Hi all. I’m obviously new to this and an old dog trying to learn something new and get back in shape while doing it.
I’ve been studying and looking and have come across an older wenonah rendevous at a good price. No white water or fast rivers on the west coast of Florida so I have to ask if it can be trimmed out to track straight.
I’m sure I’m better off getting something used to get started even if it isn’t perfect until I know enough to feel comfortable buying that sweet new kevlar
Any help will be appreciated.
Hi all. I’m obviously new to this and an old dog trying to learn something new and get back in shape while doing it.
I wouldn’t recommend it.
I think you’re on the right track as far as getting a decent used boat to start with. But you still want a canoe that is going to match the conditions you plan to paddle in. A whitewater canoe is not a good choice if you don’t intent to paddle in moving water. Its designed to be manueverable, not to track straight. I think it would be more frustrating than fun to start out on a canoe like that. I understand that solo canoes suitable for beginners probably aren’t real easy to come by in the used market, but you could still probably do better.
Ditto: wrong boat
You live in a paddling paradise, but you want a flatwater boat.
The Rendezvous is more of a whitewater boat. WW boats have a rockered keel line – shaped like a banana – to help the boat turn. That also makes the canoe hard to paddle straight, which is hard enough for a beginner. You want a canoe with very little rocker.
There is one big distinction in flatwater SOLO canoes that you should be aware of before buying. There are solo canoes that are primarily meant to be paddled from a seated position, and these often have bucket (tractor) seats. Other canoes are design primarily for paddling while kneeling, and these often have a bench seat that is slightly tilted downward. Some canoes you can sit or kneel, but all have a primary design. You can use either kind in Florida’s waters. You should try both kinds of canoes if you can before you buy. Look for dealers with demo days.
A big tandem canoe can be soloed either sitting or kneeling. But they are heavier and clumsier on land than a solo canoe. You will mainly day trip in Florida, and don’t really need a huge canoe with a lot of cargo capacity.
Looking for a used is a great idea, and there should be lots available in Florida. I would also highly recommend a lightweight composite boat for Florida waters, especially if you are something other than a young and strong male. A heavy canoe becomes an unused canoe.
I don’t fully agree. I’ve paddled the
Wenonah Rendezvous, and it is a lot closer to a fast flatwater boat than it is to a true whitewater boat. I found it too "stiff" and unwilling to spin for whitewater use. It will cruise nicely in whitewater, th0ough.
So there's no need to trim it out to track straight. Compared to all of my canoes (including my MR Guide Solo) the Rendezvous is a very straight tracker. Compared to a Wenonah Advantage, it isn't.
So if it were me in Florida, I would go ahead and buy it. It would be a decent cruiser on Florida flatwater, and a decent cruiser on class 1-2 Appalachian whitewater.
People tend to appraise the Rendezvous by reading the Wenonah catalog copy, and by looking at the pictures, rather than by direct inspection and paddling.
I sorta agree with the comments above. The Rendezvous is listed as having two and a half inches of rocker. That will make the boat turn more easily, but an inexperienced paddler may have a hard time getting it to track straight.
Not to say it can’t be done. It all depends on the individual - his or her willingness to work on skills, willingness to get wet while learning, etc.
Some people seem to have a more innate feel for canoes on moving water. A great gift if you have it - I do not. I know one paddler that had only paddled a long kayak and had never been on moving rivers. Within two years he was at one with his canoe doin freestyle and whitewater.
If you are interested in a more recreational approach I would suggest a boat like the Wenonah Vagabond or Mohawk Solo 14. Both track fairly well and can be maneuvered on moving rivers.
The Vagabond is a common canoe and you should be able to find one used. The Mohawk Solo 14 is less common but until fairly recently was made in Florida. With a little persistent hunting you should be able to find a used one for sale in the Florida area.
Just my two cents for what it’s worth.
How good is the price?
I agree with your thinking. If the boat is in good condition, you can get it at an attractive price, and you can maintain it in decent shape, you should have little trouble turning it over and getting most, if not all of your money back if you decide it is not the boat for you.
