Quetico 17 vs. MNII

I’m looking for some real-time comparison opinions from anyone who can tell me which hull in their opinion is better/safer and what the trade offs are. I’ve read Red Rock’s comparison but he sells Quetico. A lot of MNII owners swear by theirs but RR brings some interesting facts to the table. I haven’t found a Wenonah rebuttal to his comparisons so I’m asking here. I’m basically a flat water tripping/touring paddler who needs a boat that’s efficient and able to handle wind and waves when loaded but not a slug when empty. Thanks in advance.

Just bought a Quetico 17
It is great. Never been in the MN.

Don’t have one
mever paddled one, but I was greatly impressed at the great numbers of SR canoes in rental fleets in the BWCA. I had considered a SR Tranquility Solo before purchasing my Bell Magic, and I stopped to look at the boats at Red Rock. Apparently well made, obviously light, and I still really like the flex rib idea.


I have a Quitico 17. It is 44 pounds and, in my opinion, is quiet more rubustly built than the MN II. My boat is a fine solo (if you are a big person). I have had her in 2 foot waves with 3 adult males and around 100 pounds of gear … no worries! It is fast, but not a performance boat. It is easy to paddle and very stabil. I love my SR Q-17. I can not recommend one more highly.


Comparison WN and SR

– Last Updated: Jun-06-07 12:56 PM EST –

Dont have either model but I do have comparable models.

Wenonah Odyssey (the big nosed relative of the MN II) and the Souris River Wilderness 18.

They are entirely different boats.

Souris River was designed with boreal forest conditions in mind. Often there are no portages and lining or running rapids are the only options. Moreover the length is six inches shorter than the MN II. This seemingly minor six inches is important when flying in your boat or training in. VIA will charge anything over 18 feet at a freight rate which is ungodly high. Some air charter operators have length limits unless you hire a large plane where they can go inside. The stern has a higher sheer in the SR. My husband had some unhappies with waves over the stern of the Wenonah on our 2 week Lake Superior trip and likes the added depth. Moreover he and I like the SR seats over the tractor seat for hit and switch only.

Layup.. we did have a major accident on moving water where we missed the portage. We hit a rock head on and the Wenonah suffered 30 fracture cracks in the bottom(none went through): that bottom is just a panel of styrofoam) and I tore the thwart out of my boat as I was ejected. Both gunwales were badly bent. Nevertheless we were 100 miles from town and were able to continue with the aid of duct tape.

That was back in 1991. As our Wenonah (after 10 days of purchase!) had no resale value we kept it. We have continued to use it( one gunwale was replaced as well as the thwart) until two years ago when I had the pleasure to paddle SR and got a sweet deal on a new one.

It handles boreal forest moving water. We are very careful now not to miss portages! Lady Luck is not guaranteed to appear again so far from civilization.

We got our moneys worth out of the Wenonah. It handled moving water (with adequate volume and no basalt rocks ) very well for such a long boat.
Heck, I even managed to figure out how to kneel in it to teach tandem freestyle(it was in a pinch). When the waves were big bow on (and I mean eight or nine feet) the bow rider was only occasionally dumped on.

The MN II is probably better suited to BWCA Quetico portages, which usually exist.

For me the SR is a better design with the floating ribs. I think the Ogoki will be more forgiving with this canoe.

Your original concern was the slug factor. It may be the Wenonah is a tad faster. If you actually trip alot this advantage is going to be lost. Scrapes are the number one reason for loss of speed. We have tried to keep up the coating on the Wenonah with a major reepoxy job two years ago, but it wasnt a factory job.

The SR has marvelous glide. Again I think the bow may be a little fuller than Wenonahs (may be splitting hairs here)

You should compares app7les & apples

– Last Updated: Jun-06-07 2:20 PM EST –

Disclaimer up front: I do alot of business with Wenonah

If you are interested in the Quetico 17, the better comparison would be with the Wenonah Boundary Waters 17. I prefer the Wenonah for it's better glide (look at both hulls upside down - you'll see the dish in the Q17 at the waterline in the transition from the narrow stem to the wide body). You can go around & around about epoxy vs. poly - I prefer the solid bottom to ribs.

The MNII and the Q17 are radically different boats.

Sorry about the Subject line!!

CVCA -the comparison is not mine…
so tell me more about the radical difference between the MNII and the Q17. Your disclaimer is noted but Red Rock is all about Souris and I’d like to hear from the other side as well. I’ve got to add I own a MNII and have been happy with it except under real rough conditions where it’s hard to turn and you can get wet. I happened on RR’s comparison between the MNII and Q-17 while looking for information about refinishing the underside of the MNII. His site has a lot of useful info so I browsed around and his comparison caught my eye. After reading it, some of what he said resonated. I’m looking for more info to compare the dry and secure issues as well as construction principles. Heck, I’ve got no wife and a 2 car garage…I can own both if I want.

Spirited vs Boring

– Last Updated: Jun-07-07 7:54 AM EST –

Last fall I did a week long trip in Woodland Caribou with a Q17 and a few years ago a 9 day trip in Quetico in a MN2. I don't own either boat and choose a SR Jensen Huron 18 over a MN2 back when I was in the market. For me it was the right choice. The Q17 just wasn't an exciting boat to paddle for me. The MN2 is a performance boat and is considerably faster. For me .3 miles per hour faster at all day cruising pace over the Q17. You won't win many races to the last empty campsite in the BWCA with the Q17. If the majority of your paddling is for local evening paddles or local brisk exercise paddles with just the once a year BWCA trip you will be much happier with a MN2. The Q17 is a functional northwoods workhorse tripper - boring to paddle if you are used to performance boats. I do not consider the Q17 that much the better boat in big waves. This boat is a flat bottom boat and handles and gets pitched side to side in big waves much like a Grumman. I much prefer a shallow arched boat stability in waves. But I would take both these boats off the water when the waves get to be 24" to 30". If you paddle big waters and have serious wave concerns look at a Wenonah Champlain in flexcore rather than these two. Finally if you don't have a good bowman, don't get the MN2. This boat requires that the bowman and sternman work as a team in turning and keeping the boat on track in rougher conditions.

Quetico 17 vs. MNII
I rented both over the years when I BW trip rather then car top my canoe 650 miles one way. The II is faster by a bit. The II is narrower for the seated rear paddler which I did not like. The II had tractor seats which I do not like. Both handle waves well. Both carry a lot of gear. Personally, I prefer the Q. It’s a bit slower, but more room for the rear paddler.

DuluthMoose nailed it below
The Q17 struck me as a stable, easy to turn, solid boat - closer to a Grumman than a MNII. I have a friend who owns a Q17, and we took it out on a local lake. I was suitably impressed with it until he said “OK, stop paddling”. When we did it died like someone hit the brakes. The hull shape makes this an obvious result. The fine lines on the stems give it some tracking, but the bulb-out to the wide center that gives it good stability also kills it’s glide. Wenonah’s hulls tend to have smooth transitions at the waterline, giving them good glide. I’d generalize and say that the Q17 is a nice step up from a Grumman, but it’s no cruiser.

The MNII is a cruiser - it flies and it glides. Someone who is used to a big wide platform would feel it was twitchy at first, but that twitchiness translates into a great ride when you get your sea butt. A bow person that knows their strokes is very helpful for executing turns.

I’m also in agreement with DuluthMoose about the Champlain - it’s one of my favorite hulls.

The Red Rock site has alot of great info on it, and you won’t find a more rabid proponent of a product he believes in than Joe…