How Much Does A Canoe Weigh

Embarking on a sea voyage sitting on a canoe is definitely a worth exploring adventure. But the efforts you’d need to pull off the vessel from its storage location to the dock can tire you out. Therefore, one of the main questions you need to ask before purchasing this watercraft is ‘How much does a canoe weigh?

Generally, the overall load of a canoe can vary between 60 to 80 pounds. However, several factors come into play in determining this. 

These include the length, width, and material composition of the canoe. And this can impact your overall experience, especially if you own a canoe and need to load and unload by yourself. 

In this guide, I will discuss everything related to the weight of canoe and how you can choose the best pick for your needs. So without wasting any time, let’s get started. 

How Much Does a Canoe Weigh?

As touched earlier, determining an exact figure to interpret a canoe’s weight is quite difficult. This boat type comes in several sizes, lengths, widths, and materials. And with all these factors combined, the weight can also drastically vary. To touch the basics, a traditional canoe typically weighs between 60 to 80 pounds. 

How Much Does a Canoe Weigh

But that’s not the limit as you can also find lightweight vessels made from materials like Kevlar or carbon fiber, weighing around 20 pounds. However, you need to compromise on the boat’s build quality in this scenario. 

Comparatively, the more heavy-duty models made from aluminum or wood trade off portability. Their weight can range between 80 to 100 pounds or even more. 

If you want as light as possible canoe for your next canoeing adventure, then you can also consider buying an inflatable canoe like Sevylor Inflatable Rio Hunting and Fishing Canoe or any other. But, there are certain considerations that you will have to make while using this vessel.

Does Canoe Weight Affect the Stability and Overall Performance?

Yes, the weight of a canoe has a considerable impact on its overall performance which pertains to a combination of factors such as stability, maneuverability, and speed. 

Stability: A heavier canoe will generally be stable because it has more mass to counterbalance external forces, such as wind or waves. This can be particularly beneficial if you are a novice paddler or driving in rough water conditions. However, if a canoe is excessively heavy, it may become less stable as it sits lower in the water and gets more susceptible to tipping. Therefore, you must know how to right a capsized canoe to be prepared for any of such moment,

Maneuverability: Lighter canoes are generally easier to turn and control, making them more maneuverable. Moreover, they respond more quickly to paddling strokes, allowing precise navigation. In comparison, heavier canoes may require more effort to turn, especially in tight spaces or when paddling against strong currents.

Speed: Lighter canoes tend to be faster because they have less mass to displace through the water. And they require less effort to paddle and can glide more easily. On the flip side, heavier canoes may need more power and exertion from the paddler to achieve and maintain an average canoe speed.

How Weight of a Canoe Matter in Different Aspects?

The weight of a canoe can have various implications and considerations in different aspects related to its use. Here’s a breakdown of it: 

Carrying your canoe

The weight of a canoe affects how easy or difficult it is to carry around. Heavier canoes can definitely be more challenging to lift and canoe transportation, especially over long distances or uneven terrain. Meanwhile, lighter canoes are generally easier to handle.


Portaging refers to the act of carrying a canoe over land between bodies of water. A lighter canoe is preferable for this act as it reduces physical strain and fatigue during the process. A heavier canoe may require more energy to carry, making portaging a demanding task.

Paddling Performance

In terms of this aspect, lighter canoes are generally more responsive and easier to paddle, allowing for greater maneuverability and agility. Moreover, they require less effort to propel and change direction. Pertaining to this, heavier canoes may feel slower and require more power to paddle effectively.


You have a number of options as transportation mediums of canoes, including carts, trailers, or the top of your car. Irrespective of the medium, the watercraft’s weight has a huge impact on ease of handling, required effort, and the equipment’s capacity. 

With a lighter canoe, using a cart, a trailer, or car top becomes easier and more convenient. The wheels of the cart and trailer or car’s roof can handle the weight of canoe without strain, allowing you to effortlessly move the vessel over various terrains. But if you want not to damage your car roof, and transport canoe without any hassle, then I would recommend you to mount a canoe roof rack as per your requirements.

