Float tanks - why rounded?

The squared off tanks like in Sawyer and Curtis canoes make more sense to me than the rounded off tanks like in Bell canoes.

Flat tanks allow the blade of the spare paddles to rest on it while the shaft is on the front thwart in easy reach.

Flat, squared off tanks direct water out of the boat before it reaches the stems / deck plates when the boat is turned upside down to dump water out.

It puzzles me why a smart company like Bell would put rounded float tanks in their boats, which directs water to the deck plates, which aren’t scuppered in in the very tip, where water accumulates and induces rot.

This is just something I’ve wondered about for a few years and finally decided to ask.

Are there any benefits to rounded off float tanks that I’m not seeing?

I think CE Wilson may have to answer
this one. Maybe it’s slightly easier to lay up a float tank with a rounded arc than with a squared off contour. My old Moore had a rounded shape but our Bluewater has a squared configuration.

On getting water out of the bow, doesn’t that have more to do with the deck plate, if any? Our Bluewater has no deck plate, but the Moore has the 30" decks that used to be allowed in open tandem downriver.

Curves on canoes = asthetically pleasing
Beyond that, I can’t say.

Yep, deck design determines if water
gets trapped in the deck and rots the wood.

Bell wood decks are scuppered up to about 1.5" to 2" from the point and solid at the point where the water is trapped. This just never made any sense to me.

I saw a mushroom growing out of the deck plate of one bell canoe that was stored out of the weather inside.

I dont know for sure

– Last Updated: Aug-20-11 11:35 AM EST –

but tanks now use a mold. Perhaps the resin gets in better to a rounded mold than a square one.

I very much doubt tank design induces rot. Looking at the old Curtis hull I have the gunwales do not intersect at the stems. Water can drain and there is normally no way the gunwale contacts the ground if you ranger up the boat for a portage.

The Bell however has gunwales that contact the ground and the stems are prone to moisture entering through the end grain.

Stem end gunwale design is a boatbuilders challenge and very few solve it well.

The other reason that tanks cant influence deck rot is that stored upside down the moisture on the bottom of the deck is the low spot and the steam goes up toward the tank. Moreover the end grain of the deck is not on the bottom nor top of the deck..its on the sides..the vulnerable place.

I think you have a classic cause of rot..a closed gunwale..deck system where the sealant failed.

My impression is that moisture and dirt
are trapped on the underside of the deck on Bell canoes where it meets the gunwale, which is the lowest point of the canoe when it’s upside down.

With the squared off decks, like in the Curtis canoes, water gets directed out of the boat before it gets to the deck (if it had them) when it is turned over.

With the rounded tanks of the Bell composite boats or with royalex boats, which have no tanks, the water is directed to the decks when the boat is turned over.

So, why no drain hole in the point of the decks on a Bell canoe to let the water and dirt drain out when the boat is turned over? The decks are scuppered up until near the tip.

Of course, ideally, there wouldn’t be any water in the canoe when it was turned over.

On canoes without wooden decks or without decks altogether, it’s a non issue.

but water evaporates up
away from the bottom of the deck. The tanks not being wedged against the deck bottom can’t help trap water.

I paddled one of my old Swift square tankers today and the deck is rotten. In this case it looks like dry rot.

Typically the underside of decks is left bare and unvarnished. Check your Bell.

And the tanks on my Swift are ugly and full of folds. My boats with curvy vacuum infused tanks formed in a mold are nice looking.

No problems with my Bell.
It was someone else’s bell.