Basically all water transport system comes in 3 bottom shapes – the V-shape, round shape and flat bottom canoe shape. The question is why these different shapes? I think the shapes are there so that paddlers can make a choice on which will suit them better.
Someone experience will already know the difference between these shapes, but for the sake of beginners, this article will help you make your choice when buying one.
Understanding which is better for you implies that you will need to also understand how a boat behaves when put on water. The way a canoe or kayak behaves on water is studied by how it displaces water.
Round Bottom Canoe
All shapes displaces water in different ways. Consider a round bottom canoe, if you have ever experience log-rolling, you would understand that it can really get difficult to gain stability. This is the case of a round bottom canoe, its tilts to the area where it senses a higher pressure or weight – so it is difficult to gain stability.
Flat Bottom Canoe
Think of the flat bottom canoe – when on water, it displaces water uniformly making a uniform hole on it with no side higher than the other. Irrespectively of the area that gets the heaviest load, it still wants to displace the water evenly.
This contributes for its stability. We know that the more the immersed surface area in water, the greater the drag. Most round bottom canoe or kayaks have gently curved hulls – gently curved hulls have less water immersed surface area, so round bottom canoe are easier to paddle and control, they are faster when moving through water than any other type of canoes.
So basically, flat bottom kayaks or canoes are very stable on still water. Of course nothing is perfect, the downside of flat bottom canoe and kayaks is the difficulty in manuovering it – by this I mean controlling it cutting through corners.
Paddling a flat bottom canoe may be quite difficult, but when it comes to safety especially for beginners, you will have the best experience with it.
The bottom line is that most recent canoes are neither round bottom nor flat bottom. Their bottom comes to a point so that their cross section looks like a shallow V-shape.
I think this is a better canoe as it copies the characters of both a round and a flat bottom canoe in operation. The V-shape canoe are very stable when moving straight, but of course not every paddlers want to go straight.
When it experiences a pressure or weight on either of its side, it behaves like a flat bottom canoe as it settles on the flat surface and becomes stable.
In a nut shell, flat bottom canoes are very stable on water but slow while road bottom canoes are fast and easy to paddle. The v-shaped canoe comes somewhere in-between to correct the cons of the previous.
Round Bottom or Flat Bottom Canoe Kayaks?
Haven described the sailing pattern of each shape, we can arrive on a conclusion that v-shape are the best, but basically, most kayaks are either round bottom and flat bottom.
Flat bottom canoe or kayak have more stability on water, so any angler feels safe while paddling and hunting for the biggest fish – this is the case for calm water which makes it suitable for lakes and it’s like. But when it comes to troubled water, round bottom kayaks exhibits high resistance to capsizing during high waves.
However, a novice paddler may feel insecure at the initial instability of a round bottom kayak. Don’t be confused when picking the type for yourself. You may not be able to tell by just mere looking at the bottom, the best way to tell is personal experience.
Though flat bottom canoes and kayaks are best for shallow water, such as rivers because it is less likely to ground.