No more Mohawk Odyssey 14

-- Last Updated: Aug-06-15 11:42 PM EST --

I've been window shopping for a new fishing canoe for a little while. I'm looking for something that will handle a trolling motor well, and also paddle well. I'm not looking for the best canoe for each, just one that would work pretty well for both. At 5'6", 150 lbs, I started to thing that the Mohawk Odyssey 14 in R84 would be great. It's been said that this weighs 45 lbs- light enough to handle with ease on land, yet heavy enough to provide good ballast in water. The royalex version of the boat (according to an owner) comes in at close to 55. The 32" beam and 14' hull seem like they'd provide a pretty stable ride on lakes.

I'm also thinking that a plastic hull would be better than a fiberglass hull since I would store it outside, and often pull my canoe onto rocky/sandy beaches. I don't like the idea of scratching through the gelcoat and having water enter in and hydrolyze the hull.

I was really disappointed to call Mohawk and hear that as a result of plastic sheet shortage, this boat is no longer available in either royalex or r84. I'm guessing at this point, ALL of the large sheets of royalex and R84 have long since been bought up. Old town says that it's moving to r9000, whatever that is. Is this a common practice within the industry? Is my thinking all wrong on fiberglass canoes?

Also, I'm not a fan of aluminum as a fishing platform, since a dropped object causes an aluminum hull to ring like a bell.


– Last Updated: Aug-07-15 12:13 AM EST –

Well, canoe manufacturers were left out in the cold when the company Polyone bought out the company that produced royalex and ceased production as it wasn't profitable enough. This has left canoe manufacturers scrambling to replace royalex.

Finding used royalex boats is no problem. Use the classifieds here, Craigslist, and E-bay. HOWEVER, having paddled the Odyssey, I would not classify the 14 as a good boat to fish from. The 15, yes, it's a different animal. You need primary stability to fish from a canoe IMHO, and there are many boats more suitable than the Odyssey 14.

Also, royalex boats are covered with a vinyl skin. They are sensitive to being stored outside in the sun. If you do store it outside, cover it up so it will last longer.

Nor would I put a trolling motor on a Mohawk Odyssey 14. I've used a trolling motor on a canoe, and a trolling motor begs for something stable like a Mad River Explorer or Revelation or something like an Old Town Tripper. In fact, I would be hesitant to put a trolling motor on any solo canoe.

Quote: “In fact, I would be hesitant to put a trolling motor on any solo canoe.”

Why? Is this because of the low weight of a solo relative to a tandem, or a slimmer beam? (or both?)

I had considered the Clipper “Escape” (Tandem, L = 14’6", beam = 35" @gunwale, 34" @ 4" waterline), but decided that paddling something that wide would be a pain. I do have an OT guide 147 now that is very similar in dimensions to the Clipper. I don’t like the guide’s weight. Paddling the guide from the back solo is OK, but not great. That’s why I am considering a solo. In fact, the original thought was to get the clipper, but someone else on the site recommended going solo instead.

I am concerned about puncturing the gel coat by dragging the canoe up pebble beaches, etc. Is this a valid concern?

Its a concern for any boat
I am 69 years old and get out in the water. I don’t drag any of my boats on the beach or any gravel.

No need to when they are sub 50 lbs

I have a river boat made of carbon fiber and kevlar and fiberglass and covered in gel coat. It does just fine. Its hardest on the pocketbook.

I don’t think many here unless they have a freighter canoe will advocate any dragging.

The vinyl layer of a Royalex boat will wear off and expose the ABS if you drag it. They are not indestructible.

"In fact, I would be hesitant to put…

– Last Updated: Aug-07-15 12:41 PM EST –

... a trolling motor on any solo canoe."

When you put a trolling motor on a canoe, minor adjustments to the motor can cause the boat to move wildly. Put one on a short, narrower boat and it's a recipe for disaster (Remember, you've also got a large battery in there too). Even a stable tandem can be unsteady if you're not careful and take it easy with a trolling motor. This is not "Speculation," but years of experience. I used to duck hunt quite a bit so I had a couple canoes I used a trolling motor on.

