How many Sawyer models you paddled?

Mick - Why’d You Post This Question
You got all kinds of feedback, then didn’t comment about any of it. Are you feeling okay?

I thought for sure you’d do a mini-comparison with your Bells and then play your trump card -

Kruger Sewind :slight_smile:

Good question Glen! There are multiple

– Last Updated: May-24-05 6:01 AM EST –

reasons actually.

I did mean to comment on your comment titled ""Performance Capacity" of SummerSong", but got quite busy and then was on the road again. Just got back I will make a stab at going back up there and doing so a little later. As for not commenting on the other posts: I had not had the experiences in Sawyer canoes to make comments. I only have stories from owners and past Sawyer paddlers that almost to the paddler loved their Sawyers.

The main reason I asked the questions that started this thread was at that time the only Sawyer I had ever paddled was not technically a Sawyer, but an Oscoda. I bought two Oscoda Sport 16 canoes off a livery owner years ago. I paddled one for awhile. It was nice enough, but did not excite me. (Of course being primarily a solo paddler who likes lively boats very, very few tandems excite me!) I resold one and gave the other to my brother.

I knew a lot about the Sawyer Canoe company, it's accomplishments, failures, history in general, stories of the owners, and so on, but I had no first hand knowledge of just how the boats paddled. I have talked to many , many racers and other serious paddlers that loved their Sawyer rockets. But these talks were in general terms and not about how the hulls handled, what they liked or disliked about the models. and so on.

So, you see I could not compare the Bell canoes to Sawyers.

Another reason was when I looked at the Sawyer canoes in fotos and drawings they looked too much like no rocker at all We-NO-nah canoes and we all know just how much I love We-NO-nah canoes! NOT!!! I will finish the thought of this paragraph in a separate post to come in this thread about last weekend's trip.

The fourth, and most direct reason I asked the questions was I had the opportunity to meet and spend a few great hours with the new owners of Sawyer and hear of their plans. They had an idea of which hull to make next and seemed inline with the opinions of most Sawyer paddlers. I was not sure how to answer when asked my opinion as I had no direct experience in the Sawyer line of canoes. So I said I thought their line of planned production looked good from what I had heard Sawyer paddlers liked. And then I took it upon myself to post this thread asking which were the loved and hated models, and why. After the thread was underway I e-mailed Sawyer with the address so they became aware of and could follow the thread to get the direct opinions of the Sawyer paddlers that responded.

As for the Sea Wind trump card ... Wellllllllll ... The Sawyer Loon is a Kruger design. It is the older, but smaller grandfather of the Sea Wind. In the decked canoe tests we did (see appropriate thread on these boards) I paddled and compared the Loon to the Sea Wind, the Sea-1 and the Rob Roy. After I got past the smaller size (appearance and reality), the lighter weight, less storage, etc from several rotations through the canoes we were testing I suddenly came to the conclusion that "I was home!". It was a Kruger in every aspect. It truly felt like home. I liked every bit of it. Well ... except for the position of the rudder controls which Sawyer fixed as soon as we pointed the problem out. And was not real fond of the sliding seat. I think a sliding seat in this boat goes against its design and nullifies some of the efficiency of the boat. This is currently being reviewed with the idea of making the seat simpler, stronger, etc according to recent Sawyer statements. I must also say here that for long trips I would still pick the Sea Wind as the extra space, especially of the Super model is very hard to beat.

Answers your question satisfactorily?

Oh yeah. I am feeling great! Especially after a weekend on the water and around paddlers of good company!

Happy Paddl'n!



sawyer DY special

Bought a DY special this past winter from the ads on this site. Intended to use it in a 16.5 mile race in April which consisted of quickwater, class 1, 2 with a couple of 3 drops. Handled the water far better than I thought. Ran the course dry and even finished first in C1 experienced. The boat is very stable and weighs about 39#s. Replaced the wooden slider with a Wenonah sliding pedestal. Added a foot brace and some padding around the thighs. It feels fast and solid and handled good enough to dodge rocks and weave through fineline routes in the whitewater. The boat does not like to turn easily but that is expected. Use of a well motivated draw directs it where you want. I would like the hull a bit deeper and more flare in the bow for biggger water. Once you paddle it, your confidence in this boat dramatically increases.

sliding seat, wenonahs
First of all, a sliding seat is a pretty common feature is solo boats. It’s an easy way to adjust the trim. The one in the Loon is a tried and true design that works well. I can’t think of a single sensible reason for the company not to use it.

As far as Wenonahs are concerned, maybe you should look over their product line and perhaps even paddle some of their boats instead of continuing with you long-standing bias against the brand, which appears to be based on the fact that some of their boats are designed to track well. They have a pretty broad range of boats to choose from, and it doesn’t take that much effort to figure that out. You also mentioned in another post that you have been unhappy with other manufacturers because of their poor customer service. If you want good customer service, you can’t do much better than Wenonah (at least in my experience). Perhaps it’s time for you to put your “if it isn’t a Kruger, it’s crap” bigotry aside and admit that other manufacturers put out some decent boats.


