Fast Royalex Canoe

I’m looking for a canoe that can handle 3 people for adventure racing. Most races require an non-composite canoe because of some possible whitewater and obstructions in rivers/creeks/etc so Royalex/Royalex-Lite types of materials are what I’m looking for. Speed is #1 priority, weight #2, stability #3. Any suggestions?

Probably the two fastest
Look into the Wenonah Sundowner and the Old Town Penobscot 17. These are both fast Royalex boats that could handle three people.

Re: Probably the two fastest
Thanks for the reply. I’ve heard that the Sundowner has some primary stability issues (obviously a sacrifice for speed) and that with 3 people it bows and ripples on the bottom, possibly negating speed. Any thoughts?

There is a brand new Penobscot 17
at Gander Mountain in Terre Haute, IN for $899 on clearance if that’s the boat you decide on.

Good luck.

Sundowner vs Penobscot
Have seen these two hulls in competition many times. The Sundowner wins most times.

Three people weighing less than 200 each in either boat without any gear will be fine. But three big guys or three+ gear will limit the amount of waves either can handle.

The Penobscot 18’6" might be your answer. It is a heavy brute if you need to carry far, but you do have three athletic racer types available for that duty.

Heavy loaded and in waves or rapids, with three the Spirit II in royalex would be my choice. Its wider and deeper, a touch slower on flatwater, but its more stable and whitewater capable with a load so you might be able to pound the water when other are forced to back off the hard paddling to stay upright.

There is no weakness to the Sundowner hull in royalex, having the third paddler in the middle will more likely keep the bottom weighted and less likely to oilcan. If the bottom didn’t flex a bit in hard paddling, the hull might not yield enough over an obstacle to pass it without losing directional control.


The Swift Dumoine is a great boat and come in royalex and r-lite. Great paddle.