help choosing fist canoe from three

I am farily new to canoes and recently moved to an area with lakes. I want something to take my wife and two young kids out in or just me and the 7 year old paddling and some fishing. I am looking at the Wenonah Spirit ll, the Old town Camper and the Old town penobscot. They all sound like fine canoes, I wonder if the camper isn’t too limiting. Any suggestions as to wich of these would be a good first canoe to grow into is appreciated. I am looking for something not too heavy and sounds like they have good stability, both initial and secondary. which is why I am looking at these.

Thanks for your advice.

Comfort Vs Efficiency
For a lake boat I’d take a Spirit II over a Penobscott over a Camper. I think The Wenonah would be the easiest boat to cover some distance in while the Camper would make me work the hardest.

OTOH, if I was floating young kids around the frog pond I might opt for the Camper. I know several novice paddlers who found the Penobscot too “tippy” due to it’s lack of initial stability. The Camper, with it’s wide flatish bottom might be the most comfortable in that situation. I don’t know any novice paddlers with a Spirit II so I can’t say how that boat compares. A test paddle with your full crew should tell you.



My .02 cents

– Last Updated: May-08-07 6:30 AM EST –

When I got my first canoe I was looking at the Spirit 2 as well as the Penobscot. I chose the Penobscot because the Spirit 2 seemed to oil can excessively and the stern seat squeaked with each paddle stroke. The Penobscot was quite rigid and moved as quickly through the water. I found the Penobscot easier to turn. I'm not bashing Wenonah, as I have one of their kevlar solo canoes as well and love it. I think they just use a thinner royalex in their hulls to save weight and it just made the canoe more flexible.