I own an Autumn Mist. I bought it from N.T. about a year and a half ago. Did my first river excursion a couple weeks ago and loved it. I’ve had a 40 lb. dog in it a few times and did real well… I mostly paddle it with a kayak paddle. It’s a great canoe, but a real tank vs. my first love(yak). I find it stable as a rock…surprised others find it tippy… N.T. made a front cover for it so it’s a real sweet set-up. My only concern is it’s glass… I do better in plastic boats…I don’t mind so much not babying them…

Kruger designs and sliding seats.

Kruger spent decades and many, many thousands of paddling miles perfecting his hull design for the ultimate efficiency. It is balanced properly with the seat just rear of the balance point. Ask the Kruger Canoe company to mount you a sliding seat in one of their Sea Winds and see what kind of answer you get.

As you found out during the decked canoe tests and we discussed then, a slight movement of the seat toward the bow caused the hull to plow, handle sluggishly, and effect tracking and steering. Movement sternward also has adverse effects. It is therefore best for the manufacturer to build the boat as designed. They are cheating the buyer if they do not do so. If the buyer wants to change the outfitting after they buy the boat that is their right and they are free to do so. I have paddled Verlen Kruger’s personal 27,000 mile Loon that he built himself. It was in balance and a pleasure to paddle and portage. I have paddled an out of balance Sawyer Loon built in 1987 and an out of balance Mad River Monarch. Both handled poorly as they were out of balance. Both were also dangerous to portage as they were so far out of balance! The proto type Loon from the current Sawyer company that we test paddled was balanced in the far sternward position. It would allow forward balance adjustments, but not rearward adjustment. Sawyer is looking into proper seat placement and reevaluating the type of seat system to be used. The rudder controls were mounted too far forward and Sawer has already corrected that problem.

Happy Paddl’n!



a couple of minor points

– Last Updated: May-26-05 7:51 PM EST –

All boats are balanced properly with the seat just behind the balance point when the boat is empty, although the precise point will vary somewhat depending on the paddler's size. That is common knowledge, not a Kruger discovery (although he did come up with a tremendous final design!). If you add much of a load, and if you don't get it distributed so that the boat is trimmed level, having a sliding seat can help adjust the trim for optimum paddling performance. Even though Verlen didn't feel a sliding seat was necessary in his personal boat that he designed for his own use, it is, as you know, a common feature in solo boats from other brands, including Clipper, Savage River, Grasse River, Swift, Sawyer, and Wenonah. I think it's just a case of who prefers what. My preference is for a sliding seat, although I don't appear to have suffered any ill effects from paddling my Magic with a load and a fixed seat :-) I'm not particularly concerned with what the Kruger company does or does not do with the seats in the Sea Wind. They have a solution that works, but my personal opinion is that there are other solutions that work just as well.

I noticed that the _prototype_ Loon was only trimmed properly with the seat in the rearmost position, and I'm well aware of the effect of improper trim on a boat's handling. I pointed the seat and footbrace location problems out to Mike and Topher. Mike always passes his reviewers' comments on the boats to the manufacturers, so I was confident that the information would get to Sawyer. I know that Blue Mountain Outfitters, who, as you know, supplied the demo Loon, has also passed comments along to Sawyer. Since the Loon we had was a prototype, and since Sawyer has asked for feedback on the _prototype_ boats they have sent out, I thought it would be more appropriate to pass my comments to them via Mike, who is the one in contact with the companies, instead of posting them on the internet.

I'm glad you had a chance to stop by and talk to the Sawyer folks, and I'm glad that they are committed to making sure they have everything right before they start sending boats to dealers. From what you've said about them, they sound like some great folks and I wish them every success.

I never miss a chance to paddle a model
or to be paddled by one, Sawyer or not.

The Outrage at 18’
long and with a fiberglass/kevlar see through hull was one of the best tandem flatwater canoes ever made! I miss it, but am sure that it is still in service on the big lakes.


As long as they are put together really nicely :slight_smile:

Sawyer Shockwave on ebay
There is a used Sawyer Shockwave on ebay right now. FYI.

There is also an 18’6" Sawyer on Ebay,
but WHICH 18’6" IS IT???

According to one well known designer the Legend was an ok boat, but the 222 was a much better one.

Happy Paddl’n!



It doesnt get paddled much anymore. While its fast it lacks the capacity we need for tandem trips. Its OK for freestyle but the constant flare makes it hard to judge when the rail is on the water.

Tis a shame…

We-NO-nah makes good canoes, I just

– Last Updated: May-30-05 10:29 PM EST –

have no use for them.

Look over their product line? Have done so many-many times. Tried and tried them. A man that was a friend in my home town had a livery and was a We-NO-nah dealer until last season. (BTW: He was a racer and long fast rec paddler all his life who preferred Sea Winds to We-NO-nahs too. He had the ONLY Kruger dealership that ever existed.) I could have any We-NO-nah I wanted at cost at any time for the last 25 or more years. Never found one I wanted to pay that much for.

