A Square Stern Canoe: When Should You Choose One?

A Square Stern Canoe: When Should You Choose One?

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 6/23/2022

Square back canoe

You should consider buying a square back canoe (also known as a square stern canoe or a flat back canoe) if you wish to use it exclusively for fishing or duck hunting.

Unlike traditional canoes, square back canoes have their sterns squared off, allowing the owner to attach a small motor to the back. It's easy to connect a small outboard or trolling motor to the stern of a square back canoe, so you don't have to paddle. You can use the engine for most of the trip and then paddle for the last portion. 

Square back canoes have the disadvantage of being more difficult to paddle than traditional canoes. The flat back of the canoe makes tracking (staying in a straight line) difficult, so it moves slowly. If you're going fishing or duck hunting, you won't need to paddle much anyway. 

A square back canoe's benefits


One of the best features of a flat back canoe is the ability to attach a trolling motor or small outboard motor. With an engine, you'll be able to reach your favorite fishing and duck hunting spots faster than ever before. Some light trolling motors will ensure the rig stays lightweight for those concerned about weight.


Canoes with square backs come in various sizes to suit your needs. These models have a smaller carrying capacity than their larger counterparts but are easier to handle. It's easier to manage the larger models, but they can take more weight. Decide what your boat needs to accomplish, then determine the size accordingly. 


There is no such thing as a stable canoe, but a flat-back canoe is more durable than a traditional canoe. It is easier to balance from a boat when fishing or hunting ducks with the added stability. Depending on the model, you can fish or shoot without worrying about losing your balance. It is essential if you are hunting or fishing with another person.

Jon boats cannot get into the nooks and crannies of a waterway, which can only be reached by canoes. Anglers and duck hunters like them for this reason.

A traditional canoe is a great option to stay close to the shore. However, most people do not want to paddle several miles to their hunting or fishing spot just to return home at the end of the day. 

Consider some of the more reputable brands when choosing a square-back canoe. A boat store or outdoor store may sell them new, or you may be able to find a used one for a reasonable price. Make sure the brand is known for building quality canoes in either case. 


Canoes made of aluminum by Grumman are some of the most popular and well-known. The Grumman 19' Square-Stern canoe is especially popular, but the company also makes excellent models of other canoes. This model is remarkably stable and has a large carrying capacity because of its size. In addition to being durable, Grumman canoes track better than many other models. Especially if you plan on paddling a lot, this is crucial. 

Old Town

In a smaller, easy-to-manage boat, Old Town Discovery Sport 15 offers all the Old Town Discovery series features. A durable and stable polyethylene hull makes it easy due to the Sport 15's smaller size. It has a lower carrying capacity than some other square-back canoes, and it can be a great trade-off if you don't have to carry much weight.


The Wenonah Backwater Square Stern Canoe is a 15-foot canoe available in various weights and colors. This is an excellent option for people who want a very lightweight canoe. You should be aware that the Ultra-light is less durable than the standard weight if you paddle in areas with many rocks or shells. They will also be a bit heavier than their Flex-Core options, but they will be more durable. 

What is the best place to buy a square-back canoe?

Get ready to go hunting when you purchase a square-back canoe! The number of online retailers selling them isn't huge. If you are interested in purchasing one directly from the manufacturer, you can do so. There might be a backorder, but they can let you know when they will be shipped. 

If all else fails, you might be able to find a square-back canoe at a local boat store, fishing store, or second-hand gear store. You might be able to order them from your local boat store if they don't have them in stock.

Check with your local canoe rental outfitter if they have any of their rental boats for sale or if they know someone who does. Local boaters can provide great recommendations for quality square-back canoes. Craigslist and eBay are also good sources for second-hand square-back canoes. 

Make sure you have a way to transport your square back canoe when you pick it up when you purchase it locally. You can typically tie a square back canoe to a roof rack like a standard canoe, but you should check with the boat's owner before you pick it up. Some boats may require a trailer. Almost any square-back canoe can be picked up if you already have a boat trailer. 

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