What’s the Difference Rowboat vs. Canoe?

A small rowboat costs $2500 while a canoe $900.

A rowboat weighs about 100 lbs, a canoe about 70 lbs.

To propel your canoe, you use a single paddle held in your hands. To row a rowboat, you need two oars that are linked to the boat in oarlocks. When paddling a canoe, you face the direction you want to go. When rowing a boat, you face the stern, or back, with your back to your destination.

Another difference between the two is that you employ your upper body strength when paddling in a canoe because you only use a one-bladed paddle. As a result, you can change sides on the boat to prevent putting too much load on one side. On the other hand, a rowboat requires you to push with your legs and arms rather than your body.

They have asymmetrical in their construction process for the canoes, while for the rowboats, they have square stern. The mode of learning to use these two boats is also different because to paddle a canoe is quite challenging, and it requires some training through guidance from a professional trainer.


What are rowboats?

A rowboat is a small boat that is propelled by the use of oars. The oars are held at a moving point connected to the boat’s rowlocks. The moving point acts as the fulcrum, and their position never changes even as the boat is being rowed. The rowers in the rowboat face the stern of the boat, and there are rowed backward. Some rowboats, like the Chinese, sculled boats are opposed to the habit of rowing backward and are rowed facing the forward direction.

There are different types of rowboats, all differentiated by size, shape, and purpose, maybe sports, traveling, and transportation. Below we have discussed the various types of rowboats and the activities they are best suited to.

 The flat water shields

These rowboats are also identified as fines. They are specifically designed for professional rows. They have a flat model, and they are very crispy. These types of boats are rowed in flat waters. Newbies in rowing are discouraged from using flatwater shields due to a lack of experience.

 The open water shields.

These are mid-level boats with open water shields. The open water shields model is narrower, and they are best suited to calm waters and with light winds, but they can also sail in the ocean. Due to their thin nature, the open water shields are less stable but travels at a skyrocketing speed. Unfortunately, open water shields are not recommended for those who love fishing.

 The skiffs.

These rowboats are also referred to as dinghy or the dory. The skiffs have a very high level of steadiness, therefore, contributing to their popularity. The skiff rowboat is recommended for families and especially beginners who want to have a boat excursion. This is because the boat is stable due to its size and has a broader base area. Unlike the open water shield, skiffs are highly recommended for fishing lovers.


What are canoes?

A canoe is a boat or a water vessel that is very light in weight. Canoes are pointed at both ends and have an opening at the top. The canoe is propelled by one or two paddlers who are either seated or kneeling while facing the direction they are traveling in. The canoe is paddled using a single-bladed paddle. The canoe is mainly used for recreational services. There are different types of canoes regarding size, shape, area of origin, and purpose they are intended for, as clearly outlined below.

Recreational canoe

These are the most common types of canoes, and they are very stable and durable at the same time hence cannot get damaged easily. The recreational canoes are generally made of either aluminum or plastic. If you need a versatile boat to paddle around the local lake, the recreational canoe should be your best choice as they are straightforward to paddle.

 The advanced and intermediate canoes

These types of canoes are an advancement of the common recreational canoe. The boat has a different taste when it comes to quality and the workmanship of boats. Advanced canoes use lighter materials, more comfortable materials, faster designs, and most preferably flexible ones. The intermediate canoes are used for longer paddles, bird watches and are most preferably used for fishing.

 The white water canoes

These boats have a very high degree of rocker and are specifically designed for river and whitewater paddling. The whitewater canoes have flat bottoms that allow them to turn quickly, thus affecting their ability to paddle straight. The flotation of the whitewater canoes prevents it from sinking when it flips over, which a regular activity during whitewater is paddling. With these canoes, paddling is done while kneeling to ensure that the center of gravity is lowered.

Racing canoes.

These canoes are also popularly known as kayaks. The racing canoe is divided into two types which are slalom and flatwater canoes. These types of canoe are not common because they belong to professional canoeists. The canoes are characterized by lighter materials such as kevlar and fiberglass and are generally narrower at the beam. The racing canoes track very well and are tippy, mainly to the novice paddlers.

Both the canoe and the rowboat serve different purposes, and they have very many things in common which make them hard to easily distinguish. Both the canoe and the rowboats are famous for recreational use as well as competitive racing. Rowboats are suitable for those who want to exercise since they engage the arms, legs, and other body parts. Determining which the best among the two is is up to you, depending on your taste and preferences.