Help with choosing a canoe

if you can

– Last Updated: Jul-20-06 4:49 PM EST –

test drive it that'd be ideal. The reason canoes aren't on the dagger site is Dagger only makes yaks now(:-(. They sold some of their canoe molds to mad river. With your background in ww yakking, you'll be past beginner in 30 seconds, and be desiring a responsive boat. Hulls are a compromise. A flat bottom hull will be more initially stable but slower and slower to respond. This hull is a little "sporty" but this would help with your solo stuff and going with experienced friends. Unfortunately one hull can't do everything well, but this appears to be a good all around boat, long enough to bring the kids, narrow enough for solo, enough rocker for your class 2 rock gardens(probably not solo for awhile). The center seat will keep you from portaging. I have a center seat on my dagger reflection 15 and it's in the exact midpoint of the boat weightwise. I straightarm portage this boat short distances but it's only 53 pounds. Saw some reference to add-on thwarts mentioned above. Check Piragi's or Wenonah catalogs, I think they have something. Oh yeah, this boat is also low, I would throw out the 850 lb. load and think more like 500 lbs. tops, unless you're on a dead flat pond. My Dagger is the same height as the interlude, and with 360 in it we're getting REAL WET running class 2+, while my swift dumoine at 16'4" 39" beam and 21" bow is too dry for my son. Note the difference in beam and height between the swift and the dagger. I use the beam and height for buoyancy in big wave conditions, the Daggers were always lean low boats, great on windy days, but a bit light on load capacity.

Penobscot 16
I’ve a similar situtation except my kids are older. In my search for the perfect canoe for my wants/needs, and with great input from PNet, I found a used Penobscot 16 and love it. My wife enjoys the outdoors but not so much being on the water in a small boat, shallow streams/rivers maybe. My kids are 12 and 10, and the Penobscot has carried us all (4) down the Chestatee, of course with just the kids and myself it was easier, with the 4 of us it wasn’t that bad even with a small cooler with our lunch packed. We did drag a little though but not too bad. It has also taken me and the kids down the Etowah, and a few others, the wife has been on fewer trips rivers/lakes, but that’s ok. I sure enjoy it with my kids. It’s also been great to just paddle solo, very easy to load/unload and portage by yourself.

Mine was used and was close to needing skid plates or so I was told. I eventually (after some I/II’s) put a layer of epoxy resin where you’d put the skid plates. Lighter and so far has been working great.



I asked the same question as you…
…to my local REI salesperson and got the same answer of a Mad River Explorer 16TT ($749.00) as noted by Yaknot in a previous post. I ordered it but have to wait 2 weeks for it to arrive. They assured me if its not what I need/like they will take it back (as long as it is not damaged). I wil let you know what I think of it after trying it out. It is real close to your budget you mentioned as well.


What about RX instead of TT?

– Last Updated: Jul-20-06 10:58 PM EST –

There is a gentleman with a '98 Explorer RX for sale here on PNet. The pics look great- padded yolk, cane seats, and skids plates factory installed. He's asking $650, so I was hoping to ask two questions- 1) Would this fit my needs? (family, camping, solo I-II) and 2) is $650 a fair price?

I've also asked about two otehr boats for sale on PNet, a 16' Blue Hole and a Explorer TT (length unlisted). I also found a Dagger Reflection 16' on Ebay. Out of the four mentioned, how would you rank them for my intended purposes (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th choice)?


1) Explorer RX, best all around paddling hull

2) Reflection 16, stable forgiving, slightly slower than Explorer, but shallow arch bottom easier to load and drags less in shallow water

3) Blue Hole 16, a tank, wide as a solo. but volume to carry everything and still be forgiving in any water conditions

4) Explorer TT, a good hull in a way too heavy, floppy, oil canning plastic construction.

RX or TT?
Is the RX version of the Mad River Explorer really that much better than the TT? Seems like there are some differing opinions here…



you said it
"a lot of opinions here". Time to start using your senses instead of relying on others opinions, or else another season is going to go by and you’ll be typing, not paddling. But yes, Royalex is better than TT. If you check the Old Town site, they have Royalex in there $1200 canoes, and “superlink” (like tt) in there $800 canoes. Weight is about 15 pounds lighter in royalex, and the rental discos at one of the local places are generally warped.

Cautious consumer
Little harsh, but I get you point. I’m just trying to lay my cash down once- not buy it, realize I should have gotten something else, and have to resell in order to buy what I should have got in the first place.

