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Buying The Right Canoe - OutdoorPlaces.Com

 Canoe Glossary and Clickable Canoe


Clickable Canoe
Canoe Glossary
Printable Canoe Equipment Checklist
Canoe Resource Page


Class I, II, etc.
Dry Bag
Secondary Stability
Straight Shaft Paddle
Throwable PFD
War Canoe

Bent Shaft Paddle
Buoyancy Chamber
Carrying Thwart
Flat Water
Initial Stability
Solo Canoe
Tandem Canoe
Throw Bag
Touring Canoe
Clickable Canoe, OutdoorPlaces.Com, Copyright 1999, All Rights Reserved

 Canoe Glossary

Bailer:  Device used to remove water from the canoe.  Can be as simple as a milk jug cut to make a scoop.

Beam[top] The widest part of the canoe, not necessarily at the gunwales.

Bent Shaft Paddle[top] Canoe paddle with the blade angled anywhere from 5 to 15 degrees for better touring performance.

Bow[top] The very front end of the canoe.

Buoyancy Chamber[top] An enclosed section of the canoe, typically located at the bow and the stern filled with foam or other buoyant material

Capacity[top] The amount of weight a canoe can carry and still be safely operated.

Carrying Thwart[top] A brace that runs from gunwale to gunwale, typically with a cut out for the neck, sometimes padded, and located just forward of the beam of the canoe.  Used to portage the canoe on your back.

Class I, II-, II+, III-, III+, IV-, IV+, V, VI[top] Rating system for the level of difficult experienced on a body of water.  Ranging from Class I for flat water or little current, to Class VI, which is extreme danger, no possible rescue.

Depth[top] The distance from the top of the canoe at the gunwales to the bottom of the canoe when measured at the beam.  A good standard depth is about 13".

Dry Bag[top] A sack or bag used to hold vital gear and keep it dry in the event of a capsize or water coming into the boat.

Flat Water[top] Lakes, rivers, streams, etc. with almost no current, waves, or chop.

Gunwales[top] The upper rails that run along the outside edges of the canoe.

Initial Stability[top] The amount of stability a canoe has when standing still.

Keel[top] Center line of the canoe down the length, some canoes will have an actual keel molded or attached.

Painter[top] A line attached to the bow and/or stern of the canoe.

PFD[top] Personal Floatation Device, or life jacket.  Works best when worn.

Portage[top] To carry your canoe on your back.  To do this your canoe will need a carrying thwart.

Rocker[top] The amount of upward curve at the bow and stern of the canoe.

Rod[top] A way of measuring distance when portaging a canoe.  Most people accept that a rod is 16 feet, or one canoe length.

Secondary Stability[top] The amount of stability a canoe has while being paddled.

Solo Canoe[top] A canoe typically paddled by one person.

Stem[top] The shape of the bow of a canoe, rounded for better maneuverability, squared for better tracking.

Stern[top] The very back end of the canoe.

Straight Shaft Paddle[top] Paddle where the blade is straight in reference to the shaft of the paddle, no angle to the blade.

Tandem Canoe[top] A canoe typically paddled by two people.

Throwable PFD[top] An emergency life saving device that can be thrown to a person in the water.  Typically has a length of rope attached to it so the person can be pulled to safety.

Throw Bag[top] Emergency equipment used to throw to some one in the water to pull them in.  Typically used in whitewater conditions.

Thwart[top] A brace that runs from gunwale to gunwale.

Touring Canoe[top] A canoe typically used for backcountry camping and cross country travel or long distances or long durations.

Tracking[top] Moving forward in a straight line while being paddled.

Tumblehome[top] The curvature of the sides of the canoe.

War Canoe[top] Special canoe, usually 20 or more feet in length paddled by several people, sometimes equipped with a rudder.

Whitewater[top] Moving water, typically associated with rivers.


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