However, the case is the opposite for heavier canoes as they require more effort. The wheels or roof may experience more strain and eventually get damaged. 

Canoe Storage

The weight of a canoe can impact how you store it. Heavier canoes may require more robust storage systems to support their weight, while lighter canoes may be easier to lift onto racks or suspend from the ceiling. For instance, if you store your canoe in garage, then most probably you’ll have to list it to hang a canoe on wall. Understandably, if your canoe is heavier then one person might not be able to lift it from the ground and hang it safely.


In general, heavier canoes tend to be more durable and resistant to impacts and rough handling. However, advancements in materials and construction techniques have allowed lighter canoes that are still durable and suitable for various activities.

What Factors Determine How Much a Canoe Weighs?

The factors that decide the weight of a canoe include: 


The choice of material used in constructing a canoe significantly affects its weight. Canoes can be made from various materials such as wood, aluminum, fiberglass, Kevlar, or carbon fiber.

Each material has a different weight-to-strength ratio, with lighter materials like carbon fiber being used for high-performance canoes. In contrast, heavier materials like wood or aluminum are commonly found in heavy-weighted recreational or traditional canoes.


The number of people a canoe can accommodate also influences weight of canoe. Canoes designed for solo paddling will generally be lighter compared to those built for multiple passengers. The structural requirements to support the weight of additional occupants, along with the necessary space and seating arrangements, contribute to the overall weight of the canoe.


Longer canoes tend to be heavier because they require additional material to maintain their structural integrity. And such canoes also have larger surface areas, resulting in more material needed for construction, which adds to the overall weight.


The beam or width of a canoe affects its stability and load capacity, which can influence its weight. Wider canoes generally have a higher weight as they require more material to maintain stability and provide buoyancy. 

However, exceptionally narrow canoes might be lighter due to the reduced material required, but they may sacrifice stability and carrying capacity. But, if you don’t want to compromise its stability either then you have the option to installing DIY canoe stabilizer or you can purchase from the market as well.

Added Features or Accessories

Canoes may come with additional features or accessories that can impact their weight. Canoe parts or features like built-in seats, storage compartments, flotation devices, or reinforcement elements can increase the overall weight of the canoe. 

Additionally, accessories such as paddles, seats, or canoeing outboard motor (includes mounts), if included, will contribute to the total weight.

Guide on Choosing the Right Canoe Weight

Choosing the right canoe weight for your needs involves considering several factors. Here are some guidelines to help you make an informed decision:

Paddling Style

Different paddling styles have varying requirements for canoe weight. For example, if you prioritize speed and performance, you might prefer a lighter canoe for racing, while a sturdier and slightly heavier canoe might be more suitable for shallow water paddling.


Consider how you plan to transport and handle the canoe. If you anticipate frequent portaging or solo transportation, a lighter canoe will be easier to carry and maneuver. However, if you will have assistance from any of your friends, a slightly heavier canoe might be acceptable.


HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN FIT IN A CANOE? If you frequently paddle with multiple people or require significant gear for camping trips, you may need a canoe with a higher weight and seating capacity. This might mean sacrificing some weight savings for increased load-bearing capabilities.

Physical Ability

Assess your own physical strength and capabilities. If you have limited upper body strength or prefer a more leisurely paddling experience, a lighter canoe will be easier to handle and maneuver. 

On the other hand, if you have the strength and prefer a more stable and solid feel, a slightly heavier canoe may provide better stability. Also, if you’re a bit more adventurous, and often paddle while standing in a canoe, then you must have to consider the canoe weight and keep the balance.


If you plan for whitewater canoeing or might be encountering rough conditions, a canoe with more weight and a sturdier construction might be preferable to withstand potential impacts. However, if you primarily paddle on calm lakes or gentle rivers, a lighter canoe might be suitable.

