Oil Canning

I have been canoeing on and off for the last 20 years. Only recently have I heard the term OIL CANNING.

Could someone please tell me what this means?

Thanks Mike

First definition
The original meaning of “oilcanning” was flexibility in the hull, like the “popable dent” on the bottom of the old oil cans. Only since plastic boats have become common have I seen this term applied to permanent dents. By the old definition, your canoe would be oilcanning if the hull flexed upward due to water pressure when you put weight (like yourself) in the boat, or when the hull would deform while sliding over a log. A bit of oilcanning while sliding over logs can actually be a good thing, if you do that a lot. Makes the job a lot easier, even if it means performance may suffer in other ways.

Thank You
I believe the term is being misused today. My 1975 vintage royalex Mad River will oil can when I paddle it across flat water in a lake, although not much because it is a v hull. This constant flexing is what I remember as “Oil Canning” from many years ago. Today, it is commonly used to describe dents in polyethylene which are often formed in kayaks when strapped down on a rack and left in the sun. I think it’s being misused because an oil can immediately pops back out when you release the pressure on the bottom. On a kayak the dent stays until the hull is warmed, eventually returning close to its original shape. We should call this denting!


Rack Rot

– Last Updated: Oct-15-05 7:39 PM EST –

Wha Ho, Pilgrims;

We in the industry call dents from storage or tie down pressure "Rack Rot". Oil canning is the up and down flexing thing as previously mentioned....

Fat Elmo

You say tomato…
My take on it fwiw:

Oil-canning is the flexible “glug-glug” thing.

Dents are permanent indentations caused by running into & over “stuff” while paddling. Royalex and aluminum are typically dented in time with use.

When a hull is permanently deformed I call it “warped”. This is typically caused by over-tight strapping and/or exposure to the sun and is especially evident in many polyethylene canoes/kayaks. Examples of warped hulls can often be seen on cheap box-store type paddle craft left in the sun for almost any amount of time. Another common place to observe warped paddle-craft would be in the Old Town herds that tend to gather near most liveries…