I would tend to agree with g2d. I would not call the Rendezvous a whitewater canoe. Wenonah calls it one, and it was the closest thing that they had to it after they stopped making the Edge and before they started making the Recon but it is vastly different from what most whitewater open boaters have been paddling for decades.
It is a pretty big boat with a lot of free board to potentially catch wind and somewhat more rocker than would be desirable in a canoe used only for flat water day trips, but I found it surprisingly fast for its size, and it is a superb river canoe, especially for a big person or paddling with a load.
I see no reason you couldn’t start out canoeing with one.
Is a mad river independence currently listed in florida on this site
I think the Rendezvous is a fine choice
its not a whitewater boat at all but designed for moving water and twisty creeks. It should be a veritable delight for Florida streams.
Now you want it to track too. This is entirely possible. With lots of practice you can work on a set of strokes to get the boat to track despite the rocker.
Sit and switch and a J stroke are two of the most commonly used as well as the stern pry. It is well worth the small additional expenditure to locate a canoe instructor in your area. They can help you sort out in an hour what takes forever with nose in book and the questioning of “why this is not working for me”. Human feedback is a real time saver.
Its never all about the boat. Paddler skills are more important.
if the price is right ?
depends on how old and how much - I often see used boats listed at more than they cost new originally! - for a used boat, unless it is in mint condition, I'd likely limit my purchase price to somewhere in the 1/2 to 2/3rds price new for a comparable boat, looking more for that 1/2 price mark. the "market" in your area has an affect on that also - some markets are higher or lower based on availability and demand. So to me, a "fair" price for a not too beat up Rx Rendezvous would be something in the range of $500 to $750, looking for the lower end. If the boat you are looking at is in that range or less, its likely a good deal.
As far as getting a hard tracking flat keel'd lake boat vs getting a boat with a couple of inches of rocker - that is a difference in preference as much as or maybe more than where you will use the boat.
Some people prefer harder tracking boats as needing less correction or being less affected by wind - others,like me, prefer to be able to turn easier in those conditions where the wind is still pushing a hard tracking boat around - i.e., I want a boat that is easer to get back on course once the wind has pushed me around - a bit of rocker helps to do that. Also a lot easier for winding between the cypress or mangroves or whatever, and for twisty streams as mentioned above.
Generally, the only trimming you need to do is to move weight forward for headwinds,and rearward for tail winds - that is so with any canoe even tandems, but moreso with any solo boat. A couple of gallon milk jugs full of water will do that just fine.
I know several people with Rendezvous and I have a Rx one - most people use sit and switch (most of those boats are composite, a few in Rx)I use a C stroke - I haven't noticed any real difficulty with tracking on anyone's part. The downside to a Rx boat is the wider/blunter entry which makes for a slower boat (I did notice that on lakes while having a heavy load), and the extra weight you have to move, both on water and on land, though if you are getting a boat for exercise, that wouldn't seem to be too big an issue.
one last point - if you haven't already read the reviews here on P-net, you should do so, but take any review with a grain of salt - but take note of the age of the boat (generally last two digits of the serial number)- pre-2005 Rx boats (and I think some 2005 built boats) needed some modification (I did this with mine)to make the boats handle better - essentially substituting the rear thwart for the front, giving the bow more flare, and moving the bench seat back about 2" and putting in a new rear thwart. I wouldn't consider this a deal breaker, but might be a bit of price leverage if its an old boat that hasn't had the fix - its pretty simple to do if you can operate a screw driver and a drill and a pop rivet gun (though I suppose you could use bolts to refasten the seat hangers)if you do buy a boat that needs the fix, just post about it and I can send you details.
Thanks for all the opinions and advice.
My thinking has been this. We have lots of coastal areas that are great for exploring and photographing, i.e. everglades etc, and lots of beautiful rivers and streams, some with a little current but nothing close to a class 1 white water. I have thought I might look at the Wenonah Wilderness but have yet to see a used one in 6 months of watching. I’ve thought a Prism would be great for the coast but too long in the streams.
