A few more canoe opinions??

Hi all, I have been doing more homework and have gotten interested in the following.

Bell, Morningstar 15’6", and Northwind 16’

I understand these are tripping boats?? Whats the deal with this?? Would a boat like this be a good all around boat?

Wenohnah Adirondack. 16’ Is this also a tripping boat??

Mad River Explorer is still in the running in Royalex.16’

The Wenohanah 16 Prospector? I can’t figure out why in has 4" of rocker? What’s the benifit or detraction of this feature?

I have scrapped the idea of a poly boat and realize I have to go with the Royalex

Still don’t know if I want to go with the Dagger Reflection used when the prices at Mountain Man in the Adirondacks are so good for brandy new boats.

How do you think these measure up to the Penobscot which I had, and also the Mad Explorer

I am looking for a good all around boat for flatwater and rivers up to class 2.

Thanks Tony ^-^

I saw a Dagger Reflection at Mountainman last week when I was up there, give them a call see if it’s for sale or on hold.I didnt see it listed on the website.

Morningstar a tripping boat?
Sixteen foot boats “tripping” boats? I don’t think so, not if you mean tandem tripping. Seventeen feet is usually the lower limit for serious tandem tripping boats.

You can load everything but the kitchen sink in a Morningstar, and limp along with your gunnels six inches from the water, but that’s like car camping in a beetle.

A matter of opinion

– Last Updated: Feb-28-05 6:13 AM EST –

Morning star is in fact listed in Bells own words as a "Pocket tripper" meaning river tripper I supose. And the Northwind 17'6" and 16'6" in Royalex "The Northwind is our most popular tandem for flatwater tripping" I quess someone should call them up and let them know they are all wrong!

Also the Mad River Explorer has long been the standard for the word tripper.

In my opinion 17" and 18' canoes make lousy moving water trippers.

OT Tripper was quite a decent river
tripper, especially if one didn’t need to portage it. And it is hard to imagine anyone doing a six night San Juan river trip, tandem, in a Bell Morningstar.

Good to hear you’ve slowed down
This time last year I was in a mad dash for a boat too. I ended up with the 14TT and now I’m waiting for my new boat. That is a result of the fact that I didn’t slow down enough to figure out that it was worth waiting a little while to figure out the proper material and boat to go with. Sounds like you’re doing that!

I finally came to terms that I’m not recreating the Lewis and Clark Expedition any time soon. I don’t need a tripper but I really do like to take another full sized guy on day trips. The 14 was just too small to do that. The poly proved unreliable in the end (it was actually too rigid). I fantasized about a Canyon or an Appalachian and then I remembered that I live in Texas and I’ll be doing class I & II and on a really B I G day a III. That’s why I went with the Wenonah Prospector 16 w/4" of rocker. I want to be able to play and handle effectively in the WW I do get into. That feature is more important to me than hull speed or flatwater tracking. I also looked at all the beds in my house and realized that I do have 5 children and it would be nice to take a couple of them with me once in a while. Thus a 16’ Royalex that handles moderate WW reasonably well, a third seat that I can use to solo when I go by myself or take the kids, and enough room that I’m taking it, my son, and gear on a week long trip down the Green River in June.

Somebody told me last year, and it was and is great advise, be honest with yourself about what you’ll use the boat for 90% of the time and don’t sacrifice that purpose during your purchase.

I’ve also come to realize that this is soemthing I’ll be doing for years to come and I’ll own more than one boat. If I ever really get into flatwater tripping I’ll buy another boat for it.

Be patient and God Bless. Dwayne

performance not hydrostatics
Instead of paying attention to hydrostatics like the amount of

rocker and length, it is better to focus on how much weight a boat

has to be able to carry efficiently and how it performs with that

weight. Is the speed, tracking, maneuverability, stability, dryness

of the boat in the situations you are going to use it good (enough)

for you, with the amount of weight you are going to paddle it?

Also be careful with your interpretation of ‘all around’, because it

could be something else than others would think of. My favorite all

around canoe could be a lot different than yours, because my

favorite all around canoe should be able to carry 440 lbs (200 kg)

(paddlers + gear!) safely and efficiently for tripping purposes,

but also be able to paddle well with a lot less… Others may need

much more capacity for their all around canoes, and as such

need a much bigger boat…

Well, maybe I phrased my question wrong. I am looking for a touring boat 16 Royalex, the reason I menetion tripper is that I do not want a tripper but a touring boat.

The Northwind at 16’6" in Royalex looks great as does the Wenohnah Adirondack.

My top choices are the following,I am just trying to narrow it down to THE boat for me.

To use for flatwater and up to class 2 rivers, tandem and solo…

Bell Morningstar 15’6" $836

Bell Northwind 16’6" $876

Wenohnah Adirondack 16 $840

Wenohnah Aurora 16 ?

Mad River Explorer 16 $800

Wenohnah Prospector 16 $1050, too much?

All Royalex tandems

I know I am looking for what everyone else is the perfect boat, but I would love to hear any opinions on these boats for my intended use.

Thanks Tony

I think…
I’m going to go out on a limb here as I only have direct experience with the Explorer and Penobscot. If anybody cares to correct me , feel free.

I think that the Explorer, the Prospector and maybe the Aurora will be a little more manuverable and a little dryer in rough water. I’d call them better river boats.

I think that the Northwind and the Adirondack will track a little straighter and run a little wetter. I’d call these better lake boats and I’m betting they will be the most like your Penobscot.

