I am considering buying a used Rendevous. As best the ownder knows, it was made in '97. Are there any concerns with a hull this old? It looks in pretty good shape, with very few scratches at all. It is Kevlar, and the owner thinks it is the Flexcore. Has the technology for laying down kevlar improved since then, or is this not a concern? The owner says it was a demo hull for a dealership and has a slight asymmetry in the gunwale on one side of the bow. Thanks ahead of time for any advice from all you sages of paddling.
paddle it first
IMO the rendezvous is a specialized boat for down river use, a lot of correction effort needed for still water travel.
The rendezvous I had was built heavy for river use.
I would not worry about the slight
asymmetry. I’ve had 'em, and they haven’t affected boat behavior.
Composite boats don’t get brittle from just sitting around and aging. If the boat doesn’t look beaten up, it’s OK.
You want to make sure you know what you are buying. The Rendezvous is a fast river cruiser that is also OK on lakes. It is NOT a whitwater play boat. I paddled one, and found it “stiff” for whitewater maneuvers. But once you are used to it, you can paddle it down the Nantahala (air bags) and manage all the required eddy turns. Just don’t try stuffing it into small eddies, or even Truck Stop. It is really more like a whitewater downriver racing boat, made to cover ground, not for technical maneuvers.
I have a 97
Sounds like the same boat you are considering. How’s it set up with a seat? Mine has a sliding tractor seat. The seat sits on top rails of what is essential an aluminum box frame. On mine, the frame ripped off the floor and I had to glass it down again. I’m not especially in love with the tractor seat, either. I think I’d prefer a standard bench seat.
My Rendevous also has a small leak in one of the tanks in the stems, sometimes a little water gets into the tank. So, there are two things to think about/check for.
Over the next year or two I likely will decide whether the boat stays in the fleet or not. It might get edged out of its niche in the fleet as a lighter, solo canoe, when I get another light, solo boat. The 'vous is a tweener. It was designed to be an all purpose boat, so it does many things well, but everything is a compromise. It has high sides and catches a lot of wind on open water. It requires constant attention to going straight. It is highly manueverable. Yet, I hesitate to take it’s pretty gel coated kevlar on rivers where I know rock bashing is bound to happen. Oh, I’ve based her a few times and she tolerates it but it makes an ugly noise. At the moment it is one of my go-to boats when I take an outing by myself, depending on the river. But that may change if another pretty kevlar hull comes along that paddles easier.
The high sides and maneuverability make it a nice boat to paddle when she’s loaded with gear.
I have two
Good advice: paddle it. I have a royalex Rendezvous for rivers but nontechnical whitewater; and I have a flexcore Kevlar Rendezvous…which I use on both rivers and open water. I have a Cooke custom cover that fits both. It helps on open water. I like the Rendezvous (plural) … but it could be quirky for a paddler. This is not a tracking canoe. While it is a very good downriver canoe, it also isn’t a technical whitewater canoe. In fact, I recently purchased a Super Nova Nova Craft to see if it would handle what I want in Class II+ and Class III whitewater.
I have to say, though, my royalex rendezvous, which I’ve had since I started solo canoeing about six years ago, forced me to become a much better paddler. And I really grew to love the boat…and I still do.