Here is the Rendevous, I will at least call him and take a look. The owner is asking $650.
Thanks again everyone.
There is also a Prism up for grabs but I’m thinking it’s too old for the asking price.
I’d snag that one
You’ll learn a ton in that boat. And you can always sell it for what you paid for it.
The Rondezvous you are looking at is in a Kevlar Center-Rib layup. The only layup presently made is Royalex. $650 for that Kevlar layup is a great deal.
For your usage the hull will be fine. It is not as straight tracking as other Wenonah’s, and it is not a WW boat for technical water as pointed out above.It will go downriver very fast in big open rapids. It will handle large waves and windy conditions. You will have no worries on an open coastal bay if the wind comes up. The flared bow will keep you dry and upright. I have spent a lot of time on the bigger Finger Lakes of NY in a Kevlar Rondezvous and it was a very secure canoe. Never felt like the water was too rough to handle.
It does not cover water like the Prism, but you can paddle the Rondezvous on dayss the Prism will need to stay ashore.
The advertised prism is not a bad deal, but for your usage, the Rondezvous will be fine.
$650 for a kev Rendezvous?! I’d be all over that right now, assuming no serious damage. It’s a great buy - and if you don’t like it, you’ll easily recover your money.
You’ll be fine . . .
and you’ll probably get your J stroke down a lot quicker.
The only canoe I ever owned was an old C-2 (old and beat up when I got it).
Most people thought it was a kayak, but no you could only paddle it kneeling.
It had serious rocker too.
I used it (more) often on flat water and was able to follow a straight line.
Someimes we get too technical.
It’s a boat, put it in the water and paddle.
Wenonah seems to think it is a ww boat
as do people I see running their Rendezvous down the Nantahala. Eric Nyre seems to think it is a whitewater boat.
I think it is a whitewater cruiser. If you paddle one, you just have to accept some serious limitations in your ability to eddy out and execute close maneuvers. That’s no worse than for downriver racing kayaks and c-1s.
Thanks for the first-hand report.
Many high rocker whitewater boats are kind of treacherous on wavy lakes and ocean waters. I wondered whether the Rendezvous would have the right combination of end bite and rocker to handle lake waves.
Interesting that the OP is paddling the
Everglades. There a boat that can handle a bit more than normal weight is an advantage as well as a boat that does not have fine ends.
That is if you are going into the Gulf and camping overnight. I find that my less rockered boats are harder to get back on course when they are sunk deep in the water.
And yes in the Everglades with the right wind and tide conditions there are tidal races with standing waves..function a lot like whitewater.
If you go with the Prism you might want a splash cover so the sea is not in your boat. The Rendezvous might ride over waves better and you might get away without the cover.
Hence my vote for the Rendezvous. But both should give you pleasure ..just get out there!
Stop thinking about it. Start paddling.
A Kevlar Rendezvous with center rib construction and a sliding Kevlar seat weighs around 42 lbs.
If you don’t like the boat, in all likelihood you could sell it at a profit.
Not highly rockered imho
I can’t consider the Rondezvous a highly rockered hull. For a Wenonah, Yes. Compared to the Royalex banana boats used today for slalom work its more like a USCA cruiser.
Eric Nyre is the expert on this hull. Remember the modifications he did to the Royalex Rondezvous for WW.
And his western rivers are bigger and more open than the Appalachian WW that you frequent.
I auditioned the Rondezvous against the Wenonah Mocassin,the Bell MerlinII as choices for doing the 90 Miler solo. It was way more secure than the others on big lakes, but way slower on flatwater. At race pace 3 strokes a side was max. Cruising pace with a little correction on each stroke it was fine. Would make a good tripping solo for big rivers. I settled on the Mocassin. It felt good under all but the roughest lake water, had decent speed, and was a good fit for me. The Merlin II had wood trim, with a hung seat and did not seem as solid and was about twice the price. Still have the Mocassin, but can’t kneel for as long now.