What Is A Canoe Made Out Of?

What Is A Canoe Made Out Of

The kayak might be the most popular one between the two, but many people still prefer a canoe. The canoe offers plenty of benefits, including more stability, and you have a little more storage space. They are also older than the kayak, which has led to many people asking us, “What is a Canoe Made Out Of?”

Canoes were always made from wood, and wooden planks should have been the best materials available when the first canoes were made. However, nowadays, canoes are made from all sorts of materials. These materials range from rotomolded plastic to carbon fiber. Aluminum is even used for frame structures.

This article aims to look a little deeper into the different canoes. We have selected the most common materials used for canoes, and we will discuss them. Additionally, you will also find two of the best canoes on the market today. These canoes will offer you transportation and the best possible durability:

What Is A Canoe Made Out Of?

As mentioned, canoes are made from various materials, and each material serves a different purpose. When you select a canoe, the materials will be one of the main features you need to look at. We have broken down all the different materials of the canoe, and now you can see what the best materials are:

Plastic Canoes

One of the most common and cheapest canoes is the plastic canoe. However, this is broken down into thermoform and roto-molded plastic. Both of them are different, and they have different benefits when you use them.

  • Thermoform Canoe: Thermoform canoes are formed using high heat levels, and it is generally layers of polyethylene. Polyethylene is used to sandwich either ABS or acrylic materials that will add to durability.
  • Rotomolded Plastic: Rotomolded plastic is made from polyethylene, and it is a pre-shaped form used. The melted plastic is poured into the cast, and this is used to shape the canoe.

Composite Materials

The composite materials are some of the best materials you can look at. Royalex is one of the most common materials, and these canoes often have a combination of polyethylene and aluminum. The aluminum is great for stability, and the plastic of the canoe will help with the floatation and additional durability.


One of the best materials for a lightweight canoe is fiberglass. Fiberglass is a variety of interwoven fabrics that will offer you some durability. Even though these canoes are lightweight and have plenty of durabilities, it is far more expensive to produce than some plastic alternatives.


Many canoes have been made from aluminum, which dates back to the Second World War. At first, they were the lightest and most durable canoes. However, they are also expensive for you to buy. The benefit of the aluminum canoe is that it has exceptional durability. These canoes can last forever, even when neglected.


While Kevlar is one of the best materials and technically a composite, we have to separate it. Kevlar is used for bulletproof gear, and it is also interwoven fabrics that will blend to give you a canoe. While it is lightweight, the downside is that the canoe is very expensive. These canoes have plenty of durabilities.


If you are used to the older version of canoes, you might have come across that wooden canoe. Wooden canoes are still popular in many cases, and it is also one of the most durable. However, wooden canoes need a lot of maintenance to keep them in shape. Additionally, these canoes are also very heavy, even though modern gluing techniques are now being used.

Inflatable Canoes

Ripstop nylon is one of the strongest fabrics, and most inflatable canoes will use it to ensure you have an inflatable canoe. We don’t generally recommend these canoes for the puncture risk. However, when looking for something lightweight, you should consider an inflatable canoe made from PVC or ripstop nylon.

Key Reasons They Currently Use What They Use

If you look at the history of materials used for canoes, you will find that many canoes have been made from wood. However, the modern take is that rotomolded plastic is the best material for budget canoes. Kevlar and fiberglass are too expensive, but polyethylene is one of the most readily available materials.

One of the main reasons that polyethylene is now used is that plastic is readily available. Also, keep in mind that there is a major demand for canoes, and weaving different fibers might not be that easy anymore. You must look at plastic and understand that it is still a great material, and fixing it should be easy.

Top 2 Canoes

Now that you have seen some of the top materials and why people choose these materials, you might wonder which canoes are the best. While the modern trend is now kayaks, we have managed to find a couple of canoes. These canoes should offer you some great value for your money:

Pelican – Boat Intruder 12

Pelican - Boat Intruder 12

Where to Get It – Check it out on Amazon


  • Includes rod holders
  • Made from rotomolded plastic
  • Large interior
  • Holds 426-pounds


  • Hard to maneuver

Bottom Line: The Pelican – Boat Intruder 12 is one of the best when you are looking for durability. The canoe holds up to 426-pounds, and it will give you plenty of value for your money. It might be a little more expensive, though.

Wooden Canoe with Ribs Curved Bow

Wooden Canoe with Ribs Curved Bow

Where to Get It – Check it out on Amazon


  • Made from solid wood
  • It holds plenty of cargo
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Durable construction


  • Heavy

Bottom Line: The Wooden Canoe with Ribs Curved Bow is one of the best options if you still want a canoe made from wood. It might be heavy, but it is durable. The wood has been treated, and you will only need to use it.

Canoe Summary

If you want to explore the world and have some fun on the water, you need to look at the top canoes. These two canoes are highly rated, and they offer you value for your money. Let us know in the comment section which canoes you like and if we have missed your favorites.

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Lee G.

I love the outdoors! Everything from hiking, climbing, rappelling, and caving.

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