canoe does not exist. Each design has its own strengths &
weaknesses. A fine canoe can represent an investment of $800 to $5000
with paddles, life jackets, roof racks or trailer, clothing, spray
sheets, water proof containers & dry bags. That canoe &
accessories may last one trip or 20 years. If the canoe lasts 10
years or so, the cost of becoming a paddler becomes a very cheap
activity for the hours, days, weeks & years of enjoyment,
whether you paddle for fitness, to fish, camp or undertake wilderness
expeditions. Your paddling may be with a club, solo, or family based
activity but in all cases when you decide to shop for a canoe, do so
with an open mind.
There are as
many canoe designs
available as there are models of motor car. Assess your needs very
carefully, and seek informed unbiased intelligent advice. A canoe
represents a large initial investment. Make it a sound 10 year
investment as it will pay for itself in enjoyment and comradeship
many times over.
As a general
rule of thumb, if you wish to paddle white water and have a generally
no maintenance canoe that can be knocked around, look no further than
a plastic canoe. If you want to paddle flat water, glass canoes offer
a far greater range of designs, a 20% or more weight saving, more
aesthetic & traditional looks and the ability to have the canoe
customised to your requirements. Or if you want the ultimate in
design, aesthetics & functionality seek out wood strip &
generally be grouped into some broad categories:
medium volume meant for two paddlers and weekend gear. They are
generally light weight & fast.
are longer, more slender and generally faster than canoes for casual
recreation & have medium to high volume. They perform best
underway on flat water but are versatile enough for easy current. If
you are buying only one canoe and intend to spend a lot of time in
it, a touring canoe would be a good choice.
perform many tasks from weekend outings to easy whitewater, fishing
and hunting. These canoes are for users who value versatility over performance.
high performance, medium volume flatwater canoes built for maximum
speed and hull efficiency. They are a good choice for the skilled
paddler who enjoys moving a canoe over the water as much as reaching
the destination. They are good for a work out and make excellent
trippers are generally large canoes designed for carrying big loads
in remote waterways. Their capacity also makes them excellent family canoes.
kayaks, but with the larger dimension, carrying capacity &
comfort of Canadian designs.
Australia but probably the most popular class of canoe in the USA.
They are lighter & narrower than their double counterparts. You
may choose to paddle them with a double paddle or in the traditional
aesthetic manner with a single blade. They are also ideal for the
larger paddler, paddlers who do not like the confines of a kayak
cockpit, paddlers who get uncomfortable with a kayak's low seating
position or the solo paddler wanting to carry more gear & take
the esky etc.