- PFD: Well-fitting with ample
whistle (Fox40 is LOUD).
- Plastic bailer (e.g. cutoff bleach
bottle) and sponge).
- MacTac and/or a map case. Some maps
are waterproofed for you but usually cost more. Waterproofing is vital to
WHITEWATER CANOE DESIGN and
other obsessions. Rounded not squared. Square sharp entries, square
profiles and keels are perfect for tracking across lakes but FORGET IT for
whitewater. Sideways maneuverability is the mandate. Lean is the lesson.
More on this later.
MATERIALS: ABS/Royalex/Crosslink for
whitewater (it's heavier); Fibreglass/kevlar for flatwater (it's lighter)
Go for the strongest and lightest.
The painful truth of portaging: Don't
portage the rapid unless you have to!
ROCKER: profile of degree of
roundedness of canoe's horizontal and vertical lines: curve upward from a
square bow and stern measured in inches from 1 - 6 enhances sideways
movement but reduces forward stability (tracking). Promotes spinning in
circles. Whitewater playboats have lots of it and flatwater boats have
none of it.
- CHINE and
STABILITY: rounded sides of hull as seen in a cross -sectional view,
improves leanability and stability. Two types of stability are:
stability (first 45 degrees of lean) - less desirable compared to
Secondary stability (second 45 degrees of lean). You want to lean way over
and not flip over. Chine reduces primary to improve lean while tumblehome
improves secondary to reduce flipping past the 45 degree point. The
reverse is true with flatwater designs where primary stability is the most
important. Promotes spinning in circles and perhaps flipping if you're not
- TUMBLEHOME: convex curve of canoe
sides, improves stability when leaned as well as dryness. Promotes staying
- DRAFT: depth
between bottom of canoe and gunwales reduces water washing into the canoe
(swamping) and adds cargo volume. Promotes floating.
- ABS material is stronger and more
puncture-resistant than flatwater canoe materials Recommended tandem
types: Mad River Freedom, Swift Dumoine, Dagger Legend, Old Town Tripper,
Mad River Prospector. Solo types: see Mad River, Dagger, Mohawk and many
- AIR BAGS- bow
and stern to float your canoe and reduce wrapping on rocks if it dumps.
- Plastic paddles with wider blade (as
opposed to narrower blade, i.e. ottertail) and "T" grip as opposed to
- Wood paddles are great for flatwater and they look pretty, but rocks promote
approximate length of your paddle: floor to nose.