Looking for suggestions for solo canoe

I am looking for a solo canoe. Let me tell you a bit about myself - I have 40 years of paddling experience in a variety of canoes, kayaks and types of water. I currently am a big guy, going about 280 lbs, and I live in northern Pennsylvania where the two branches of the Susquehanna River meet. For this reason, I will be paddling both upriver and downriver and I want a canoe that is fairly effecient. Right now, I am considering either the Wenonah Encounter or the Wenonah Voyager and am leaning toward the Encounter simply because it is a bigger, ergo wider, canoe. Any suggestions or experiences you could share would be appreciated. Thanks.

Mark Hagy

Sounds like
you like hard tracking boats to me. I love we-known-nots but if you get a chance try Grasse Rivers xl classic solo, and Savage Rivers Otegan . Both are great sit and switch boats. If you have any wood working ability you might want to try the 38 special from north west canoe shop. It is the scaled up version of My Merlin Which is also a hard tracking canoe. I do not know how soon you are planning on buying, but on Memorial weekend there should be both the Grasse River and Savage River available for paddling at Bainbridge New Yorks General Clinton Park.

Hi, Im in Phila, IM 6 FOOT and 280+ … i have and love a 16 1/2’ wenonah prism in UL kevlaR…

i have over 5000 hard river miler on her, and shes held up great, has great lines, tracks straight, “Bi-otch” to turn hard, and is sleek and fast. she will glide forever! also handles the weight fine… i overload it a bit with full expedition gear and food, 5 gal water, dog food, 50lb dog…but its all good… never had a problem… loaded it handled 3-6 foot rollers, 2-3 foot breaking rollers, huge areas of boiling water, bathtub chop 2-4 foot high… with little trouble

i also paddle w a doublebladed canoe paddle…

if i had the boat here id offer to meet ya someplace to try out but its in Bear De at the moment… how far are you from Bear De? Lums Pond is 1/2 mile from my boat

I am 6’6" , 230 lbs. My Voyager still
feels like a cork with just me in it. Wenonah isn’t kidding when they say it is made to carry a load.

Solo Canoe
I found similiar experiences with my Wenonah Prism. It actually handles better for me when I load it up some. I am 6’4" and 220. I use my Prism for conditioning, day trips and some overnight tripping. It feels the most stable when I can pack some weight in it.

sounds like a good choice for you. big boat that will carry a load and make pretty good time. bag it out and have fun.

Are you going to stick to wide, open
waters? There are plenty of nice smaller rivers in your area where some hull rocker would be helpful, whether going downstream or up. Many have wanted an Encounter with a Voyageur, only to find that it was an excessively straight experience for a life full of twists and turns.

Keep leaning towards the Encounter
with the Voyager you’ll be swimming. The Voyager goes straight and fast, but it is one tippy canoe!

I enjoy my Voyager
Some would argue that it lacks primary stability, but I feel the secondary more than makes up for that.

I use mine as my fast tourer and big water boat. So far it has done well for this purpose.


Hemlock SRT?

I found the Voyager a little 'tippy’
at first but I had to work to intentionally turn it over. My goal this summer is to take it into some serious water and learn to handle it. BUT, if I was doing it again, I would sacrifice some speed for some rocker.

speed v. rocker
i’ve always liked wenonah’s speed and bell’s seaworthiness. maybe someone will finally combine the two. think of it: fast boats with rocker, shallow arch hull, bucket seats, and a paw print on the bow. heaven :slight_smile:

Already been done. Called Souris
River Canoes. The closest thing to a cross of a We-NO-nah and Bell I have seen. Love the way they paddle! Designed for the rough water, wind, and load requirements of BWCA and Quetico. Unless you are in the far northern states or Canadia it is a bit hard to get close to one though.