durability Paddles better than most recreational canoes Features two contoured seats with backs plus a center bench seat Bench seats includes a covered storage compartment Bow and stern seats include cup holders, rod holders and storage trays Bow and stern molded-in handles Length 14 1/2′, Beam 36″, Depth 13 1/4″, Weight: 79 lbs. 725 maximum weight capacity.
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