Before I bought my canoe, there was nobody in my circle of friends who could tell me what kind of canoe I should buy. I had to dig deeper online. Using my new-found knowledge, I took the risks and bought my very first canoe. Buying a canoe is not a big deal, but knowing different parts of a canoe definitely is. This article will help you know everything about canoes that you never knew before.
Canoes are lightweight boats pointed at both ends and are very famous among people enthusiastic about water sports. You probably saw canoe racing in the Olympics, or have observed the wooden ones used in traditional ceremonies. A canoe has paddlers which are propelled towards the direction of motion. There could be one or more paddlers. The more the paddlers, the faster the canoes go. This makes canoe propelling an excellent form of exercise and perfect for outdoor excursions in rivers, lakes and seas. The ancient forms of canoes used to be symmetrical but the modern ones are more asymmetrical. Nevertheless, if you are thinking of getting a canoe, you need to know what exactly you are spending your money on.
Different Parts of a Canoe
- Bow: The bow is the front part of the canoe which cuts through the water when you paddle. Its main job is to reduce the resistance of water and stop water from spilling against the hull.
- Stern: It is the opposite end of the canoe that extends upwards. The rudder and tiller usually lie here.
- Hull: It is the body shape of the canoe. It should be stable and buoyant so that the canoe can stay afloat. The hull is narrow and streamlined.
- Canoe seat: This is where the user can sit and paddle.
- Thwart: A lateral crossbeam on top of the hull.
- Gunwale: The top edge of the whole canoe vessel, usually made of aluminum, wood or plastic.
- Deck: It contains a flotation component without which the canoe vessel can get overthrown by water waves.
- Yoke: It is positioned in the center where one person can be positioned to manually control the canoe.
However, modern canoes have more specialized parts, such as keel, flotation bags, and spraydeck. If you’re new to canoeing, you should be aware of these things for the ultimate experience. The keel is the first part created when a canoe is constructed. It is a large beam-like structure around the hull whose main function is to provide strength to the canoe. When canoes are used to go through rapids, flotation bags inflate so they do not sink. Canoe spraydecks prevent water from getting into the canoe. Also, canoes are small and can move very fast, so it takes practice for a rower to balance and maintain the center of gravity while the canoe is moving.
Canoe Parts You Should Have Before Making a Long Trip
Anchors: You cannot canoe down the rivers non-stop, at one point you will want to take a break and moor it at the coast. That is when you will need an anchor. It will prevent your canoe from floating away with the bustling winds. Anchors usually weigh from around 5 to 10 pounds.
Chairs: Did you know you can add chairs to your canoe if you feel the flat boards are uncomfortable? If you have back pain you should get chairs.
Covers: But how would you store your canoe? You can buy canoe covers to protect it from extreme weather conditions. It should firmly attach to the canoe.
Bilge pumps: Bilge pumps are attached to canoes to drain water outside in case water gets in. They could come with a motor attached.
Motors: They can propel the canoe, so there is no need for paddling. Often fishing enthusiasts use motorized canoes in order to save physical strength required for fishing.
Get Yourself a Canoe Cart
You can easily store your canoe by placing it on a canoe cart and transport it to the storage space. The cart should be portable, corrosion-resistant and durable. Different canoe carts have different capacities, so make sure you buy a cart specific to the details of your canoe. The canoe sits on the foam pads, which prevents it from scratches and marks. The tires are strong enough to hold and move the canoe around.
Must-Have Canoe Accessories
Certain canoe accessories can definitely make your canoe trip safer, memorable and a lot more enjoyable.
- Car roof racks: If you are going on a long trip, you can mount your canoe on a car using these amazing roof racks.
- Spray skirts: Dress your canoe with a spray skirt while you are resting and letting your canoe rest on the shores too. This will protect your canoe from rains and storms.
- Thwart bags: These are also called bow bags. They are attached to thwarts and contain small items needed during paddling.
- Repair kits: These kits may contain certain tools and accessories required for minor repairs during your trip.
- Anchor bags: You can make your own anchor by filling these bags with rocks, sand or heavyweights.
- LED lighting kits: These kits contain LED lights so that they can light your boat up, especially after dusk when you go fishing on your canoe. In fact, you can use these lighting kits for kayaks as well.
- Canoe seats and cushions: You should get seats that provide ample back support and are easily foldable so you can take it with you in your car. A seat made of steel is very durable and lasts for a long time. For extra comfort try to get a cushion as well.
- Drink holders: Canoe trips are tiring and can indeed make you thirsty every once in a while. To make sure that you stay hydrated, you can buy clip-on drink holders. These can carry bottles 20 ounces in size. You can pack Gatorade, soft drinks, juices along with water.
Canoes are essential if you want to have a fun time on the waters. There are so many things you could do with a canoe. You could go fishing or drifting on rapids, move down waterfalls or travel in groups. Paddling in perfect alignment with your buddies is an absolute delight, but also requires a lot of practice. You won’t get the hang of it in the beginning though.
You will, however, have so much fun with your canoe that you’ll long for new and more experiences. If that happens, you could make various trips, either solo or in groups to explore waterways and coastlines. Since canoes are small and lightweight, they can easily access places where other boats like kayaks cannot; so who knows you might as well discover places nobody has been to before! For safety, you should definitely have the necessary canoe accessories. Usually, canoers take light food and drinks with them, so make sure you have them packed before going on a trip.
You can also take part in various canoeing competitions and tournaments spread across the country. Canoeing does require certain skills, which you could develop over time. But canoes are mostly used for fishing or spending quality time with one’s friends and family members. The choice is yours. Fishing spots are available in nature parks and wildlife reserves, and you can contact the authorities for more information and rules on using canoes.