endurance canoe

My son (19yrs old) and I (many moons more) are planning on doing the Missouri 340 canoe race–340 miles from KC to St. Charles–has to be done in 88hrs. Does anyone have suggestions for a relatively stable yet fast (light?) canoe? We’re not looking to be competitive, just comfortable and efficient. Thanks.

plenty of choices
Non-dedicated racers that you can use for fishing and camping also:

Jensen 18


Sundowner 18(Fiberglass or kevlar)

Depending on the water and your comfort level and affordable availablity I would personally prefer the jensen18 for speed, the Sundowner for snotty water and the Minn2 for all round(if you are a heavier team)

I would avoid a USCA 4x32 Cruiser since it is a bit of learning curve and not forgiving in snotty water, although if you have one and are willing to invest the time to get proficient it would be adequate.

If you plan on doing more of these races a 3x27 pro-boat will be on the horizon.A Spencer tandem is allowed in the 340, but is not allowed in all races so decide how much you want to invest.

A good rule of thumb is the faster the boat the more training you will need to get comfortable in it.


multiple 70 and 90 miler participant. .

Expedition/Endurance Canoe

– Last Updated: Jan-01-11 11:14 AM EST –

The best option IMHO is to go with a boat specifically designed for such events and more. They're more costly than other options, but they'll pay you back over time. Here are two: Kruger SeaWind and Superior Expedition
If you want to run tandem, there's the Kruger Cruiser

thistle said it
they are pretty spendy though. The Krugers are by far the best boats out there, if you can afford them

Wenonah MN II is cheaper and they are fast, in Kevlar pretty light too.

Did you get entered? Roster is almost full for 2011.

I’ll see you there. It’s a lot of fun.

Stablity is good.
I’m no racer, but am comfortable in most canoes. I was pleasantly surprised by how stable the Minnesota II was considering its speed. I’d stay away from race canoes if you will be paddling for 88 hours, as you will get tired and then more stability will be nice.

I think that was Kruger’s thought, too, that long hours in the saddle are what makes the miles, not absolute top speed. As such, he designed efficient boats that were also comfortable.

Whatever boat you get (and I have liked the Sundowner, MinnII, and Jensen as well), take some time to outfit it with seat pads, foot braces, and possible a spray cover (depending on the water, I suppose).

missouri 340
I would look for an 18’ Wenonah Sundowner for a couple of 150# to 180# recreational racers. they are stable, speedy, good trackers, able to handle some rough water, and not too bad in the wind. Your hieghts and weights can make a difference. Bigger guys need bigger boats.

Start here : )

those are fast but at the start of the 2010 MR 340 I recall seeing one of them flip over too.

Stable Fast & Light
If it were a tandem I’d choose the Wenonah Minnesota II. The Kruger Tandem is nice but heavy. It would be by far the most comfort.

If you are paddling solos the Kruger Sea Wind and the Superior Expedition would be great choices but I own a Clipper Sea 1 because it’s also a decked canoe but it’s got a kayak like bow in case you run into something submerged like the Superior but it’s only 55 lbs with a very low profile for wind, and very fast.I believe it’s faster than the other 2 decked canoes. I can sit in mine all day long very comfortably. The seat slides (unlike the Kruger or the Superior) making it easier to reach everything in the boat.

Kruger, Sawyer Loon, Mad River Monarch
The Loon and Monarch are no longer made but can be found used. Efficient, comfortable, seaworthiness are what you need. Two friends here on P.net both paddled the 340 this year. I helped one “Score” a Mad River Monarch, and he was very pleased with it. Will alert them to this thread so they can chime in. WW

Is this thread about which Tandem boat to get or not??

I did the 340 last year and watched a lot of tandem boats go over the horizon…probably 150 boats total, during the beginning of the race. I paddled the Mad River Monarch, essentially a mass-produded Sea Wind. 56 hours later I had 109 of those same boats behind me. It IS largely a comfort and stability thing when it comes to endurance racing…endurance paddling in my case.

