Sound familiar? If I had a dime for every time I've heard those two sayings, I'd have...about $2.60, Regardless, I hear it alot. Most people would rather take a vinegar bath after rolling in razor blades than paddle a canoe, "they're tippy, ya know!"
Well, I just don't buy it.
There is a reason our Native American brethren chose the design of the canoe. Without modern conveniences like electricity, or gasoline, they needed a craft that would go upstream, downstream, across big lakes, down rapids and was light enough to carry. Thousands of years of native boat building evolution and enginuity brought us the double ended birch bark canoe. Every canoe made after that first birch bark on wood frame model has just been a modification of that original design. Regardless of manufacturer, or material....Fiberglass, aluminum, cedar, plastic or canvas...they all mimic that original concept.
So what about canoes being tippy? Well, they CAN be tippy if you consume enough alcoholic beverages. They can be tippy if your center of gravity is too high. They can be tippy if you aren't used to the feel of secondary stability. But, think about another tippy mode of transportation (if you aren't used to it)...The Bicycle. Now, that's a darn tippy machine. But, after hours of use, keeping it upright is second nature. A canoe is the same way. I like to think of my canoes as individuals. Each of them has a different attitude and function. Each one has a different feel. Each canoe excels at a certain task.
I guess if you've read this far, you can tell I'm a bit biased. I grew up around canoes, and my daughter is doing the same. Canoes kind of grow on you....... Especially the ones made of wood, and especially the ones with a pretty girl in them.