compare Wenonah Prism to Vagabond?

-- Last Updated: Aug-17-05 1:31 PM EST --

yes, yes, i'm still thinking about a solo canoe. your advice on the earlier thread has me doing my homework bigtime. soon i'll set up some demos. here's the newest question:

could someone who knows both canoes compare the characteristics of the Wenonah Prism to the Wenonah Vagabond? Which might be better for a 240 lb. person with a week's worth of camping gear and/or an afternoon's worth of fishing gear on a windy lake?

thanks again.

Ithaca, NY

I would
go with the higher volume. I can go camping with 35 pounds for 10 days if I can filter the water. It would be much higer in salt water of course. 240 pounds plus 35 pounds pluspaddles and incidentals and you are almost at 300 pounds in a 14 foot canoe? Not enough freeboard. I like the Vagabond but I think the prism would be better with that wieght, unless you are seriously planning to “grow down to it” and lose a bunch of wieght…

I agree
If day trips minus gear are your intentions the Vagabond is fine but the Prism will certainly hall more and have a better glide.


The prism is a better fit for you than the vagabond. But it will take some skill to handle either boat in windy conditions. You will learn to appreciate prisms sliding seat to trim the boat for conditions.

Prism for the Finger Lakes
I used to live an hour southeast of Rochester and fondly remember fishing and canoeing on some of the Finger Lakes (Conesus, Canandaigua, etc.) The speed and volume of the Prism when loaded between 250 and 325 lbs. will give you the range of use that provides lots of options and security for all these large (and sometimes stormy) lakes.

Here’s a link to a site that recommends the Prism (and the Condord) as rowing canoes … which puts them in a whole other league in terms of speed, range and ease of use (once you’ve got transport and set-up logistics down pat). It’s a very interesting engineering concept he’s executed … and it apparently works well (he won an open class of the Blackburn Challenge one year using an Alden Single … which is not known as being a particularly fast hull).

Arghhh … timed out
Sorry … got distracted by being timed out and forgot to put in the link I meant to. See below:

Prism or Rondezvous
The Prism is definitely a better choice for your camping trips. The Vagabond will handle the windy lake fishing trips. I seem to remember your earlier post as stating your height at 5’2". The suggestion of using a Penobscot is not one i can agree with due to your short height and limited reach. Your low center of gravity will help you in a solo and i have seen others at your weight paddle the smaller Sandpiper on lakes.

The other choice if speed is not as big a need as stability and light weight would be the Rondezvous in Kevlar. And those i have seen used. That boat will haul all you will want to carry and has the seaworthiness to handle any of the Finger Lakes. I spent Labor Day in a friends on Canandaigua Lake and it handled all the boat wakes and waves. I felt very secure in that hull. It was easy paddling and had tremendous stability when paddled kneeling. I did buy the Mocassin instead of the Rondezvous for the better tracking and speed, but would take the composite Rondezvous over my Mocassin for any wilderness river trip.

If you can find a used Solitude that is a very stable, all around canoe with plenty of capaoity. I forgot about it and did own one. My kids used it as a tandem when they were small and i sold it to buy a tandem for them. You can find them used in glass or kevlar. Heaviest i remember were the center-rib glass layups in the high 40# range. In Kevlar they ran in the high 20# range.


I would have to agree with what
was said about the Rondezvous…check it out…

Speed - Prism is significantly faster

Maneuverability - that Vagabond is more maneuverable

Tracking - the Prism tracks noticeably better

Initial Stability - both are very good

Load Capacity - The Prism will haul more gear

Fishing - you should be able to fish from either boat