Talk me into/out of a Rendezvous

Local CL has one in kevlar for 675. Something tells me I would like it, but getting it means I have to give up my current solo canoe (not giving up any tandems or the wife’s boat).

My current solo is a fairly hard tracking Dagger Sojourn. I like it for lake use, but it really isn’t suitable for any of the nearby class 2 rivers I like to paddle. But those rivers have good enough flow that I can get by soloing one of my tandems (NC Prospector, Millbrook Coho).

I like to kneel while paddling most of the time. I don’t mind some tenderness. I paddled a MR Liberty briefly recently and found it to be a lot of fun, if maybe slightly small for me. I don’t have great technique for making a “turny” boat go straight, but I’m working on it. I do want to be able to get along well while solo on the lake, which includes some fishing and often a little wind.

I’ve read the reviews here, but they seem inconclusive and contradictory. What say y’all? Buy it, or skip it?

Rendezvous in kevlar
I had one for a little while to try. I don’t do any whitewater (or haven’t yet), so I only used it on lakes. It’s highly maneuverable. With careful attention I could get it to go reasonably straight, but it didn’t take much for me to get off course when I wasn’t careful. I didn’t want to be that vigilant trying to go in a straight line on the lakes, so I parted ways with it. Wrong tool for the job for me.

I didn’t have any issues with it being too small or being too tender and I’m a big guy. The seat was a little small for my big behind though, so it wasn’t the most comfortable in that regard for me. Seems like it had a fair amount of freeboard though, so it could catch a bit of wind.

Personally, I wouldn’t replace a lake boat with it, but I would think it would make a nice addition for whitewater. Why can’t you keep the Sojourn when you get this one? It’s just one more.

Class 2 WW

– Last Updated: Jun-12-15 10:16 AM EST –

in Kevlar?.. if its a typical lite Kevlar Wenonah layup..pass.Dont ask how i know.. I folded that layup around a rock in Temagami in moving water.. class 1. Aluminum gunwales bend so fast.. and the damage is permanent.. you need to rerail to get the boat back to shape.

I tripped down the Buffalo with two people in gel coated Kevlar Rendezvous.. Both swamped in class 2 wave trains.

Narrow bow slices through water and the boats were not maneuverable enough to maneuver to quieter water.

I have an Argosy. Its a wet ride and the typical Wenonah hull shape allows a lot of wet to ride up the side and dump in your lap.

It has a tractor seat. Anyone who has tried kneeling around one ( and we have them in our Wenonah Odyssey) can tell you its a witch.

Too reluctant to spin and turn for
my whitewater oriented tastes, but for $675 I would buy it.

Get it
I love my Rendezvous. But it is a turny boat. As soon as you lift your paddle out of the water it wants to turn.

Seems a great price. Get the Rendezvous and paddle it a few times before you let the Sojurn go. If it turns out she’s not for you, at that price you should be able to sell it for what you paid for it.

It is a pole-able boat.


Europa !
the wild mouse !

our first rapid ( with spare practice) was a 100’ long trough 4’ deep with 2-3’ standing waves inside.

Trough or cliff…?

Four strokes at 75 degrees and across we were across

lika bullet.

"It’s just one more."
That’s what got me where I am now. Out of covered space. Currently have the Prospector outside under a canvass tarp until I sell the extra Malecite. A bigger roof line is in the future, but until then I am at (actually above) the limit.

No kneeling…
…is probably a deal-killer for me. Just a guess, but I suppose that the layup doesn’t take a hung seat into consideration. Thanks.

Enabler Chip.
I was thinking the same thing, but solo canoes aren’t a hot item around here - and that’s an understatement. Not sure I can recover that price locally. The ad’s been up a while at this price, and he’s lowered the price from 900. If I do buy it, it will likely be 'cause I offered less and he took it.

Pole-able, huh? You know how to push my buttons. :wink:

You could put a foam pedestal under
a center thwart. No need to put seat hangers on the sides.

Pedestal would be my preference.
But what is involved in removing that seat? I never looked real close at one like it, but isn’t it glassed into the hull?

Haven’t examined one closely. One of
those oscillating cutter tools might enable you to cut the seat glass out, low down. No point in trying for absolute smoothness in the result. Some roughness will help the pedestal stay put.

More. Possibly there will be a way to
remove the seat from the base and build a foam pedestal onto the base. Then, if you ever sell the thing, you can restore the seat.

Good outside the box thinking.
Going to have to take a closer look.

whitewater river touring
canoe. A Royalex hull here with 3 NRS drybags/pedestal seat.

Colorado Canoe (?) is a Rendezvous paddler having moded a stage 2 model with sharper, more gunwale throw at bow.

I Second the “Get” of Chips.

– Last Updated: Jun-12-15 5:08 PM EST –

It is a very quirky species, this Rendezvous of Wenonah's, eliciting many love it or hate it appraisals over the years.

I had the Royalex version for only a few years, and I could never quite get comfortable in the thing. Perhaps part of that was due to it being my first dedicated solo boat, after years of paddling 16-plus foot tandems as my solo ride, wherein I'd developed many slovenly habits befitting a bench-seated muckler who was used to barging into frothy river eddies rather than making smoothly snapped turns. I was forvever entering strong river eddies in the Rendezvous with more of a snap-wobble-skid-wobble travesty of motion, that upstream bulbous hip of the boat often submerging into a precarious catch. As time went on, I got somewhat better with the turns, but never with ease and flow which I could in say a Mohawk Solo 14, or Mad River Guide. Though the Wenonah, I believe, listed out with a forward rocker of 2.5 to 3-inch mark, whenever I leaned forward to engage my eddy plant/bow rudder, the stem seamed to sit down and stick. As others had written in P-net reviews, she seemed to not want to respond to forward strokes, and often I was resulting to stern prys and rudders, wherewith I could lean back and raise the bow. This was from a seated position in a webbed bench seat, and when kneeling I had even a harder time leaning and releasing the stem.

But, as downriver runners go, she was pretty fast, and setting up my lines on rivers like the Middle Yough or Pine Creek (Gorge area) PA I could make her carve nicely arced pathways through boulder fields, unintentionally pulling away from others in my group in those said Mohawks and Guides, if not the Bell Wildfire/Royalex Wilderness. Pointed dead ahead upstream, she could obtain nicely, surf forward OK, but again, was a headache for me to get her to peel out quickly and cleanly.

Then I got a used Kevlar Rendezvous (the Gel or Clearcoated Flexcore, with diamond-shaped bilge foam stiffener along with foam side ribs). What a difference! First off, I'd say the shedding of about 25-or-so-pounds of hull weight helped tremendously. Secondly (and I've no proof of this, just my optically corrected astigmatic eyeballs to judge, along with the feeling I get running my hands over the hull), the boat must come off the form much more cleanly than the Royalex model, for it does not seem as though those classic bulbous Wenonah hips droop quite as much, nor bulge quite as widely. She's much easier to carve with, catch eddies with (though still not as nicely as other models previously mentioned), all-in-all, more responsive. Now, maybe this was partially the fact that I was getting a wee tad better in those few Royalex Rendezvous years with my maneuvering of a solo canoe. (In that time, I'd also gotten a Wenonah Voyager. Now there's a quirkster for divergent commentaries, especially when those long fetch winds come blowing on her sticky-stemmed high sides!).

Still, as others before me here have now stated, there are those Rendezvous high sides that catch wind, that rakish dreadnought prow which pierces and occasionally scoops inward waves, and that knack for spinning freely off course when a paddle is not applied to water. My friend Joel, who sold me his Voyager but kept his light-layup (the golden model) Kevlar Rendezvous has always been fond of his. I did hear recently, however, that he was going to mount a rudder to his stern, as he had often missed an excellent wildlife shot (photo-shoot birding's a passion of his, I believe) when the 'Vous quickly turned from his framed subject. With two hands on a DSLR sporting a tele-lens, I can certainly see how that occurs.

