second canoe - Mohawk Odyssey 14

I’m looking for a second boat (I currently own a 10 yr old Old Town Discover 164) and am considering the Mohawk Odyssey 14. I’d like to outline my intended uses and my requirements and get the groups advice on the suitability of this boat. Also open to suggestions re: other boats


60% - solo tripping in Class I-III western rivers

40% - tandem youth paddling on lakes and Class I-II water (I’m a Scout paddling leader)


  • light enough for easy solo loading on full sized van
  • dry and maneuverable
  • easily convertible between solo and tandem configuration

  • Royalex vs R-84 Royalite: is the later durable enough for rocky Class III water
  • amount of bow and stern rocker in the Odyssey 14 (not listed on the Mohawk website)

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions

I solo CO 1-2-3 rivers (list provided on
request) and I would not consider an Odyssey 14 sufficiently dry or agile to handle the class 3 part. I own a similar, but slightly more agile, boat, a Mad River Guide, but when I have used an open boat in the West, I have taken my 15’ Mad River Synergy, a true whitewater boat. I could re-run anything I’ve done in CO in my Synergy, including the Rosy Lane section of the Taylor, the Buffalo Creek section on the N. Fork of the South Platte, the upper Dolores below Rico, and Brown’s Canyon. I would NOT want to to these in my Mad River Guide, or in an Odyssey 14.

The Odyssey is not a tandem boat.
You may be able to haul a very small passenger or big dog. It runs classII well, some low classIII is possible. Not the boat for what you’re describing. I love mine, but see it as a solo river tripper for classI-II.

Consider a Prospector. A 16 foot can be paddled solo, heeled over. It will handle some classIII, but I wouldn’t plan on it as your main boat for classIII.

I agree with g2d & pamskee…
I own a Mohawk Odyssey 14.

I wouldn’t do the following:

  1. Paddle it tandem with a cub/boy scout sized kid.

  2. Wouldn’t run solid class 3; I don’t feel it has enough rocker. Would be wet in big standing waves, submarine some on big drops, and manueverability is not suitable in my opinion for eddy hopping in class 3.

  3. Wouldn’t run solid class 3 in any R-84 layup boat.

    I’m sure there are some who will say they have done all of the above. I’m not saying you can’t do it; I’m saying I wouldn’t do it. I certainly would like to see a pair of paddlers doing class 3 in a Mohawk Odyssey; I think it would be fun to watch “from the riverbank”.

    Would love to see some photos.

    I think you are really looking for a small, manueverable, tandem boat.


I agree with thebob about R-84
That material is just too light for whitewater or anywhere the boat will rub on rocks. The very slight weight saving is more than offset by the much shorter useful life and abnormal wear that you will sustain.

Every paddler I know personally who has owned an R-84 boat has been generally dissatisfied with its quality regrdless of manufacturer.

R 84 and whitewater
I ran into Jeff Richards (a one time international CIII-V WW open boater) in Nashville, Tn. Jeff used to beta boats for Mohawk.

After we learned of each others interests in canoeing I asked him about R84 vs R. He said he usually paddled R 84 for the weight difference. He would replace a boat when it wore out, usually every 3 years or so. How often do we exchange or trade off our canoes?

My current canoe is a Mohawk Odyssey 14 in R. It is for sale. My next boat will be in R84.

2 boats to try
I’ve paddled both the Mad River Malechite and the Wenonah Solo Plus outfitted with 3 seats. Paddled each solo and tandem, albeit on flat water. Both these boats handle well and would be a good compromise. Could you do better? Sure, by getting an optimal boat for each intended use. But then you’d wind up with a fleet.

Jeff Richards …
“When he wore out a boat, he replaced it.”

He replaced it, or Mohawk replaced it? Never heard of any boat company sponsored paddlers buying their own boats.

I don’t think the average paddler expects to trade boats every 3 years. I know there are some pnet paddlers who do a lot of buying, selling, trading, but I don’t consider them the average boat buyer.

You aren’t suggesting that a Mohawk Odyssey in R-84 would be a good choice to use on class 3 western whitewater, while paddling tandem with a boy scout are you?


Nova Craft Prospector 15 or 16?
I have no experience paddling the Mohawk Odyssey 14, although I’m toying with buying one after I saw how handles his.

One suggestion I have is to test paddle the Nova Craft Prospector 15 and Prospector 16 canoes to see if either meets most of your requirements. You can get both outfitted with an optional center seat.


No Bob
No Bob, I didn’t address the tandem issue at all. Just that I usually swap canoes every three years and that I suspect most paddlers around here do also. Anyway an R84 will work for me and it’s the next canoe I intend to get…when I get some money. :slight_smile:

Jeff was a hard WW canoeist. Waterfalls, boof runs, rocky creeks. He said if an R 84 would last him 3 years how long would it last in a regular stable of canoes.

It’s one thing to trade or change canoes
every three years or so, but its another to “consume” a canoe in that period of time so that there is little value remaining. My wife would tell me that I can’t afford to do that. I almost ordered a Mohawk Solo 14 for my kids with 2 kneeling thwarts but backed out because of concerns over the kids “consuming” an R84 canoe.

You could also talk to Clipper.
They’re on your end of the country and make a good product. They make small tandems and Prospector models.

Apparently, Mowhawk says that the Odyssey can be used as a tandem for small paddlers. I’d sure want to be careful about that idea. I think they made a 15’,so that might be what they are talking about.

As I said in our e-mail, NovaCraft’s Prospector 16 is an easy and stable boat to paddle. And faster than our Penob 16. Our friend’s kids are around 12 and under 100lbs and they horse around in the Prospector in class I and stay dry. They stand up and do shoulder stands on the gunwales. And bounce up and down on each end. And trade seats. While running a wave train. Then they drag it back up the gravel bar and do it over and over. I don’t think your scouts will be doing this. I think the boat is R84 and after one season it looks ok. We’ll see how it looks after 3 seasons.

How many Scouts do you need to outfit? Do you take one pair out at a time? If that’s the case, put them in the Disco and get yourself a solo that is suitable for your majority use. Or if you can figure out the money, sell the Disco and get a Prospector and a solo. :^]

How about a Mohawk XL15?
You can equip it for solo and tandem. Mohawk calls it a playboat/tripper. It can handle class III.

So, then how about a Mohawk Probe 14?
Better solo, better tandem in whitewater, and just as good as the XL15 on flatwater.