There are many different types of canoes. In terms of boat style and design, there is C1, C2, and C4. "C" stands for canoe, or Canadian, and the number indicates the number of paddlers in the boat. There are Recreational, Stock, and Open design boats that are shaped differently, which effects the user friendliness, speed, balance, and control of the craft.

 

Check out https://www.nypra.org/boat-specs for detailed specifications.

  • C1- C1 is a solo canoe, built for one paddler. Many paddlers/canoe racers spend a lot of time in C1 as it doesn't require having to coordinate with another person. It can be a little harder to learn initially, as you don't have a potentially more experienced partner to provide instruction and help balance and steer the boat. But in the long run, knowing how to handle a C1 makes you a better paddler as you don't have the option to rely on someone else.

  • C2 - C2 is a two person canoe and requires a lot of finesse and coordination, and being with a partner that matches your paddling style. Weight distribution, size, and height also come into play. It's important to pick the right boat that fits your style and experience. 

  • C4 - A 4 person boat, and perhaps the most forgiving of all the types, it is easier to jump into a C4 canoe and have a greater chance at doing well, as long as at least one of the 4 paddlers has some experience :) If 3 out of the 4 are experienced, you might do quite well just starting out!


    A good place to shop for a boat is the Savage River and Grasse River boat companies.

    Check out their websites at https://www.savageriver.com/ and https://www.grbnewmandesigns.com/. Contact information is listed at both.

    Both John Diller (Savage River) and Gene Newman (Grasse River) have decades of experience and can answer specific questions you might have about boat design and fit.

    Happy Paddling!