If you are using a canoe in rough or “white water”, not having a keel allows you to maneuver the canoe much easier by allowing the boat to slide sideways easier during certain paddle strokes. On a fairly gently river like the Congaree River, a canoe with a keel is much easier to keep on course. I found it requires more work to keep the canoe straight without a keel. Differences in paddler strength or stroke are much more apparent and required more corrections.