A canoe is a narrow boat that is powered by human strength. Canoes are usually pointed and both ends which are also known as the stern and the bow. Open on the top, with seats going from side to side. Some canoes can also be covered. Canoes are essentially made from different types of wood. Although through time; some canoes are being made now of different varieties of materials.
There are seven parts to a real canoe. These parts consist of the bow, stern, hull, seats, thwart, gun whale, and the deck. The earliest known canoes were made from hollowed out tree trunks. Preferably birch bark, however in North America often times white cedar was used. Many canoes are usually the same symmetrically which means you should be able to paddle them or guide them in either direction and they should handle the same.
Depending on the usage of the canoe will usually decide what the canoe should ultimately be made out of. For example, a wood and canvas canoe is considered fragile, and isn't the best type of material for a canoe that will be in rough water, although wooden canoes are quieter. Good for observing wildlife or a trip down a quiet river or stream. Other canoes that are made of different materials are often considered more durable and can withstand rougher water, or a small electric or gas motor to propel them through the water.
The modern canoes of today are usually categorized by the intended use and some are basically not recommended for certain types of conditions. The manufacturers at least put these in categories so consumers know. Amazingly you can't just simply just go out and buy a canoe anymore.
There are too many different designs and styles to tell someone you want to buy a canoe. Some of the types by different manufacturers today are touring canoes, prospector canoes, Long distance canoes, Whitewater canoes, open canoes, racing canoes, inflatable canoes, outrigger canoes, as the list goes on.
Many people compare a kayak to a canoe thinking they are the same and they are not. A canoe will look basically the same one end to the other regardless of which end you are standing at. While a kayak does look the same, there are different components and it is covered many times as well as being very light.