Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

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FranTastic444
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Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by FranTastic444 »

Feeling sensitive (once again) about having taken a thread in a slightly different direction to the original post, I've broken this reply out into a separate post.

I'm wondering now, based upon earlier replies, whether what we have here is an example of a local naming convention rather than something that is more applicable to the country as a whole? Maybe, just like using the phrase "round the Wrekin", referring to what most people know of as kayaks as canoes is something that is confined to the West Midlands of England?

British Canoeing Organisation

Royal Sutton Coldfield Canoe Club

Solihull Canoe Club

Birmingham Canoe Club

Wolverhampton Canoe Club

It seems that with the clubs above that the word canoe is used more generally to mean both canoe and kayak?

Places further from the Midlands seem to use the word canoe in the correct context

Sun Valley Canoeing Co.

Canoe UK Lt.d
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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by STEVIE »

My understanding has always been that a kayak has a splash deck and is generally used by one person.
A canoe is of open construction and can inherently accommodates more than one plus potential cargo.
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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by Big and Bashful »

I know the enclosed boat is a kayak and always called the open version an "Indian canoe", as a school kid I used to visit a boating lake in Carlisle and hired a canoe fairly regularly, so I do know the difference. Got to be said though, when I see a kayak I will often think of it as, and indeed call it a canoe, just not thinking about the difference unless something reminds me that they are different things.

Similar nautical terms sometimes used interchangeably:
Barge or narrowboat
boat or ship
Okay there aren't many springing to mind,
There must be more but my mind has gone back to normal, i.e. blank!

Tallship or square-rigger.

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FranTastic444
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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by FranTastic444 »

Hi Steve.

Yes, I think most of the world is in unison on this - it just appears to be a peculiarity of the West Midlands it seems where canoe seems to be a more generic term that covers both canoes and kayaks.

Whilst we are on the subject, there is a great story about a canoe (or was it a kayak :-) ) that has been kicking around the Internet for a good few years -

A friend of mine once built a canoe. He spent a long time on it and it was a work of art. Almost the final phase was to fill both ends with polyureathane expanding foam. He duly ordered the bits from Mr Glasplies (an excellent purveyor of all things fibreglass) and it arrived in two packs covered with appropriately dire warnings about expansion ratios and some very good notes on how to use it. Unfortunately he had a degree, worse still two of them. One was in Chemistry, so the instructions got thrown away and the other in something mathematical because in a few minutes he was merrily calculating the volume of his craft to many decimal places and the guidelines got binned as well.

He propped the canoe up on one end, got a huge tin, carefully measured the calculated amounts of glop, mixed them and quickly poured the mixture in the end of the canoe (The two pack expands very rapidly). I arrived as he was completing this and I looked in to see the end chamber over half full of something Cawdors Witches would have been proud of.

Two thing occurred to me, one was the label which said in big letters "Caution - expansion ratio 50:1" (or something similar) and the other that the now empty tins said "approximately enough for 20 small craft." Any comment was drowned out by a sea of yellow brown foam suddenly pouring out of the middle of the canoe and the end of the canoe bursting open.

My friend screamed and leapt at his pride and joy which was knocked to the ground as he started trying to bale handfuls of this stuff out with his hands. Knocking the craft over allowed the still liquid and not yet fully expanded foam to flow to the other end of the canoe where it expanded and shattered that end as well. A few seconds later and we had a canoe with two exploded ends, a mountain of solid foam about 4ft high growing out of the middle, and a chemist firmly embedded up to his armpits in it.

At this stage he discovered the reaction was exothermic and his hands and arms were getting very hot indeed. Running about in small circles in a confined space while glued to the remains of a fairly large canoe proved ineffective so he resorted to screaming a bit instead. Fortunately a Kukri was to hand so I attacked the foam around his hands with some enthusiasm. The process was hindered by the noise he was making and the fact he was trying to escape while still attached to the canoe. Eventually I managed to hack out a lump of foam still including most of his arms and hands.

Unfortunately my tears of laughter were not helping as they accelerated the foam setting. Seeking medical help was obviously out of the question, the embarrassment of having to explain his occupation (Chief Research Chemist at a major petrochemical organisation) would simply never have been lived down. Several hours and much acrimony later we had removed sufficient foam (and much hair) to allow him to move again. However he still looked something like a failed audition for Quasimodo with red burns on his arms and expanded blobs of foam sticking everywhere.

My comment that the scalding simple made the hairs the foam was sticking to come out easier was not met with the enthusiasm I felt it deserved. I forgot to add that in retrospect rather unwisely he had set out to do this deed in the hallway of his house (the only place he later explained with sufficient headroom for the canoe - achieved by poking it up the stairwell. Having extricated him we now were faced with the problem of a canoe construction kit embedded in a still gurgling block of foam which was now irrevocably bonded to the hall and stairs carpet as well as several banister rails and quite a lot of wallpaper.

