Royalex Solo Canoe

I’m looking for a Royalex solo canoe to do rocky rivers in my area and a used Wenonah Vagabond Solo is for sale so I wanted to feedbacks from you guys!! I already own a solo Yellowstone in kavlar which I love but don’t want to take it on rocky rivers for obvious reasons! The Vagabond is listed on Wenonah as a recreational boat!! disappointing!. I’m also looking at a Mohawk Odyssy 14’ a friend suggested to me! I’m a little worried I might find it too big!! I’m 5’4" and weight about 130#'s. Any other suggestions perhaps?? I would like to stay under $1000.00 for now. Thanks for the feedbacks!

Go royalex…

– Last Updated: Jan-18-09 10:18 AM EST –

in a Yellowstone. I have one for creek work,love it.I hear there is very slight difference performance from composite to Royalex. If you like your YS just get a plastic version. After all the years I had buying/selling kayaks & canoes I finally narrowed it down to 2 boats. Yellowstone solo for creek work,and Placid RapidFire for speed /open water. Good set of boats for what I need,and haven't even glanced at any others since.Depending on the time of year,and discounts by our local outfitters,and some online sellers,you can get a new one close to 1K

billinmd & apple

How big is Too Big?

– Last Updated: Jan-18-09 1:01 PM EST –

Royalex is going to weigh more than most kevlars. My Rendezvous is about a foot longer - but twice as heavy - as my Vagabond ultra-light.

Wenonah has a new boat that might be of interest. It's called Fusion, 13 ft long, and 45 lbs in Royalex. List price is $900. The boat's being marketed "for recreation and fishing." (?)

I agree with Eric that the Vagabond
can handle rocky class 1 and most class 2, especially given your light weight. You will have to kneel and lean the boat for some maneuvers, and make sure you have the boat trimmed neutral or only slightly up in the bow. As for the construction, if it is Flexcore, you will be OK.

If you do decide to go Royalex, besides the Yellowstone, watch for a used Mad River Guide/Freedom Solo. It has more rocker than your Vagabond but will still track OK on the flats.

I also agree the the Vagabond would be a suitable boat for your listed usage. The Royalex version turns a little easier than the composite and if you can get it for a good price used you should jump on it.


a little more info…

– Last Updated: Jan-18-09 1:05 PM EST –

canoe would also be used for up to week long trips in addition to day trips. mostly rocky rivers with some class 1, occasionally class 2 rapids.... needs to be sturdy with sufficient space for cargo, not ultralight packing but not take the kitchen sink either... normal gear with a few luxories.... A 60l barrel and 30l barrel would probably cover gear, maybe some firewood occasionally along with a small cooler.

Mostly for use on moving water that is kind of shallow with sharp rocks - they just eat up kevlar boats! There will be mostly minor class 1 riffles and occasionally class 2 rapids... The rare possibility of more difficult rapids does exist, but can always be portaged around.

Examples of rivers for use would include Tionesta Creek in PA, upper Allegheny River in NY, lower Allegheny in PA, a myriad of small rivers that are very rain dependent for paddling levels, potentially rivers in CA such as parts of the Madawaska or French Rivers.... Rock lined bodies of water such as the Allegheny Reservoir - again, the rocks seem to just eat up kevlar when loading/unloading, the op is looking for something that requires a little less care and worry for these rockier conditions than kevlar...

I'm guessing gear would weigh a total of around 50-60 lbs for multiday trips.

The canoe would also potentially be used on larger lakes where winds and waves would have to be taken into account, but mostly on moving water.

I don’t know what you mean about
shallow, rocky streams “eating up” Kevlar boats. Almost all Kevlar boats have one, usually two layers of E-glass or S-glass on the outside. A glass exterior is very hard and can take a lot of scraping and whacking. Now, maybe Wenonah Kevlar Flexcore is an exception, in which case you might see some fuzzing. But I don’t know why Wenonah would do something as dumb as omitting an outside glass layer.

People often talk as if Royalex boats don’t lose hull material when they scrape the bottom. Those of us who keep a Royalex boat more than a few years know that the vinyl layer, however thick, wears off, and then the ABS structural layer has to be protected from UV.

Vagabond would be fine. My wife paddles a royalex Vagabond, and the actual weight is only 38 lbs. It’s been on a week long trip on the San Juan. It’ll do Class I and easy Class II–but like a lot of things, it depends on your skill level.

Based on…

– Last Updated: Jan-18-09 2:21 PM EST –

Based on the conditions/usage described; if I were you, I would leave the kevlar Yellowstone at home too.
Will it take "the abuse". Probably will........
Would it weigh less? Yes, a couple of pounds.
How far would you carry either to get to the river?
50 feet? The few extra pounds in Royalex layup probably won't kill ya!

What is the "used" Vagabond going to cost you?
My wife bought a used Vagabond that was in like new condition for $450.00. Seller even threw in a like new(sacrilege!)kayak paddle to go with it.

If by some twist of fate you tacoed that "used" Vagabond around a boulder...... what would it cost to replace?
Maybe $500.00?
What will it cost to replace your kevlar Yellowstone Solo? Maybe $1,400.00 used? Maybe $1,900.00(or more) for a new one!
A used Vagabond sounds like a "real good" investment to me. Nice little solo to have around when you don't want to use the kevlar Yellowstone.

