Is Wenonah Rendezvous too big for me?

-- Last Updated: Oct-26-07 12:38 AM EST --

My expectation is that it is too big for me for lightly loaded river trips, but I thought I'd check with the experts here first. The $500 asking price is probably in the ball park of what it should be. It's a four hour round trip for me to check it out in person. I'm 5'6" and 155 lbs. I prefer sitting while paddling.

It's kevlar and I think it's ultra light because I can see foam ribs up the side in the picture. Also, can the ultra light Rendezvous survive shallow boney streams without much damage if it doesn't have any direct impact?

It has the sliding tractor seat and black aluminum trim.

My other solo canoes that I've used on the local rivers are a carbonlite 2000 layup Mad River Slipper and royalex Bell Wildfire. Any comparison between these boats and the Rendezvous would be appreciated.

My other solo canoes that I haven't used on rivers yet are a Blackhawk Zephyr and a Sawyer Loon. My impression from reading the reviews and what's left of the archived Rendezvous threads is that the Rendezvous would handle most similarly to the Sawyer Loon with the rudder up.

I'd appreciate any input that you may have regarding the kevlar Rendezvous's durability, handling when lightly loaded and any other misc comments on this boaat.

Edit: Also, what is the "center rib" construction that's referred to in some of the reviews?


Center rib
Wenonah designed some canoes with an internal center rib(keel) that was braced with a shock

absorber/spring. You hit a serious log or rock and the boat deflects and returns to its original shape after it is cleared. Basically it allowed the boat to be flexible with out oilcanning.

I don’t know how well it worked, the only One I saw was clamped up so it would stay stiff.



First of all, I’d get in touch w/Eric at Colorado Canoes; they seem to specialize in this boat and he can probably give you a good answer to your weight question. Baldpaddler’s description of the center rib is on the button. I’ve only seen them in early C1-Ws; I think the presence of one in the Rendezvous you are looking at would probably make it an earlier model. The center rib pretty much disappeared when the Flex-core lay up arrived. Many of these boats were (and still are) made at the factory with integral skid plates, which may tend to reduce your concerns of how an ultra light kevlar lay up handles the pointy stuff. I’ve also seen at least one or two of these in the old Tuff-weave ultralight lay up (you can usually tell by a color that is more tan than golden and, because the tuff-weave is more translucent than the kevlar, the ribs are more visible from the outside.) I’ve never paddled (or even seen) a Sawyer Loon, but the Rendezvous is a totally different animal than either the Slipper or the Zephyr. Of the boats you mention, the capabilities would be closest to the Wildfire, but it really is a very different boat, with better secondary stability and greater overall speed but not quite as quickly maneuverable. Be sure to paddle one before you buy; I love the boat, but it is an acquired taste. I’m 240 lbs, and that surely changes the boat a great deal from what it would be like for someone 85 lbs lighter!

Thanks for the great feedback
Eric Nyre also gave me great feedback via email.

Just don’t overestimate what the boat
can do in serious whitewater. It can handle waves, and normal maneuvers in the main current, but I found it quite “stiff” in handling, and way behind my MR Guide in WW technical handling.