At this point his wife and her mother came back from shopping...... Oh yes - and he had been wearing the pullover Mum in law had knitted him for his birthday the week before.
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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by crfriend »

FranTastic444 wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:33 pm
It seems that with the clubs above that the word canoe is used more generally to mean both canoe and kayak?
Or even more generally, "paddlecraft" as they also call out paddle-boards on which one stands.

Another generality that tends to distinguish canoes from kayaks (other than the watertight skirt) is that kayaks tend to be paddled with a single paddle with blades at either end and canoes tend to be paddled with single-bladed paddles which are alternated from side-to-side by changing hands as the thrust needs change.
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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by Big and Bashful »

Frantastic,
Great story, really well told, you should be a script writer!

Carl, Might have known you would jump in with a nugget of info my decaying brain had forgotten to remind me about! (The paddle thing), I'll have words with my brain later and tell it to do better next time!
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Jim
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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by Jim »

crfriend wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:07 pm

Another generality that tends to distinguish canoes from kayaks (other than the watertight skirt) is that kayaks tend to be paddled with a single paddle with blades at either end and canoes tend to be paddled with single-bladed paddles which are alternated from side-to-side by changing hands as the thrust needs change.
I thought the alternating side to side just showed the paddler hadn't learned how to paddle a canoe. For a single person to paddle straight on one side of the canoe, one uses a j-stroke or a twist at the end of a stroke, or just a trailing rudder action.
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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by Kirbstone »

From a rower's point of view, at least the canoeists/kayakers can see where they are going! My favoured type is a 'Canadian' canoe, in which you sit/kneel up above the waterline and generally have someone else paddling the other side.

Over several trips I've been hundreds of miles down Ireland's major rivers in such a craft. Major advantage: Unparalleled way to work up a thirst!

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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by Taj »

To add to the confusion I have a 14' "kayak" with a 55" long cockpit and about a 31" beam that is pretty much incapable of a roll self-rescue. It's basically a decked canoe that one uses a double blade to propel. It's rather heavy at 66 lb. I also have a newer craft built on an old Canadian style canoe design, but way shorter. It is a 12' pack canoe. It has a low kayak style seat and is best paddled with a double blade, however, I've also used single quite well. It weighs a lesser 33 lb. Guess which one gets more use by this old man. I think you could probably lump most white water craft in as kayaks, with some canoe exceptions. Other craft could fall in as canoes with kayak defining a more specialized canoe design. Then there is the Eskimo skin-on-frame that will never be a canoe. It is the kayak of all kayaks.
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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by Faldaguy »

Taj wrote: Then there is the Eskimo skin-on-frame that will never be a canoe. It is the kayak of all kayaks.

Your age is showing; we started using the term Inuit back in the 70's. :P Aside from the skin over skeleton kayak, they also have the Umiak, a much larger big brother for multiple transport -- also an incredibly effective and efficient craft.
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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by denimini »

Canoe with a dog I trained to grab the rope and hold the canoe against the river bank while I got out.
canoe&dog_6.jpg
Kayak below: this guy travelled from Queesnland to sea (Lake Alexandrina), well over 3000 kms. It was on a high river so there was not much paddling required.
Kayak_6426m_sml.jpg
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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by Faldaguy »

Anthony, are you skirted, or just the kayak?
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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by Sinned »

Anthony, was he going downhill, with the slope? Is that why not much paddling was required? :lol:
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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by Kirbstone »

Downhill of course. We have lots of downhill lakes in Ireland.

I notice that the first illustrated canoe has pronounced upswept nose & tail in the 'Canadian' tradition. Bad news in Ireland with our winds. We choose flat canoes which don't get blown about like a windvane. They don't look half so pretty, but they're far easier to paddle.

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Re: Canoe or Kayak - You Decide!

Post by denimini »

Kirbstone wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:01 pm
Downhill of course. We have lots of downhill lakes in Ireland.

I notice that the first illustrated canoe has pronounced upswept nose & tail in the 'Canadian' tradition. Bad news in Ireland with our winds. We choose flat canoes which don't get blown about like a windvane. They don't look half so pretty, but they're far easier to paddle.

Tom
Yes, downhill; Dennis must have a good eye for slope; 16mm per kilometre.

The river is fairly protected from wind by trees and river bank. If you do experience wind the direction is highly variable depending on which stretch of river you are on, as illustrated below of my local paddling area.
local stretch of river_crs.jpg
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