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Most canoes are in a pointed form at both ends of the boat. In most cases they are powered by humans although it is not uncommon for sails to be used. Oars or paddles are most often used in which one or more people use these to propel the canoe forward.

In the past canoes were used primarily for moving cargo or assisting in travelling long distances. Now they are mainly used for pleasure and in races although people in some areas do still use canoes to carry their cargo.

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