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Basics of Canoe Trips

Canoes make a good carrier to travel long distances across the sea. While going for a canoe trip you will be carrying some goods and children along, the canoe needs to be perfectly designed for its purpose. Once your requirements are sorted it will be easy for you to choose the right canoe for your trip. Factors like weight of canoe, canoe design route it will travel (white water route or other) and people traveling in one canoe and who are the paddlers. An ideal canoe design exists only in books. In real life there are certain negotiations required to be made while buying a canoe but the qualities that are most needed for your canoe trip should be available in the canoe you purchase.

If you are aware about the various canoe parts and their functioning, your job would become much easier while buying a canoe. To begin with, you will have to learn to distinguish both the ends of a canoe. Though they appear the same when you first look at them, they are not the same in reality. One end is the bow which is the front end and the stern makes the back end of a canoe. If observed closely, you would be able to make out the difference in the seats at both ends of the canoe. Bow seat is broader and closer to the middle of the canoe design while stern seat is narrow and placed more towards the end of the canoe. The smooth curves joining the bow to the stern on either side of the canoe parts are called the stems of a canoe. These curves are available in varied geometry giving rise to different shaped canoes altogether. The shape of the stem has a large impact on the movement of the canoe.

The front canoe design, that helps to sever through the waters, has two types of entry lines - sharp and blunt. The former canoe is faster to paddle but harder to turn while the latter is the exact opposite slower to paddle and flexible at turns. The top edges attached to the deck plates are called the gunwales, also pronounced as gunnels. They are made from wood, vinyl or aluminum which have properties like durability, flexibility, toughness and economical.

Apart from the bow and the stern canoes have other arrangements for seating called as a thwart, which is along piece of wood straddling across the middle of the canoe design. Yoke is a special sculpted thwart made out of a wide piece of wood that is shaped to fit your shoulders with a notch in the middle for your neck. Many find a yoke less comfortable so make sure you try paddling with a canoe having a yoke before buying a canoe.

Length is a sole distinguishing feature of a canoe. The longest canoe can be as long as 23 feet but they pose a problem while turning the canoe. Short canoes are swift and flexible at turns. Although long canoes are best carriers having a good load bearing capacity but too long can make it difficult to paddle effectively. A medium length is best for a canoe. Prefer a slim canoe than a fat one since slim are efficient in paddling.

Another innovation in the manufacture of canoes is the foldable canoe made out of a sturdy material that could be used for white water rafting too. These canoes solve the major problem of transporting the canoe till the start point of your canoeing trip. The storage space required is small and portable to carry long distances through airlines.


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