my canoe wont turn

hi was wondering if anyone can give me a few tips on why my canoe wont turn in the water its a 16 foot fiberglass canoe.

my canoe
doesn’t turn. I’m small boating since 11 and I still haven’t figured out why the expletive deleted canoe doesn’t turn.

good luck

pictures would help
Maybe the hull is hogged. Without more information anything we say is a guess or a worthless opinion.

The material doesn’t have any bearing nor the length but the hull shape may.

Does it have a keel?

Turning a canoe…
“Back in the old days”, when it was all I could afford, I solo paddled on old, 17 foot aluminum beater with a keel. It had been retired from a canoe livery, and was ugly as sin. I don’t remember having much trouble turning it on quite a few Ozarks river where I paddled.

Maybe the problem is your paddling skills?

Maybe not?

You give us very little information to work with; it’s fiberglass, 16 foot long, and won’t turn. What’s the “rest of the story”?


I hold my canoe perfectly still
and use the paddle to spin the earth the direction I want.

I have to straighten it out when I get back to the dock or NASA sends me a nasty letter.

Probably Made to Track Straight Ahead?
Like many racing canoes and outriggers are designed that way, so paddlers won’t be slowed down using steering strokes. If that’s the case, the canoe will not turn on a dime like your common garden variety rockered canoe.

No worries, the canoe is turnable, but it will require improving paddling skills, practice and more oomph.

the Forum
hosts several paddlers with 5 or more canoes…not one turns.

Universal Laws apply:

all canoes do not turn when the hull nears a bridge support.

if the sluice is over 30’ away from direction of travel at 200’ from a low head dam…the canoe does not turn.

if there is one large rock in a river 300’ feet wide, the canoe is 100’ from that rock…the canoe does not turn.

some things to look up
Draw, Pry , and heeling. With out a MFG, model or even type we can only give generic advice. But a good starting point is to look at free style or white water canoeing instruction videos. They do a lot of turning. Then try what you see. Be ready to fall out and get wet. Take all precautions for being out of the canoe. For in trying new tings you will be. Some canoes were designed to go straight and fast. Not to turn. If you have one of these tight streams can be challenging. Some canoes are designed to be heeled to the gunwales and thus change the shape of the canoe making it easy to turn. Others will dump you in the water if you try this. Pick a warm day in clean water with friends around to try tings. You will fall out. You will get wet. You will learn. You might even have fun.

Are you edging it?
Makes it much harder to turn a canoe paddling solo if you don’t heel it.

A piece of info
to get you started…on flat water heel the hull the opposite way you wish to turn. So, lean left when you want to turn right…a bit counterintuitive for beginners. (You don’t actually “lean”–you heel the hull with your lower body while keeping your upper inside the gun whales) Apply turning strokes such as sweeps, draws, prys. Get instruction if needed…it helps.

the hull bottom
does the hull bottom have a long elliptical depression in it ? down where the keel would be ?

I saw one in a canoe shop n always wondered, like feathering ( ask Celia) WTH that paddled as ? Was Sawyer ? more humor.

If you find turning a problem then head upstream then try turning from this direction.

you forgot one datakoll
If you want your boat to go straight, it’ll turn.

post and run
is always fun…

To see the responders get into a squabble.

My guesses:

– the canoe is on a submerged rock

– the water is frozen

dual anchors?

the more

What strokes do you use to turn?

we use
a reverse flail

What worked for me when I had a heavy
flatbottom boat was to use a drop-in seat. Then, I added thigh straps. Lots of practice with a standing lean down to the gunnels built up my strength and confidence.