Canoe beam and lenght vs speed

-- Last Updated: Mar-25-12 5:03 PM EST --


Me and my friend want to take part from a 100km canoe race. One canoe producer is supporting us. Now we have to choose a boat from the list.
Options are
1. 470cm long, 70cm wide. Weighs 17kg
2. 505cm long, 85cm wide. Weighs 24kg
3. 535cm long, 86cm wide. Weighs 26kg

I know, that long and narrow boat is best. But if I have to choose long and wide and heavy or short and narrow and light, then in this case which is the best choise ?
Lenght/width ratio is best on nr1 boat. We are experienced paddlers.

Thanks for answering

Andres from Estonia

those differences
In weight won’t matter a bit once you are on the water.

If you can, paddle them all for a few hours and see what happens.

Ryan L.

if there are no Portages
in the race and if you are in good shape go for #3. An extra 2 kg for the extra Metres is a good trade.

If there are portages start training ,I have done 70 miles (110 kilometeres? ) in 55,65,45,65 lbs canoes. The weight vs legnth was not appreaciable

to my shoullders

On the 90 miler the weight on a 3.5 mile portage was


kayak bottom
Portages are minor on this race. My mane issue is the 70cm vs 85cm. But seems that 65cm longer boat is better anyway.

Other possibilite is to take 535cm long (17’7’’) and 71 cm (28’’) wide kayak bottom( and build a canoe on that. The more I think about it, the more I like this idea.

Today I will go and test 470 long canoe. 1 month til marathon. Enough time to test different boats.

Thanks for answering


So after all my metric…
conversions and thinking that you were talking about a canoe, now after reading your last post I see it will be a kayak.

I forgot you guys call all boats canoes.

Whether it is a canoe or a kayak, I would go with number 1.

Ideal would be something with a no.3 length, a no.1 beam and a no. 1 weight.

Or get one custom built that is 18 plus feet long, 25 inches wide and about 40 pounds.

Or even better; race a canoe, and have someone over here supply you with a pro boat

Jack L

Trapper Lutra
Thanks for advices! As I understand, lenght is issue nr1. We decided to take 2012 new model Trapper Lutra. Width 34", lenght 18`. Weight will be around 57 lbs. Houpfully that boat bring us a victory:)

Speed, wave making,

– Last Updated: Mar-27-12 6:50 PM EST –

Longer hulls have higher potential speeds, so we suspect the longer boat will be faster if you have the power and skill to drive it.

Width per width, roughly, effects wave making; skinny or narrower boats generate less wave making resistance.

The length/ width ratio also roughly addresses tracking. They are, in order, 6.7, 5.95 and 6.20. I'd eliminate the center boat because it will track the worst and make the biggest waves.

Computed theoretical maximum speeds for the three are 6.1mph, 6.35mph and 6.5mph, the longer boat being faster. Of course, no-body ever won a race at computed hull speed. You'll need more to win. I'd take the longer boat because it is almost a K per hour faster than the shorter one.