Choosing an Open Canoe

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Choosing an Open Canoe

CHOOSING AN OPEN CANOE

(Last up-dated 05/10/07)

With so many designs to choose from, you may need some help in making a choice which meets your requirements. Here are some simple pointers to guide you (if you need any further help or advice, please do not hesitate to ring, write or e-mail us) :-

For Speed – choose a long narrow hull which has semi-circular sections amidships (in the middle of the hull) and ‘V’ sections near the ends. There should be little or no ‘rocker’.

Examples include :-

· Little Kate

· Christine

· Pete

· Ralph

For Tracking (follows a straight line easily) – choose similar characteristics to those required for speed but also add low end profiles (which get blown about less) and perhaps a keel strip (bottom runner)

Examples include :-

· As above

· Peterborough

For Manoeuverability – choose a canoe with a well rockered bottom with no keel (bottom runner). Shorter canoes are also more manoeuverable.

Examples include :-

· Fisher Prospector

· Waterman 12, 13 and 16

· Raven

For Stability – choose a canoe with a wide beam, flat bottom with full sections towards the ends. A hull section which has ‘tumblehome’ is very stable as the maximum beam is not at the gunwale but low down at the waterline (see also Ease of Paddling).

Examples include :-

· Fisher Prospector

· Waterman 12, 13 and 16

· Raven

· Baby Raven

· Robin

· Explorer 15 &16

 

For Seaworthiness (and white water use) – to keep spray out choose a deep hull with full forward sections which will throw the waves outward and tumblehome in it’s sections to give maximum stability.

Examples include :-

· Fisher Prospector

· Waterman 16

· Raven

Other Considerations – Wider canoes are easier to paddle if they have tumblehome in their sections – the paddle loom has less tendency to scrape against the gunwale.

Canoes with lower ends (bow and stern) tend to get blown about less.

Carrying Capacity – Most open canoes built (or for that matter, purchased complete) are around 16’ (4.88m) in length – this length can easily be car topped and may be stored in the average garage. At this length, canoes will vary in the weight (or total crew) they can carry – obviously, wider and deeper canoes will be able to carry more.

Large capacity canoes of this length which can carry up to 3 adults or 2 adults plus a couple of children include :-

· Fisher Prospector

· Waterman 16

· Beaver

· Raven

· Robin

· Explorer 15 & 16

 

Our Most Popular Designs – it may help you to know which of our designs are most popular.

· Fisher Prospector – for it’s high carrying capacity, stability and manoeuvrability.

· Christine – for it’s speed and lightweight for 2 adults.

· Waterman 16 – for it’s high capacity, ease in construction and sailing abilities.

· Wren – for it’s ease in construction although the Raven has taken over as she has a similar profile shape but has tumblehome for additional stability.

· Beaver – for it’s high carrying capacity and sailing ability.

· Pete – for it’s speed, looks and carrying capacity.

· Robin & Explorer 15 for those who want to use strip planking.

 



For further details of our designs go to www.selway-fisher.com

 

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