A canoe is a lightweight narrow boat pointed at both ends and open on top, propelled by one or more seated or kneeling paddlers facing the direction of travel using a single-bladed paddle.
Canoes are used for racing, whitewater canoeing, touring and camping, freestyle, and general recreation. The intended use of the canoe dictates its hull shape and construction material.
Historically canoes were dugouts or made of bark on a wood frame, but construction materials evolved to canvas on a wood frame, then to aluminum. Most modern canoes are made of molded plastic or composites like Fiberglass. Until the mid-1800s the canoe was an important means of transport for exploration and trade, but then transitioned to recreational or sporting use. Canoeing has been part of the Olympics since 1936. In countries where the canoe played a key role in history, such as Canada and New Zealand, the canoe remains an important theme in popular culture.
A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland (lakes) or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a vessel small enough to be carried aboard another vessel (a ship). Another less restrictive definition is a vessel that can be lifted out of the water.