What is recommended canoe weight for beginners?

The recommended canoe weight for beginners is typically in the range of 40 to 60 pounds. This weight range strikes a balance between stability and maneuverability, making it easier for beginners to handle and control the canoe during their learning process.

Canoe Vs Rowboat

Which canoe weight is best in terms of performance?

In terms of performance, lighter canoe weights are generally preferred, as they are easier to paddle, accelerate faster, and require less effort to maneuver. Moreover, this type of canoe offers improved speed, agility, and responsiveness on the water. 

High-performance canoes often utilize lightweight materials like carbon fiber or Kevlar to achieve optimal weight-to-strength ratios. 

Different Canoe Materials and Their Weight & Durability 

Here is a detailed comparison table outlining the weight and durability of different canoe materials:

Material Weight RangeDurability 
Fiberglass 65 pounds Moderate
Aluminum 70 poundsHigh
Kevlar45 to 50 poundsHigh 
Wooden 45 to 75 poundsModerate to High
Polyethylene80 poundsHigh

How Much Does a Wooden Canoe Weigh?

A wooden canoe typically weighs between 65 to 75 pounds for a cedar-strip 2-person canoe and 45 to 55 pounds for a solo wood canoe. These canoes are custom-made by manufacturers and are known for their beauty, but they require regular varnishing and are relatively heavy. 

They are best suited for calm lake paddling and for those who appreciate the nostalgia of wooden canoes, but are not suitable for rocky rivers or beaches.

How Much Does an Aluminum Canoe Weigh?

Aluminum canoes used to be heavy and slow, but advancements have been made. A 2-person weight of aluminum canoe now weighs around 70 pounds. They require minimal maintenance and are constructed using sheets of aluminum riveted together along the keel.

How Much Does a Fiberglass Canoe Weigh?

Fiberglass canoes are lighter than aluminum and are made by layering fabric cloth coated with resin. They are rigid, lightweight, and strong. A 2-person fiberglass canoe weighs about 65 pounds and is approximately 15 feet long.

How Much Does a Kevlar Canoe Weights?

Kevlar canoes are even lighter, weighing about 20% less than fiberglass canoes. They weigh around 45 to 50 pounds for a 15-foot 2-person canoe. Kevlar canoes are highly efficient and ideal for flatwater tripping, as they are easy to portage due to their low weight.

Length and Width Effects on Canoe Weight

The weight of a canoe is influenced by various factors, including its length and width. While it’s challenging to provide specific weights for every length and width combination, I can provide general figures: 

Here are some approximate weight ranges for canoes of different lengths:

  • 12 feet: Typically, a 12-foot canoe can weigh around 45-70 pounds.
  • 14 feet: A 14-foot canoe may weigh approximately 55-80 pounds.
  • 16 feet: The weight of a 16-foot canoe can range from 65-90 pounds.
  • 18 feet: An 18-foot canoe might weigh around 75-100 pounds.
  • 20 feet: Canoes of this length can weigh approximately 85-110 pounds.

How Much Does an Old Town Canoe Weigh?

The weight of Old Town canoes can vary depending on the specific model and material used in their construction. Here are some general weight ranges for Old Town canoes:

Old Town Canoe ModelWeight Capacity 
Discovery 119 Solo canoe weight49 pounds1-person
Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman Canoe weight56 pounds1-person
NEXT canoe weight 59 pounds1-person
Penobscot 164 canoe weight 75 pounds2-person 
Saranac 146 canoe weight70 poundsMore than 2 people
Guide 160 canoe weight 86 pounds2-person
Discovery 169 canoe weight 91 pounds2-person
Discovery 133 canoe weight 78 pounds3-person

How heavy is a canoe – wooden and plastic?

The weight of a wooden canoe can vary depending on its specific design, length, and construction materials. However, as a general guideline, wooden canoes typically weigh around 60-80 pounds (27-36 kilograms).

