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Canoe Parts – Components and Features of your Canoe

Parts Of A Canoe

There are different parts of a canoe, which makes it a perfect boat to ride on the water. All these parts have different purposes and features.

Bow and Stern

The bow is the front part of the canoe that helps the boat to cut through the water. This is why canoes usually have a pointed bow. Besides, bows usually come with an attachment point to tie off an anchor line or to moor the canoe.

To measure the length of the canoe, you can check the distance from the stern to the bow. Confused? Well, the stern is at the back part of the canoe, and mostly they are also pointed. But asymmetric canoes come with a square-shaped stern. Some canoes also allow you to mount outboard or rudder on the square stern of the canoe. Moreover, in a tandem canoe, the paddlers have to sit near the stern to paddle the canoe.


You may already know that a solo canoe only offers accommodation for one person in the center of the canoe. While in a tandem canoe, two people can sit, one at the stern and the other at the bow. You can easily distinguish between a bow seat and a stern seat because bow seats have more space in the front and behind. On the other hand, a stern seat usually doesn’t have enough room behind it.

Canoes also come with seats, but you can install one such as Yak Gear Manta Ray Kayak & Canoe Seat for more comfort. Besides these seats, these canoes also have accessories like Yak Gear Sand Dollar Kayak & Canoe Seat Cushion to give you support and keep you relax while canoeing.


This part of the canoes helps the paddler carry it over their head. You can find the yoke on the center line of your boat that helps in balancing. You can easily turn your canoe upside down to place it on your shoulder with the help of the round part of the yoke. When you lift the canoe on your shoulder, this yoke also gets wrapped on the back of your neck to help you carry it without any trouble.


Hull is the outer part of the canoe that touches the water. You can find several types of hulls, but some common ones are:

Flat Hull

This type of hull is the most stable and best option for flat water. However, it is more likely to capsize in strong winds and rough water. A canoe with flat hulls sits higher in the water, and for this reason, they can turn easily.

Rounded Hulls

It is the opposite of flat hulls. These hulls feel tippy on flat water but remain stable in rough conditions. Moreover, rounded hull canoes also move more efficiently and faster compared to flat hulls.

Shallow Arch Hulls

This type of hull has some features of both flat and round hull. It offers you stability, efficiency, and balance in both flat and rough water.

V-Shaped Hulls

This hull is similar to the shallow-arch, but it has a more pronounced keel.


It is a triangular covering at the stern and bow of the canoe. Gunwales attached to the deck give you the perfect shape. Decks are made of wood, metal, or plastic, depending on the type of canoe you have purchased. You can also use deck kits like Yak-Gear Deck Kit to get the most out of your deck without professional help.


It is a strut present across the width of the boat that helps brace the boat’s gunwales. In tandem, you can find two thwarts at the 1/3 or 2/3 way away from the stern. Many manufacturers install a thwart behind the first seat, as this part of the canoe puts a lot of weight on the gunwales, making it unstable. So the thwart keeps it balanced while you are canoeing.


You can find three types of sides in the canoes, which are:

Tumblehome Sides

This is the point of the hull that sits in the water. When the hull is wider at the waterline, this side is at the top. Tumblehome sides allow the paddler to paddle easily but may also allow more water in.

Flare Sides

This is the part where the hull is wider at the top than it is at the waterline. It helps keep waves out.

Straight Sides

These sides are straight from the waterline and go to the top of the hull.

Bottom Line

Now that you know about the common parts of the canoe, it will help you find a canoe that meets your preferences.

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