Capacity and Stability Chart
To help you interpret the table below
Our canoe plans are well tested, but each has its own unique characteristics. It is important before beginning your project to know what kind of canoe you will be paddling on launch day. We offer some science here to help with your decision. A table of stability and capacity values for the various canoes follows this explanation.
Hull Type: Symmetrical(Sym) or Asymmetrical (Asym)
Traditional hull shapes are most often symmetrical, that is, the front half is the same shape as the back. (We would always hope that canoes and kayaks are symmetrical side to side!) This shape permits the boat to be paddled in either direction, often in reverse when soloing the canoe. An asymmetrical hull shape in a modern canoe or kayak has a finer front end and a slightly larger aft end. This increases the overall speed of the boat or, if you are not a speed demon, makes the canoe easier to paddle. Planking the boat in either case is not a problem. Although the modern canoes are more efficient, we would suggest that an even more important decision for you is which canoe style you like the look of. Our modern canoes (Freedom 15, 17 and 17/9) all have bows without recurve: they don’t curve back toward the middle of the canoe at the top. Some people love that look while others prefer the traditional look.
We wanted to give our customers a reference for the stability of our boats. Our designer Steve Killing came up with the stability factor: the technical description is at the bottom of this page, but the real value is in comparing with other boats. Numbers range from about 50 to 115 – the larger the value, the greater the sideways stability. Many novice canoeists find boats below 95 to be just a bit skitterish, around 100 to be average and over 105 to be very stable. Your experience level will determine the stability you need.
These capacities are the total weight of canoe plus contents that we know works well in the boat. The canoes can be loaded more heavily, but their performance will begin to suffer. For example, the Freedom 17 is listed at 150-510 lbs. The 150 would be a small person in a 50 lb canoe on a solo day paddle. The boat also performs well with two adults (340lbs), plus packs (120lbs), plus canoe (50lbs). We know you can do the math.
These stability factors are calculated for canoes at a common displacement of
400 lbs (except singles at 250 lbs).
The values are the metacentric height at 15 degrees of heel with:
12.24 taken as 100 percent for canoes