Parts of a canoe diagram

Parts of a canoe diagram

Does anyone have experience with water canoeing and water kayaking? If yes, then great, but if you don’t, then you have to try it. It is a fantastic experience to have. But out of those, how many of you know the parts of the canoe? I am sure no one knows all of the parts of canoe. If you are thinking to plan a trip somewhere where water canoeing and water kayaking are available, then this article is for you. It gives you information about the parts of a canoe. Seriously speaking, it is a superb experience I recommend trying it once.

Parts of Canoe Diagram

Parts of Canoe Names

Canoe Parts


The bow is the universal name for every canoe, boat, or ship. It refers to the canoe’s front side. By looking at the seating arrangement, we can identify the bow portion. The bow has lots of space and provides more comfort and legroom for the paddler.


The stern is the universal name for every canoe, boat, or ship. It refers to the canoe’s back side. We can smoothly identify the stern part because it is so nearer to the flotation tank.

The stern helps to reduce the turbulence when we paddle the canoe. The distance between bow and stern means the length of any canoe.


The stem is the vertical form of the canoe’s stern and bow. Square stems and rounded stems are the two most common forms of stems.

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The function of a rounded stem is to improve the steering, which helps turn the canoe easily. The square stem gives better tracking of the canoe and helps the to move in a straight line.


In a tandem canoe, there are two seats on the side of the stern and bow. The bow seat has lots of space on the front sides, while the stern seat has less space on the rear side of the canoe.

Apart from this, in a single canoe, only one seat is available at the center of the canoe.


The deck is also known as a coverall. It is the portion where two gunwales joined with each other on both sides of the canoe. It is in triangular shape plates, and its material is metals, plastic, or wood.

These plates cover the bow and stern of the canoe. The canoe’s deck is also utilized to bolster the bow and stern tips.


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The gunwales are the top edge of the hull that start from the bow and end on the stern. The gunwales are called gunnels.

These are strong and give strength to canoe and bear the weight of the seats. The gunwale is one of the parts which are more exposed to scratches.


The thwart is the strut that is horizontally placed on either side of the gunwales of the canoe. The main function of the thwart is to provide structure and support for the gunwales.


The yoke of the canoe is the cross beam connected to the gunwales. A semi-circular cut-out provides more comfort when the canoeist carries the boat while portaging.

From the balancing point of view, the yoke is placed in the center of the canoe.


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The keel is a rib-like portion that runs along the centreline from bow to stern. It is made up of metal. Its main function is to protect the hull from scratches and scrapes. It also protects the hull from underwater rocks.


Rocker is the amount of curve on the keel line from bow to stern. If the amount of rocker is high, it helps to canoe to move faster and easier because there is less part of the hull in the water.


Most canoes are specifically designed with a handle on the side bow and stern. It helps to easily lift of canoe in the water and out of the water.


Freeboard is the area of the canoe which is above the water when we ride on the water.


The draft is the area of the canoe which is below the water.

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