What Are the Ends of the Canoe Called?

Canoes are an essential part of any water-based activity, whether it’s fishing, exploring a quiet lake, or cruising down a river. But have you ever wondered what the ends of the canoe are called? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the parts of a canoe and explore the answer to that question.

What is a Canoe?

Before we dive into the details of what the ends of a canoe are called, let’s take a moment to define what a canoe is. A canoe is a narrow vessel that is pointed at both ends and is designed to be paddled by one or more people. They can be made from various materials like wood, aluminum, fiberglass, or plastic.

The Parts of a Canoe

To understand what the ends of a canoe are called, it’s important to know the various parts that make up this watercraft. Here are some key parts:

  • Bow: The front end of the canoe.
  • Stern: The back end of the canoe.
  • Hull: The body or main part of the canoe.
  • Gunnel: The top edge or lip on both sides of the canoe.
  • Keel: A fin-like structure at the bottom centerline of some canoes that improves stability in water.

The Answer: Bow and Stern

So finally comes to our question – What Are The Ends Of A Canoe Called? Both ends of a canoe have specific names: The front end is called the bow while its opposite end is referred to as stern.

The Bow

The bow is considered as one of two primary pivot points in a canoe and is located at the front end of the canoe. The bow is designed to cut through the water, reducing drag and making it easier for the vessel to move forward. It’s often pointed or curved to help deflect waves, keeping water from coming into the canoe.

The Stern

The stern is located at the back end of a canoe and is considered as one of two primary pivot points. The stern is typically flat or squared off and provides stability, especially when paddling solo. It’s also where you’ll find the steering mechanism like a rudder or skeg.


In summary, both ends of a canoe are called bow and stern respectively. These two parts play an important role in the design and functionality of this classic watercraft. So whether you’re planning an afternoon paddle or heading out on a multi-day adventure, knowing your way around a canoe will help you make the most of your time on the water!

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Emma Gibson