A bigger Solo Canoe

Right now i have dagger sojourn. While i really enjoy the boat i am thinking about getting a larger boat or more likely just another boat. I am right around 6 feet tall and wiegh about 230-240, then i have my dog at 70 lbs, my cooler around 30-50 lbs, my gear at 10-20lbs. so i am almost at 400 lbs. I think i am really pushing the limits of the boat becasue it always paddles so nicely when i leave the dog at home, or if i leave the cooler at home. But thats not a real option all of the time.

I have other boats also. So this canoe will be dedicated for flatwater, open rivers, on mutliple night trips. So i am thinking of something in a kevlar layup. I am i no hurry to purchase this boat but i would like to be able to jump at a good deal.

Some of the boats i thought about were the wenonah voyager or maybe a bell magic. Just open for some ideas. i have absolutley no interest in having a boat in a tandem set up, but it could be a small tandem boat set up as a solo boat. I really enjoy the glide of the sojourn and would like a smillarly performing boat. Thanks Rick

Another big one
Swift’s Shearwater is another big solo. You’re probably not tall enough to paddle Hemlocks Eaglet at 33" in wide.

Wenonah Prism
I recently purchased a Wenonah Prism in Kevlar layup. I have paddled Sawyer DY Specials for 25 years and felt a little crmped in them as I have aged.

I am very pleased with the Prism. It is stable yet has excellent speed and glide. I photograph, fish, bird watch,etc. from it and really like its stability. I have not camped out of it yet, but it would have plenty of volumn for a couple packs.

The prism is not quite as fast as the DY Special but it is now my number 1 go to solo.

No matter what you decide on try before you buy.

Hemlock SRT?
Too big for me, might work for you.

couple of tandems
I would second the vote for the Encounter. A great flatwater solo for larger loads.

A couple of tandems that work well solo, so much so that you could remove the tandem seats and replace them with thwarts for a single center seat.

Bell Morningstar

Nova Craft Bob Special

Mad River Malecite

Wenonah Solo Plus

The new Wenonah Escapade


– Last Updated: Jul-01-08 11:44 AM EST –

Recently took my SRT on it's maiden voyague.
Prior to the trip I had been in it once, and done a 30 minute test paddle(friend who initially picked it up for me, brought it down with him for the trip).
We did about 99 miles in part of 4 days.
My SRT is wood trimmed in premium plus layup.
I am 200 lb., and was packing about 50 lbs. of gear.
I love the SRT; believe it is an excellent boat for your intended purpose. Definitely going to hang onto that boat.
BUT you have a few pounds on me, and I was not hauling a 70 lb. dog.........
You might be pushing it's limit with the load you have? Stated efficient load is 250 to 400 lbs. No doubt in my mind it will haul 400 lbs, but I would question how efficient it would be with that load. Probably going to lose quite a bit of it's manueverabiliy, and that is one of the reasons I like the SRT.
Additionally, I got mine used, at a very good price. New retail cost is pretty stiff.


P.S. I also own a Sojourn. I can certainly appreciate your "need" for a larger solo.
Don't get me wrong; I like the "slightly quirky" Sojourn, but no way in hell would I even consider trying to paddle mine with a good load of gear, and a 70 lb. dog! I don't go looking for trouble.......

Magic and Shearwater
Lots of seat time in both these boats. With a 70# dog, (mine is 75) and gear I would choose the Shearwater. Nice paddling boat and very high volume. Not too susceptible to wind when empty and with a load is steady but will still turn nicely.

I take the Magic to the BWCA and have full confidence even in good waves adn chop.

I paddled the Encounter briefly and know a fellow who owns one. Very high load capacity, nicely fast and tracks as if on rails. There is however the high freeboard and it will get pushed around pretty good.

I’m 6-3 with long arms, the Encounter needs a pretty good reach. Shearwater not so much.

I’ve paddled some of the other boats mentioned but not enough to form opinion. For dedicated flatwater I like a blend of tracking and turning ability. Both the Magic and Shearwater have differential rocker that facilitates this blend. My $.02


Several options
Two additional options:

  1. Souris River Quetico 16 Solo (can be ordered this way, I believe). This will handle all your gear and then some. The drawback is its lack of glide (I know becuase I’ve owned one for five years). But it will handle lots of gear and is extremely stable.

  2. Bell Northstar. Very fast and maneuvarable. Relatively narrow for tandem, but you cannot order with solo set-up, so probably not a great option for you. This is my favorite tandem canoe.

    I liked the suggestion of a Wenonah Encounter. Huge volume and fast. Gunnels at 25" are wider than Voyager (21.5", see below) and it hauls more. Not as fast, though. The Morningstar options is good as well.

    Be wary of the Voyager and Magic because the gunnels are very narrow. I own the Voyager and love it, but it’s very tight (and I am 6’ 160 lbs.). The Magic is not quite as tight (23") but is significantly slower and will not carry as much load.

Roomy, stable and very manageable empty or loaded.

There’s also
The Wenonah Wilderness. I have one in Royalex which I love but I would guess that a Kevlar version might be a little more efficient. Not as much room as the Shearwater but still plenty stable and paddles well empty or loaded.

With a 400 pound load, including a large dog, the only solo I’d recommend would be the Encounter.

Souris River Tranquility Solo
it is a deep boat and very straight tracking…Its a bit of work to turn…so if you are a gunkholer you will like the Shearwater better.

It does better at speed with a load than unloaded for some reason. Its not for the under 200 lb ultralight traveler.

Thanks for all the great sugestions
the souris river is a new one that a need to check out.

big solo
A Kruger Sea Wind may be a good canoe for your needs .

It does cost a lot though .

another point i should

– Last Updated: Jul-02-08 8:33 AM EST –

add is that i use a bent shaft zre canoe paddle and i am pretty much looking to make it a dedicated sit and switch boat.

narrow Voyageur
I would echo the cautions of Gopher - I too have a Voyageur and love it . But at only 5’8" and a short inseam length, the narrow width can be confining after a long day . Plus, behind the seat the narrow width may preclude loading in a cooler .

That being said, if you can live with those limitations, it’s a great boat . It will easily keep up with tandems ( if not blow past them ) and eat up miles per day effortlessly.

think skinny and long
that seems to work best for sit and switch with a bent-shaft.

i’d say the three larger wenonahs: prism, voyager, encounter; and maybe the bell magic.

are not,in my opinion, great boats for sit and switch paddling. It can be done but I agree the Wenonahs listed above are much better.

depends on your arm length
Most solo boats need to be fit to the paddler to optimize a vertical shaft.

Arm length is actually an important measurement to ensure the paddling station is appropriate for you.

As in most things its more about the paddler and less about the boat. The Shearwater does fine for s and s for a longer armed paddler.