Solo canoe for multi-day ocean trip.


I have been searching for something that would be capable as a multi-day platform for paddling on the ocean. I am experienced with the waters around Haida Gwaii (where I will be paddling) and am looking to a do a week long trip sometime this summer. I have been looking at the Solitude from Clipper but nothing suggests that it would be capable in moderate weather on the ocean. Any advice or suggested models would be greatly appreciated.



I’d be very surprised if you ever find any recommendation for any canoe for ocean use, they are generally used in protected waters which the ocean certainly isn’t. While indians paddled canoes on open waters it was because they didn’t have a choice of boats. We certainly do now days. A fully decked kayak would be much better suited for those waters.

Bill H.

Try this:
Post your question on this forum:

The guys there are very familiar with GH.

The only two sea canoe companies that come to mind and may fit your needs are Superior or Kruger. Both are very expensive, hand made with a long lead time to get built.

Good luck and be safe!


Clipper Sea 1
Another decked canoe that might be a good option. Presumably there’s a spray skirt available for it. I don’t know anything about it other than it exists.


Expensive Hobby Boat
I understand that you want to do a seaworthy canoe and you will be on the leeward side of the island. I visited a couple of summers ago, and conditions can get severe there even in summer. The issue is getting a craft that would be safe in conditions that you likely will encounter. Personally I would look for something like a used Prijon Kodiak kayak, that you can fill with tons of stuff and ultra seaworthy (have surfed in large swells in Baja) you can find one for less than $1000. A suitable canoe is going to be big bucks and may not cut it when conditions get bad.

NOT the solitude
Only consider sea canoes…Kruger is the most often seen used. Very expensive but built for what you want to do better than any open canoe, which as a general rule should not be used for ocean travel.

I’ve got a Mad River Monarch
a precursor to the Sea Wind… one of Verlens first boats and not to his liking.

I have used it so far on the Atlantic Ocean, Lake Superior and the Gulf of Mexico where I am now.

Dan Cooke of Cooke Custom Sewing can make a spray cover for it… that is where I got my spray cover.

Sea canoes have higher seating off the floor( but not by much) paddle nicely with a standard single bent shaft canoe paddle , have covers available and also have rudders and resemble standard canoes faintly.

It seems some here have not heard of them, which in the opinion class is always interesting, so here is an example of what they are and where they can go

Sometimes they pop up used. That is how I got my Monarch.

My Monarch when loaded is incredibly stable and not water not washing over the decks when its carrying a week worth of fresh water which is needed on ocean trips. Its deeper than a kayak. and almost 18 feet of usable storage space.

we know what that is…why it is looses us completely.

Canoes and open ocean

– Last Updated: Feb-11-16 11:35 AM EST –

This keeps coming up, on this one I wonder why kayakmedic has the patience she does.

Canoes and open ocean can work with the right paddlers and the right setup. Most people like myself who are primarily kayakers are not the right paddler. So what the boat can do is irrelevant, because the typical ocean kayaker doesn't know how to make it do that.

Canoes were the craft of choice for white folks (as opposed to native americans) when the Maine (typo fixed) Island Trail was first established. The islands on the trail have not moved any closer to the mainland since that time.

Granted it is rare these days to see people who have the capability and the setup to do the trail in a canoe, but they still pop up. A couple of guys did the trail in canoes within the last decade. I know because they camped on an isthmus just across from where my husband and I rented, waiting out a couple of days of drenching rain.

I should note that they were equipped to travel in the rain, the canoes were not the stopper. The next leg from that isthmus includes going around a point where the passage is tricky for any craft (including motor boats) in good weather. Roaring storms take the risk up to an unnecessary level unless you just can't add a day.

Again, there is no way I would take a canoe out on open ocean because I know I lack the skills. But that doesn't mean it can't be done. It just means I am not someone who should do it.

Where is this Maien Island Trail…
Sounds exotic

Typo on my part - Maine Island Trail

Others mentioned Kruger but also
look at Eddyline Shasta, Easyrider Cormorant, both with open cockpits that can be covered but use a center paddling setup on a kayak hull. I’ve paddled Haida Gwaii. It can be done in a canoe, just takes skilled paddler with a willingness to be patient with the weather and currents. the toughest part would be Rose Harbor around the point into the inlet with Jedway Bay.

Someday I’s like to try some sections
of the Maine Island Trail - it looks great. How about doing it tandem in a Spirit II.

What a beautiful place…
if the water is nice and flat like in this video I’d do it in my solo canoe

But…big rollers, wind and a loaded canoe aren’t a combination that I would like. I wouldn’t want to be out in wind and waves like at about 2:40 in this video:

I think about accident with Douglas Tompkins, and wonder if they were expecting water like the first video, and got water like the second video.

having been involved in MITA
and paddling the trail since the late '80 s I don’t recommend a kevlar Wenonah specifically. The sides of the boat don’t allow deflection of waves…( ie not much flare) Also the bow is not shaped for wave shedding.

We paddled our Wenonah Odyssey(tandem) on Lake Superior and found that with a tandem canoe there is a lot of flex in ocean type rollers. We’ve also experienced the flex in Long Island Sound but it is way worse when empty. Empty the ends are pinned but can and do twist as wave apices are timed out of synch. Loaded the twisting is better.

We vastly prefer the performance of solo boats where the ends are lighter than the middle and the twist factor along the hull does not exist to such a severe degree.

A canoe would work OK in Merchants Row or the sheltered parts of Muscongus bay but off confused swells at points of land or at the mouths of rivers where whirlpools can sprout up anywhere

Conditions can change fast so a ten mile crossing of Penobscot Bay is not advised.

Doug D did part of the Maine Island trail in a canoe but solo.

Long ago the Trail was developed for canoes but those Grummans had almost no twist to them in rollers. Also there were more portage trails to avoid points. Some of the locations of those carries are now hard to get information on ( or have been blocked by private houses)

There is a MITA guidebook that comes free with a membership( $45). Offers way more than the public islands to camp on and offers very good information on danger areas, and launches and resupply.

Or an app on your cell phone…

– Last Updated: Feb-12-16 8:58 AM EST –

MITA emphasizes the cell phone (I assume tablet as well) app when you join. I got it the last round because, paddling solo these days, I was mostly paddling routes I knew practically blind. And with alternative ways back home in bad weather.

But if I was newly paddling there, I would get the book. A raw wet day, even in July, can really chew up battery life on any device. And it can be surprising how similar some islands can look at a distance or how they will blend into each other, even ones that have a very different profile when you are closer. I still had a book from an earlier year in my day hatch.

One thing you do have to account for on much of the trail that is different from many places - carrying water. For most of the trail that I have paddled, there is none available on the islands. But even doing a single overnight can be incredibly refreshing - waking up to waves crashing on rocks at time just several feet from the tent site is a wonderful thing.

of interest
get above water line surface areas for comparable sea kayaks n a ‘sea canoe’

figure wind pressures for your path area

not of interest
in a loaded sea kayak there is the possibility of paddling essentially a submerged log; having the waves wash over you constantly… Better have bomproof hatches.

Sea day kayaking is entirely different with minimal load. Few sea kayaks are rated to carry sufficient fresh water.

Sea canoe can easily…

Been there done both craft. Not Internet research back then there was no OOGLE GOOGLE

thank you
I had to grab the app. I’ve traveled downeast but never have paddled the area. Now it’s another place on my bucket list!

personally I like how my boat seems to
disregard the wind when fully loaded. Not a lot of freeboard for wind to grab onto.