A used Argosy would even sound "better". More manueverable than the Vagabond, and weight in Royalex layup is similiar to Vagabond.

Mohawk Odyssey, Mad River Guide, Freedom Solo, Wenonah Rendezvous, Wenonah Argosy & Vagabond.
Owned all of them at one time. Like the Odyssey, and the Argosy a lot, love the Guide, ambivalent about the Rendezvous.I like a boat more responsive than the Vagabond, but that's just me.

I'm 6'4" tall,and weigh 205 lbs.........
Not saying it "can't" be done, but how many 5'4", 130 lb paddlers have you guys seen lately paddling an Odyssey, Rendezvous, or Mad River Guide/Freedom Solo?


P.S. If you weren't so far away, I'd try to hook you up with the Argosy I currently have for sale.

Take a look at the classifieds
There are some boats listed that would fill the ticket. Don’t know how they compare to your price on the Vagabond, distance for you to travel.

Vagabond is sold!!
It didn’t stay on craig’s list very long!! I tried the Argosy when I bought my Yellowstone and I didn’t like the seat arrangement! I liked the yellowstone better at the time.

What about the seat was it
that you did not like? I ask because there have been some threads on some modifications to the Argosy seat. If your problem is not already discussed I bet someone could come up with a simple solution.

I bought my royalex Argosy for exactly the type of rivers you are describing. So far I have I have beat it up pretty good. Since I am so new to canoeing I can’t compare its performance to other canoes, but it performed very well for me on the 9-10 river trips with class I and II that I have taken so far. For reference I am 5’7" - 165lbs. I got through the 5 days of the fall Ozark Rendevous (including an extra 20 mile trip on the Eleven Point) without swimming. However the Bufflao on the way home made sure I got to practice swimming and dumping water from the canoe.


Argosy seat
The set up was I believe typical for Wynonah boats with metal on the side. I found it noise! Probably better as far as adjustment but not as pretty esthetically! Nothing serious! The yellowstone just felt right for me at the time.

If you are willing to give up some
of the adjustablility you can add nylon washers and tighten the seat into one place and eliminate much of the noise. After playing around with different settings I find I paddle all the time with it in the highest tilted position. Good for single blading sitting or kneeling and with the footbrace it works fine for double-blade work. Without the foot-brace I found I liked the seat flat for double-blading.

Not much you can do about the looks without replacing the seat. Lots of people make that sound easy, but unsrewing parts and drilling holes in a boat scares me to death.

I did like the comfort of the seat in the Yellowstone better than in the Argosy when kneeling. It was a little higher than the highest setting in the Argosy. I did not feel nearly as stable sitting in that higher seat in the Yellowstone, but stability kneeling was not a lot different than the in the Argosy.

Several of the more experineced paddlers I talked to seemed to think the Vagabond was fine for class I and II. But they all seemed to add “if you learn how to handle a canoe” to their statement. As a beginner I thought I might be a little better off with the more manuverable Argosy. The owner of the store where I bought my canoe uses a Vagabond as his main solo canoe on the same rivers I paddle. He said that these days he almost exclusively double-blades after many years of single blading.

Hope you find something that works for you.


Mohawk is a great boat for little money
The extra length will hardly be an issue in a short time given the advantages. I seem to remember mohawk making a 12 and 13 but I would go with the Mohawk. Tough little boat, good workmanship and easy to resell.

What about Mohawk Solo 13 or Solo 14?

– Last Updated: Jan-23-09 2:58 PM EST –

Nevermind. I answered my own question by reading this from the first thread:

"O.K. I compared some of the suggestions you guys have made with my Yellowstone and my friend's Swift b/c I know the feel of both of them. My friend's Swift is way too big for me, that I know for a fact b/c I tried it!!!

I want something either as long as my Yellowstone or smaller, not much smaller however b/c I need room for camping gear. I camp out almost every weekend during the summer!! I want something with higher Depth than my yellowstone to prevent water from comming in if I'm in some class 2 whitewaters for a while !! why not!!


Mad River Freedom Solo; too long 6" longer than my yellowstone. too big, almost as high as the Raven.

Bell Prodigy; I think it would be too short to cart gear??? Hight seems good!!

Wenonah Sandpiper; Way too small, lower Depth than my yellowstone.
Wenonah Vagabond; Too long, too large, too low!!
Wenonah Argosy; longer than my yellowstone and lower bow!!

Mohawk Solo 13; lower at the bow, higher at the stern!! shorter boat which might be a little too small for camping!!
Mohawk Solo 14; lower than the yellowstone at the bow as well and higher at the stern!

Mohawk Odyssey 14; 2" longer than my yellowstone, 2" wider at the gunwale, .5" higer at the bow, 1.5" higher at the center, 2.5" higher at the stern. The Odyssey is 1'2" shorter than the Raven, same width, 2" lower at the bow, same at the center and stern!!

After trying to imagine those differences, since I cannot try them right now....I think the Mohawk Odyssey 14 is the boat for me!! or I get another Yellowstone in Royalex!!

I really wish I could try the Mohawk Odyssey!!"

Peps didn’t read your post
I’m a SMALL person also.

The Dagger/Bell Ocoeeis the boat I use

Go to Look at boats for sell.


Esquif Perlude is a very small OC-1. This is the one for your size.