have you padlers used a boat like this in the bwca if so how did it work for you.or how it didnt .alos what would be a good tradein value.on a mn11 or achamplain or itasca .ive had this boat for 12 years its fine for south dakota rivers and lakes .untill it gets windy. i just have never gone into any rapids with it .it padles real nice even with out much help from the bow person.thank you herb

Jensen 18
The Jensen 18 is a fine boat, mighty fine. You should consider keeping it. Most boats suitable for paddling/tripping get blown around by 10 MPH winds. I’ve taken smaller boats tripping and done well. Just watch the weather.

I have
used my Jensen 18( Cross ribbed , kevlar front slider. ) in the Aderondacks which I think is similar to the BWCA, except hillier. I had no problem with it, and ran circles around the other boats in our group. I carried my gear, Bow mans gear and gear for another paddler who was trio-ing it in another boat. (we pack light 35 pounds to 40 per paddler) Paddlers 370 pounds. Gear 130 pounds total 500 pounds in the boat.

The boat ran fine and was even more fun to paddle loaded then empty.

I have run my Jenson in races and have had slight problems with the wind on big lakes. However most big canoes will have similar problems unless you get a Kruger or Sawyer Loon.

I think the Jensen would be a fine tripping boat if you are a light packer.


jensen 18
Ive paddled the Jensen 18 mainly for a race on various rivers including the Yukon from Whitehorse to Dawson City. The Jensen is a very fast boat but so is the Minn II which is actually faster and carries more gear. I wouldnt get rid of the Minn for a Jensen 18…in my opinion its a step up. The Jensen handled well in big seas on lake lebarge and also Five finger Rapids which is an serious of 5-10foot standing waves. We made great time in this boats and it handles nicely. We covered 470 miles in the J-18 in 54 hours.

empty - full?
I wonder if a minn2 is as fast empty as a Jensen Empty? With a full load of gear I can see the benifits, but when you are running light is there any difference? I have done the 90 miler in a Jensen 18 and a Minn2: I have done the 70 miler in a Jensen18 and a Minn2: I have done the Lumber river 40 miler in a Jensen18, a stripe built SCR and a Savage river Comp Cruiser. I noticed big differences in the racing hulls from the Jensen, but no difference between the Jensen and the Minn2. I was in different spots with different paddlers in all these races so I really do not know which is best for lightwieght touring/racing. Maybe Norm, C2G and Eric have a better feel for this question

I havent paddled the Minn2 which is another design by Gene Jensen. I do know that it is longer which usually implies a faster boat. I know EVERY top racer i talked to in the Yukon Quest (700km race) says that if the Minn2 were allowed that they ALL would use that boat.

When I paddled it was fairly light. We had about 25-30 pounds of food water and gear and thats it. The more weight the more sluggish where i think the longer boat would make up for the more weight.

The Jesnen 18 turns much more quicker than the Minn 2 which is important.

Too close to call
this is like which pro sports team is better. The 18 Jensen and the Minnesota II are very close and the difference is depth and volume more than speed. On calm water the 18 Jensen holds the edge for me. The reach to the water and the low shear line make it easier to paddle. On a trip with gear or on big water with waves, the Minnesota II has the depth and volume to keep you paddling hard when the 18 Jensen may keep you concentrating on staying dry. We see a lot more Minnesota II’s in the Adirondacks on trips or at races because you can use them for both. Light paddlers could trip easily with an 18 Jensen.

The Odyssey and the Minnesota II are derived from the Whitewater II, which was superceded by the Whitewater X, which gave way to the radical Whitewater XX. At light loads there is no difference between the Odyssey and the Minnesota II except for the wider gunwales at the bow station caused by the blunt flared bow of the Odyssey. When loaded the Minnesota II tends to cut thru waves and keep its speed, where the flared bow of the Odyssey rides up over the waves and tends to lose a bit of speed. It is much dryer in big water dut to the flared bow and wide outwales. Too bad it isn’t in the Wenonah catalog anymore.

Likewise with the 18 Sundowner, which is a better boat than almost any competitors best tripping hull. It is a beautiful paddling hull, just a bit slower than the Minnesota II and 18 Jensen, it splits the depth and speed of those two, being deeper and more stable than the 18 Jensen, but not quite as fast with a load as the Minnesota II. Traveling with a group, none of these hulls will get behind or significantly ahead.

I could live with any of the mentioned hulls as my all around canoe, only on tight streams or heavy whitewater do they fall short compared to other hulls. But i have a dear old 17’Spirit that does everything for me, and will spend my cash going paddling till it wears out, when i will have to face the decision of what to buy.

hi first of all thanks for replies.the 18jensen i have is worth far more to me than 4to5 hundred dollers that i would get to buy a new boat that wouldt be much better outher than a bit litgher. onone had much to say about the chaplain or itasca.as too handling and canoeabilty. bow center stern any one know the measurements of 18j thank you herb.

My jensen is hung up in my garage now but the Center is about 32At the rails,33 at the 4"waterline. Bow I have a slider but About 28 to22 when the seat is all the ways forward. The back normal is about 26 inches except on mine I have a second back seat that is at 15 inches for mixed racing. Tonight I will put a tape on the boat and give you an exact number.