ot charles river vs wenonah adirondeck

I’ve got my canoe choice narrowed down to a old town Charles river in royalex. Or a wenonah adirondeck. The wenonah is $1000 has been used lightly, its like new with skid plates installed. The Charles river is $900 and he claims it is brand new never been in water, it was a photo shoot item. He said that there was some push in type demples that would come out if you put it in the sun. They are both royalex. Its going to be for weekend trips and fishing. Please help lol

Rx Charles River …
… moderate rocker , a bit deeper , a bit longer , same weight or a bit lighter , shallow arch hull , and I like those higher recurve stems and tumblehome .

I would think the Rx Charles River will be a more capable peidmont/mountain river boat … I could be incorrect but I think anyone who has a canoe will find their way to the rivers sooner or later (if at all possible) .

Have never paddled either , but I know I would like the Rx Charles River .

Have paddled neither…
…but based on similarities to boats I have…

Charles River - better river canoe. It will turn easier and probably be drier - but it will be more of a handful in the wind.

Adirondack - better lake canoe. It will track straighter and probably have better glide - but will be more of a handful in rivers above class 1.

They make the CR in poly too. Make darn sure that one is royalex.

Royalex versus Poly
That’s a very good point about making sure it’s Royalex rather than poly. The fact that it has “dimples” which can be popped out if the boat sits in the sun REALLY makes me think it’s poly. I have never seen a Royalex boat with dents, except in rare cases where the boat had been tied onto a roof rack for long periods with straps that were much too tight. Poly boats on the other hand, are exceptional if they do NOT have dents or warping of some kind, so if a boat that’s never been used has such dents, I’d assume it’s made of poly until it can be proven otherwise. By the way, boat owners who are not actually “enthusiasts” will OFTEN not know what their boat is really made of.

I don’t know my OTs very well
… but I “think” the Charles Rivers are Rx. And I “think” the dents might be the way Rx compresses at spots after moderate pressure. All Rx boats have dents, dings and dimples. Some come out in the sun, some don’t. But none of them matter.

New Royalex has been soft and
inclined to dent for over a decade, due to chemical changes made for environmental reasons. There have been long discussions on cboats.net about how new Royalex whitewater boats dent easily, but harden with age.

This was certainly the case with my Royalex MR Synergy, bought in 1998. When new, it showed slight denting even from the ropes I used to tie it to the rack. But within about a year, it was as surface-hard as older Royalex boats I had owned.

The consensus in the whitewater OC-1 community is that it is best to avoid hard use of a newly molded Royalex canoe. Perhaps better dealers will start “aging” Royalex boats as if they were wine not yet ready to drink. “We sell no boat before its time!”

The Royalex Charles River is much less
canoe than the poly version.

Eighteen pounds less, to be specific.

Given that the Charles River is Royalex, that might be what I would choose, though except for the Tripper, I don’t think Old Town ever designed as good a canoe as a Wenonah.

Sun will not remove dents from Royalex. They may come out using a heat gun with care.

RX and poly
Seen both in person. The RX version is lighter and longer.


Adirondack is my choice
When the canoe needs to be paddled, and not just drifted downstream, the Adirondack is the choice. Paddling efficiency is much better in the Adirondack. The same things that make the Charles River better in waves in rapids make it a poor choice for covering distances under paddle power. The full bow widens much faster than the Adirondack adding resistance and it makes for a wider paddling station for the bow paddler.

A shame the nice hull design is hindered in this case with both Royalex Construction and Skid Plates. Putting Skid Plates on this canoe is like mounting a cow catcher on a BMW Z series and driving it with the hood up. The Adirondack is one of the nicest paddling and portaging 16’ canoes in a composite layup. The name is very appropriate, it is a mainstay of rental fleets in the Adirondacks, mostly in Kevlar.


Dents and Sun
Yeah, I think we are on the same page here. In my above post, I assumed that “dents” which pop out in the sun are actually warpage of the whole hull and therefore an indication that the hull is likely to be poly. THOSE kinds of dents are what I’ve never seen on Royalex (other than from tie-downs being too tight for too long) but commonly see with poly. The kinds of dents that come out with a heat gun are a whole different issue, extending only partly into the hull rather than being full-thickness warping, but perhaps a full-hull deformation can be fixed that way too sometimes (?). If the dent can “pop” in and out, it’s not the typical kind of dent I have seen in Royalex.

