Solo Vagabond owners question

Thinking of getting a new Wenonah Vagabond instead of a kayak in the same lenth. Would love to hear from any Vagabond owners out there who can give an opinion. I should say I plan to paddle in mostly open water like tidal rivers which would be similar to lakes with some powerboat wakes and wind to deal with. From my research it’s a great option as compared to most rec kayaks out there in the 28-30 inch wide category up to 14 or 15 feet long, and it weighs much less. I don’t paddle many streams or moving water but I guess this would be another advantage over a similar sized kayak?

Thanks in advance!

My two cents, tidal river with coastal wind, I think I’d want something a bit “faster” or perhaps I should say with more glide. The Bagabond excels, in my opinion, on small water where manuverability is a plus and speed isn’t. I’d hate to be paddling into a tidal current and a bit of wind in one. Now I’m 55 and dinged up a bit and use a single blade, so you may do much better, especially with a double blade.

In the kind of situation your describing I’d take out my Solo Plus. Moves well into wind and current but not real manuverable when paddled solo. 16.5 ft, can’t remember the weight but not much heavier than the Vagabond.

Now a 43 lb Vagabond (royalex) is almost fun to lift. If I had one of the light kevlar layups I’d probably throw it over my truck.

Tidal rivers, inshore coastal gulf waters and bays is what I fish. My first solo canoe was the Wenonah Vagabond. It’s a great little fishing canoe and as you said equal in speed to similar length SOT kayaks. It has a low shear so not as affected by wind as a tandem canoe. I did not have problems paddling on windy bays in up to 20 knot winds. The canoe did best (and was fastest) with a double blade in the 240 length. It was also fun to paddle with a bent shaft paddle using a sit/switch technique. The foot brace is mandatory if using the double blade for more power. I usually travel with the tidal currents but on those occasions where I was against tide it was no different than my old SOT. The plus is the 42lb weight in royalex. The downside is the royalex really gets scratched up on the oyster reefs I fish. Nothing is perfect but the Vagabond is fun to paddle and good to fish from.

My wife paddles a Vagabond (using a double-bladed paddle–I try to avert my eyes). It’s a fun little boat. Stable, reasonably quick.

Best of all, the Royalex Vagabond we have weighs (by actual measure) only 38 pounds.

try not to laugh
My Bell Merlin paddles best and faster using a canoe paddle but for some reason the Vagabond really cruises with the kayak paddle.

Depends how much wind and waves

– Last Updated: Apr-19-07 11:21 PM EST –

I had a Roylex Vagabond for a few years. With a double-blade paddle, I'm pretty confident that it is as fast or faster than any normal rec kayak. With a single-blade, it is reasonably quick but nothing special. It slices into waves more than many canoes, so if the waves get very big you will start having water come over the bow when hitting them head-on. Everything is a trade-off though, and a canoe that has more bouyancy in the ends than the Vagabond will be more adversly affected by wind. In moderate to strong wind when on open water, you will do better in a kayak than in a canoe, and that's another trade-off consideration.

It's hard to say for sure from your description of intended use if a kayak would be better or not. However, of the fairly basic solo canoes that one could choose instead of a rec kayak, the Vagabond would usually be a good one.