Sundowner vs. Jensen 18, Minn II etc.


I am entering a local just-for-fun race. I will be using a older sundowner 18 kevlar/crossrib canoe, as it is the fastest I can get my hands on.

I was just wondering out of idle curiosity how much slower this canoe would be compared to a Jensen 18, Minn II, or other common recreational canoes. In other words, if we get beat, is it because we didn’t paddle hard enough, or can we blame the craft?

Any other excuses I might use would be appreciated as well.

depending on the water conditions,crew weight and skill the sundowner might be the faster boat. I loved my sundowner, and never had any problems in snotty water. I love my Jensen but the sundowner has more flair in the bow for those drops some race directors plan. The Minn2 is basically a Jensen for fat bald guys.

( I paddle in a Minn2 now)


I would want the Jensen

– Last Updated: Jul-25-08 6:13 AM EST –

But just keep in mind that if you and your partner have a little more HP in your engine, you can make up for what the other boat engine lacks.
We always have a good excuse, (when we need it) - Our jensen is only a 17 !

Other excuses: An old standby: "We just couldn't get the boat trim!"

Make sure to give us the results.
We'll be rooting for you.


I once asked Dave Kruger
who was at the time making a Wenonah boat delivery to my shop which Wenonah tandem was the fastest. He claimed the Min II was the fastest non-marathon racing tandem canoe they made, and at that time they still placed the 18’ Jensen with cruising/light tripping canoes.

We’ll make you proud . . .
The last time I raced a canoe was a few years back. I soloed my 16’ Prospector into a very strong wind for 20 miles. I did not beat all the low-profile marathon racing canoes, the sea kayaks, or even the tandem rec canoes. I had the opportunity to beat a father son combo (the son was about three), but figured there isn’t much more glory in second last. They gave me a medal for finishing, which I found pretty entertaining.

Hopefully this time out I can get a personal best and come not-last.

Which is faster
We went throught the same contemplating question when purchasing a new canoe for the “stock” class races in the east coats. The best of the “stock” class is basically all the boats you mentioned. We were told by Wenonah that if conditions are on all flat easy class 1 water with no big chops the 18’ Jensen is the fastest non marathon racing boat they offer. If unsure of condistions you might encounter they said the Min. II is their recomendation, it is just the slightest bit slower, but can handel rougher water that will slow an 18’ Jensen down or cause it to take on water. The 18’ Sundowner I don’t have experiance with but would think it would hang with any of these, it would be more the power in the boat that made the differance.

That being said we purchased a Savage River Susq. This is supposedly the fastest non marathon boat out there for rec class races. I hope you don’t see any of them at the start line. haha. Just kidding, they are fast boats, but again I think it’s more the people in the boat than the boat it’s self when considering your options. They are all really fast rec boats. Good luck in the race!

water and paddlers make the difference
On calm water on an open (vs tight) course, the 18’Jensen is the fastest by a slight tick. In rough water, the Sundowner can be paddled when the Jensen needs bracing, and that will close the speed difference. The MN-II is deep in the bow but not in the stern, but it handles waves much better than the Jensen. The Odyssey is another good hull, it came from the same source as the Minnesota II, but has more flare and depth for downriver use.

In the Adirondack races there are a lot of MN-II’s because people buy them to trip and to race, the Jensen is not the best on a trip in open water with a load of gear. The Sundowner is a great all around design and like most Crozier designs it is forgiving.

Paddle hard, hope for a course with lots of tight turns and rough water in the open sections.


…mr. canoehead…;-):wink:
You’re crackin’ me up Mr.C.,

Grab the Jensen 18…it won’t take long to feel the difference…just in getting in…the hull wants to move!:wink: Of course, with your Sundowner coming in at the back of the pack…maybe you could wind up getting the woman-to-be-named-later…!!! as the “old-school” booby-prize

Well, it was an interesting race. Our boat went straight and fast, and easily outdistanced most of the pack (14’ chopper-gun fibreglass cottage canoes). We also handily beat a few Clipper Trippers. The boat that beat us (we came second) was also a clipper Tripper, and these two young athletes zig-zagged all over the course. They were strong enough to beat us, even though they went quite a bit farther! As such, I feel they deserved it and was happy with second. Thanks for all your help. We will have to train harder for next year (and hope those two young men don’t learn to steer!).

is it faster then…

– Last Updated: Aug-04-08 1:33 PM EST –

...a grb monarch?

the Susq that is...