I am 71 yrs and weigh 250 pounds.

For years I paddled 36" wide tamdem canoes (a Coleman and an Aluminum something or other). I’ve paddled a lot of whitewater in them like the Loyalsock, the Nescopeck, the Lehigh and the Yough without problem.

I now own a Wenonah kevlar Solitude and a Royalex Rendevous. They seem tippy to me even on flat water which I have pretty much “graduated” to.

Will I ever get used to them or should I just resell and get a 36 incher?

Yer will git yer sea legs

– Last Updated: Aug-25-07 5:09 PM EST –

very soon, jus' keep on paddlin' dem. Yer might want ta kneel. Welcome ta solo canoos.


Don’t give up
I am 63, and I recently acquire a canoe after 30 years of nothing but sailing.

I own a Wenonah Vagabond, a solo that’s about 30 in wide. The first time I tried to launch I was unceremoniously dumped onto the river bottom (I launch from a small beach). I found it necessary to experiment with alternative boarding techniques – ones not covered in the popular guide books (if they’re recognized at all). I now board and land without difficulty.

Having overcome THAT difficulty, I then had to recognize that I have certain limitations – especially when paddling a narrow canoe – that would not have been a concern 30 years ago. This recognition can be painful, but it’s necessary. It certainly doesn’t mean you have to give up.

I paddle on flatwater and (just as as example) I’ve found it’s perilous to go out with winds more than 12 mph, or with gusts. Save it for another day. Your inevitable limitations will depend on how you want to use your canoe(s) and where you paddle.

Adjustable seat?
One thing you can do if your Rendezvous has the 3 way adjustable seat, is to set it to the lowest position and keep paddling that boat until you feel comfortable in it. Confidence will happen eventually. Another thing to keep in mind is that both your canoes will firm up in stability once you get them moving. Sitting dead in the water for any length of time is not the best thing to do just yet. And finally you can put some weight in the bilge of either of these canoes for the time being and it will feel more stable. Put a full 4 gallon water jug directly behind your seat and I think it will make a big difference to you.

Good advice. Solos can feel really
touchy, especially when you body is conditioned to expect less lively reactions from boats. It takes awhile to reset your internal gyros.

I’m your age
and the balance isn’t what it used to be. Nevertheless I started paddling solos about 2 years ago - felt pretty tippy at first, but now I only fall out of them getting in and out. And that hasn’t happened lately, so hang in there.


Never give up.
So you are 71. At that age you should know nothing you love and want to accomplish is worth giving up on.

C’mon stoke up the fire and get that "You can’t whip me attitude in gear. For years I bet you have been telling people; practice and butt time in the boat is all it takes. Now it’s your turn to be the one to be the student.

Stick with it my friend, I’ll be your cheer leader and I’m always on the winning team.

Keep trying and don’t give up.


By-The-Way, I’m 59 so I’m not far behind you.

If they seem tippy and if you enjoy
the paddling, why not get a wider boat and enjoy yourself

But if you do, don’t sell the “tippy” one.

You just might end up going back to it when the non tippy one becomes too tame.



You have wisdom beyond your years.

Nah, just give it a little time. You;ll
be happy knowing that you can do something that takes skill. I had the same problem when I got a solo canoe but figured it out. Now, I feel more confident in rough water it it than my bigger canoes. It’s a lot of fun paddling a responsive canoe.

Nobody is older than jack, so how
would you know.

Yea, but I am catching up
to those years!



250 pounds?
Unless you are very, very tall, it could be that losing some weight would increase your balance, agility and overall health.

He’s asking for boating advice…not a life style change.

I know how you feel
I ve purchaced a wenonah argosy and had the same problems at first… im also heavy but the more im in it the better it feels… my first trip on moving water i went swimming three times and at the end of the day i was pissed at myself …ever since then ive been able to stay dry and even develop a lil bit of confidence…the boat feels a hell of a lot more confortable and im really starting to like it… give it 40 miles or so and let me know what you think then… regards jack

try kneeling
If your knees can stand it, try kneeling. This lowers your centr of gravity a bit and locks you in to the boat better, I feel much more stabel in a kneeling position.

Don’t give up. 44 year old guys like me need inspiration. A few years ago, I was just hoping to be breathing at 71. I now have bigger plans in mind. Good luck and keeps us updated on progress.

Hang in there
I agree with allsky7.

I’m only 44 (45 in Nov) and I am always encouraged when I see older paddlers. Some of my friends my age and younger always say they are to old. I always tell them “it’s all in their minds. Think old and you be old.”

Lord, I hope I’m still able to paddle when I’m 71

I think you have a nice boat, just work at it some more. I still go swimming once in a while, no big deal to me though since I always plan on getting wet, unless I’m in the swamp and the gators are out in force.

Good luck.

Agree with GK
I agree with GK–He’s getting the kayak so he can get some physical exercise, which is fantastic. Kayaking will probably improve his overall health, and maybe he’ll lose a little weight at the same time. A lot of us horizontally challenged folks are very active. Is he supposed to wait until he’s thin before he buys his kayak?

I truly appreciate all the excellent responses to my question. And I will hang in there!

I gather the Raystown Rendevous is at Seven Points campground from Wednesday, October 10th to Sunday, the 14th. Whenever . . . I plan to attend. Do you put the boats in at the Seven Points marina?

Am I correct? Is someone bringing SPAM? I ate a lot of it from 1941 to 45. Mother used to grow it in the Victory Garden.