I am a beginning WW canoeist (up to class 2+ so far) and I’ve been paddling a Dagger Caper (14’). I love this boat, especially for overnight trips, but I’d like to have something smaller/more nimble/lighter for day trips. Thing is, I’m a big dude (~240 lbs) which limits my choices a bit. Should I be avoiding boats not specifically designed for large paddlers? For example, I recently spotted a Mad River Outrage for $300 on Craigslist, but notice it says it’s for paddlers up to 190. Much as it fits my needs for a day boat, I’m concerned about exceeding design specifications… How big of a deal is this weight rating thing?
" How big of a deal is this weight rating thing?" Depends on your skill & balance.
Try to find a Dagger Caption. It is desinged as a tandem but but works well for a larger sole - once you get used to how lively it is.
Some of the larger Mohawk XLs and Probes might work too.