The Morningstar will probably be the most manuverable and the nicest to solo but I think it will be wet with two guys in rough water.

Having said all that I don’t think the differences are all that great. Even though I’d call the Penobscot a better lake boat, it’s often used as a wildwater (whitewater downriver racing) boat.

Good luck.

Hi Tommy, Yes I agree with all you said thats the take I got on these boats. I had a Penobscot great boat should have never sold it but got out of paddling for a while, I could kick myself.

Now decisions, decisions. ?? Just have to pick one ! ! ! ! !

Anyone else have some input here??? :slight_smile:

Thanks Tony

Can’t Go Wrong…
Those are all good boats and it is hard to say what would be the best for you without knowing your exact circumstances such as how much you and your passengers and gear will weigh. If the weight is in the lighter range the Adirondack and Morningstar would look better. If your weight is heavier the Northwind, Aurora, and Explorer might be better. I think the prospectors are cool but believe all the others would be better lake boats. If you are planning to do heavier trips in heavier water the Explorer starts to quickly pull away from the others, but the Explorers weigh about 10 lbs. more I think.

I have owned and paddled the Aurora and Northwind extensively and believe the Aurora to be slightly better on flat water and the Northwind to be noticably better on moving water. The secondary and final stability are better in the Northwind IMHO. Primary is similar. The bow seat can be a little cramped in the Wenonahs. The shouldered tumblehome on the Bells makes solo paddling healed over and final stability outstanding.

There’s my two cents. Good luck and have fun with the boat whatever you get.


– Last Updated: Feb-28-05 12:18 PM EST –

If you search the archives here, you should find a lot of previous discussions on the boats you've mentioned.

I've got a RX Morningstar that I've been very happy with as a solo/tandem/tandem + big dog daytripping boat. The Penobscot 16 was a close second choice. The Bell seemed more manuverable and a bit more stable, the OT tracked better and felt faster. We went with the Bell because we had a great experience with the dealer and rep, but I think we would've been happy either way.

The RX Northwind was also nice when we demoed it tandem, but at my weight it'd probably be less fun to solo. Everything's a tradeoff...

I disagree
"Sixteen foot boats “tripping” boats? I don’t think so, not if you mean tandem tripping. "

I respectfully disagree. Personally I like 16’ canoes for tripping. I think the 16’ wenonah Prospector is ideal.

Royalex 16s
The tandem AND solo part is the bug-a-boo. As far as doing both, I like the penobscott 16 or the Morningstar.

One I would not choose is the Aurora. I don’t like that canoe.

I do like the Adirondack as a general purpose canoe. It’s good on flatwater. It’s good on class I (I wouldn’t go higher). It has good carrying ability. It sucks solo, however.

I like the wenonah Prospector as a tandem. In fact I really like it. Good on flatwater. Very good on rivers. But, again, as a solo I don’t like it. Too wide. Too high.

Tuffweave Adirondack
Unless you intend to do a lot of whitewater or exclusively rocky streams, I’d look at the TUFFWEAVE Adirondack. That’s Wenonah’s version of fiberglass. Paddles a lot better, and it’s a very tough layup. I have one thats approaching 15 years old and has probably floated and scraped over >1000 miles of “Boney” Ozark streams plus several BWCAW trips. The bottom aint so pretty, but I don’t forsee a problem with getting several more years use out of it. I’ve also owned the Royalex version of the Adirondack and prefer the tuffweave. There are many better flatwater tripping hulls, there are better river hulls, but this is IMHO the best tandem/solo/tripping/river COMPROMISE hull that I’ve paddled. I highly reccomend you test paddle some of these boats before making your decision. Good luck! WW

Why is Penobscot off your list?
If you can afford them, either of the Bells on your list would be the way to go based on your posts to date, with the Northwind being the better capacity. If you want an excellent compromise then the next choices ought to include an Old Town Penobscot 16. Great boat. But good luck with all of them! You will have a blast with anything since being on the water with a paddle in your hand is so cool.


Thanks everyonre, now I am totally confused Lol. Well I have to make up my mind that’s all. I talked to the guy at Jersey paddler and he said the Mad Explorer in his opinion is the best all around boat made today!

As far as the Northwind and Adirondack the advice I got is they are really more trippers than tourers. That’s the take I got on them too while reading about them. I think I should stick to

Mad Explorer

Bell Morningstar

Wenohnah Prospector?

I don’t know.

Anyone know anything about the Old Town Charles River, looked at then today again and they are catching my eye more and more, love the upturned ends!

I also saw a Bell Alaskan good price, have to do homework on this boat still.

Thanks much, you guys have alot of knowledge.

Tony :slight_smile:

Just pick one
Don’t sweat the decision as if your whole life was depending on this. Buy the boat you think is best, and use it. If you aren’t happy with the choice, just sell it, and try a different boat.

Its not like you have to file divorce papers and pay child support on the old boat, and most likely you can sell it without a big loss, or even trade it in if the dealer will take it.

Personally, I like shorter boats - lighter, more manouverable, easier to fit in the garage. Have used a 15’ Grumman for a tandem tripping boat for years, with plenty of room for a two week trip -if you pack smart, all the gear fits without sticking above the gunnels. Certainly not the best materail for a river boat, but they do fine up to class II. Point is, if a 15’ Grumman will work, any of the boats you listed will work even better for you.

I hear you Mattt, I was always into the tech. side of things, sometimes not neccessary!


Then go for the Morningstar!
Have fun!