first canoe

I live in california, and i’m thinking of buying my first canoe. I’ll use it for small quiet rivers, or small lakes, for fishing and fun. I was looking at three different ones. o/t 16 Penobscot, Bell morningstar, and a wenonah adirondack, or kingfisher. I’ll use it mostly tandem, and sometimes solo. which is best? thanks

I live in N. Calif. near Yreka
Considering that you say you’ll use boat in smaller bodies of water and streams for fishing, etc. … that, to me, points towards the super-stable Kingfisher … also, it’s very roomy and is fast enough when distances to cover aren’t that far (less than 5 miles). If you get a royalex version, you’ll need to jam something voluminous (like a shimmed milk crate) between the carry thwart (yoke) and the floor to better brace it’s hull bottom … i.e. less oil-canning when loaded tandem. A better long term buy would would be the composite version in either fiberglass or kevlar … faster, lighter and more abrasion resistant.

The reason the Kingfisher stands out is that it’s so “user-friendly” … even to occupants not-at-all used to canoe motions. Kids, the elderly, dogs, three fisherman instead of just two … you name it … the Kingfisher’s extra volume and stability can handle it in small waters (where waves will be less than 18"). With a load, it will handle some rough water … but it will toss you around a bit … stay centered and low in the boat … or you might fall out !!!

2 other great boats to seriously look at
1) Wenonah’s Argosy (Kevlar Flexcore), wood gunwales.

2) MR’s Freedom Solo (Royalex)

first canoe
I prefer to get a tandem canoe, that can be used solo at times, when the wife sleeps in. I’m 5’8" and weigh 160 so I dont need a big canoe. Also you cant find too many different makes here in calif

you’re going to be happy
You can’t go wrong with the Morningstar or Adirondack for mostly tandem paddling. The Morningstar has the edge solo and the Adirondack tandem and both will be plenty stable compared to the fishing boat which will be slow and inefficient but stable so get the Morningstar because it’s lighter and more versatile and works quite well solo but will still take a huge tandem load effortlessly.

first canoe thanks
Thanks for the advice, I decided to buy a roylex morning star. I think it will be great for my use.