Outfitting my Wenonah Encounter

I just got back from two marvelous weeks in the Adirondacks paddling my canoe and I want to share how I outfitted it. It is a Wenonah Encounter with the pedestal seat and the bar and thumbscrews footrest.

I began by removing the seat from the pedestal and lowering it to the bottom of the canoe. I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood to fit between the pedestal bars and used 1" oak dowel to put the seat on. I also set the seat at an angle, with the front 1" higher than the back.

I then proceeded to remove the Wenonah footrest bar and cut off part of the aluminum angle it rested on. I replaced the bar with a set of Yakima Kayak foot braces.

I then installed an NSI Adjustable Touring Backband for comfort and I also place a piece of aluminum angle on the front of the pedestal and covered it with 1" pipe foam for a thigh brace.

I then paddled it with a 275 cm Cannon Wave kayak paddle.

What I ended up with was a very comfortable, very fast and very stable canoe which I could paddle all day. Thanks for letting me share.

Mark Hagy

You better hope…
…that NSI has changed their hardware to stainless steel.

I installed one on my wifes kayak less than a year ago, and the hardware has rusted like crap.

When I called them on the phone I got someone that got out of bed on the wrong side that day and they said to send it back to them and they would replace it.

The cost of sending it back would be on me and they had no idea how long it would take to get a new one out to me.

I asked if they could send the new one out, and when I received it I would send the old one back, (so she could keep using the yak) and they said that they wouldn’t do it.

You win a few and you loose a few, I sure lost on that one!



hey drev. that sounds cool. any photos of the setup?

Next you’ll be paddling your kayak with a single blade!

now you need a rudder!
Yes, I would love to see a picture of what you described.


– Last Updated: Aug-24-05 7:24 AM EST –

The chine created by the tumblehome at midship about how high is that? 1/2 the midship height?

Thinking about it, maybe it's not appropriate to call it a "chine". In the pictures it looks like you can see the distinct hard curve that goes back to the cockpit.

I've always been facintated by that model and am wondering how close to the water that chine comes if you heel it over.

Question: Chine Height
The chine is about half way up the side of the canoe. It is defintely a hard chine and that is part of the reason I made all those changes to the canoe. With the design of the Encounter, it is perfect for flat water on a calm day with no other boats in the water if you want maximum speed, but if the water is choppy and their are other boats, particularly powerboats, producing wakes that you encounter at all sorts of angles, it doesn’t take much to tip the Encounter over. With the changes I made, the canoe is much more stable, but it still will heel only so far and then it is gone.

In terms of the other requests, I will include a photo in the next few days.


about how was the seat to start with?
At the orginal height it didn’t have much secondary stability?

secondary stability
That is correct, jem, but let me add a few details to be fair to Wenonah. First, I am come in a pretty big package. I am 5’9" tall and I weigh 275 lbs. Part of the reason for that is middle age spread and part is that I enjoy weightlifting. I have a 54" chest and my neck measurement is 21". I guess what I am trying to say is that a lot of my weight is from the waist up.

When using the seat in the original height chosen by Wenonah, I found that the Encounter had very poor secondary stability. Also, there was never any feeling of stability. I would heel the canoe over a bit and, all of a sudden, I would be drinking river water. There was never any sense of reaching a point beyond which I knew I should not heel the canoe or any other type of warning.

With the lowered seat, the stability is greatly improved. I still don’t particularly like the way the canoe feels, but that is a totally subjective thing. I have been out in some very heavy chop and the Encounter has handled it admirably.

That’s my experience with the Encounter. Hope this helps.


that does put into perspective.

I’m designing and building a canoe (from plywood) with similar shape as Encounter except 30" beam. Should have a nice compromise between primary and secondary stability.

Been debating about seat height. I’ll just have to take it out and try it a few times to get the best placement. I’m going with a tractor style seat and may try to work in a sliding and varible height feature.