Mohawk Odyssey 14

Looking to buy my first canoe. Spent some time in the Boundary Waters and floating some Ozarks streams but a pretty inexperienced paddler overall. Just moved to NE Ohio and found a bunch of small bodies if water really close to the house. Will be mostly fishing, almost exclusively flat water. Like the idea of a solo.

Found a Mohawk Odyssey 14 used here in the area. Took a look this evening and it’s in pretty good shape. It’s Royalite with light scratches, but nothing too serious. Seat has been lowered, has knee pads and a web type yoke. Guy wants $400. Seems like a decent deal on a fairly nice boat.

Thoughts from folks more knowledgable than I?

Very good price

– Last Updated: Apr-17-15 9:33 PM EST –

At $400 you should be able to turn it around next year if you're not crazy about it for no loss.

I talked to a guy who had a odyssey solo 14 and 15. He had bought the 14 first, then the 15. He would bring the 15 to meetups, I never saw him paddle the 14 but he wouldn't sell it either.

I like my Odyssey 15 in Royalex. You should be able to carry a 14 in royalite one handed I'd think.

A good boat
Of course, it still depends on what you want to do with it. It’s a very nice boat for moving water and small rivers with twisty-turny bends, but even though there are lots of boats more suitable for lake travel, I also use mine for lots of lake paddling if small rivers or creeks are part of the trip that day (I might paddle a few or several miles on a lake, then go up or down a small river). Besides, for fishing, it’s the best choice among my three canoes.

I’m not a fan of the various “light” versions of Royalex, but if it gets the job done, I’d say go for it. You can easily sell it for what you paid for it if you upgrade to something else later on. As to the reasons people don’t like light versions of Royalex, for one thing the abrasion resistance is not as good, but that doesn’t always matter. Whether or not light versions of Royalex are less stiff than regular Royalex, I do not know.

Being that it’s a fairly maneuverable boat (less so with a heavy load), it will either teach you to be effective with a conventional canoe paddle or convince you to use a double-blade paddle (lots of people use a double-blade to simplify things).

The price is right…
and they’re a very nice versatile boat.

Mine sees mostly river use but I do fish small lakes with it. Hauls my 40 lb pooch just fine when she wants to go for a ride. Its been on numerous over-nighters but nothing extended.

I prefer to kneel and lowered the seat for that reason. Plan to install an adjustable saddle this summer as I’ll be using the Mohawk more this season than in the past. Just kinda tired of kayaks.

Hard to go wrong with the deal you have before you and your intended use. Its an easy boat to re-sell if you decide to later.

Thanks guys. I thought it was a pretty decent deal. The downsides mentioned above are exactly what I’ve read about. It’ll be a good learning experience making it go straight. I’m sure I’ll dump it at some point too.

How about a paddle? Any suggestions for something that fits the boat? I can’t go buy a cheapie, can I?

Another non fan of Royalite

– Last Updated: Apr-18-15 10:13 AM EST –

The first Royalite canoe I bought was a Mohawk Solo 14.
It was a used boat, in like new condition. The seller was asking 4 hundred bucks for it. He thought he was going to do a lot of canoeing; changed his mind after a couple of trips, and swims. I jumped on it.

I let my wife use it; she loved it, but I was sure the light layup would become an issue. I didn't like the flexing of the hull bottom at all. She still loved it. Bottom line; I took it away from her, sold it for more than my cost, and never bought another Royalite canoe.

But if you can get one in decent condition, for a killer price; buy it. Use it until you find something you like better, and then sell it.
I doubt you lose any money.

Wife now owns & paddles 2 of her own canoes; a Mohawk Solo 13, and a Wenonah Vagabond, both in Royalex layup. Loves both of em, but seems to be partial to the Solo 13.


P.S. Just for the heck of it; take a look at Sawyer's wooden canoe paddles. Especially, take a look at the model called the Ranger X. Light, nice handling, and a decent price.

My take on a beginner’s paddle

– Last Updated: Apr-18-15 8:34 AM EST –

I would avoid cheap paddles, but you don't need a high-end paddle either. Cheap paddles won't be comfortable to use, and while you are learning you'll already have enough discomfort that you don't want to add to that problem.

I'd say check out Bending Branches and Sawyer, for starters. I'd suggest starting out with a couple of straight-shaft paddles of middle quality. Rutabaga Paddlesports is one online source where you can see a variety of paddles, and somewhere on their site there should be advice on choosing the right length (it can be hard to find at times, depending how they reorganize things periodically, but some paddle maker's websites will have the same info too).

There are lots of good paddles in the mid-grade category. Here are two of my most-used favorites:

For places where I'll be bumping the creek bottom or a lot of rocks or logs: I myself use a paddle that's two inches shorter when in such waters. This is one tough paddle (!) but not terribly heavy. It's pretty quiet too.

For deep-water paddling of all kinds, I usually use this one: It's a very light and graceful paddle, and one that's unusually easy to use with total silence. I broke my first one (after many years of hard use), and I must say I've had so-so luck with recent versions - some are too flexible in the blade - but it appears that they have come up with a definitive solution for that on their latest version. Still I find the grip on the new ones to be too big and bulbous, and plan to sand it down to a size and shape that's similar to what they had on their original version of many years ago, which for me was perfect (the style of grip shown in the linked photo is the old kind).

You don't "need" to buy those two, but I thought some comments about why I like them might be useful to a beginner who's choosing paddles of his own.

hull length
question: does hull length decrease before the season opens then increase as summer unfolds ?

Really appreciate the feedback.

Bought the boat on Saturday and took it out with the kiddo on Sunday. She sat up in the bow and loved it. I thoroughly enjoyed it…even though we were only on a local small lake. At 43lbs I was able to carry it on my shoulder back to the truck.