Canoe Voyageur

A "voyager", a kind of large Amerindian Canoe of the XVIIIth Cent. The Britsh, Scottish but also in particular French trappeurs et coureurs des bois made these their main transportation system.

The Canoe is one of the best known traditional boats without sails, used at very old dates. It is often likened to the canoe, for it probably derives from the first canoes made of simply dug trunks. But the true canoe, a symbol of Native Americans, especially Canada, is truly unique in northern America. The classical canoe was made in the manner of the Eskimo ships of which it is probably an ancestor. It was made of wood and bark or skins sewn and bound, had solid shapes, a slightly raised front and a rear and a Which allowed it to move on all liquid surfaces, from rivers to the largest rivers, through lakes, rapids and torrents, and even coastal maritime areas. Rivers of Canada, great lakes, bays, were all ways of travel, which have always been an integral part of the life of the Americans, as well as European pioneers who adopted it as soon as they arrived. Derive the current canoes, were built entirely of wood and sometimes covered with linen, lined and resined to be impermeable, and provided with a keel for stability and solidity. Such canoes were able to face thanks to their solidity , Their suppleness, their stability, and their lightness, the most frightening rapids, even the cascades.

Pacific canoe

A reconstruction Photo of the Canoe of the Haida, a masterpiece of the know-how of the Indians of the Northwest Pacific. Excavated in 1878 in a trunk of cedar, this canoe of the Indians Haida testifies of what could be a "pirogue" in its most monumental versions. With 16 meters of length, it is one of the most beautiful examples preserved until today. This canoe was used for whaling. Profile reconstructed from photos of the museum of natural history, central park, 79th street in New York.

The composite canoe, made of wood and skin, dating back 4000-5000 years, was generally large enough for at least two people to embark, but many variants have emerged, the largest, built entirely or partially out of wood, Reaching twenty meters, such as the great canoes of war of the Indians of the great lakes. These canoes were brilliantly decorated at the prow and stern, very raised, large enough to carry 20 to 40 people. They were eventually carried on the back of a man, for the smaller ones there again thanks to their light composite structure. The biggest ones were drawn on the bank and returned to the shores. Passengers, trappers, and pioneers were thus able to travel great distances over the rivers, carrying their canoes, their affairs on their backs, and foot-passing non-negotiable falls. Many variants existed, but in general the sections of the ship married "Y" shapes at the front end, "U" at the center, and "V" halfway. Some had more flared sections in the center, others were more delicate and more unstable, especially war canoes, created to "intercept" those of transport. Their bow and their recessed muscles, the keel forming a real loop at its ends, was another of their immediately recognizable characteristics. Modern canoes have more pointed ends, even flat "boat" type.

Canoë cote est pacifique

Preserved Canoe of the West Coast, showcased near Astoria Column, Long Beach.

The riverine heritage of the Amerindian peoples is quite rich, as shown by vivid colors and flamboyant decorations of their immense canoes, restored or preserved. This celebrity allowed this boat to cross the Atlantic and become a sport. In Europe it was known and used from the 18th century, brought back from the new world. French marine painter Gustave Caillebote made one of his favoutite sibjects in the XIXth century. Modern materials used for the construction of canoes are fiberglass, plastic (in particular Polyethylene, or Royalex), carbon fiber, kevlar, much more expensive, polyester, and even aliminium, which exhibited The major disadvantage of not being repairable and particularly noisy for the local fauna...

Dugout west coast

Above, magnificient NW USA Amerindian dugout-Canoe.