Canoe suggestions? 14-16 royalex tandom

I currently have a 17’+ Mohawk Intrepid (Royalex) and a 14’ Mohawk fiberglass. Both are tandoms. What I love about both boats is that I sit in the bow seat backwards and paddle them solo perfectly. But Mohawk has gone out of business.

What I’ve been thinking about doing is selling my two canoes, and buying a smaller royalex canoe. But I don’t want to loose my solo/tandom-ness of my Mohawks. Lower end Old Town’s have those plastic butt-bucket seats, which would prevent me from doing this. I’ve seen some three seat canoes designed to allow solo or tandom paddling, but I’d rather have it like a Mohawk.

Any recommendations? I’ve looked around at the big names that I know of: Wenonah, Mad River, Old Town, and Bell… but if there are other companies out there that make good boats I’d appreciate some name dropping.



solo/tandem boats
Any boat with a symmetrical hull design and flat seats will work for you. I’d suggest 16ft as the best compromise for both tandem and solo. Also wouldn’t suggest a boat much more than 35" wide at the gunwale in the middle or solo paddling becomes difficult because of the width. A 16ft Penobscot with the cane seats would be a good candidate. If you want something sleeker and better for flatwater a Wenonah solo-plus 3 seater would be a good choice. They’re available in Royalex (I think). But they are too narrow, devoid of rocker, and low sided for anything other than class 1 water.

Bob Special
My cross-over boat (tandem/solo) is a Nova Craft Bob Special. Mine has three seats but you can get it with just two and paddle backwards from the bow seat (be sure to put some weight up front). In fact in some ways that may be better than the third seat. My center seat is too close to the yoke and I felt I had a potential entrapment issue. I made the yoke so that it is removable for solo use.

I like my Bob.

My Bell Northstar works very nicely as a crossover boat as long as it is not too windy on big water. It came with a kneeling thwart, which I changed out for a third cane seatinstalled just aft of the center yoke. My dog sits just in front of this thwart, so the boat trims nicely. My Penobscot 17 with cane seats aslo sees some solo use, but it is defineilty a lot of baot to paddle solo, and I second the suggestion to try the Pemob 16

canoe recommendation
I have a 16’ Dagger legend which they no longer make, however, mad river is now making the legend. I would suggest test paddling one.

I have taken my legend on many wilderness trips, it is easily paddled solo or tandem, handles whitewater well (2" rocker on ends) does not track very straight on flat water but is easily maneuvered. For tripping the 1400 lb capacity with 4" of remaining freeboard is a plus.

$30 seat
Old Town’s butt-bucket seats will only prevent you from doing what you want if don’t bother to buy a different bow seat and swap it out.

If I were to drop names for 16’ Royalex canoes, I’d suggest NovaCraft and perhaps Esquif, though I’m not sure which of Esquif’s boats are symmetrical.

Depending on where you live, you may or may not have a retailer for these boats.