Anyway, thanks for the TT vs. RX spec. Someone had suggested TT previously, and I honestly didn’t know the difference. I’m 250lbs., so last thing I want a boat to be is flimsy.


Just my 2 cents…
from a less experienced paddler. I was in your shoes last year. I wanted to get a canoe but was on a limited budget to buy our first boat. Family of 4 with a black lab to fit into a boat for day trips and also plan on some overnighters. My wife says I’m crazy for as much research I do on anything we buy but…Everyone on this web site gave a lot of good advice. I researched about 8 different canoe companys. I really liked Wenonahs catalog because it was a good teaching tool (on how canoes are made, materials, hull shape etc). I finally decided to go for the Spirit II (Wenonah). Royalex 68lbs. I went for the royalex because, 1) it can take abuse from rocky rivers which we would be on, and works well enough on lakes 2) lighter than some other boats , 3)less expensive. I knew I’d be loading the canoe mostly myself. My wife could help but she’s 5’2" and can’t reach as high so I wanted a canoe as light as I could get it.(without breaking the bank) Then I just waited (what seemed forever,but was only a couple of months) for a canoe on the PNet ads or in our local paper. Then the spirit II showed up on PNet and the rest is history. It’s been a great canoe for our family. Right now it’s raining pretty hard which means the streams will be up by later today!!! Gotta go get the drybag filled…Good luck with finding a canoe.

didn’t mean
to be harsh. You’re asking a lot out of one boat, and you’re not going to find “one size fits all.” The Dagger you found looked like a decent compromise, and you’d have a blast soloing or doubling up in some light ww with that model.Also, no sense comparing models not found in your area. Good luck and welcome to the canoeing fraternity(I hope). Also I wouldn’t worry about little details. Pointy ends, doesn’t leak, everything else is details :wink:

I put my money where my mouth is

– Last Updated: Jul-22-06 12:23 PM EST –

Well, it has 8 days left on the auction, but I'm currently the highest bidder ($409) on a Dagger Reflection (please don't bid against me!). This one "feels" the best to me after all of the PNet input and reading the sales write-up on Dagger's site (thanks again for the Dagger canoe link, only saw kayaks).

I know there's no "one model does all" canoe, just like there's no "do it all" kayak (which is what I selling to get a canoe). A previous post said I should figure out what I will be doing most, and lean towards that. Mostly (for the next year of so), it will be tandem paddling class I-II rivers around here, maybe a couple of lakes. AS months pass into years, my two year old will be older and *hopefully* want to spend an increasing ammount of time with his old man. So I really leaned toards tandem rec. and family pursuits. My buddy still yaks, so I want to be able to solo it when he doesn't want to be bowman, but this will be far less often than the tandem and family paddling.

If this falls through, there is always a Mad River Explorer RX for sale, but it's a bit over budget, and just doesn't speak to me like the Reflection.

Either way, thanks again!

yeah man!!!
Love the lines of that Dagger. My son has been paddling with me for 6 years, and at the age of 12, he’s a monster in the bow. Last week I blew it big time, flipping in the air and landing upside down. I bruised my lower back, cut my shin, big scrape on elbow, bruise on leg. Came to the surface, saw my boy, floating along, asked if he was okay. All he could say was…“this water is great!!”

1st canoe
Wenonah Spirit 2, was my 1st and did just what you describe.

They have been around a long time and can be found used. Also made in Royalex if you are into bashing rocks. Fine fishing platform, good lake canoe, and has been down a lot of rivers, including rapids.


Clamp-on portage yokes

– Last Updated: Jul-29-06 5:30 PM EST –

Wha Ho, Pilgrim;

Might ah' soo-gest a removable, adjustable clamp-on ta de gunnels or one dat clamps onto de center seat type of portage yoke if ye gots a center seat dat be off de balance point or too dag-blamed uncomfootable on ye neckbone. They be available waar ever dems sell canoo accessories such as Piragis or Chosen Valley (even CampMor had dem) or ye kin make it yerself. Ah' use mine fer many of me canoos since ah' usually moved de seat and/or thwarts around off de balance point. Ah's make it easy on me-self an' mark de balance point on each canoo so ah' knows waar to position de yoke wit out fussin' 'round. Jus' pop it on waan ah's needs ta do a carry.... Or ye can go old school an' use yer 2 paddles tied up ta de thwarts to rig up a yoke. Woiks fer me.

Fat Elmo

Disco 169
Maybe you should consider a Discovery 169 until your wife gets comfortable in a canoe. It would meet most of your needs to some degree, is very stable and when you’re ready to move on up, you’ll recover most of your investment.