Solo Canoe Rcomendations

The Dagger Sojourn
mentioned above would fit your requirements.

It’s excellent in the wind, and very dry in waves. Cl 2 would be no problem. Pretty fast also, and hauls a lot.

It’s a good boat for lake trips and bigger rivers. It wouldn’t be my first choice for narrow, twisty streams, but it turns well enough when leaned.

Of the boats you’ve listed, I’ve only paddled the Solo 14, and I think the Sojourn would be much better for what you’re looking for.

Vagabond Probably a Good Choice
What Arkay says about the Vagabond is true enough, it’s not an inspirational canoe, but it’s really a darned nice litte get-the-job-done boat. I only sold mine because as I became a lot more refined in appreciating specialized boats, I looked for something to replace it with.

Two things you said made me think the Vagabond would work well for you. First, your main concern is wind, and the Vagabond is better than average when it come to behaving in wind. Second, you said you plan to use a double-bladed paddle, and the Vagabond sharp entry lines and constant taper make it one very quick boat with a double-blade. Further, when in light rapids, its somewhat lethargic turning capability is easily overcome by backferrying to change course and weave through obstacles, and with a double-blade it doesn’t take long to learn to do that like a pro.

As for carrying 250 to 300 pounds, it will become a bit of a slug, but it doesn’t sound like carrying such a load will be the boat’s main job. Still, I’ve carried a small adult passenger in mine, creating a total load of about 280 pounds, and even though the trim wasn’t too good, I was able to keep the boat moving pretty well, much better than I expected.

I have no doubt there are other boats that will work just as well or better, but of the ones listed so far in this thread which I’m familiar with, I have no doubt you’d be happy with the Vagabond.

Buffalo canoe…
makes a real nice Royalex lite solo that might be just what you’re looking for. Very good all around canoe! I’ve paddled one a couple of times and was impressed.

You should probably look at the Odyssey 14 rather than the Solo. The Solo is more of a flatwater boat where the Odyssey is a river tripper.


Thanks again
I’ll have to try to find some boats to paddle. They aren’t off the list but the Mohawk Odyssy, the Mad River and the Bell Yellowstone are looking the least desirable right now. They all have a higher profile and and at least 2" of rocker. All of them would be great in faster water but in the slow shallow summertime water it looks like they’ll catch too much wind for me. In faster water I can use my Blue Hole. At least thats what it looks like to me.

Good timing on bringing up the Buffalo canoes mspurie. I found their website last night about a half an hour before I saw your post. Again the 14’ Buffalo seems geared a bit more for faster water than I want. And it’s very wide for a solo. If I ever replace the Blue Hole you can bet I’ll be looking them back up though.

So the Mohawk Solo and the Wenonah Vagabond at the front of the pack for slow moving rivers. I think if I had to decide right now I’d be looking hard at the Mohawk Solo 14. It seems that it flat bottom would go well in the shallow water.

I still need info non-current river boats. What else should I be looking at? On used boats price could go a long way in deciding what features I want. Look at the Dagger that was brought up: It looks to be a good flat water boat and not what I started looking for but for the right price…

What else is out there?

Thanks again,


Canoe cover for wind
I only have experience with two of your choices – the Bell Yellowstone Solo and the Wenonah Vagabond. Both will serve your needs and from what I have heard of the other boats, they will too.

The Yellowstone will be “livelier” than the Vagabond. I think the Vagabond is a good, solid boat and lends itself well to the double blade. I have a friend that has a royalex Vagabond and takes it to the BWCA. I took the Sandpiper (a foot shorter Vagabond) to the BWCA once, too.

As far as wind, the thing that will help a lot is a canoe cover. You could make your own or buy one. Cooke Custom Sewing makes an excellent one.

The right solo
I’d agree about finding a dealer so you can test paddle; personally, I can’t imagine making a buying decision like this without actually paddling the boat. Two additions to your very good list of possibilities are the Wenonah Argosy and the Nova Craft Super Nova (these boats couldn’t be much more different). The Super Nova certainly leans toward the whitewater end of the spectrum, but it will track if you load it up. It can be way big fun and will take lots of abuse, especially for a boat you can do some tripping in. The Argosy is the same length as the Vagabond, but has (among other differences) more rocker, making it a much more acceptable “river” boat than the less responsive Vagabond. It doesn’t track too badly, either. But, as I said, that’s why you really want to find a dealer you can depend on for advice, selection and test paddles. I’m very loyal to Rutabaga here in Wisconsin, a world class place to play with boats, but there are other great folks out there wherever you are to help find that perfect boat.

The bell covers …

– Last Updated: Apr-10-07 11:18 AM EST –

are far cheaper then the Cookes snap on{believe they are made by Cookes for Bell with Dou-Loc velcro like fasteners},and do just as well,unless you want a kayak like totally dry ride. I have them for my YS. I paddle YS my with a double if the wind kicks up really bad,and it's never an issue. Even single bladed it isn't that bad in the wind,unless over 25mph.The covers do help with the wind.
BTW in the picture is the was the first time I used the covers,because it was very windy at Raystown. The launch area in the picture is protected,but farther out in the lake it's not. I was going to paddle with a sea kayaker,and I went everywhere she went with no problem. I only started in canoes earlier that year,and I am far from a expert canoe paddler. The YS has done well for me in all conditions I have paddled in so far, including class II WW. Don't count it out until you try one.I bought mine with out trying it out,just based an a reccommendation of a P-netter here,and I am not sorry I bought it.

Happy Paddling billinpa

Boundary Waters
You mentioned a Bell Yellowstone Solo would not be a good choice for the Boundary Waters. I was thinking it might be ideal. It is relatively light (44 lb) maneuverable and fast, a good compromise. What solo canoe would you recommend for that area?