Feedback on a Wenonah Vagabond

-- Last Updated: Nov-15-05 5:18 PM EST --

I am seriously considering a Wenonah Vagabond to replace my Old Town Pack as a solo fishing canoe. The OTP is a great little boat but I want something with a little more room and that will track better. I am 5'11" and about 200 pounds. I do not plan to camp from this canoe just day trips for fishing. primarily on lakes, ponds and slow Illinois rivers. On rare occasions a trip to the Missouri Ozarks in a rocky bottom river.

I am considering Kevlar Ultra Light construction as I like the 29 pound weigh for carrying into ponds and remote locations.

From your experience is this a good choice for solo fishing? Is the Kevlar a mistake? What other issues need I consider?

Sounds like the Vagabond would be a
good choice for you, but before you spring for the lightest construction, consider whether you might sometimes have to bang the boat around a little. Usually I would go with the Kevlar Flexcore rather than the ultralight.

I can’t evaluate the kevlar Vagabond, since mine is the Royalex version. I used to have a Pack. The Royalex Vagabond is a tremendous improvement in handling, tracking, and roominess over the Pack. It handles very well under a heavy load, too. I just got back from a 3 day trip on the Buffalo in AR in which I was very heavily loaded with camping gear…was trying not to load down my wife in her solo. I could detect very little difference in the way the Vagabond handled compared to when it is lightly loaded for day trips.

If fishing is important, you might also want to consider the Royalex version, simply because it’s a whole lot quieter than kevlar or fiberglass.

Vagabond a good choice
In composite or royalex for what your planning to

do,mostly fishing.I replaced an OT Disco 119k that I only used for fishing small streams,lakes.

test paddled the flex core model and ordered RX

due to the bumps and stumps that occur on smaller confined streams.I liked both.I found my

Vagabond to be so versitale that I began to use it for day tripping on rivers and canoe trails.

this is the solo that gets used the most often.


Good choice
I test paddled a Pack once and was not impressed at all. Last year my father picked up a used Vagabond in royalex here and I really like that little boat. Miles above the Pack in just about every way except weight, although I find the Vagabond still to be quite easy to load. I’d have one on my rack, I can’t say that about the Pack.

Pack to Sandpiper to Vagabond…
…and I wish I’d skipped the Sandpiper. Loved the Pack, but the V. is infinitely more efficient and capacious. At 71 with various ortho problems, I found the 38-42 lb royalex a strain, and bought a kevlar. No regrets because it’s much easier to load/launch/retrieve/reload. It gets uglier faster with scratches, but I’m not that pretty myself.

Good choice for a solo fishing boat. I am a little smaller than you and use my vagabond for just what you discribed. ( royalex ) I would not hesitate to use it for a short solo camping trip. I put a Mohawk solo strap ( yoke strap ) on mine and it works well. ( A tip from Mike Mcrea ) . It adds virtually no wheight. If you are in NY, Mountainman Outdoor Supply in Inlet has a couple of them on sale. I have no interest in the store, they just looked like a good deal in a flyer I received. Good luck with whatever you pick, Dave

great fishing boat
I bought the Vagabond to fish some of the backcountry bays in the Everglades during our winter season. I much prefered kayak fishing in an SOT. Since I tried the solo canoe I was using it more than the SOT. So I sold my Scupper Pro and kept the Vagabond for overall fishing use. It is the royalex version and I ordered it with the foot brace because I use a kayak paddle about 80 percent of the time. I also like my bentshaft canoe paddle so I go back and forth for variety.

If I were to do it again I would get the kevlar or tuffweave because the royalex really scratches easily. When I demoed the canoe it was the kevlar version I demoed and found it was faster and more responsive than the royalex.

Thanks for al the advice -
I took the plunge! Based on all your input I decided on the Royalex and was about to order one when I saw an add for a 1 year old Royalex Vagabond in Alaskan Ivory on the Classified in this site. The location was only 50 miles from where I was planning to be this weekend so I went to look at it and I now own a new (too me) Vagabond at half the cost of the one I planned to order. Took it out for one short paddle and I think I made the right choice. Since the price was reasonable, I may just keep the Pack as a second (oops, make that third - I forgot about my Nova Craft!) boat!


Congratulations on your purchase.
I saw that ad and would have considered checking it out if it had been closer to me. That was a great price. I’ve looked them over and sat in them in a local shop and thought that they might be a good option for me as well, but wasn’t ready to pay retail. Since then I’ve bought a couple used solos that suit me well enough.

Keep us posted as you enjoy and learn this boat.

get some vinyl non-skid tape
for the inside. I used a bath mat with suckers on the bottom,good for the dog. But forgot about it and it fluttered off the car at 60mph.

It’s kind of the VW of solo canoes. If you can’t do everything with it you can’t have fun anywhere.

I bet there are some folks with $3000 sea kayaks who would have been happier with a kevlar vagabond.