Help with choosing a new canoe

-- Last Updated: Aug-29-05 6:10 PM EST --

I am a kayaker who also loves to canoe, but I really don't know much about canoes.
I have a royalex canoe, made by Mainstream that's not what I need - to short, too flat bottomed, not deep enough. I had a very good offer on it and I will sell it this week.

I am after a canoe that is tough, seaworthy, tandem, one that can handle some chop and capable of hauling gear for a week long trip for two. Besides the touring, I also want to be able to use it as a fishing canoe.

I was thinking about the Spirit II by Wenonah, either in royalex or the tough wave material, the description in the catalog fits the profile I’m after quite well. The price difference between the materials is not that big.

Actually the royalex appealed to me more due to the many oyster bars and rough conditions I usually encounter where I plan to use it, but in one of the reviews here in P.Net someone complained a lot about the excessive amount of oil canning in this boat. I believe that I am careful enough for a composite boat, I don't need it ultra light as the carbon and/or kevlar models, but a stiff boat is better.

Anyone with experience with this model? I have a good distributor for the brand here so I would rather stick to this brand. Any inputs?

on the right track
Sounds to me like you know enough about canoes.


tuff weave
will be a little easier to repair then royalex. Once it is cut you are screwed and limited in the type of repairs you can do. I took my Tuffweave Sundowner down a gnarly set of rocks and didnot even scratch it! ( well not much more then it was scratched). For oyster beds and that typ eof rocks I think Tuffweave would be a good Choice. I can not say much about the spirit, but it was designed by Ev Crozier who really seems to know his stuff.

Abrasion resistance

– Last Updated: Aug-29-05 9:32 PM EST –

I think you'll find that in the long haul, you'll get better abrasion resistance with fiberglass, so I think the Toughweave would be a better choice. People like Royalex for rocky rivers, because it has good impact resistance, but Royalex is actually pretty soft stuff that scratches easily. The Toughweave will get scratched too, but the scratches won't go as deep. Oh, yeah: Toughweave is a lot stiffer and oilcanning shouldn't be much of a concern.

I agree with the above replys
I have a tough weave Wenonah Champlain, it is indeed tough and more abrasion resistant to oysters shells than royalex. Tough weave is also easy to repair, royalex once cut is tough to repair. You would not be disappointed with the tough weave layup.

Spirit II
I’ve had a royalex Spirit II for 3 years now. We use ours as our moving water tandem. And yes, the bottom of the boat does oil can without a load in it. My thoughts on the spirit II: very comfortable canoe for both the bowman and sternman; paddles fine; not the fastest 17’ canoe, but not the slowest either; will easily carry 650 lbs; lots of initial stability - good fishing platform. I know it handles 2 feet standing waves fine, but I haven’t had mine out in significant lakes waves. Overall I think the Spirit II is a nice boat. Royalex is a good feature for rivers with rocks and ledges. In your situation I think tuffweave would serve you better.

Check out
The Wenonah is a fine canoe but these are just something to think about too in a fast modern design

Hemlock Eagle 16’6" a true dream boat.

Bell Northstar 16’6" Both are good solo’s too.

Or the Northwind in both composite and RX

I think all are a little more money than the Spirit if that’s an object.