To the original poster: get the fastest comfortable boat you can afford. I think a good light tripper boat for the Boundary Waters is what you should be looking at. You won’t need a barge capable of holding 1000 pounds of paddlers and gear. A trim 18’ kevlar boat will make a comfortable ride. Check out the boats for sale here and on Rivermiles.com

Honestly, I hear a lot of folks say they are not worried about speed. However, it was pointed out to me early on, that the faster you are, the sooner you finish. Speed adds a LOT to the comfort factor. Think about the Huki’s mentioned above. Smokin’ fast boats, in the right hands. IF you know how to paddle one fast, maybe a 40 hour finish wouldn’t be too miserable. But staying in one for 60+ hours? Dang near impossible. And catamaran or not, those are NOT stable. I saw a couple of those, solo and tandem, really struggling down the river last summer because they are so unstable on the primary side. They ain’t fast when the catamaran is buried in the water.

One design difference you will see in the Sawyer Loon to Mad River Monarch to Kruger Sea Wind boats…the hulls, especially the stern, were getting “fuller” over that evolution. But of note to this discussion above, the Sea Wind DOES have more of a swept-back bow than the Monarch. Verlen did recognize the advantage of that, not to the extent of the Sea-1 design or that of some kayaks, however.

The only way I would consider a tandem in the 340 is with two Krugers side by side, “catted up”. That way I’m not looking at the back of some person’s head the whole race, or whining about the stern man carrying his weight. I’m racing the boat next to me, the whole time! And talk about stable! If I just had $7800…I could get two Krugers with all the fixin’s

I am practicing for the 340 right now…can’t sleep.


I Missed Something, There
I thought we were talking about two paddlers paddling solo, not two paddlers paddling tandem. I was tired when I got back from 3 days at work. Don’t need to respond to posts when I’m sleepy! WW

I agree with bald paddler
You must have good foot braces for the back paddler. And the old saying is start slow and stick with it. How about getting in shape by running 5 and 10k? And start with shorter races. No one starts with mt everest.

YES do this race. But maybe after you have done some shorter races and then do it right

endurance canoe
Thanks for all the suggestions. I did the race two years ago in a QCC700 but was looking to do it this year in a tandem canoe with my son. Now I’ll start searching as I did get registered on the first of the year. Guess I’ll need to start training too!

Thanks again!

Cool, you already are a veteran of the race. You want one of those yellow boats that the light shines through…I’m sure youve seen them. The thread kinda got off topic with the talk of solo boats…but there are some good recommendations above for tandems, from what I know.

Have you done the Gritty Fitty? It would be a great training run to make sure you are in “racing trim” with your new partner. You probably already knew that…I hope you are registered, it is filling up fast. See you at the race…I’ll be in a red/white Kruger or a red/white Mad River Monarch.

A red/white Kruger Joe?
glad to see you might make the step up. You’ll love it if you get it.

Email me if you need more seat padding for a new boat. I have quite a bit of it now, be glad to supply you with more if you want it.

seat padding
Awesome Nate! I still have enough of the black stuff from the first batch you sent me. I thanked you before, but I’ll thank you again. That is definitely working for me very well and I plan on doing the exact same seat padding thing with the Kruger. I’m getting the Kruger back to Missouri in June…not sure yet if I get to keep it straight away or if it might have to spend some time owned by a buddy before I get it. Terry if you are listening I propose to buy the Kruger and you can babysit the LIGHTER WEIGHT Monarch any time you want, no charge. Just so I know where it is and can come get it if I need it in a pinch.

I do want to race the Kruger in July if I can get it in race trim… I’m concerned that the Monarch I’m used to, has foot pegs and rudder pedals above them. The Kruger doesn’t have the foot pegs. Other than that, the Kruger would need a back band like I put on the Monarch…and a mount for the mag lite. Some velcro and few bungees and I would be good to go.

(I’m probably coming back with a Loon as well, just for good measure. I love Verlen’s work)


you lucky bugger nm

One more to look for
is a Sawyer Cruiser. It’s nearly as quick as the Jensen 18, but it turns easier. Scott Smith has the molds & has been selling new hulls, or you might find one for sale.

We’ll Figure the Logistics Soon, Joe

– Last Updated: Jan-04-11 12:45 AM EST –

I sure miss that Monarch, my friend! The Kruger is a fine boat, but the Monarch has sentimental value. Besides, she has a room in the barn that she's familiar with! I have a picture of me test paddling that Kruger that my friend Bob took years ago. Heres a couple pics of the two for comparison, Joe. WW