older Wenonah tuf-weave weight

I was recently looking at a used Wenonah Sundowner, 17ft. tuf-weave. I usually bring along my hanging scale to verify the weight, and it weighed in at about 80#. This seemed heavy to both me and the owner, but the scale is rated at 110#, has accurately weighed heavier canoes, and when I got home checked it against some 10 and 20# weight plates and it is spot on. So I trust the scale calibration.

This was a 1987 model and the oldest Wenonah spec I could find on the wayback machine was from 1997, which showed the Wenonah list weight at 65#. I know the manufacturer specs are notoriously optimistic and sometimes the listed hull weight doesn’t include the seats, but I don’t think the plastic tractor seats and slider mechanism would account for 15 extra pounds.

For those of you who have been around for a while, is it possible that a decade earlier Wenonah’s tuf-weave layup could have been an extra 5-10# heavier in 1987 than it was in 1997?

depends on layup
We have a 16-6 Sundowner from about 1990. It weighs about 55lbs, which was pretty close to what Wenonah claimed. If I recall correctly, Wenonah offered a number of different hull layups, even with Tuff-Weave. These included a full size foam core (lightest), cross ribs, single longitudinal rib, or extra fabric layers (cheapest and heaviest). I also think the Sundowner at that time was either a 16’6" or a 18’ hull, but not a 17’?? So you need to confirm both the actual length and construction type to answer your question. There are others here more expert than I; let’s see if they have any corrections or alternate suggestions.

Sundowner weights
Yes, I believe that the Sundowner came in either 16 1/2 or 18 foot lengths at that time although the shorter version may have been called a 17’ Sundowner.

A 1990 catalog indicates that the 18’ Tuf-weave Sundowner with cross rib construction weighed 68lbs.

The 16’ 6" Tuf-weave Sundowner was available in center rib and cross rib construction at 66lbs, but was also available in an all fiber lay-up for which Wenonah listed a weight of 70lbs.

Some options such as a sliding front seat and wood trim could add a few pounds.


– Last Updated: Jun-22-16 2:48 PM EST –

I didn't put a tape measure to it. He had it listed as a 17 footer and it seemed every bit that long. If that wasn't a choice, then I'd guess 18 and not 16.5.

It was a cross rib model. Didn't know they had a heavier all fiber option back in the day. I thought all their fiberglass models were the Tuf-weave. Now that I think about it, there was no Tuf-weave sticker that I usually see. So I guess at 70# for the 16.5 the 18 would be a tad heavier, plus the seats, that 80# wouldn't be out of the question. I'm curious, what does the 1990 catalog say about an all fiber 18 footer's weight?

Thanks for the info.

I Would Believe 5+ Lbs
I had a Tuff Weave Wenonah Adirondack and after several years decided I’d get a second one for my BWCAW trips and keep 'Ol Blue for river use since she was already so beat up. The “New” boat was significantly heavier and although I never weighed it, everyone whom lifted and carried the two could tell a big difference.

No idea

– Last Updated: Jun-23-16 12:10 AM EST –

I had a 1991 Sundowner 17 in flex center rib with wood gunnels, guess it weighed 70lbs. It had great glide. Btw it could have been a heavy expedition/livery layup.

HIN number
The 16’6’ Sundowner started life as the Echo. Shortly after it was renamed it was redone as a 17’canoe and is still in production, though not in the regular catalog as it was during its royalex days.

As the 16’6" hull it predates Tuff-weave. Cross-rib layup in glass should weigh around 65# but some are heavier. Outfitters could order an extra layer of cloth and that would add another 8# or so. The extra-stiffened version could have weighed 80# as it was not vacuum bagged. But it had no ribs. The HIN number will tell if it was an Echo renamed Sundowner.

I once owned a Solitude that was a factory second. It had an extra layer of cloth to cover the layup mistake and it weighed almost 55#. Heavier than my 17’Spirit.

I liked it a lot
I was lighter then but after getting my 120lb lab/rot in over the gunwale from the water I was pleased to discover it’s secondary.

HIN plate
The HIN plate was so worn it was really tough to make out much. Mostly the last two digits to identify the mfg. year. But zooming in on a digital photo, I see that it was identified as an 18’ Sundowner. So the owner had it misidentified.

Based on what’s been said, I’m guessing it was an all fiber 18 footer, which I can see could have been 80 pounds with the seats installed.

Between the weight and the amount of fading, which made it appear is if it had been stored out baking in the sun at some point in it’s life (though probably not the last few years with this seller based on the dense tree coverage on his property), I passed on it. But mostly due to the weight. I’ve reached the point where I don’t want to deal with a canoe much over 60 pounds.

Still, even with the substantial fade, for a 30 year old canoe it wasn’t in bad shape. The gel coat was in decent condition save for some chips in the usual wear points at the stems. Just goes to show how nicely a well made canoe can hold up over the decades.

He had it priced to sell and it was gone after a couple of days. The prices of used canoes seems to have gone up quite a bit this year, so a reasonably priced one gets snapped up in a hurry.