Have Had a Couple Adirondacks
Darn good boat both here on Ozark streams and on trips to the BWCAW. Paddled one a number of years both solo and tandem. Can’t speak for the Charles River, but if it’s an 80lb poly version those spur of the moment trips are less likely because you’ll think “Do I really want to put that thing on the car?”

I own a CR

– Last Updated: Mar-22-12 10:43 PM EST –

I have the poly Charles River. It's 15' 8". A heavy beast. The Royalex is 16' 3" and lighter.

I like the CR. I paddle it solo most of the time. On a lake it isn't fast. I solo tripped a 50 mile stretch of the Allegheny last year, and it did great. I've paddled it in class I, and plan to try some C-II soon. It's a pretty dry ride. Just today I took it into a twisty, swampy backwater of a local lake, and it turns well, especially if you lean it.

One caveat: in strong wind, those high ends might as well be sails. A strong, confused wind once pushed me 100 yards sideways across a narrow portion of lake, then promptly pushed me back to the other side. I was completely powerless to stop it.

i bought the CR
Well I just got back. I ended up buying the Charles river. It is a beautiful canoe and I can’t wait to get it out on the water. It is my first canoe. What type of paddle can y’all reccomend for this boat? Again I am grateful for each and everyone’s help on this forum. This forum has helped me a lot in the last few days

I’m glad you found the boat you wanted. Like I said, I like mine. If I had the lighter and longer (faster) Royalex, I’d probably like it more.

A paddle is a really personal thing. I use a bent shaft paddle for lakes, and for rivers I use a straight. A bent shaft gives you a lot more straight ahead power because the power face of the blade stays vertical in the water for more of your stroke. A straight gives you more control of the boat for maneuvers. I would take the time to learn the various canoe strokes using a straight. I’m a novice, but I’m trying to increase my skills

Bending Branches is the probably the biggest mass producers of decent wood paddles. I use the Sunshadow 14 bent. I’m about to buy either an Espresso straight or an Expedition Plus. You can go the basic aluminum paddle route. I tend to think if you’re going to be beating it up on rocks, at least you don’t have to cringe every time your paddle gets crunched.

Just make sure you get the right length. You need to measure your torso length by sitting on a chair and measuring the distance from the chair seat to the tip of your nose. REI.com has a size chart on the paddle page (you have to click a specific paddle to see the option) that can match your torso length with the recommended paddle length. Personally, I like my paddles just a little shorter than the recommended length, but that’s just me.

Hope this helps.

oh , you’re in trouble now !!!

– Last Updated: Mar-23-12 1:25 PM EST –

....... I think you made a great choice on the OT-Rx-CR and you're going to love paddling it .

The trouble part comes in because "you need more stuff" to get going and you don't have it yet .

And after you do get the stuff you'll need to get going ... you're going to want more "stuff" ... so you can do even more stuff with your canoe .

And all the same questions are going to run through your head , which "stuff" should get 1st , what type/brand "stuff" is best for my needs , should I buy a Tilley or will a regular ol ball cap be OK , decisions , decisions , decisions .

My advice is everyone should have at least one plastic and aluminum paddle so I suggest you get a Carlisle Goldenlight in 54" and/or 57" for 1st paddle(s) ... you can order them direct from Old Town over the phone (800-343-1555) and they'll send it to your door . http://store.carlislepaddles.com/dyn_prodlist.php?k=443238 (the green one in 57" , it's prettier than black) .

It's an endlees journey that all started when you bought that canoe .

What I want to tell you about paddles is that they get used for alot more than just paddling , they make excellent ballance sticks when exiting the canoe onto shore , especially onto a river bank , they are great for powering your way through shallow runs and rocky areas (use like a pole to dig in and push with) , they beat things out of your way like fallen trees and shore branches (and the 57" makes an exceptionally good walking stick) , they swat pesky bees that have a death wish when you're out on the water , they are nice to just to use for a host of other things not even thought of yet .

The down side to expensive paddles is we are hesitent to use them for anything except deep water paddling where they can't get abused , but that is where they shine , so have both types on board , beaters and nice , but start w/the beater .