As far as the "We-NO-nah" thing I do, well, it is just fun! I have never said that no one should buy a We-NO-nah. I have recommended them (Notice I did not say "We-NO-nah"?) to several paddlers who I thought were a good match for them. You and I went to scout one out for Jill. I recommended it in her case primarily due to it's unusually more stable hull and the placement of the seat which made it handle more Bell like then **-NO-*** like. (Was that a We-NO-nah with it's bow and stern covered with snow flakes?!) It has worked out well for her.

I do like some We-NO-nah accessories/parts. You may well find out just how well in the near future. ;^) Yes, I have always heard their customer service is great! I'll bet I can get that aluminum thwart from their racing site that Souris River has never sent! Good idea c2g!

As for Kruger Canoe Company canoes ... Hummm .... You may find this hard to believe, but I try to talk more people out of them than I recommend them to! :^) If the people who do not need them do not buy them, then the ones that can actually use their unique features can get them quicker. Sometimes the 10 month or so wait is a killer for someone that could really use one to it's fullest. Kruger canoes built by the Kruger Canoe Company are old technology, extremely overbuilt to do a job no other canoe or kayak can do very well. The company sticks to doing it one way and it's share will continue to remain small and provide little profit for the company owner if it does not eventually modernize and add the variety to it's line the paddling public has been asking for over the years. Because of this refusal to provide variety there are no less than six variations of the Sea Wind being designed and built by various paddlers around the country. One or two of these have developed into more efficient kayak designs. I stumbled onto an additional two in just the past few weeks. I still think they are the best canoe made for me and many other paddlers!!!!!!!!!

I also recommended Souris River (still a very good canoe, but now a bad service company), Bell (love their boats, but hate the direction the company had taken, box stores - stabbing their dealers in the backs and hurting the paddler's service, down grading the fire boats and others, and so no ...), Merimac (great boats!), Mohawk (probably recommend more of these than any other Royalex boat), Charlie Wilson with his Placid BoatsWorks is saving and bettering the FireBoats (get my new RapidFire next month!!! can't wait!!!! want a test paddle c2g?), and now that Sawyer is back and I have gotten the opportunity to paddle some - WOW!!! (A long straight and narrow Sawyer Summer Song handled just like the We-NO-nahs claimed they could but failed to deliver for me. Thank-you David Yost!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can not wait to get my hands on more Sawyer models and try them out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

Happy Paddl'n!



We-NO-nah makes good canoes, I just have
no use for them.

Seems I posted to the wrong place the first time. Please look on down the thread to fine the “We-NO-nah makes good canoes, I just” complete post there.


Just paddled my new (to me) Summersong
with feathercraft rudder in the golden glass layup. It’s a very nice looking cherry red 1983 model that’s been garaged and has very few scratches. I’ve only been in it about an hour and a half, but I like this boat alot.

I blame your glowing reviews for this investment, wildwater. I’ll probably be selling my Mad River Slipper now.

This is the first canoe I’ve paddled where I actually prefer using a canoe paddle rather than a kayak paddle. I enjoyed using the rudder rather than using corrective strokes.

The boat is very heavy, though. I’m used to the 45lb Slipper and this much heavier (with rudder and other fittings of unknown function) Summersong will take some new technique for carrying and portaging without hurting myself.

The summersong appears to have very good glide. I felt like I could paddle several hours without being too wiped out. Now I need (want) a better paddle.

Which Sawyer 18’6" hull is it?!

Took a lot of e-mails, checking old catalogs, remeasuring, weighing, re-weighing, and finally a few fon calls exchanging info back and forth, but finally found out. It is a Legend in Superlite lay up… 18’6" long X 33" wide. 10" midship depth. 30# hull, 37# with seats. Have never seen one and it is not in my '85 catalog, but is on the '85 price sheet with a few, very few measurements. Can you imaging doing the BWCA in a hull with 10" sides?! Apparently it was for racing where the 222 Cruiser at 14" and 52# was an all around hull. I’ll bet it did well at 37# for 18’6" of slippery hull!

Just may get to paddle it. If I do will let you know what I find if I do.


Don’t Sell Slipper on My Account
Did you buy the Kankeekee Sawyer Summersong?

I have the Kevlar version of same, if it is the same…


I sure did.

– Last Updated: May-30-05 11:44 PM EST –

So you bought the kevlar boat from Shane in Kankakee? So far, I like everything about this boat except the weight. Do you know what all those brackets on this boat are for? Some look like they could be used for mounting deck covers or something - I'll be looking in to that.

I'll also be interested in any suggestions for the care and feeding of this fine boat. I don't have indoor storage and I'd like to keep the finish/paint as nice as I can.

So far, I'm quite pleased.

Oh, I wouldn't sell the Slipper on your account, but because the Summersong will probably serve the same rolls as the Slipper well enough that I no longer need it. I'm out of boat storage space and now I need money to pay off the Summersong loan :)