Mohawk canoes: Solo 14 vs. Odyssey 14???

I’ve narrowed my search for a decent solo tripping canoe to these two. It was a long process of selection, but what most influenced my decision was numerous positive reviews, the price and weight. I know that the Odyssey has a higher bow, stern and sides for better WW performance than the solo, but I’m wondering if the tracking and turning differ. The Solo costs less and is a little lighter. My main use is flat twisty streams, but I do occassional WW up to class 2-3. Anyone have experience with either or both of these and care to comment?

Own both …
If you have definitely made the decision to purchase either the Solo 14, or the Odyssey 14, I would suggest you go with the Odyssey 14. I have no doubt that the Odyssey 14 will manuever better in class 2 or 3, will stay dryer in standing waves, or going over small ledges.

You have yourself listed as an intermediate paddler. I do not believe an intermediate paddler will have any problem dealing with any difference in the tracking ability. In moving water, the difference in tracking ability between the two will be insignificant.

For the type of water you say you want to run, I would “not” want the Royalite. It will not handle the abuse(my Solo 14 is Royalite/my Odyssey 14 is Royalex), nearly as well as the Royalex layup. It is my opinion that either boat will be out of its element in anything above low class 3(not enough rocker); even with air bags, and a bilge pump. If you want to do more than low class 3, you should probably consider a dedicated whitewater boat.

For those who think the Mohawk Odyssey 14 is a great boat for technical, solid class 3, white water; please post some photos of you doing it.


Odyssey 14
I just talked to Mohawk yesterday about purchasing either an Odyssey 14 or a Solo 14. They said the Solo is a flatwater boat while the Odyssey could be used on both flatwater and white. The Odyssey is an old design and was used in the '80s as a whitewater boat under a different name. I originally was going to get an XL15, which is strictly a whitewater boat, but decided I would get more use out of a boat that could also be paddled on flatwater. Check out the cross-section diagrams on their web site if you already haven’t. The XL15 seemed like a good boat since it could also be used as a whitewater “tripper” and be equipped for both solo and tandem. I opted for a Mohawk because I’m going to be in the Orlando area and intend to pick one direct from the factory. I already own two other boats and am building a stripper. I think Charles Ives wrote the “Unanswered Question” for paddlers trying to find a boat that does it all.

We have a Solo 14, great rec boat, but as Bob has stated, I wouldn’t use this for anything better than a class 1+ WW, and you will still ship water. We also experience some oilcanning on larger standing waves, by larger I mean 1’-2’, not very large by no means. This is my wifes boat and we use it for small twisty creaks and rivers with up to class I+ water, she does some fishing, but mostly just enjoying the river, it has served us well for this use.


Thanks for your replies. I need to clarify my intended use, so please allow me to re-phrase my previous statement. My use would be mainly flatwater, but twisty. Running ww would be a rarity, so my concern here is speed. I have a ww kayak and a tandem canoe, but I wanted a solo boat with a higher volume that doesn’t paddle like a barge. I know either of these boats experience some drag, but which is more efficient?

Probably the difference in efficiency
would be hard to measure. The Solo 14 might blow around a bit less in open areas. The Odyssey will of course be dryer in waves. Having owned some short, sharp ended canoes for many years, I find that some rocker may make it EASIER to paddle straight, once you find the boat’s “sweet spot.” And as long as there is no wind, my highly rockered Mad River Synergy is actually easier to paddle straight without correction than my sharper-ended 14’ 6" Mad River Guide. Of course, if the Synergy drifts off the “sweet spot,” it’s much harder to get it back than in the Guide.

I would recommend the Odyssey, because you are getting more boat when facing hard conditions. But in the Pine Barrens, you can certainly do everthing you want in the Solo 14.

The verdict
Thanks again for the opinions. After talking to Mohawk, I’ve gained some valuable information that I was not able to find in the p-net archives (now that’s unusual!). Apparently folks who seem to steer away from R-84 are the ones who’ve used the Solo. The facts from Mohawk are that the R-84 used in the Solo is quite different from that used in the Odyssey, with the Odyssey having a much heavier lay-up. I think that’s quite believable considering that the surface area is slightly more than the Solo, but the weight gain is more than 20%. Also of note, the Solo has no rocker and fine entry resulting in a faster boat, however the Odyssey has 1.5" of rocker and similar beam to the solo at 4" waterline. I agree with those responding to my post that the Odyssey makes a much better tripper. I’m opting to get it in R-84, since my WW runs are few and because I feel the weight savings are worth the small sacrifice in durability (evidently this sacrifice is smaller than previously thought).


I agree w/g2d…

– Last Updated: Nov-04-04 12:08 PM EST –

Don't think that the Odyssey is the more efficient(tracking)of the 2 boats, but if I had to choose between the 2 for the purposes you noted, I would choose the Odyssey. Reasoning? In the hands of an experienced paddler, the Odyssey will be a more versatile boat. There are times when a little versatility is more important(to me)than some small degree of efficiency.
If possible, you should paddle both boats before you buy.


We chose the Odyssey 14
It can haul a bigger load and stay dry. We paddled solid classII, 2’standing waves and took NO water. I get wet from my kayak paddle, but not the waves. The hubby stays drier with his single blade. We have paddled thru some bigger waves (3’)and had a little water splash over the bow or gunwales. But so did the WW boats. We had no more water at that level than they did.

Re; Verdict
I have owned R-84 in two different model and vendors. The R-84 materials vary in boat to boat and vendor to vendor.

I present own a Dagger Reflection in R-84 that is holding up nicely to Class 2-3 for weekend tripping.

This is true. WW paddlers keep water
out largely by planning how they run through or around waves and holes. A boat may be designed to run dry (and I like the way the Mohawk Probes and Vipers are designed to do this), but if the paddler does not exercise some judgement, the boat fills up fast. As one who formerly paddled C-1 and kayak, I have been learning various tricks to run drops dry. The playboaters are puzzled to see me dodge my WW canoe around the right end of Quarry on the Nantahala, but that’s what keeps me dry. At Lesser Wesser, I find that boofing over toward the left will allow me to land flat and dry, and also allow me to stay right up under the drop, in case I want to fill the boat by surfing.

Just a heads up – Mohawk is
planning a price increase in January.