Recommendation for a...

solo/tandem whitewater canoe.

I haven’t paddled anything over class 2 in quite a few years, but looking to get back into more serious whitewater. I’m 6’2", 240 lbs so I need a big boat even for solo. Since I’m already looking for a large boat anyway, I’d like to find one that can be outfitted with a triple saddle, so I can use it as a tandem too.

if you are thinking of primarily class II and mild III, you might want to take a look at a Old town Penobscot 16.

We have ours outfitted with the gray foam pedistals for tandem, but you could also put one in the center for solo.



A Few
Dagger Caption would be my first choice.

Mad River makes that boat now.

Mad River ME. Good old boat. A little wet but quick.

Mohawk Probe 14.

Esquif Vertige X.

Dagger Legend 16
Back when I was about your size, I paddled a Dagger Legend 16 solo. Now that’s a big solo WW canoe! However, with that size, it would be easy to set it up for a triple option.

I have one, and …
I’ve paddled it both solo and tandem in Class 2. I don’t think I’d feel too comfortable to paddle it in Class 3, particularly solo. Not to mention, I hope to get back to the point where I can paddle Class 4 again.


Ditto to what TC1 said
Looking back over 30 years, the ME was my favorite WW boat of all time for both solo and tandem. I still own my 1982 John Berry kevlar one.

You can get a new ME or a ME2 made for you by John Kaz at Millbrook Boats.

Already mentioned…

– Last Updated: Aug-30-09 11:44 PM EST –

I'll second the nomination.
Buddy has one he uses for solo & tandem.
He's a 200 pounder, and his tandem partner is a 200 pounder too. Will handle your weight with ease.

Highly manueverable as solo or tandem.
Can easily handle class 2,3, & 4 with the right paddler/paddlers aboard.

Wouldn't classify it as a good beginner's boat, but a beginner will either get better, or get out of whitewater paddling if they own one.

If you're going to stick to class 2 & 3 you probably won't need a..........

Dagger Caption


solo/tandem canoes

– Last Updated: Aug-31-09 9:01 AM EST –

Dagger Caper
Dagger Caption
Mohawk Probe 14
Mohawk XL 14
Mad River Howler
Millbrook Big Boy

Millbrook also makes Howlers and MEs which are no longer made by Mad River

Some have set up Blue Hole Sunburst IIs, Whitesell Piranhas or MRC MEs as tandems. I would think they would be fairly wet but might work well for two smaller paddlers.

I've paddled the Dagger Legend 16 solo, and it can be done, but it is a real pig. The Legend 15 would probably be a little better (to paddle solo).

Mad River currently offers the Caption, the Legend 15 and the Legend 16.

If it were me I would go with the MRC Caption (if you wanted a new canoe). If you wanted something "hotter" (and wetter) I would look at the Millbrook Howler.

Thanks all,…
Now I need to find a some of the recommended boats and give them a paddle.

Anybody want to trade a Dagger/MRC Caption for a Wenonah Voyager?

If you are not impatient, and check out Pnet, and Boatertalk classifieds on a regular basis; you might get lucky & fall into a deal on a used/outfitted Caption.

Good luck,


More time than money…
so I can wait.

Forsale on

– Last Updated: Aug-31-09 8:42 PM EST –

Dave..FWIW here's the forsale:

Oldtown Appalacian might just be the boat. Weight-wise(67lbs+) it looks like might be a real good match...needs SpringCreek's foampad-yoke(the best), but I haven't paddled this one in person

The Mad River Synergy
was very similar to the ME. They were made up until about 1999. I have one, outfitted with a triple saddle. It is not as dry as Caption when paddled solo, but it is faster, which has been important for cruising and camping on western rivers. It will serve for occasional tandem use, but is not as dry as the Caption when used tandem.

I mention this because Synergys come up “used” occasionally, and their Royalex is in much better shape than that of Royalex MEs. In fact, Mad River did an excellent job with the Synergy Royalex. It has thickened rib regions and is strong everywhere.