Advice on a canoe purchase

Hello All,

I’ve had a less than perfect shoulder surgery last year that makes it difficult to 1) lift boats on top of my truck and 2) paddle and control long boats or large presence boats on the water, in the wind and so on.

Well, going cold turkey’s a hard thing. I ran across a trailer so I bought it just in case. A trailer would make loading and unloading easier. I’ve recently ran across a like new Wenonah Vagabond in carbon fiber weighing in at 24 pounds, low profile, etc. Any thoughts on the Vagabond for a 6’1" 200 pound day tripper with a gimp arm? Any Vagabond owners out there? Anything better or perhaps I should consider? It’s hard to sit on the sidelines watching you’all paddle by.

A bird in the hand… The Vagabond
is a good choice, though you’ll have to be careful with it.

Others will have many suggestions, but Kaz at Millbrook could make you a 14’ 6" Patriot, or a Swamp Hen, for just a few more pounds, and they would be very tough.

Vagabond is a very nice solo canoe,Has good tumblehome, relatively fast with a double paddle; the only drawback is what it is a straight line boat.Minimal rocker.

I ended up buying an Argosy, same as the Vagabond but with more rocker. Need a little more care paddling straight , but for fishing it’s maneuverability is welcome.

Either are very fine boats in my opinion.


Read the reviews here. I love mine in tuffweave.

well… with a bad arm…
You could always go with a Kruger or a Rob Roy, they have rudders…

Good choice
I own a Vagabond and would recommend it. The boat is well behaved and predictable. It is a flatwater boat that tracks well and is stable. I have used it on rivers, but that is not where it shines.

I’m a big fan of Wenonah and I too feel the Vagabond at 24 pounds would be a good boat to manage safely on and off the water. Perhaps not as sexy as some, but it is a readily available craft. I am concerned with the carbon graphite though. I don’t have any experience with what to me seems a bit on the exotic side. The lightweight part is pretty attractive however I think that lightweight has a price and I suspect durability.


carbon boats
I don’t know the Vagabond or the layup that Wenonah uses, but I have a carbon-kevlar boat. They’re pretty tough structurally. I have bounced lightly off rocks in mine, without doing any structural damage at all.

They, like most composite boats, do scratch easily. If you get a white or white-ish one, the scratches will show less.

Remember that the boat you can move easily, other forces can also move easily. I was unhappy to watch my boat get blown sideways down a gravel beach (again, scratches only). A light, careless kick, which would barely budge a plastic boat, can spin a carbon boat through a quarter turn. You’ll want to develop a careful attitude.

I don’t think you’ve said explicitly what kind of paddling you want to do, but that affects what boat material you should buy.


Type of Water

I’ll be using the boat on flat water/slow water as in ,lakes, ponds and so on.


go for it
I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a carbon boat, then. It will hold up just fine. There is a price to be paid: namely, those extra dollars :slight_smile: