Susquehanna versus Minnesota

Has anybody paddled both of these? I’m just wondering how they compare as far as speed, stability and other pertinent characteristics? Thanks.

“Susquehenna” does not ring a bell
with me. “Minnesota” I associate with Wenonah canoes.

Flatwater Cruisers g2d
The poster is using too much shorthand. The Susquehanna is a recent Savage River design, and the Minnnesota he refers to is the Wenonah Minnesota II. It would have been helpful to have the full names since the Minnesota II has company in the MN-III, MN-IV, and the original Minnesota.

The Savage river Susquehanna is very competitive in the NYMCRA (New York Marathon Canoe Racing Association) stock class. Several of the fastest teams in our area used Susquehannas in the 90miler and 70miler and won. They probably would have won with their own boats, but it gave Savage River some good press, and showed that the design is competitive.

If you measure the two, there isn’t one dimension that is over an inch different. Stability wise the paddlers i talked to after the races liked the Susquehanna. Flat out speed they favored the 18 Jensen over the Susquehanna for races.

The boats seem so close, its up to the paddlers to make the difference. No slow team in either has beaten a fast team in the other.

With Jene Jensen’s passing years back, his designs are now fixed. Others have had over 5 years to catch up, and should develop faster canoes. The 18 Jensen and Minnesota II have not been eclipsed by anything from Bell, and only Savage River and Grasse River have reached a comptetitive level. Unless Wenonah gets a racing designer, the future in Flatwater Marathons may belong to Grasse River and Savage River, and to those fortunate enough to buy a Corbin or Crozier custom design.


Yes, I’m sorry. Of course I should have been more specific. The canoes in question are indeed the Savage River Susquehanna and the Minnesota II by Wenonah as pointed out by plaidpaddler. Obviously a very knowledgeable paddler. Thanks.

they are so very very close in character

what are you used to paddling? I sort of need a reference point to compare the two stock boats against for you.

I am glad to see this discussed
The MnII has been at the top of my list for canoes to consider, and I nearly bought one in February.

At Canoecopia I was looking over the Susquehanna model in different layups and was curious about how it paddled.

I was even more interested in their solo model, especially with their competitive pricing.

Watching from the sidelines with interest.

Have Susquahanna Myself
I must paddle similar waters as plaidpaddler because I also do the 70 and 90 miler where these two canoes are the most dominant in the stock class of New York and PA.

We were torn on the Savage River and Wenonah 2 years ago when purchasing a “stock” canoe to race. I agree with previous comment about Savage River getting good press time the past few years. It sold us and we bought a Susq. over the Min. II. To this day I am still not sold one is any better than the other for speed. I completely agree that it’s the person paddling that makes the differance between these two boats. It seems to be that the better paddlers are trying out the Susq. and winning. It could be they would win in a Wenonah as well because most of them used to paddle a Min II and won in that too. Wenonah told me through email that their fastest rec boat is the 18’ Jensen, it’s just not as seaworthy as the Min. II if the water gets bad.

Quality wise we have not had any problems with our Susq. but seeing Wenonahs and ours both in carbon layup it looks to me like Wenonahs might be made better simply because it’s more for a general market and not just targeting racers who want the lightest weight possible. (no facts behind that theory though) I do know a few people that have had some problems with the Savage River carbon layup gunnels and thwarts but Savage River (Diller) fixed them no charge. He stands behind his work.

Hope some of this info helped.

if you are considering…
…the Susquehanna then give some consideration to the GRB Monarch, it is side by side with the Susq in big water but really has an edge when turning. Most paddlers at the top of the c2 stock class in the 90 were in one this year. It shines in Browns Tract we probably passed 20 boats in there this year, including a War canoe…

Great boat… just a thought

I looked at it on the GRB website. How is it different from the Traveler? Thanks.