ill pay the price but need advice

i want a good tandem canoe for easy rivers good class 1 water . i want strong and lite i rate myself as intermediate paddler. any sugestions?

Wenonah Spirit II in Tuf Weave or
Royalex. Fairly fast, reasonably maneuverable, stable, good capacity. If you get the Royalex, ask and I will tell you how to firm up the hull, add flotation, and give yourself a solo seat in one mildly complex step.

But there are so MANY we can suggest.

RX versus lay up
The Spirit is a good choice. But the Royalex hull and the lay up hull are really two different canoes!

The RX version feels a lot sloppier and is not as fast as the lay ups, meaning the lay up travels further with less effort with every paddle stroke… Even soloing her heeled, you’ll recognize the difference: the lay up turns faster. If you have a chance, try them both.

Another nice canoe that might fit your bill if you don’t mind the price is the Nova Craft Psospector 16 in Blue Steel-again, the hull performance is not comparable to the RX version.

My advice: find a dealer who allows you to try before you buy! And compare as many canoes as possible-you won’t regret it-better yet: take a course to get a feeling about what you’re looking for-preferably at a livery that also sells and credits you the course fee if you buy a boat afterwards…

firming up a Rx Spirit II hull

I did it with a bucket under the yoke with minicell between the bucket and hull. I had a bucket that was just the right height without cutting it. It wasn’t elegant but it did the trick when I wanted to make sure I had all the boat’s rocker. I had a picture of it but now I can’t seem to find it on Webshots anymore.

How did you do it?

strong , lite
lite is under50lbs… strong is ill probably hit a rock or stump and id like fo it to bounce a little.

can vouch for both
My old Spirit, not the II but the original, is 52# in cross-rib Kevlar. And it has bounced off numerous rocks and stumps in its 24 years with us. It has been dragged over beaver dams loaded, over logs, and teetered over rock ledges and boulders; and survived 20 years of Boy Scout trips and summer camp. The gel coat is much thinner than it was, and two ribs needed to be reattached to the hull, but there has been no penetration of the kevlar or cracking.

It has been fast enough to win races, stable enough to fish from on Lake Ontario, seaworthy enough to paddle loaded in whitecaps and high wind on Cranberry Lake, and maneuverable enough to paddle down Cedar Creek in the NJ Pine Barrens.

A composite Spirit II will do what you want to do, and be lighter than 50# in PVC-core stiffened Kevlar.


thanks everyone
thanks for the advise… i like the wenonah idea as i own a current design kestrel and think its a good quality boat… i never really thought about the difference in the ride between royalex and stiffer materials so i def. learned a few things … thanks jack

I’d recommend a plastic boat. Both the old town Penbscot 16 nd the old town camper are under 60 pounds. That’s really pretty light for a canoe and once you get used to getting her on your shoulders and padding the yoke properly, you will be able to carry her a long way.

My brother has a great 18ft6in kevlar wenonah sundowner at 44# and fastest boat in class in 90 iler and usca nats. Grasse river boat works has great boats. Go to library and try canoe/kayak buyers guide. You need good footrest to really make it go. Good luck!

Interesting… in a Paddler review,
they made a point of saying that they didn’t notice much difference in speed or tracking between a Royalex and a Kevlar Spirit II, but they did notice that the Royalex version turned noticeably better for river and light whitewater use. As I would expect it to.

In all of my Royalex boats, I have
used minicell pedestal seats under thwarts to firm the hull and add flotation. Works for composite boats also. A pedestal seat can be designed to allow comfortable kneeling and sitting. In our MR Synergy, I put in a Mohawk triple saddle and glued short slabs of minicell to the sides of the saddle to provide better sitting support. The saddle is somewhat glued in, but held down by three thwarts. The center position is really kneeling only, because I use the center thwart for thigh support in whitewater. But the front and rear positions are set up so that, when paddling tandem, we can either kneel or swing our legs forward to sit. Oh, and triangular knee blocks are glued onto the sides also at all three positions.

Oh, and I used to have an OT Tripper
that became a Super Tripper in whitewater when I put a foam pedestal under the center thwart that held the bottom down. Trippers were just a tiny bit flat-bottomed when purchased, but holding that bottom down formed it into a flattish arch and added a bit of rocker. That boat was dynamite (for a big, heavy boat) for tandem or solo whitewater, and was wonderful for poling also.

I was scanning some old negatives of the Clarion river the other day… we ran it back in '73 in our Moore Voyageur.

Be careful with that word "plastic"
Usually, “plastic” implies a hull that’s a homogeneous material throughout. This is the worst of the worst when it comes to canoes. I’ve never, EVER, seen a plastic canoe that wasn’t badly warped after two or three years.

“Royalex” is a rather complex, multi-layer material, and is FAR superior to plastic. Properly treated, Royalex will not become warped. I think both of the boats you mentioned are made from Royalex, not plastic.

thanks for asking the question I was about to ask! I remember you telling me about the bucket idea. I was interested in g2d’s ideas too. Hopefully if the weather holds and we can find a shuttle, we’ll be doing the Clarion river this week…still looking for a decent bucket but the pedestals are a cool idea too…

Thanks all!