Good versatile tandem canoe???

I am looking for any advice on a tandem canoe. Needs to handle flatwater as well as moving water up to class II. Mostly day trips. Maybe and overnight…and sometimes a dog in the mix. And lastly…maybe usable as a solo if I want to.

Of course price matters to. Thanks in advance for the advice!

Where to start . . .
Your requirements seem pretty typical, so there will be many boats that meet your needs. I will only list the first few I think of:

Wenonah Spirit II

Old Town Penobscot (or discovery 164, 174)

Mad River Explorer

Novacraft Tripper or Haida

Take a look at a
Old town Penobscot 16.



I use my Novacraft Pal for just what you describe,except a grandaughter instead of a dog.Mine is Roylite and the narrow width makes it a joy to solo-fairly light too.Just enough boat for these uses,fairly low freeboard so wind isn’t a big problem,stable but not a dog,fairly fast,well built,tough enough for some rocks and rough use.It’s a new model,so you probibly wouldn’t be able to find a used one,but new they are around $1200.

Some ideas
Wenonah Spirit II

Mad River Explorer 16

Bell Morningstar

Novacraft PAL

Novacraft BOB Special

The two Novacrafts and the Bell are better choices if you will be doing some solo, though the Spirit and Explorer can be handled OK solo.

All are versatile canoes that will handle Class II rivers, track nicely on flatwater and carry enough for a weekend camping trip.

Nova craft
Pal, or Bob Special, or Old Town Penobscot.

All excellent boats!

ability level?
I one time took a usca C-2 through class 2. So assuming equal idiocy on your part I recommend a Jensen 17. You can solo it, paddle it tandem , portage it and put a dog in it, race it, …

Seriously though, flat water effeciency , Class 2 agility , Dogs, tandem, solo, Really there isn’t such a boat that can do it all… Although a penobscot would be the closest it is dog on the flats compared to composite hull, and a bear in the rapids if you are loaded.,

Bell Yellowstone tandem

I have considered this too. I don’t have a tandem boat and rather than adding a higher capacity river tripper to the solo fleet, a smaller tandem sounds like a pretty good compromise. The specs on the Yellowstone tandem appear to match your criteria and reviews for both tandem and solo paddling look favorable.

OT Penobscot
sounds like a good choice to me, as well. I have the 17’ version which is a better tandem but musch worse as a solo than the 16.The only other boat already recommended that I have experience in is the Bell Mornigstar, which is a beautiful little boat - better as a solo and light tandem then the Penob - but not a boat I would use choose loaded tandem or in Class II.

Let us know what you choose.

just about any tandem canoe made
will fit that set of requirements, some better than others.

I’d suggest looking at the calssified’s here and checking out Craig’slist for your location, and pick out anything that looks good. Anything from a 15’ grumman to a Disco 169 will work, and be about the cheapest deals you will find, maybe $350 if price is your main concern.

If you refine or better prioritize your requirements, you will get better, more specific recommendations. Consider Price, Weight, the use you will make of the boat 90% of the time, storage (inside or outside), speed (faster or slower - composite boats are faster than royalex or poly), stability, material (royalex is best for rocky rivers, kevlar is best for lakes and portaging. Depending on how you rearrange the variables, you come up with a differnt answer for each set.