Equipment Breakdown and Features

Features of a Canoe

Knowing the different parts of a Canoe and learning what they are used for can help you learn how to handle your water craft the right way. In this section, let’s take a look at the different elements that make up a typical Canoe.


This is the front of the boat.

Bow and AFT Decks

The decks provide strength and support to the ends of the canoe. They also provide an area of flotation either with air pockets or foam.


Pronounced "gunnell" is the supporting frame around the top edge of the hull.


Thwarts support the gunwales and hold them the design distance apart.

​Air Chamber or Flotation Chamber

Designed to keep the canoe from sinking should it become swamped.

Cane Seat:

Cane seats are standard fair in canoes, they are meant to be leaned upon not sat one as you kneel on the hull bottom.


The keel is the center strip or support running longitudinally down the center of the craft.


The yoke or portage yoke acts as a thwart and is the supporting member when a canoe is hoisted upon your shoulders to carry the boat.

Pedestal Seat

The pedestal seat is the preferred seat for racing, knees are strapped down allowing maximum paddling force to be transferred to the hull.


The stern is the rear end of the boat.