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Canoeing 101

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Canoe Design: Keel Line

Keel Line 
A canoe's keel line is the profile of the hull bottom running from stem to stem, best seen by standing back and viewing the canoe from the side. The keel line can range from straight or level to highly arched or rockered (think of the runner on bottom of a rocking chair). We classify canoes that have less than 2" of rocker as slightly rockered. Models with rocker ranging from 2" to 3" are considered moderately rockered and those with over 3" of rocker as extremely rockered.

 

Slightly Rockered

Pros 

  • Enhanced tracking, speed

Cons 

  • Limited maneuverability

 

Moderately Rockered

Pros 

  • Good balance between maneuverability and speed
  • Most versatile keel line 

Cons 

  • Reduced tracking than straight keel
  • Reduced speed than straight keel 
  • Less maneuverable than highly rockered 

 

Extremely Rockered

Pros 

  • Enhanced maneuverability

Cons 

  • Poor tracking
  • Reduced forward speed