Our Canoes

The canoe is mankind's oldest vessel and is found all over the world, used since prehistory to explore, hunt and trade the rivers, waterways, lakes and seas.  Our canoes all follow the same pattern as the ancient dug-out and birch-clad vessels but they are made using modern materials and contempory boat building technologies.

  • Wedding transport provided by Canoe Adventures

Our canoes are probably a bit bigger than any open canoes you may have seen before.   We can take 6-12 people out in one canoe and, with our full fleet of 6 canoes, we can get up to 60 adults out in one go, more if you have some little ones.

Under full paddle on the water they look magnificent, attracting the attention of visitors as we pass the quay at the Malters Arms and other boats on the river. Indeed, since 1999, the iconic Canoe Adventures canoes have become an established feature of the upper Dart estuary, often cited as a local point of interest in themselves by tourist guides.   As indeed they should be.  Our three 9 metre canoes were custom designed and built right here on the River Dart at Baltic Wharf in Totnes, part of Totnes' long history of boatbuilding innovation.     

  • Canoe Adventures River Dart Estuary expedition

Our fleet of 6 canoes include:

Three 8m canoes, which take 6-8 adults, and up to 11 people if your crew includes very small children.

Three 9m canoes, which take up to 12 people of any age.

While they are canoes, they are as safe and steady as a boat, especially the larger 9m canoes.  They are very hard to capsize (we have never done so on a paying trip), and very easy to right.

  • Fleet of three Longbow Canoes

If you are new to canoeing, have never been on the water before, or are a group of mixed ages and abilities, these are the perfect vessels for you. Real adventure, being close to the water and the wildlife, but with no chance for the group to get spread out, or anyone to feel excluded.  

If you are a strong confident group, you will find you have a much longer range; being able to go further and faster than in a regular 1, 2 or 3 seater open canoe.

Our Canoes

Arrow - large canoe perfect for big groups schools and families
Name: Arrow
No. of Seats:
12
Length:
9m

The original 9 metre, 12-seater 'Longbow' canoe, Arrow was the first and remains the longstanding workhorse of the fleet. She is the only yellow canoe in the fleet with blue livery. Having a fleet of canoes is a bit like having lots of children - it is impossible (and unwise) to pick your favourite.  (If we were to pick a favourite, however, it might be Arrow, but please don't tell the others).

Karima, large canoe ideal for big groups schools and families
Name: Karima
No. of Seats:
12
Length:
9m

Karima was the second of our locally-built 9 metre, 12-seater 'Longbow' canoes.  She not only increased our capacity; she allowed us to take big groups in equal sized canoes so that when things got a bit competitive, as they sometimes can, everyone could be assured that all things were equal in terms of the size and performance of the boat. So no excuses there.   She also added a new level of style to the fleet in her stylish red and yellow.

Name: Shanty
No. of Seats:
12
Length:
9m

Shanty caused quite a stir in the Rotary Races where she was introduced on her first trip out, with lots of rumours among the competitors that she was the favoured and fastest vessel.  Not true - all are equal in our happy fleet!   She was the fourth 9m, 12-crew Longbow to be built and the third to join our fleet, taking our passenger capacity in Longbows to 36 which is the perfect number for a UK school class with teachers and support staff.  Her extra large bouyancy tank at the back makes for a spacious sun deck where our Skippers can stretch out whilst perfecting the art of getting the crew to take the strain.  

Silkie -  big canoe for groups
Name: Silkie
No. of Seats:
9
Length:
8m

The most recent 8m 'Voyager' canoe to join our fleet.  She can take 6-8 adults and up to 11 if your crew includes small children.   Silky is named after the mythological creatures found in Irish, Scottish, Faroese, and Icelandic folklore, who are said to live as seals in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land.  Our Silky is definitely more at home on the water and our Skippers like her as she offers a bit more space at the back than the other 8m Voyager canoes, although her elegant green does seem to show the mud more than the other canoes so the trade of for space is a little extra cleaning (which all our Skippers love doing!).

Name: Miranda
No. of Seats:
9
Length:
8m

One of the elders of the fleet, Miranda has been through at least one face lift and traded in her waves and curves for a simple, elegant white line. Controversial, maybe, but she wears it well.     She is one of our original 8m 'Voyager' canoes and can take 6-8 adults, up to 11 if your crew includes small children. 

Melody - big canoe for groups
Name: Melody
No. of Seats:
9
Length:
8m

Melody is the elder lady of our fleet and has been loved and cared for for many years and, in return, she has cared for many hundreds of paddlers and passengers up and down the Dart.   She can take 6-8 adults and up to 11 if your crew includes small children.