On the other hand, plastic canoes, typically made of polyethylene, can have a weight range of approximately 65-95 pounds (29-43 kilograms). The weight of plastic vessel can vary based on their canoe length, design, and thickness of the plastic used in their construction.

Does canoe weight matters in different waters?

Yes, canoe weight can have an impact on performance and handling in different water conditions. Here’s how canoe weights can matter in various water bodies:


In saltwater, where tides, currents, and wind can be stronger, the weight of the canoe can affect its stability and ability to handle challenging conditions. 

A slightly heavier canoe may provide better stability and resistance against the forces of waves and currents, making it easier to navigate through saltwater environments.


In general, freshwater conditions tend to be calmer compared to saltwater. In lakes, rivers, and other freshwater bodies, a lighter canoe can be advantageous. Lighter canoes are easier to maneuver and paddle, allowing for better agility and responsiveness. 

Canoe Weight and Fishing

The best canoe weights for fishing can vary depending on personal preferences, fishing style, and specific needs. However, a canoe weight range of approximately 60-80 pounds (27-36 kilograms) is often considered suitable for fishing purposes. 

For fishing or hunting purposes, usually, square stern canoes are recommended because they are more stable and gives you a dedicated space for mounting trolling motor. Having trolling motor installed means, you will have to control over the speed, and maneuverability, which gives you an advantages in terms of fishing.

Which is heavier canoe or kayak?

In general, canoes tend to be heavier than kayaks. This weight difference is primarily due to the differences in design and purpose between the two watercraft.

Canoes typically have a wider and more open design, offering more space for passengers and gear. The broader shape and larger size of canoes require more material for construction, which contributes to their overall weight. Canoes also have a higher weight capacity, allowing them to carry larger loads.

On the other hand, kayaks are narrower and more streamlined in design, allowing for faster and more agile maneuverability. The smaller size and streamlined shape result in less material being used during construction, making kayaks lighter in weight compared to canoes.

FAQs – How Much Does A Canoe Weigh

Are heavier canoes expensive?

Yes, heavier canoes tend to be more expensive due to the materials used and the additional construction required to support the weight. In addition, they often use durable materials like fiberglass or kevlar, which can drive up the cost.

Is maintaining and handling heavier canoes difficult?

Yes, it’s quite challenging to maintain and handle heavier canoes in comparison to lighter ones. They require more strength and effort to carry, launch, and maneuver. Additionally, the added weight may make them less agile on the water, requiring more skill to navigate effectively.

Is a heavier canoe suitable for longer paddling sessions?

You can utilize a heavier canoe for long outings on the water. However, it’s not the best available choice, as the weight adds to the physical exertion required. For extended paddling, you should consider lightweight canoes.

Can one person transport, dock, launch, and paddle a 17ft canoe?

No, a single person can’t transport, dock, launch, and paddle a 17 ft canoe. The length and weight of a 17ft canoe make it difficult to handle solo. It is recommended to have at least two people for these tasks to ensure safety and ease of maneuverability.

How much does a 16ft canoe weigh?

The weight of a 16ft canoe can vary depending on the material it is made of. On average, a 16ft canoe made of aluminum can weigh around 65 to 90 lbs, while a fiberglass or composite canoe may weigh between 50-70 lbs.

How heavy is a canoe that is lightweight?

In general, a lightweight canoe weigh between 35-55 pounds. These canoes are specifically constructed to be lighter, making them easier to handle and transport.

How heavy is a canoe of 14ft?

The weight of a 14ft canoe can vary depending on the construction materials. On average, a 14ft canoe made of fiberglass or Kevlar may weigh around 45 to 60 lbs. Canoes made up of aluminum typically weigh around 55 to 80 pounds.

How much does a 13-foot canoe weigh?

A 13-foot canoe’s weight can vary depending on the material used. On average, a 13-foot canoe made of fiberglass or Kevlar can weigh around 40-50 lbs. Aluminum or polyethylene canoes of the same length may weigh slightly more, typically around 50-60 lbs.

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