Rebuilding Wenonah Kevlar Fisherman 49 for fishing - in need of advice!

Hello all! I a new to the forums here as I’ve been a long time ocean fisherman (off shore) but recently moved inland and am now land locked. I’ve sold my big boat and picked up a couple canoes for the neighborhood lake. I was fortunate enough to stumble on an old Wenonah Kevlar 49 that was just sitting and in need of some serious TLC. The hull is in great shape and only has one puncture, the seats, gunwales, yolk/twart are all roached and need to be replaced. Since I’ll basically be starting with a blank slate I was hoping to get some advice from the group on my plans for the boat. I will be replacing the gunwales with factory Wenonah wood ones shortly, that’s the easy decision. As for the seat and thwart/yolk set up I am in need of some help. I am an avid fisherman and our neighborhood lake is filled with some monster largemouth bass (largest i caught this year was 9 lb’s). I use spinning rods and a will be picking up a fly rod shortly. My thought for the boat is to make it a lean mean fishing machine as I have another old town canoe that the family can use and plan to use the kevlar as my sole fishing boat. How would you go about setting up the seating arrangement? My initial thought is to have 3 seats, 1 in the stern one up towards the bow (leveraging the existing mounts for seats) and then a third seat offset-middle towards closer to the stern -to be used as my primary seat. I also considered building a wood platform so I can stand up to throw bait and use the fly rod - the platform would provide amble stability. My thought is a ribbed wood floor using ash, teak, etc. . Since I won’t need to carry this canoe long distances (there are boat racks at our lake) weight is not a concern and I have zero need for a yolk. With 3 seats I imagine I would still need a twart? What are your thoughts? How would you set up this boat for fishing? Thanks in advance for any help!!

If it were me, I’d install rod holders somewhere out of the way. “Leaning” a rod in a canoe, or in the bilge, doesn’t really cut it for me. I’d also put a water bottle/thermos holder somewhere. I hate reaching for a bottle of water that’s been sloshing around in bilge water with fish slime. A net holder might be an idea. As for the thwart, I’m a fisherman, not a canoe expert. I’ll let someone else jump in on that one. If nothing else, you could mount a fish finder on it.

Do-it-yourself projects have a lot of entertainment value, but as you said, this canoe is in need of some serious TLC. And even if you put a lot of work and money into the canoe, it may never be much of a fishing platform. A sit-on-top kayak designed for fishing would be better. I suggest that you check out the kayak fishing or kayak angling forums in your area and elsewhere in the country.

You can get by with only one seat with the leading edge set back about six or eight inches from the center of the boat if you are only going to solo the boat. The seat near the middle will preclude the center thwart, but you will need a couple of them to stiffen the boat. One should be just aft of the front seat (or where it would be if you had it), and the other aft of the center seat. A carry handle about 12 inches inboard at either end would also be useful. I would not put in either floors or a platform. You want to keep your center of gravity low and the boat already has a floor. Normally standing and casting from a canoe is considered a bit tricky, but this one is wide and stable. You may be able to pull it off.


Hey there, hope the repairs are going good. is a great place to go for Kevlar repair stuff. Highly recommended! Pics when your done please!