C-1/solo boat/friend question

okay here is the deal. I have a friend that is over weight and looking to get into paddle sports. I took her out in my Solo Plus (I was in my kayak) and she liked it. so now I am looking to spend her money on a boat. we are thinking about one grand should be good for the boat’s top price. There is a little room, but really that is about it. I have a few ideas in my head, but I want to make sure that my taste does not cloud my judgement. I figure if I had her money in my hand I would find the right boat, but when it is just dreaming…I get all swimmy-headed.

She is about 5’7" and 330 pounds. She is not as graceful on entry of the boat, and is a bit nervous about tippyness. I am going with a 14 foot boat in my head. Wildfires are out for her, we are looking for (near fishing boat) stong primary stability. She will get used to it fast I feel and wasn’t too nervous in my boat. Just got to try to keep away from quick, agil, “be at one and in tune with your boat” kind of boats. So I am just looking for other’s sugestions.

The next part of my fishing expedition here is about boat naming and classification. I was looking at Rutabaga’s used boat list. thought maybe I could pick it up at Canoecopia. They have a WeNoNah C-1W in the price range. well what boat is that. I see all the time people talking about C-1 this and that. let me in to the secret here. I have loked at all the racing rules…but I want to hear this in idiot term. I don’t have good reading comprehention. Which boat is (or: could be) this ad talking about?

Thanks for any and all help you give


I’d look for a used Mohawk Odyssey 14 and spend the rest of the money on gear and destination travel.

Great boat
The Wenonah C-1w is a great boat, Not for the individual you described. Why not buy the C1-w and let me trade her for it . I would give her My wood strip Merlin, Not as fast as the Wenonah but probobly a little more stable…

I would have her trade you, but you are so far away from Ohio, and I don’t think she is into all the trading yet. Thanks for the help though.


Is their C1(Solo) downriver race boat. I use to race one years ago. At that time I was 6’4" and about 215 lbs. I feel I pushed the limits of the boat at that weight in WW at least. That being said I did love that boat. In MHO it is a race boat and is happiest when going fast and unhappy when not.

second the Mohawk
The Odyssey 14 is more of a whitewater suited boat than the Solo 14. However it has greater carrying capacity.

What I like about Mohawks in general is that they are stable for the beginning paddler yet as the paddler evolves allow for kneeling and continuing to learn about heeling the boat.

I like to put all my slightly fearful(of tipping) students in a Solo 14 for their first outings. They develop confidence quickly. The seats are hung low enough to lower the center of gravity , but not so low as to make getting out a new form of excercise.

If she is a good learner (as most women are haha) she will be able to fine tune that J in an Odyssey 14 in no time.

I wouldnt pursue anything labeled C-1. Usually it requires kneeling and a skirt and handles like a kayak ( but as in some downriver racing boats not always).

Another boat to consider is the Old Town Pack. But at 12 feet and quite wide it might be slower than you want.

The Bell Bucktail is a marginal bet . Also 12 feet but short on payload capacity.

The Merlin II is a bit squirrely for the seated paddler. I have one and love it. I am not svelte too but paddle it kneeling. Seated, well I would rather have some more ballast!

Its great that Canoecopia is on the horizon, so you can talk to some reps.

Is there a reason you want to go with fourteen feet ? to me your solo plus sounds like a good match , you said she liked yours . on red rocks classified adds http://www.redrockstore.com/used.html they have a Q-16 solo and a prism that are both in the right price range for her ,I know they are to far from you but it is a good example that there are good used canoes in her range . have fun shopping and make sure she demos a few before she buys


Female Center of Gravity
Women have a lower center of gravity than men. Overweight women still have a lower center of gravity. Hopefully she buys a canoe, paddles a lot with you and loses the extra poounds exercising her paddling muscles.

In that dream case the C1W would be perfect, it is a deep fast solo that has great secondary stability and turns better than the longer Encounter and Voyager. In the Wenonah line, the best solos for stabiity that you might find used in your price range are the Solitude or Solo Plus. The Mohawks mentioned above would suite her need for stability.

Others that are stable and can be found in your $1000 price range would be the Old Town Hunter @14’, the Old Town 15’Penobscot, The NovaCraft SuperNova and Bob Special, The Grumman 129 Solo, Dagger Sojourn, Bell MorningStar.

The Grumman 129 would have no problem with 330# plunking down on its seat hardware. Many of the other mentioned boats hang their seats via dowels and #10-32 screws thru the inwale. They can certainly be pulled thru the seat ends by that much weight dropping less than daintily onto the seat. My former wife was our seat tester for years at that weight; there is no way someone that large can ease down onto a seat. It is an uncontrolled fall for the last several inches, and it does pound the seat hardware. Seats hung on metal brackets are much stronger than dowel hung seats, those on brackets riveted to an aluminum hull are the strongest.

Get that lady on the water in a canoe narrow enough for her to get a good reach to the water. Fix her up with a properly sized,one that fits her hands in addition to being the right length, and as light as possible so she can paddle longer without strain. Teach her good technique and she will have an exercise medium that will have her out in the fresh air and won’t kill her knee joints and feet. Help her get that weight down, live long and paddle.


Try a different Mowhawk
She’ll probably be happiuer in a solo 14.

Much more stable than WlldFire, priced under a K, and with a thick alu seat bracket multiple riveted to synthetic rails.

get a good knee pad.