I can't argue with the fact that a solo is going to be lighter and easier to carry. I would opt for a solo boat myself, IF I didn't intend to use a trolling motor.

Also, you don't have to give up on royalex. There are PLENTY of used and even a few new ones still out there on the "Market." But dragging ANY canoe besides a polyethylene canoe (think Old Town Discovery) on the beach and you are going to damage it. Royalex or 'Glass does not like to be "Dragged."

skid plate?
Ok, I guess dragging is out. What about sacrificial layers of kevlar across the entire area that would be exposed to dragging? Of course, kevlar skid plates are offered, but I’m wondering about something more.

Strips of kevlar going from bow to stern that would absorb the punishment of dragging AND that can be removed and replaced as needed would be great. Is this an option?

A Layer of Fiberglass…
…or two and or kevlar skid plates on the stems would definitely help. Eventually they too will wear, but easy to replace, while hard to remove. Glass MAY be better? I think it would be easier to just add a layer? Also, would a 2-wheeled cart help? Something like this:

Or is the ground to rocky and uneven?

I own an Odyssey 14 and,…
Absolutely love it due to its versatility. I can run class 3 rapids with ease as well as surf the ocean waves. Even though it does okay in flatwater, it would not be the best canoe for your needs by far. There are many boats more suitable for lake fishing with a trolling motor as earlier posts state. The Wenonah Heron comes to mind as I owned one. It is a small tandem but easily paddles solo and its flat bottom makes for a stable fishing platform

Well, now I’m thinking about…
I just checked out the heron (Wenonah). It looks similar to the Clipper “Escape” which I’ve been looking at

I was thinking aout the clipper several weeks ago, and might have even posted regarding it. The escape is slightly narrower and longer. I don’t know how the rocker compares. They seem to have similar taper. The Clipper is less expensive…

Dragging versus “beaching”

– Last Updated: Aug-08-15 1:13 AM EST –

Whether it's a canoe or a small motorboat, I've never dragged one up onto a beach. If you lift the shore-bound end, you can walk the boat quite far up onto the beach before setting it down while the other end floats. Reverse the process when getting it back into the water (some people will actually walk into the water to pull the floating end, increasing the contact force applied to the dragged end, because they haven't stopped to think there are other things you can do besides "pull" a boat). Often, it makes perfect sense to leave the boat in the water, tied up. Yes, it's impractical to eliminate all dragging, but full-weight dragging on an abrasive surface, and dragging for any distance or doing so on a regular basis, just isn't necessary.

Oh by the way, I gave some consideration to buying a "spare" Odyssey 14 in Royalex, because I like the one I have so much. I believe they were already sold out way back in March. Mohawk probably didn't have the ability to stock up on Royalex sheets to the same extent as Wenonah and Old Town, a goal that surely wasn't made any easier by the maker cutting the supply sooner than they originally promised.

not Kevlar
The Kevlar material that is sold in skid plate kits is a felt consisting of short, compressed fibers. Although the fibers are individually strong, since they are very short the material itself has relatively little strength since there are no long fibers running through it.

The felt material also soaks up a lot of resin, resulting in a plate that manages to be thick (creating a lot of drag), heavy, and weak, all at the same time. The only good thing about the stuff is that it is easy to work with as it maintains its shape fairly well and does not fray. This makes it fairly foolproof for use by folks who have no experience using resins and fabrics.

The last set of Kevlar plates I removed came off a Royalex boat this past month. The plates came off the hull fairly easily since the urethane adhesive that was generally sold with these plates resulted in a fairly weak bond to Royalex. As the material lifted off the hull I simply broke it away in fragments with my fingers. And this is not the first such experience I have had with Kevlar felt skid plates. One often sees whitewater canoes to which these have been applied from which large sections have broken out.

Kevlar fabric would be much stronger to use for skid plates and external wear patches but still a relatively poor choice. Kevlar does not sand and feather well so it can’t be made as smooth as other materials, and it tends to become “fuzzy” as it abrades. If you want to apply something to the exterior, fiberglass or Dynel are much better choices.