Canoeing Terminology

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Amidships: The middle parts of a canoe

Beam: Refers to the width of a canoe. Usually, composed of three measurements: waterline, maximum width, and gunwale.

Belly: Refers to the bottom of a canoe.

Bilge: It’s the point of highest curvature between the bottom and side of a canoe.

Bow: The point of the furthest forward end of a canoe.

Deck: Generally made from metal or wood, to which the panels are attached at the bow and stern.

Depth: It’s simple. The depth of a canoe measured from the gunnels to the bottom of a canoe.

Draft: The depth of water needed for a craft to float.

Flare: Happens when the sides of a canoe are vaster over the waterline.

Flotation: In the events of overturning, the buoyant material used to keep the canoe afloat. It is usually styrofoams or airbags

Freeboard: The part of a canoe taking place under the waterline.

Foot-brace: A bar against which a paddler braces their feet. It enables the paddler to increase the efficiency of their strokes and keeps the paddler secure.

Fullness: Determined by how fast the hull length increases, it’s the shape of a canoe.

Gunnels (Gunwales): The outer most edges of a canoe where the sides meet.

Hull: Body or main structure of a canoe.

Primary Stability: Stableness when paddled under normal conditions in the upright position.

Keel: Kind of backbone taking place below the hull. Keel provides stability and durability.

Outwale: The most outside edges of a canoe. In other words, the outside gunnel.

Painter: A rope attached to the bow and stern of a canoe.

Planking: Lightweight panels nailed to the ribs to support the canvas.

Ribs: Curved strips taking place between a gunnel to the other gunnel, improves strength, and rigidity.

Secondary Stability: Endurance to capsizing in wind, waves, or lean.

Skid Plate: A piece of firm Kevlar attached to the bottom edges of a canoe to prevent corrosion of the surface of a canoe.

Splash Cover: A cover aimed to keep water out of a canoe. Splash cover is effective in situations which rough and big waves are challenging.

Stems: The curving finishing edges in the bow and sterns ends of a canoe.

Stern: The rear end of a canoe.

Thwarts: The cross braces which extend across one gunnel to the other. Strengthens the structure of a canoe.

Trim: The angle at which a canoe rides. A properly trimmed canoe will set even in the water.

Tumblehome: The curving upper sections of a canoe.

Tracking: The level of easiness at which a canoe can be paddled through a line.

Waterline: The line of water to which level water comes when it is afloat.

Yoke: A bar which enables someone to carry a canoe on their shoulders. Usually takes place in the middle parts of a canoe.

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