Port Huron, Michigan
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Canoe and Kayak Terms to Know
If you're thinking of purchasing a canoe or kayak for the upcoming season, consider learning a few things about the boats before making your purchase. From material to accessories, there are some important terms and definitions that might help you make a more informed purchase.
Canoe - A canoe is a narrow boat that lacks any steering mechanism. Instead, the boat can hold one to four people that direct the vessel with paddles. A canoe can be made of wood, fiberglass or aluminum. Competition grade sport canoes are known as Canadians.
Kayak - A kayak is a specific type of canoe that is made of plastic composite and are more versatile for sports. Kayaks hold one or two people, and come in various models for lake, river, whitewater, or ocean boating. Kayaks are water tight with a seal that closes any gaps between the occupant and the boat.
Trim - Trim refers to how low in the water a boat sits. A kayak sits much lower in the water than a canoe does, giving the rower more control and balance.
Whitewater - Whitewater is a term that refers to rough waters, since water often turns white when it is raging and crashing over rocks. Whitewater sports are popular with kayakers and special canoes are made specifically for this type of boating.
Paddles - Paddles are important accessories for boaters ranging from river canoeing to ocean kayaking. A paddle can be single or double bladed, made of strong fiberglass or aluminum, and is absolutely essential for steering and controlling the boat.
Canoes were initially developed to travel along water ways from one place to another. Today, many people use them for sport. The small boats make it easy for adventurers to explore everything from small streams to islands in the ocean. When exploring the types of canoes, kayaks, and outrigger boats sold by a company, it is important to consider how you will use the vessel.
Companies that sell and rent canoes often have a variety of styles that are specifically designed for whitewater rafting, ocean travel, or rivers. Modern manufacturers make river and ocean canoes out of lightweight composite materials such as aluminum and plastic. Some are even inflatable, which makes it easy for a person to carry the boat. Traditionally, canoes were made of wood, a much heavier material. Newer vessels and accessories, therefore, are usually considered superior by those that use them for racing and other recreational sports.
New canoes, kayaks, paddles, and accessories can cost a fair amount of money. Consumers can save money by buying used products that still function properly. Many companies even offer rental opportunities that allow people to use the canoes for short periods of time.
Some canoe dealers offer repair services as well as sales. Repairs can help boaters save the expenses of purchasing new paddles, kayaks, canoes, and accessories. Instead of purchasing new row boats and sea kayaks, they have the boats repaired so that they can continue to use them.
When exploring the new and used canoe dealers in your area, you might want to browse their web sites to help you determine which types of equipment and services they provide.