Re: small boat question

Posted by Dave Gentry on Mar 22, 2008

The short answer is that flat bottomed boats are initially more stable, in flat water, and that round bilged hulls have more secondary stability, in waves. There's a lot more to it!

In most cases, the skill of the skipper and crew is what really matters.

Regardless, it is generally accepted dogma that flat bottomed skiffs are less suitable for waves than round ones. That's not to say that flatties can't deal with waves, though . . . .

The rib/keel along the centerline of many canoe bottoms provides for directional stability (so they'll tend to go in a straight line), and, to some degree, stiffens the bottom. You'll note that whitewater canoes don't have these, as turning is a priority for them.

A good, succinct, book on the subject is Ted Brewer's "Understanding Boat Design."

In Response to: small boat question by Bryan on Mar 22, 2008


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