Hornbeck Boats
Hornbeck Traditional Canoes

Boat Design

How to begin your canoe search? Hornbeck Boats offers three basic categories: Classic, New Tricks and Blackjack. The Classic is the time-tested original, with a versatile hull suited for a wide variety of uses and conditions. New Tricks models have a more streamlined hull for speed and longer-distance travel. Blackjacks are astonishingly light and strong, built entirely of carbon fiber, available in Classic and New Tricks hull shapes.

All hulls are constructed in a single time frame, insuring that all components are chemically bonded. The results are a stronger boat that is impervious to delamination.

Classic model designs have beams of 28" to 30". Their lines are curvaceous, with hollow cheeks in the bow and stern and a rounded belly in the middle. The net result is a very user-friendly, stable boat that is well-suited for fishing, photography and carrying gear, even in windy, wavy conditions. Available in Kevlar or matrix (Kevlar and carbon fiber), we forego an unnecessary gel or skin coat for the sake of lightness. The hull is built with chemical bonds as opposed to physical bonds, making it highly resistant to delamination. Standard features include cherry rails, solid cell foam seat and Yakima foot braces.

New Tricks models have beams of 24" to 26" and a linear hull shape that allows them to cut through the water faster than Classic designs. The narrower hull requires a little more initial attention from the paddler but, like The Classic, final stability is high. The hull exterior is built of matrix (Kevlar and carbon combination), giving it a greenish color. These are superlight vinyl and poly-resin boats with no gel or skin coat. The hull is built with chemical bonds as opposed to physical bonds, making it highly resistant to delamination. Standard features include cherry rails, solid cell foam seat and Yakima foot braces.

Nomads are not just new boats, they are a new type of boat. Longer, faster, and a bit heavier than our packboats, they will appeal to sea kayak paddlers who value the performance of their boats but don't see the need for a deck, hatches, bulkheads, etc. Nomads will also interest conventional canoe paddlers who want lighter, faster, and easier to paddle boats. Nomads are available in lengths from 14'-20'. Some are beamy and user friendly, while others are skinny and built for speed. Two are real narrow and real fast. Most are solo boats and three are designed for solo or tandem use. Altogether 12 entirely different boats are now what we call Nomads.

These are unique boats, the lightest pack canoe you'll find anywhere. They are built entirely of carbon fiber—including the backrest and thwart. The parts are glued together with the same adhesive used in carbon bicycle frames. The result is a canoe that is astonishingly light and strong yet sturdy and built to be used. Blackjacks are available in Classic and New Tricks designs.

The depth of a canoe can make all the difference in how you feel in the boat. A canoe that fits well should have no more than 7" of freeboard (distance between the top rail of the boat and the surface of the water). A boat that is too deep for you will require you to hold the paddle higher than necessary, causing greater fatigue. This is particularly true for smaller and lighter individuals. Excess freeboard does not increase your safety in windy, wavy conditions; rather, it causes your body to act as an unwanted sail and makes the boat harder to control. Ask any kayaker—the better the boat fits the more control you have and the more responsive the boat.

Kevlar: The lightest strongest boat building material.
Carbon fiber: The stiffest boat building material available, second only to kevlar in strength. More readily tooled than Kevlar so complex designs can be created.
Matrix: A combination of Kevlar and carbon fiber.

Hornbeck Canoes materials

Trim: Black cherry gunwales and thwarts in Classic and New Tricks models. Cherry resists rot and mildew. The wood has been oiled with a blend of Thompson's Waterseal, linseed oil and turpentine. Reapply this blend regularly to make it last.

Seat: Soft, durable polyethylene foam is carved to fit a range of people and modified for the individual's anatomy. The foam is bolted to the hull and provides a high level of flotation.

Foot braces: Made by Yakima. Adjustable. Standard in all models. We measure and install foot braces when you pick up your boat so the fit is perfect.