I’m pretty sure I’ve mad my final choice for my next canoe.
I’ve been told I’m stupid or crazy for being a paddler when I can barely swim the length of a pool, but to quote Indiana Jones, I’m a very cautious guy, And to paraphrase Kevin Costner, in Water World, I’ve paddled farther than most people have dreamed, and I’m still here.
I’ve chosen a canoe reputed to feel very stable. It’s also supposed to be very fast. I’m not sure it’s the best choice for loaded touring, but I’m going to make it work. I plan on using it, mostly, for day paddles on lakes and multiday flatwater river trips, such as the Green, in Utah.
Since I’m 67 and my bovine aortic valve is due to be replaced in 2028, this may be my last canoe purchase, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mad my final choice for my next canoe.
I owned a tuffweave Advantage for several years, and liked it a lot. Would still have it if I didn’t need to raise some funds for a sailboat I wanted. Sold it to String who latter sold it to Rusty another of our close paddling buddies. It is fast, and I thought stable as well.
The Wenonah is fast for a solo canoe that is not an all out racer. It was a top competitor in Marathon racing in the stock class for many years. Dave Kruger designed the original hull for downriver racing. The hull was modified (cut down a bit I believe) for recreational use.
It is a straight keeled canoe, pretty hard tracking. You might find it a bit twitchy at first especially out in a stiff wind but it has pretty decent stability especially for its speed. I have paddled mine several times with two small dogs of about 25 lbs each moving around it it and had no problems.
As for tripping, opinions are somewhat divided and it probably depends on paddler weight and weight of gear. I believe that a large paddler carrying much gear would push the boat past its efficient capacity. Remember that the original hull design, which is what the water sees, was intended for downriver racing which is done without a load. But a lot of smaller to intermediate size paddlers have used it as a tripper successfully.
It is narrow at the gunwales especially in front of the foot brace so you need to consider that in your choice of packs, etc. It does have sufficient room for a 30 liter barrel placed longitudinally in front of the foot brace and there is room for a moderate size pack behind the seat plus a few smaller items.
Get out and paddle while you can. At 70 my balance is not what it once was. I paddle an OT Canadienne that has a 32 inch beam. It takes some getting used to after paddling 35-36 inch beam tandem boats.
Good luck to you.
I’m a 65 year old guy and like all of us we are slowing down a little here and there and the combination of a little extra weight and a little less balance things change.
I converted an OT Guide 147 to a single with a center seat location and I’m a couple feet shorter and about 10” wider than you will be. I have a flatter bottom I’m guessing with better stability to some degree. My OT is also a good deal heavier but not to the point I can’t manage it in and out of the water with a few aids. The biggest pro and con is the width. I’m solving that problem with a double blade kayak paddle of a longer length around 250-260cm.
I don’t care about fast or WW. I like that it tracks well now with the seat relocated that it hardly draws much water for when the creeks are low and when I want to load it down with gear I have a lot of weight capability to use. Actually 2-3 times what I would envision needing.
We all have different needs sounds like you have found something that will suit yours.
Oh man, you should have gotten an esquif pocket canyon!
So have you purchased the Advantage or are you looking for one?
The Wenonah Advantage is a great canoe. I’ve owned mine for 30 years and have paddled that boat in conditions that kept me on the edge of my seat so to speak and it always got me home. It’s fast (I’ve kept up with experienced sea kayakers) and relatively stable (considering it’s design) but it’s not the most versatile canoe. It gets a bit unnerving and you have to really pay attention when the wind picks up and the waves get choppy or develop small whitecaps. And though I’ve used a straight blade paddle with it and maneuvered through marshes and small streams, it certainly doesn’t want to turn on a dime.
I love the canoe but I’ve gotten older and doing laps around the local lake or putting on the miles for a long day of cruising isn’t as important to me as it once was. That’s why I recently purchased a solo canoe that, while not as fast, is more versatile and far more stable in rough conditions and moving water. I still use a bent blade paddle and sit-and-switch to quickly get where I want to go or to put in some miles for exercise, but mostly I use the new boat with a straight blade paddle while kneeling and just enjoy meandering along the shoreline or working my way up and back on a stream.
Not trying to dissuade you from the Advantage if that’s the canoe that best fits your intentions, just providing a few things to consider if you haven’t bought one yet.
Tom, that is a good assessment and mirrors my experience with it. I have more than one solo canoe so I never tripped in it. Here are some photos of the “Grey Thing”.
Is the Grey Thing the boat or the paddler?
That could apply to a bunch of us.
Castoff, looks like a well loved Advantage.
Here’s one of the small lakes where I’ve done laps in my Advantage.
I used to take it out on the reservoirs of the Columbia River when the wind wasn’t howling. Pulling against the current going upstream was a good workout.
I don’t think so.
I took my Voyageur paddling with the canoe club today.
A few times I wanted to turn around so I could face who I was talking to, or return to the group, and it was like turning around the Queen Mary.
The Advantage is a foot shorter and has a little rocker. Wenonah says it turns a lot better, but I’m still a little concerned about maneuverability.
Using a kayak paddle, I was getting tons of water in the boat and it was pouring onto my legs, which would be a problem in cooler weather.
A lady on the outing was paddling a Wenonah Rendezvous with a kayak paddle and she was using a much longer low angle paddle. I think this would greatly reduce the water coming into the boat.
Her husband had a Rendezvous in grey and I think that would still be my choice. Looked good with black trim.
Obviously somewhere in the west. I’m in Colorado. Pretty morning. The lake I was paddling on today was a res in the city. Not nearly so pretty.
Obviously not in the west.
Looks like a more reasonable size than my Voyageur. I used to carry a Discovery 174 on my Mazda 323. Looked pretty ridiculous.
Now I have a crew cab Silverado so pretty much nothing looks too big.
I managed to load the Voyageur onto my roof rack by myself, but it took some doing.
I tried to clean and jerk it (weight lifting term), but don’t have the strength anymore.
I ended up putting one end on the back of the truck and pushing it forward.
The Advantage will be lighter, but I still need to start training for putting it on my truck.
An Echo would be a reasonable choice. A least that’s a solo.
I have a Tuff-weave Rendezvous and it is my go to boat for moving water or where I expect to be dealing with down wood and other entertainments in the river. Not so much for lakes - especially if there is wind and waves on the stern quarter. Mine weathercocks strongly in those conditions. When we were first looking at solo canoes in the early 90’s we tested a Rendezvous that the owner (and also retailer) had fitted with a rudder. He would paddle the North Shore rivers like the Pukasawa and then have a long paddle out on Lake Superior. I fully understand why he had that rudder.
Rendezvous in its element:
The Voyager, as advertised, is a fast, go straight boat that can carry a load. With that length and a straight keel , it is like a leaf in the wind. It loves a head or tail wind but prepare for a fight in a side wind.
A cover helps.
I sold it to a p.nutter who uses it in low wind environments.
My Voyageur has a sliding seat, so I can adjust trim.
This helps a lot on windy days, but it can still be a handful.
The question is, how much better will the Advantage be?
The Advantage will be easier to maneuver than a Voyageur especially in wind. But not as easy as a Rendezvous.