Anyway, if the tractor seat on rails is present in your intended purchase, I do believe Wenonah had produced two different width seats. The smaller of the two should be a bit more commodious (though not easy) in accommodating the kneel position. I suppose a contoured bench seat would be even better. That adjusting bench seat Wenonah offers always seemed a bit "clattery" to me in those thin slotted aluminium hangers.

Now, as for this "poling" potential! Joel always told me you could stand mid-station in the Rendezvous, as well as the Voyager, if you were in need of an elevated scout. The key was not to let your head tilt in any direction more than five-degrees off vertical. (It should be noted that Joel stands a stumpy 5-foot 6-inches, or thereabouts.) Since I come already pre-skewed at awkwardly obtuse (or so I'm told) angles, I believe I'll reserve my stilted aqueous hejiras for my Explorer or Uberbot (wherein my stilted-n-tilted canine companion gets all the wobbly blame). Or hopefully, someday, in one of those fine Millbrook Cohos like yours, Steve.

$675 sounds purty darn good to me. Happy paddles to you, within whatever floats ya,

Tractor Seat
Perhaps because I am 6’4", I don’t find it difficult to kneel astride the tractor frame. I’m not in love with tractor seating, but it works well enough. I dislike the seat frame when portaging, and when trying to sneak under low slung, cross-river logs. There are times when I want to get down on the floor of the boat and that damn frame interferes.

Mine is a '97 and and the frame pulled up off the hull a few years ago. It appears Wenona just sets the frame on the hull and then puts a layer of glass on top of it. I think you could cut the glass with a multi-tool or dremel wheel and I believe the frame would come right out.

Does the boat have aluminum gunwales? If so, they are pop riveted to the hull. At least on some boats, Wenona seats are suspended from seat hangers that are made of aluminum or stainless sheet. An “L” bend at the bottom supports the seat. I think the seat hanger is pop-riveted at the gunwale, meaning you could drill out a few gunwale rivets where you want to hang your seat, drill the hanger to match the holes, and put it back together with the hanger and new pop rivets. I am unsure specifically how Wenona does it, whether the aluminum may go up over the edge of the hull or whether pop rivets are all there is. But I suspect it’s just rivets, since the gunwale slot that fits over the edge of the hull probably isn’t wide enough for two more layers of aluminum.

Waterbearer (Will Derness over on that other forum) is getting ready to relocate the seat on a Wenona boat that uses those aluminum seat drops. If he doesn’t already, he will soon learn exactly how Wenona does it.

I’m saying the hangers are aluminum, but they may actually be stainless.


On Tractor Seat.
I seem to remember that my friend Ed (P-Net poster of lore nightswimmer) had removed the tractor seat rail base from his carbon Wenonah Prism using a Roto-Zip cutting wheel to carefully trim along the bottom rail lines’ epoxied fabric. Sanding, smoothing, and laying down an epoxied cover mat of fabric followed. He then installed his gunnel-hung countoured nylon web seat, to which he could then opt to sit or kneel more freely.

So, it’s a doable option, I suppose.

you can remove the seat
The seat and the top tubes of the slider come off the pedestal frame, leaving an aluminum frame rectangle. You could probably build your foam ped around that if you wanted and still leave it such that you can put it back to normal easily if you ever want to resell it.

I’ve also pulled the frame out of a wenonah before. It was glassed to the bottom. Just had to cut along the edge of the frame enough to break that layer and it pulled right out. I couldn’t get the hanging drop plates to go in to that one like I wanted due to the tumblehome. So I glassed the frame back in the bottom and it was good to go again. That was on a tuf-weave hull. Not sure if they do the same with a kevlar boat.

But I’d try leaving it in place and see if you can build around it first.

fashion a
wood strip guide on hull. The suggestion makes me cringe: cringe cringe.

Colorado Canoe features tractor seats: