planing in a canoe?

I’ve heard that hull speed of canoes in the 15 to 16 foot range is about 5 knots, give or take. It wouldn’t be hard to get one on plane with a small engine. I wonder if this would be wise, though. I’ve heard that some boats will be damaged if brought to plane, and I wonder if this is the case with most/all canoes.

Specifically, I’m looking at the Clipper square stern 16.5 model. In the specs, it talks about the canoe getting up to about 10 mph with a 4 hp outboard. If I go this route, I might go up to six, or keep it at 2.5 hp for convenience/safety. It seems at 10 mph, it would be on plane, but I don’t know. I e-mailed the company, but have heard nothing yet.

I’d like to go this route rather than the rowboat route because I’d like something that I can easily cartop. Any thoughts on this? thanks.

The various types of hull designs are…
1) displacement hulls

2) planing hulls

3) submersibles

Why not get a lightweight planning hull? They are designed for planing and as such much better suited for what you want.

I’ve seen square-stern canoes …

– Last Updated: Jun-10-14 7:15 PM EST –

... up on plane when powered by outboards of 5 to 7 horsepower. At 10 mph, the boat would essentially be planing, but likely with a squatting stern (nothing wrong with that though - people powered small rowboats for a long time with low-horsepower motors that "almost" got them up on full plane). You can't hurt the boat doing that. Someone here once insisted that you'd "tear the bottom out of a canoe" when up on plane, but that's total BS. It makes sense to stay within the horsepower recommendations of the manufacturer though.

I tend to agree with the previous poster, but availability of such boats isn't what it used to be. Alumacraft used to make a really nice one, but I just checked their website and they have nothing that's remotely portable anymore, and that's a general trend these days, though there may be exceptions. If you can find an older style boat of this type (used or MAYBE new), they are not terribly difficult to cartop, and they'll handle a motor a bit better, and larger motors too. I see them for sale around here every now an then. The trick to cartopping them is to rig your roof rack so that a boat can be leaned against the rack with one end on the ground, then slid up there (that would make a world of difference with a heavy square-stern canoe too).

One example of another kind of lightweight planing hull is the 12-foot Mirro Craft Jon boat that I have. It dates back to about 1965. It's 12 feet long and weighs about 70 or 75 pounds. I don't believe anybody still makes such a boat. Even the smallest Jon boat made by most makers these days is huge (and heavy) by comparison.

planing hulls too heavy?

– Last Updated: Jun-10-14 7:14 PM EST –

An ultralight planing hull would be a better solution. However, I'm working within the constraints of being able to car top this. So, I don't know if this would be realistic.

My options that I've looked at thus far:

Bolger Nymph 7'9", 45 lbs. shorter than I'd like; wonder how safe it is at plane.

Gold Rush Ultralight: 123 lbs. This isn't too bad, but it's not nearly as good as the Clipper MacKenzie (Fibergrlass = 84 lbs.) This boat has great capacity and low weight, which is why I'm considering going this route.

To quote someone from elsewhere on the net:
To build a 13' planing powerboat to 48 kg would more than likely require exotic construction. Carbon fiber sandwich.

Such boats can be built of wood without exotics that will plane with a small and light motor but they would need to be long and slim, like Robb White's Sportboat, for instance. Not what you might need for a load carrying tender in a rough harbor.

The most promising that I've found thus far is the Puffin Model 860. It weighs 74 lbs, 8'6" LOA, 49" beam. Again, what concerns me is lack of length. They make a 10'6" model, but this is too heavy (125 lbs.). I feel (perhaps wrongly) that a boat of this length, at plane, at about 8 knots, might dump me out the back if it hits a 2 ft wave. any thoughts?

Planing power boats
To keep the weight down you could use foam sandwich construction like most of the boats in this video They are like a giant surfboard and with a 10hp motor can do over 40mph. You need to edge them to turn otherwise they just go sideways at the same speed and direction.

light rowboat
it’s too bad that these aren’t around. The closest thing I can think of is the dacron-skinned Aerolite boats. I worry about the thing shredding apart at 10 knots, though.

As for the hull getting damaged, I’ve heard that a planing canoe is essentially like a canoe being placed on dry land, with its gunwales pushed on, or sat in while bouncing (since water being planed over would have little give). It’s my understanding that merely sitting in some canoes on dry land can damage them.

Square-stern canoes
I would expect square-stern canoes to be strong enough to handle whatever size motor the manufacturer says is acceptable, as well as whatever forces might be associated with the travel speeds such a motor can generate. All the square-stern canoes that I’ve seen have been very rugged, and in the case of the aluminum ones (not what you are planning to get, but a case in point), just as rugged as a comparable small fishing boats made of aluminum.

Remember too that anything except ultralight canoes can tolerate a real pounding when getting partly airborne in waves in rapids and crashing down again, and bouncing on lake waves when driven by a small motor would be fairly similar to that.

Here you go …

There is no sharp distinction between
planing hulls and other hulls.

All hulls are displacement hulls. But some hulls have characteristics that make them plane more readily. The first such characteristic is some flatness on the underside.

But I have seen some very round bottomed, old school, kayaks plane fiercely, on a fast, green wave.

The “planing” versus “displacement” dichotomy has, unfortunately, generated a lot of misunderstanding. Here’s the fact. Nearly all boats will plane. But some boats will plane much more readily and effectively than others.

that’s such a cool photo
but I always wonder if the stern is full of water.