The smallest and what they think is the most fun boat in the range. The hou 13 is based on a Peterborough Canoe Company design classic. The guys who originally penned this design wanted a boat that would carry ‘smallish’ loads, be relatively light and easy to portage, but would track well and paddle easily on open water, lakes, rivers and low grade white water. Don’t forget these boats were a man's life line so at times they were also expected to take on harder white water sections when required, but the main aim of the boat was to ‘look after the solo paddler’ and his kit, in the majority of conditions.
Hou Canoes Unique Features
Wooden carry handle
Most manufacturers use an all in one end deck and carry handle made of plastic. We use two separate components for several reasons. Wood handles are nice on your hands and compared with plastic it is stronger, lighter and maybe most importantly, warmer in your hand!!
Stand Alone End Deck
Because it’s quite common for people to wear through or damage an end deck on a canoe. So if that component includes a carry handle you need to replace two things instead of one. Annoying when one component is still perfectly good! So our end deck is just that, an end deck and it is simpler to replace! By having the handle and end deck as two separate items we also save weight making the canoe easier to carry!
Chunky bolts and seat hangers
Well why not! - In the past we have seen plenty of customers who bought other canoes break their seat hanging bolts, this is why you see them on the shelf in all good canoe stores! So we made ours thicker than standard and therefore much stronger. How much, well by increasing the bolt spec just one size up we have doubled the strength of the bolts! Also we then made chunky seat hanging dowels to go with them! This improves the rigidity of the seat set up too.
When looking at the size of a standard wood web canoe seat and the size of the average persons bottom there seemed to be a miss match?! Why are the seats in all the other canoes so small?? In order to enjoy a day canoeing you have to have a comfy seat? So that’s what we did, we beefed up the gauge of the ash wood that we use, (sourced sustainably in the UK too!) and we set to making our seats big enough to be comfortable, hence the name ‘Comfy Seat’!
Oversized Yokes and Thwarts
Well since we beefed up the seat hangers, and then the seats, it meant that the Yolks and Thwarts in all the other boats looked a little weak and feeble! Then we noticed that in all the canoe shops there are always replacement yolks and thwarts, mmmmmm, so we beefed those up too! Hence oversized yolks and thwarts as standard!
These are all made from UK sourced sustainable ash, made by hand, by our ‘seat man’ right here in the UK. The finish we use is a unique blend of marine oils and varnishes which gives us the best finish in the industry, Why is it the best? Well it doesn’t chip like varnish and it protects the wood better than anything else we can find. Also if you do damage the wood say with the edge of your paddle we will give you a pot of the special mix and you can just apply it with a cloth. No sanding down or prep work required!
Stainless steel fittings
Of course all our fittings are made of high grade stainless steel, sourced in the UK, trying to keep UK people in jobs where we can!
Wooden trim option
Since nearly nobody else seems to do it we decided we would offer a wooden trim option! So we do, - its very nice and hand crafted right here in the UK! This makes the boat lighter and stiffer too!
Oh and great hulls!
The actual hulls of our canoes should be mentioned too! Clearly we have different boats for different folks but over all our designs are time served, theses designs have been floating on water for many many years, with some the history goes back hundreds of years, so we know they work! People used to rely on these designs to keep them safe whist trying to survive what the world threw at them! They honed the designs and it seems they got them right! So the shapes are great, and now so is the material. We use the very latest triple layer molding processes combined with the very latest material developments that give us the stiffest and lightest triple layer PE canoes on the market today.
And it’s all brought to you by a company hou care!
Hou Canoes are made in the UK