Peter Witt - Manufacture, Wooden Canoes & Paddles

183 Sunny Corner Road
(PO Box 66)
Portland NSW 2847
Ph 02 6355 5144,
Mobile 0408 427 534
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Choosing a Canoe

Choosing a Canoe
The universal 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.

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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 & epoxy designs. 

Canoes can generally be grouped into some broad categories:

Day Tripper Weekender
Canoes of medium volume meant for two paddlers and weekend gear. They are generally light weight & fast.

Touring
Touring canoes 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.

Sportsman General Recreation
Canoes that perform many tasks from weekend outings to easy whitewater, fishing and hunting. These canoes are for users who value versatility over performance.

Cruising
Cruisers are 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 fitness machines.

Wilderness Tripping
Wilderness trippers are generally large canoes designed for carrying big loads in remote waterways. Their capacity also makes them excellent family canoes.

Decked Canoes
Resemble kayaks, but with the larger dimension, carrying capacity & comfort of Canadian designs.

Solo Canoes
Rare in 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.

Solo Touring
Day Tripper, Weekender Cruiser
Child's Kayak
Wilderness Tripper
Decked Touring Canoe

Cooloola 14
 Cooloola 14

Ojibway 16
Ojibway 16.6


Child's Kayak

Malecite 18
Malecite 18

Gordon 17.5
Gordon 17.5

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