Fast Canoe

Does anyone have suggestions on a fairly fast canoe to use on lakes or on slow rivers. I already have a white water canoe but I would like a fairly fast canoe to use in races and on lakes. Used is fine.



Ask String!! L

I bought a kevlar Adirondack (Wenonah) a few months ago. It’s a tandom that glides really nicely. It gets places more quickly than other things I’ve used.

more details, please
There so many “fairly fast” canoes out there … please talk about how fast you want to go, whether you want a solo or tandem canoe (or more), how much weight you want it to carry, and how much you want to spend.

Off the top of my head:

Tandem: Wenonah Jensen 17 and 18, Minnesota 2; Old Town Penobscot; Bell NorthStar.

Solo: Wenonah Advantage; Placid Boatworks RapidFire and FlashFire; Bell Merlin 2; Mohawk Solo 13.

Many pairs of those boats are very different from each other.

– Mark

Oneida 18
We have one - very nice 18’, sleek hull, fast and handles real well in the wind. Can carry a load, but behaves itself when lightly loaded. The FG tractor seats look uncomfortale, but aren’t at all. Our favorite canoe by far - we use our kevlar Prospector only when carrying weight is a factor.


– Last Updated: Oct-23-07 1:53 PM EST –

As noted, more details are really needed. A "family canoe" that is "fairly fast," such as my suggestion above, will quickly (so to speak) lose sight of something whose hull design and construction are specifically tailored for performance.

J boat
nOt knowing your wieght I could not say which one. But they are available used and if you like kevlar there are a alot of guys trading up to Carbon so youcan get one cheap. They are fast, but not sa tippy as a ICF high kneel C-1

fast canoe
I was thinking of an all around tandem canoe for lakes and streams. Also one that could be use for some not too serious races. It doesn’t have to be top of the line. I want it mixed use. I don’t want much rocker because I would like one that works well in the wind. I have $500-1000 dollars to spend and it does not have to be extremely light.



Fast Tandems
For Recreational racing classes that limit hull length to 17’, the Wenonah 17’Jensen is the best bet.

For Stock and Standard classes that allow 18’6" hulls, the 18’Wenonah Jensen and the 18’6" Wenonah Minnesota II are the ones that you might find used in your price range. There are competitive hulls by Savage River and Grasse River, but they are not as well suited to tripping and recreational uses as the Minnesota II. And you will not find one below $1000 since most are carbon fiber construction and have not been obsoleted by newer versions, which helps to drive down the price of older models. The older Sawyer Cruisers and Wabash Valley racing hulls are either too unstable for recreational use, or are so old now that finding a good solid hull is very rare.

Though most people will buy the two Jensen models in Kevlar, they and the Minnesota II were built in several Toughweave fiberglass layups and if you find one of these used, they should be in your price range.

Are you thinking of racing it…
solo or tandem?

Are those streams class I-II or just easy flowing ones with deep enough water to not scrape on the bottom?

what is your weight and height?

All these variables would enter into a selection of a canoe for you.

There are different boats for different races, and no one boat will be good for them all.

An OT Penobscot 16 out of roylex would be good for down river racing.

a J boat would be good for flat water solo racing.

A comp cruiser would be good for tandem flat water racing.

One of the fastest stock boats is the Jensen 18, but that would not be good for solo.

I lust for the Grasse River Susquehanna, but there again that would not be good for solo.



This is a nice forum, but lots of folks here take their paddling VERY seriously. Throw out words like “fast” and “canoe” and you’re likely to get advice that’s high-end and cutting edge – 18 foot whippets, 30 inches wide that (skillfully handled) will put to shame all the competition in your neighborhood.

But not all of us are hard core (as you don’t seem to be). We’re just looking for a good performer that’s fun to use and doesn’t cost more than our mortgage payment.

The design of all canoes involves tradeoffs (which aren’t often emphasized by manufacturers). Canoes that skim quickly and effortlessly over the water are likely to come up short when it comes to maneuvering, stability, capacity, etc. If bought new, they cost an arm and a leg.

Caveat emptor. :wink:

look for used clipper brand
You are in Washington State. Cluppers are more common out there then Wenonah I would imagine. They are in BC, but market in The US as well. The have several Jensen rec racers and also trippong hulls that are good boats. You will have to find a ised one to stay in your budget.

J boats ROCK!
do yourself a favor and buy a used one today. it will make you a better paddler …and swimmer. :wink:

well its obvious you dont want a racing canoe


check out the Jensen 18 by Wenonah canoes.

Very fast boat…right at the point of crossing over into the racing catagory. great on lakes and rivers and canoe camping


My jensen 17 will attest to that.
Over the years it has won us a (pardon the pun), a boat load of trophies.

The only thing that I was disappointed in when we first got it was the fact that it was advertised that it was the only boat of it’s length that could be paddled both tandem and solo, and it is just a tad wide for me to paddle solo.



The perfect hybrid
a Wenonah Solo Plus. Fast, good for tripping, just as easy to paddle solo as tandem, and if you get it in Royalex, you can go downriver in it too and not worry about bouncing off rocks. I’ve also seen that boat win many races in the rec class.

solo plus winning a race?
must be a group of slow paddlers or serge and calvin hassel paddling it. solo plus isn’t a fast boat, not even when compared to the Jensen 17.

Light Paddlers in Solo +
The solo plus is a fast canoe, but with two light paddlers. It has very low volume for a tandem and it runs deep with full size tandem paddlers, and that slows it down. Two 100# paddlers in a solo plus, with the seats set close to the ends for good reach to the water, will be tough to beat on a downstream race. I’ve had two small Scouts in a Solo Plus on a trip and it fit them like a racing glove. No wind troubles, no problem keeping the paddle shafts vertical, no problem reaching the water for any strokes. Not too much canoe for them, like the 17’Grumman they would have ordinarily been using.

But RedCross Randy and Baldpaddler in the same Solo Plus would be mismatch, too much paddler and not enough canoe.


plaid paddler is right…
I have owned a Solo-Plus and I can attest that for two light paddlers it’s very quick. Solo for me it was a turd! too much canoe!

too long and too wide, but tandem for two smallish paddlers it’s

a pleasure to paddle.

Fast Canoe thanks
Thanks for everybodys input I think I have some pretty good information to work with.