Ideal canoe for BWCA?

So in your opinion what weight, length, and canoe material makes the ideal canoe for a seven day, two person trip, in the BWCA?

on where you’re going to paddle in the BWCA. Strictly lakes ?? Rivers?? Long portages ?? Are both of you fit to drag a longer canoe for a 1-2 mile portage several times a day ?? I’m from MN & paddle there many times a year. I do mostly rivers, so a kayak is best for me. If I were going to do mostly lakes & portage a lot with two people, I would use a shorter, lighter canoe, maybe a 14’ or 16’ aluminum. Some of the portages in the BWCA take a LOT of effort. you should be able to pack everything you need in a 14’ or 16’. Just make SURE you have everything you need for a 7 day trip. Once you venture out, you may not see another soul the entire trip. Self rescue skills are a MUST.

long portages
It would be long portages. I am fit so thats not a problem. I am surprised you suggested aluminum over Kevlar.

canoe for bwca

– Last Updated: Aug-26-14 4:33 PM EST –

It would be light, fast and have enough capacity to handle big waves with a load. I would go with a Kevlar boat in the 161/2-18 foot range, not too beamy like around 35-36 inches. Flat bow and stern with maybe around 13-14 inches deep. There are many boats that fit that description. A straight keel line is important for the flats. I like the Wenonah MN II and the Souris River Queticos

Best canoe For BWCA
The most popular canoe(tandem) in the BWCA is the Wenonah Minnesota II in Kevlar. Fast canoe, light, a true lake canoe. There are several other Kevlar canoes from Wenonah, Bell, Sourie River that work just as well. I own a Wenona Itasca (19 ft, kelar)that is what i use when i go the BWCA or Quetico. If money is an issue for rental, i would go for 16 Ft RX boat. Aluminum would be my last choice just because of weigh.

Doesn’t matter

– Last Updated: Jan-19-13 8:59 AM EST –

We used to trip for seven days in a 15 foot Grumman. Later the trips got longer to two weeks and we needed a little more room. 16 would be ideal. 18.5 feet is really overkill for a week long trip but I realize the MN II is the favorite BWCA boat.

Speed on the water does not matter unless you single portage and have unloading, loading, down to a system of no waste of time. I wouldn't pay as much attention to the speed of the boat as to your speed.

I have the deep brethren to the MN II, the Odyssey and its been handy on two week unmaintained portage trips and on Lake Superior and remote far north trips. But not so necessary in the BWCA. Except as you get old. We could haul the Grumman easy in 1973 and did. Not anymore! We can still haul the Odyssey nearing the age of 70.

No way
My wife and I have done the BWCA with a variety of boats, including Royalex ones that I can’t imagine using now because they weigh too dang much. Do yourself a favor, whatever hull design you get, get a Kev UL. I know, they’re pricey. But it will be a boat you don’t “age out of.” It will always feel light. As for a tandem hull, I’d suggest the Wenonah MNII. Great boat, and it will handle the load you describe. Good luck.

Best Tandem Canoe foe BWCAW
I like the 18’ 6" MNII, I had its older brother the WWII and used it in the BWCA for over 25 yrs. Room for gear and a very good efficiency when paddling. Shorter hulls just seem to always be wanting to climb out of the water but never being able to.

foot, kevlar. But, anything 17 or 18 feet will do that doesn’t weigh over 65 pounds. Of course, it depends on what you feel is important. If wanting to portage easilt and quicklt then go light weight canoe. If the portage is part of the journey then 65 pounds for a canoe is ok. Wind- some handle it better then others, but if you don’t mind staying in camp wind bound then who cares. I’ve been in the BW every year at least once since 1969 and if I were to choose I and money was no object then I’d go with 17 feet kevlar. Mostly, I slow down and go with a rented royalex at 17 feet.

When my wife and I were there
We used a rented 17 foot royalex Penobscot and it worked out fine.

If I were driving,(which we might do next fall) I would take our seventeen foot kevlar Jensen.

Jack L

BWCA canoes
If you want a very light canoe & need something very stable then I’d say go with the Souris River Quetico 17 or 18. The 18 can have three seats and yet still weighs only 45 pounds.

If you are comfortable paddling and want a faster canoe, then my favorite is the Wenonah Minnesota 2 canoe. 44 pounds and 18.5 feet long.

You have to be more careful with these than a “plastic” type or aluminum but most people consider that well worth it.

I’d say go with either the Wenonah MN II or the Spirit II or the Souris River Quiticos. All are really great canoes for lake tripping.

go lightweight
We did the BWCA for three weeks in an aluminum Grumman canoe. Heavy - and I DO remember that!

I would get the lightest weight 17’ canoe you can afford. The most challenging thing about the BWCA is the rough, long, technical portages and some of the whitecapped stormy lake conditions like on Knife Lake or Long Lake.

You will appreciate having more freight capacity to carry a few luxuries.

These days, I am leaning toward wider and more stable canoes for big open water. The stability, manueverability, and responsiveness is so appreciated and noticed when you are fighting the big wind and wavesof larger bodies of water.

We were whitecapping off Agnes one
day, in our 18.5 Moore Supercanoe, feeling smug at how it shed the waves, when we saw a tandem Grumman loaded to the gills, dealing quite nicely with the same nasty conditions.

Kind of like the Little Nash Rambler…

Borrow a BuWaCa. Made for the BWCA

Quiticos?!? Once started, don’t quit!