Depth is the distance between a canoe's gunwales (side rails) and the bottom of the boat. Deep boats have tall sides, which help keep water out while increasing carrying capacity. The taller the sides, though, the more the canoe will be affected by wind.
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Canoe types range from your basic recreational canoe to more specialized canoes designed for racing, fishing or expeditions. Where you will paddle should also be a factor in determining canoe type. Whitewater and river canoes are designed to maneuver easily in fast moving water and rapids.
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Touring kayaks are seen as an upgrade to recreational ones, as they’re longer, thinner, and packed with features that appeal to serious kayakers who want to paddle faster and farther. One of the biggest differences between touring and recreation kayaks is the hull design.
Beam (Width) Measured at the widest point of the canoe and largely impacts stability and speed. The most common reference is width at the gunwales but an often more telling dimension is width at the waterline, as this will determine the amount of effort required to move the boat through the water.