flat water first boat

Well, i’m looking to buy my first boat. My wife and I combined weight is about 300lbs. This boat will be about 80% solo and 20% tandem. Primary use is lake fishing with the odd four day camping trip. We are in central saskatchewan, so dealers are limited. I plan on getting a composite.

My conscern is with the lack of rocker on the wenonah boats. My understanding is rocker can be quite useful when the wind comes up and you’re faced with some waves. Also, I’m concerned about the stability of the crafts, I want to consentrate on the fish on line not about balance.

My paddling experience is quite limited. Most I’ve done lately was in a coleman 18’ barge in the summer, easy enough to land a fish in, but that was the only good quality it had.

I’m considering a wenonah escapade or solo plus tuff weave, or possibly a swift keewaydin 16. Leaning toward the escapade, but there isn’t that many reviews of it to get a good idea of it’s strengths and weaknesses. I like the tumblehome on the wenonahs as well.

Another option is to try to get a different canoe delivered from somewhere else, but this adds to the cost. I’m wanting to try to stay $1800.

Any thoughts, advice, suggestions of canoes, places to try fishing in saskatchewan, all comments would be appreciated.

It is possible that I should quit thinking about canoes, buy one and get fishing. But there is still 4 to 5 months before the spring thaw and the fishing season opens.

Look at Esquif
They’re a Canadian firm that has a few squareback fishing canoes. I have one and enjoy it. They are heavy, so if you are looking for composite for light weight, then you’re unlikely to be satisfied by them.

  • Big D

I second Esquif
Check out their website. look under the Touring heading and you will see many canoes some in composite lay-ups like the Champlain, Fiberglass & Kevlar. I have their Mallard canoe and the quality

Is first rate.

Keep the open side up :~)

Old town
Have you looked at tha saranac from old town canoes. Novacraft might be a good choice as well within your price range. That might help offset some othe cost for shipping.

The decision is made

– Last Updated: Jan-15-12 11:12 AM EST –

Well, looks like i'm going to go ahead and buy the solo plus. Although it's going to be about $2200 or so all in, $240 freight through a dealer and then taxes. Main reason for wanting a composite are the improved entry and exit lines. If i'm trolling around looking for deep walleye i want the hull to be as efficient as possible. Thanks for all the comments though.

My concern about the novacraft is there traditional rounded ends look as though they might catch wind on a lake. Other than that the dealers for them are 2 hours away compared with the wenonah dealer being only an hour away. But the PAL does look like it would do the job quite well.

decision not so made
Well, I won’t be ordering the canoe for a couple weeks so I emailed a dealer for novacraft to see what the price would be for the PAL.

I prefer when companies publish their list prices on their websites. Just to determine if it’s in the ball park or not.

Escapade has third seat option.

– Last Updated: Jan-17-12 12:58 PM EST –

I think if the Solo Plus will handle your heaviest load (but I don't know that it will), it would be a good choice. Otherwise - consider the Escapade.

I haven't paddled an Escapade - but I've paddled along side one that was paddled solo from the optional center seat, while we were tandem in the Malecite. Seemed to do pretty good with a pretty small paddler (with good technique), although we weren't racing.

I wouldn't worry about a lack of rocker unless I was on greater than class 1 rivers. Wind also makes it hard to control direction on a boat with much rocker, but you can "make" rocker when you need it for turning with a little boat lean - if your boat has good secondary stability. One of the most difficult times I've had in a canoe was soloing on a flat river with a lightly-loaded and moderately-rockered tandem going into a headwind.

For lakes, I'd want very little rocker - even if I might see waves. A little bow flare will help to ride over waves, but those two Wenonahs seem to be lacking in that (my impression from outside the boat - I may be wrong). If you have a Mad River dealer nearby, you might consider a Malecite - although a little slower, I think, than the Escapade (based on my limited side-by-side comparison)...it seems to have more flair, and can also be soloed okay in fair weather and flat water (and can be had with a third "solo" seat). I've had my Malecite tandem on some pretty big lake waves with no real trouble controlling it and no significant water coming in the boat.

If you decide you will be in places where some rocker is warranted, you could get an Aurora and learn to solo it "Canadian style". Bring some ballast if it might get windy. Having paddled neither boat but going on specs, I would probably take the Swift Keewaydin over the Aurora, unless price came strongly into play.

As I said to someone else recently - just about any good canoe can serve well as a fishing platform. Choose your canoe with the place you will use it and the load you will carry in mind. Fishing will be no problem.

edit to add: Balance will come natural to you after a little time in the boat. A canoe with good secondary stability may feel a little "tippy" at first, but will firm up as it is leaned - as long as you keep your head centered in the boat. You will develop "loose hips" after a while, and then hardly even notice the minor wiggling of the upright hull. I fish from a few different canoes that are either shallow-arch or shallow-vee. Standing a lot of the time. None feel unstable to me and I don't think much about it. Stick with shallow-arch and shallow-vee hulls and you won't go wrong. Flat bottoms feel good at first, but don't handle any rough water as well - and they are slower.

Just to give an idea where my perspective comes from....Canoes I've owned (in order of purchase)...Navarro Legacy, OT Camper, Wenonah Fisherman, OT Penobscot, NC Prospector, MR Malecite, Millbrook coho.

Never seen a Pal in person.

– Last Updated: Jan-17-12 12:56 PM EST –

But it compares pretty well on paper to a Penobscot. The Penobscot does pretty well in wind, is pretty efficient for an ABS hull, and has excellent secondary stability and no bad habits. It requires some skillful attention in class two drops. My Penobscot is close to, but not quite as efficient as my Malecite. The Malecite seems to me not quite as efficient as the Escapade.

I suspect that a composite Pal would outperform a Penobscot, but haven't had a chance to put that to a test.