Narrowing the beam

What is the consensus of narrowing the beam of a canoe? Is this a good thing to do? Or will it cause I’ll effects? The canoe in question is a Mohawk Blazer 16. I found one gentleman narrowed his form 36" to 31.5". Initial stability went down but gains secondary stability. He mentioned better turning when heeled and faster speed flat out. The produced tumblehome made it easier to paddle as well.

So thoughts?

Changing the beam can have many effects, including changing the keel line and rocker, which will affect handling. Make sure that any changes you make are easily reversible.

I agree with Angstrom.

Also, even if there are no ill effects, there is no silver bullet, as every canoe design change results in some sort of compromise.

Straighter keel and longer waterline=faster, but slower to turn. Tumblehome means it is easier to reach the water, but less capable in big waves with a load.

If the canoe in question is primarily soloed, it makes lots of sense.

I’m all for increasing or decreasing the beam in canoes, but be prepared for both good and bad changes.

Don’t change beam as much as your
friend did. He probably did gain a little speed, but not final stability or turning ability. Straighten a canoe and it turns less well.

Keep your changes down to no more than 1.5". The designers knew what they were doing, and big changes will just get you bent out of shape.

Some modern hulls have folds or double creases along the side of the hulls that restrict the hull’s ability to respond to thwart length changes. This pertains mostly to WW hulls.