Is $600 worth 4lbs....?

I’m looking at the WeNoNah Vagabond for 3 day trips on local canoe trails…I’m getting tired of hiking with a 60 lbs canoe plus gear…My question is are there more things to take into account other than weight…$600 and 4 lbs is the differencr between the kevlar and the RX Vagabond…I’m wondering if there is any design differences knowing that kevlar leands itself to sharper lines than RX and if this is a factor with this boat…any comments would be greatly appreciated…

What’s it worth…
I was faced with a similar choice recently. That’s a $150/lb premium. I opted to save the $ and lift the extra 4 lbs. My choice was between a kevlar model and a poly/glass layup.

More than just the four pounds…
I think you’re on to something. Although I haven’t compared the two versions of that model side-by-side, I’ve seen other cases where the same model was shaped a little differently, with definitely a sharper bow and stern profile for the composite version as compared to the royalex. Plus, there might be differences in what outfitting is available. If you’d rather have a bucket seat and a footbrace, for example, you may have to go with the composite layup on some models. Finally, if it matters to you, the Royalex version might be a little more flexy; the bottom may tend to oilcan.


I know the WeNoNah Rendezvous

– Last Updated: Jul-26-05 2:27 PM EST –

in kevlar is almost a competley different boat in RX due to the ability of kevlar to form sharper lines...the demensions are a lot different between these two boats that look similar and carry the same name but they paddle I was wondering about the Vagabond..

It’s not that heavy
I have a Vagabond Rx and it is nice to portage. As far sharp lines go, it’s not bad for a Rx boat. I like the Rx because I dont have to be as careful and our streams here in Texas are hell on Kevlar boats.

I have an rx Vagabond
If you have $600 you don’t need then sure it’s worth it. If you get it in royalex put in some non-skid tape.

Having never paddled a kevlar boat
I guess I’m asking if they paddle better (more efficiently?) than a RX boat…I would imagine that a stiffer boat would have more glide etc…?

Don’t know that boat but some others I’ve tried (Bell Wildfire and MR Outrage) certainly have a different feel between Rx and Kevlar.

Best way to find out is to try them both.


And it’s not that different, either.
The differences between the same design in composite or Royalex are relatively small, though surely detectable by an experienced paddler. To act as if the difference is like night and day is to mislead people.

Tapelgan went from Rx to Graphite
Perhaps he’ll see this and chime in with his impressions regarding the performance differences of the two Vagabonds he’s had. If you’re usually traveling light (i.e. without 50-75 lbs of gear), the blunt bow of the Rx version won’t be too much of a penalty in terms of speed loss and noisy entry. But add weight and/or choppy conditions … and then Royalex boats are bound to show their design limitations (form resistance) to a greater degree. But, I think for versatility, the Rx Vagabond would let you run streams/rivers with less angst about hull damage from the inevitable course selection mistakes (i.e. picking a route that ends up dumping you into a rockier situation than you thought it would). Tapelgan has his Rx boat listed for sale in WA in the classified ads at left. I bet it’s in decent shape … as only a “finesse guy” would probably spring for graphite as he did.

Royalex molding may not be perfect
I’ve posted all this before, but you may not have seen it. My Royalex Vagabond is a perfect example of less-than-perfect molding with Royalex. This boat is one-half foot shorter than the composite models, and I’m told that’s because the material shrinks that much when it cools after being removed from the mold. Also, the Vagabond is supposed to have 1 & 1/4 inch of rocker on each end, which is very easy to see on the composite boats, but the rocker on my Royalex model is less than can be seen with the unaided eye - careful measurement against a tight string shows it to be 1/8 of an inch (virtually no rocker). I assume that the rocker disappeared as the hull shape changed from shrinkage during cooling. I know the lack of rocker has always been there because I never could see any rocker in that boat, and the puddle pattern formed by splashwater inside the boat has not changed since the boat was new.

I would go for
the upgrade to a composite hull. I have the rx version and actually demoed the kevlar vagabond with the sliding seat. There was a difference in the way the two boats paddled on the water. I should have gone to kevlar but as a first solo canoe I also have scratched up that rx hull very badly. It is very easy to scratch unlike other rx canoes I have used. The weight is very light for rx I can easily even should carry the boat with no problem and I am not a strong woman. I think the tuff weave is a bit heavier?

Hey…thnx for all the great replies…

– Last Updated: Jul-27-05 10:11 AM EST –

Up here in Alaska my choices are somewhat limited, I have to choose between the dealers that are here in the area...shipping from the lower 48 tacks on lots of bucks to the cost of a boat...not much of a chance to demo canoes either, so mostly I have to go with research and asking far as the Vagabond goes I may opt for the flexcore with sliding seat..

my guess is that the kevlar one has better glide and if money is no object you’ll like it a lot. It’s too bad they don’t make it in tuff-weave but I guess the weight of the royalex wouldn’t be much different than glass/tuffweave. My comments about whether kevlar is “worth it” comes from the general rec. purpose of the canoe compared to a high efficiency type design. If you had to carry the canoe more than a few hundred feet regularly then definately go for kevlar.

No way!
For $600 you could buy another boat and take a friend. infact for $600 you could buy a pretty good new boat made by mad river or old town.

FrankNC…I hear ya man…I have access
to many lakes and canoe trails…last year on one trip I portaged my 60lb. boat 7 miles (and gear), most of my trips are solo…friends seem to have less time and more reasons for not going…probably need another set of canoeing friends…I would like to own one real nice light weight fine paddling boat and am willing to shell out the bucks to get it…

One thing that you could look at is the accessories that are in the canoe. it may not seem like it but the seats, thwarts, yokes ect can make a big difference and then there is the question of plastic vs wood accessories and what weighs less and takes up more/less room.

Yes I did, and the Rx is still for sale.
Great shape (see “classified ads”). I loved the Rx, finding it’s more stable than the Sandpiper I owned

previously. The Rx weighs 42-44 lbs, which is more than I care to carry and lift, and the graphite is about half that-makes all the difference. I’m not sure I’m a skilled enough paddler to tell the difference, but the graphite certainly seems to have more speed & glide. The coating scratches easily, but I ain’t into pretty. I’m making a wind cover, and find there’s no tape that will stick to the hull, it’s so slippery (that may be the 303). The overall feel is harder/stiffer, with no oilcanning. I’m really glad I spent the extra money, and doubt I’ll ever replace the boat. I did get a factory blem, which helped with the price. Ask your dealer to investigate that. But being able to put it on one schoulder and walk a stretch to launch ia easy now. I can even put it on the top of the car by myself, although I usually carry in a pickup bed.