setting up a Wenonah Odyssey for 4

Greetings all. I’m new here, and relatively new to paddling.

I’ve been researching canoes for 3-4 months trying to determine what would best suit our needs, and I landed on a Wenonah Odyssey in great shape, and we’re anxious to put it to use.

For those unfamiliar, my understanding is that it’s basically a “dryer” MN II with more freeboard and a different gunwale arrangement to control spray.

Our intended usage is day tripping and 3-4 day camping trips on occasion.

Along with our gear, we’re a family of 2 adults and our 2 daughters (7 and 5)

I’ve never camped out of a canoe before, so I’m seeking expert advice here on how to place seats for the kids without interfering too much with cargo space – comfort for them is a pretty high priority, because if you’re uncomfortable you’re not having fun.

I really like the idea of Ed’s youth tandem seat, but I’m not sure of fitment, rider comfort, etc.

One girl is a lefty, the other is right handed, so I’m assuming this arrangement could work for paddling.

I come in about 185, my wife 125. I’m the more experienced paddler, so I should probably be riding stern, but I’m also the one with muscle — so my thought was I’d have to take the bow and my kids should ride on the tandem arrangement placed just behind the yoke. Then we could start placing gear to balance the load.

Is my thinking correct?

Ed’s told me that that tandem seat “can be cut down to 32”

Each seat is approximately 12"x9" with a 5" space between the seats. "

I’m a little concerned that my boat might not accommodate this seat. I’m really not sure.

Does anyone here have any experience with them on an MN II or similar?

Another concern I had was those times where one kid goes but not the other. Is that going to present a problem?

As time goes on my 7 year old will move to her own boat, but until then we need to make this work.

Old Town seat
Try the Old Town drop in seat. It hangs from the gunwales and can be moved along the gunwales to try trim at different placement. Its a plastic bench that will take two kids side by side. Ive used it in several canoes and the little ones sat on it for several hours.

I saw that option
but I wasn’t sure how it would fit since it’s a molded one piece.

One thing I noticed is that since my boat has the reversed gunwales, there’s only about 1/4" of gunwale overhang on the boat interior on each side (the wider portion of the gunwales hang over the exterior). Mounting to that could prove to be a challenge.


no problem
The top lip that overhangs the gunwales is made wide enough to accommodate the Old Town vinyl gunwales and there is enough flex in the panel that goes up from the seat to the gunwale lip, to fit canoes of different widths. It fit my Spirit and a Camper and both are wider than an Odyssey.

I found mine in a strainer full of junk on a NJ Pine Barrens river years ago, Best thing I ever found in a river.


maybe you could measure the length
of the drop in seat between risers for the OP to compare… If its too wide it won’t fit Odyssey.

I have the O but no center seat experience.

I will say that mine is the UL layup and if I took out the center thwart it would flop and become much wider. The sidewalls are not very rigid at all.

definitely not taking out thwarts

– Last Updated: Sep-09-15 10:53 AM EST –

mine's not the ultralight (as far as I can tell), and I still wouldn't dare taking out thwarts.

My wife is convinced that with the tandem seat they'd get on each other's nerves and start bickering.

I've also come to realize that it would be downright foolish to mount a permanent seat without first doing some experimenting on the water.

I have one of those nylon/rope adjustable gunwale hanger seats, and after playing with placement it looks we could fit another one in there at least temporarily. It would make gear placement interesting, but I think we could make it work.

The trouble is, I can't seem to find them for sale anywhere.
Anybody know where to look?

sling seat
That seat has been marketed thru many channels. I have two that have a MichiCraft logo on them, and I believe they were sold by Wenonah and Mohawk also. Try Oak Orchard Canoe in Waterport NY. 585-682-4849.

What layup is your Odyssey?


layup is
… I don’t really know.

Like I said, I’m new to all of this so I’m still learning. :slight_smile:

Diamond on the bottom and seven sets of ribs extending from the diamond up the sides to the gunwales.

Exterior is painted yellow.

On the bathroom scale I got 53-54 lbs, which includes the yoke (standard or optional?), fixed stern seat and adjustable footrest bar, and sliding bow seat. Seats are kevlar with no covers.

I gather by the last two digits of the serial it’s a 1986.

I don’t know what layup this was considered to be in 1986.

I emailed Wenonah for a breakdown on the serial but have yet to hear back.

Also, from reading Hans Solo’s past posts, it appears that I have the common / “bull nose” arrangement.

Still no luck on finding any of those seats. They seem like a perfect idea for me – fairly light, completely collapsible, etc. I just can’t understand why they aren’t widely available.

Sounds like mine almost
Hans Solo is a good resource

Ours is not gel coated. its the golden Kevlar color but with a foam core and the small ribs as you describe.

Your thoughts that the kids might kill each other (Mom she’s touching me-btw I have been a parent in this situation) suggests a tandem arrangement with small bags for gear around each kid. The kids each have their own milk crate padded of course.

The layup you describe is now called Ultra-light. When your canoe was made, they called it Core-Stiffened.For the accessories you have, the weight is about right on the money. More common for the Odyssey was the Center-Rib layup, probably the toughest layup Wenonah used. Its a great hull that you should never outgrow. Maybe you will add a canoe for the boys when they get bigger, but the Odyssey is such a nice hull you will not want to part with it.


Regarding the layup

– Last Updated: Sep-10-15 8:35 AM EST –

The gel coat has been my point of confusion, because I was under the impression that by definition the ultra lights had no gelcoat.... but the ribs and diamond seemed to fit the description

Also, I forgot to mention that it's been fitted with skids, so certainly they account for some of the weight.

So, this "Core Stiffened" is an UL that's been bulked up?