Tripping/all around Canoe

I need help on purchasing the right Canoe.i have read several articles and some people say just buy two Canoes.I am wanting a canoe that will do class 1-2 and occasionally class 3 white water and be able to paddle on flat water some and carry enough gear for weekend trip with my son.Most will be class 1-2 with some flat sections in between.i have exhausted myself with my research.I really like the esquif Pocket Canyon,Bell Yellowstone,Esquif Prospectuer,and the Mad River Legend 15.I had an old Town Discovery 158 at one time and it was a bull to haul around.I definitely want Royolex and it to be in the 58-63lb range.The Pocket canyon has 4" of rocker and was wondering how it would do on flat sections?The Bell is asymmetrical as opposed to symmetrical.I might paddle solo sometimes also and with another adult.Would the Pocket Canyon be to Short at 14’6"?

No such thing as one perfect canoe
4 inches of rocker requires precision stroking to go straight on the flats. How advanced a paddler are you?

How is your J stroke?.

I suspect you have a lot to learn. The Yellowstone is not meant for class 3. Class 3 is not to be taken lightly.

For two people tripping overnight anything below 16 feet is problematical.

You do know that Royalex is no longer made I hope.

Much depends on your size and skill and your ability to kneel if you want to solo an asymmetrical boat. You can’t just turn them around and flail from the bow seat backwards.

The Prospecteur is the best candidate but it requires some good correction strokes and in wind from the stern requires good technique to keep it from slewing around. Its got high stern sheer.

Tripping/all around Canoe
I am a intermediate paddler,but a little rusty right now.I used to have a Mohawk Probe 12 but very bad on knees so i took up Kayaking.I have a Liquid Logic Duece Coupe but it is not designed for carrying a lot of gear for 2 people for to days.So,the Pocket Canyon at 14’6" might be to short?I can do a J stroke but in the long run that boat is probably to short.I found the esquif Prospectuer in Royalex.The bottom is rounded and it has 4.5" rocker Bow and Stern.Whats the difference between the Shallow Arch Hull and a Rounded Hull?

hull cross sections

– Last Updated: Oct-06-14 10:18 AM EST –

Here is a homework assignment:

There is also a part 2 to this video. Hopefully, it will answer your question.

If you are looking for a boat that will be suitable for "carrying a lot of gear for 2 people for days" then I would suggest a tandem at least 15' in length, if not longer. But if you really want a Royalex tandem in the 15-16' range that weighs 63 lbs or less, your options are going to be rather limited.

Both the 15 foot Legend and the Esquif Prospecteur are whitewater capable boats. They also both weigh over 63 lbs and neither is the greatest to paddle on flat water.

You might consider another make of 15' Prospector such as those offered by Wenonah or Nova Craft (in Nova's lighter Royalex) assuming they are still available. The Old Town Penobscot 16 in Royalex is one of the lighter 16' Royalex tandems and has been a popular river tripping boat, but it has little rocker so it wouldn't be the greatest whitewater boat.

I have paddled the Bell Yellowstone some on Class I water but not on real whitewater so I don't know how it would do in that setting. My guess is it could be made to work, but probably wouldn't be my first choice. The Wenonah Rogue is a moderately whitewater capable Royalex tandem, but well above your desired weight range, and it catches a lot of wind.

tripping/all around Canoe
Thanks for all the info!That video on Hull design was very informative.I hope to make a decision soon!

What is the current supply of Royalex
boats in the wholesale/retail pipeline?

What about a 56 pound Tuff Weave
Wenonah 16’ Prospector? A bit wide for solo unless you heel it and go “Canadian”, but it will carry you, your son, and all your gear.

Tufweave is tough, and easy to repair.

don’t know
I believe that both Wenonah and Esquif preordered quite a bit of sheet last year for this year’s production run and probably have at least some models, if not most, still in inventory.

I get the impression that Mad River (Confluence) did not, since they pulled some of their most popular Royalex boats off their web site (Outrage, Outrage X) quite early this year, and now basically all their Royalex models including the Legends, Reflections, Freedom Solo, Caption are listed as discontinued.

Mohawk did not get their order for sheet in early enough last year so they are done making Royalex boats. Don’t know if they have anything left in inventory.

Don’t know about Old Town (Johnson Outdoors).

Some might talk to PS Composites
about how glass and CAP with just an insurance layer of Kevlar can make a very durable ww boat.

Paul Shriner made glass/Kevlar boats for those who had to have the super light weight, but for those who wanted a boat that lasted and lasted, he used mainly glass and polyester, with vinylester to hold it together.

See if
you can find a used or leftover OT penobscot 16 in royalex

I second that…
As was pointed out above, the Penobscot is a great river tripping boat, but lack of rocker makes it a little difficult to maneuver. If you’re doing class 2 with bigger water and wave trains it will do well, but if you’re wanting to do class 2 and 3 rock gardens that require a lot of tight maneuvering it won’t…but then again very few boats can handle that sort of rapids and still do all the other stuff you want it to do. As was also pointed out above, class 3 is serious whitewater in a canoe, and almost requires a specialized whitewater canoe with float bags, etc. But the Penobscot will handle class 2, and it ain’t a bad canoe to solo. If you can find a good used one you should probably grab it.

I agree with KM
and others. I personally would not want to take your list of hulls on a class III river; also there’s not many class III hulls I’d like to take on a long lake trip. So there you have it, no one hull can do it all.

If doing both on a trip, I’d opt for a WW hull in the class III rapids. It would be a bear to paddle on the lakes but at least you’d be intact to do so.

Class III capable
I gather from the OP that this would be the least frequent use of the boat and therefore the easiest to compromise away from.

if that is the case
then I think he would be confusing “risk” and “probability”.

III’s are runnable with aluminum Grummans on shoe keels or long U hull Royalex hulls or…? depends on experience. Take a look at Utube’s Wenonah Rendezvous bridge video, I have an R an can paddle that with low skill levels.

Paddling the bridge run with a touring hull would be tricky. But going straight down with a touring hull is OK.

As long as you miss the abutment.

Going thru with a loaded touring hull takes a high skill level.

A touring hull for going straight down compare to the Rendezvous is positive paddling,there is a Newtonian inevitability to the heavy stable hull’s travel thru standing wave trains

I have absolutely no wisdom
about hulls. I can tell you that its incredibly complicated. So complicated that I get the boat first and then try to figure out how to paddle it. If you don’t believe its complicated then consider the planing hulls on the current crop of short ww speciality canoes- relatively flat on the bottom with a lot of rocker. In many ways they resemble the first illustration of the video pblanc shared and some of the new crop feature tumblehome. Yet they are specifically designed for ww.

Personally, I don’t think much of “tumblehome”. It reminds me of getting worked and jostled around in a c1 chasing rafts at the bottom of lost paddle rapid on the gauley in wv.

My dream boat 35 years ago was a mad river explorer. I never owned one but got to paddle one several times. It was a wet ride in ww. It tended to slice rather than ride up and over waves and knifed through drops but I felt very comfortable heeling it, and actually preferred rock gardening in it because of its secondary stability and thus my ability to turn it sharply. The boat was fun to paddle and it did well on lakes as well. Mad river described the hull as a “shallow vee”. I liked the hull in ww but most do not.

The thing about running ww in tripping canoes is making sure you have adequate flotation. As you step up the difficulty you need to add flotation in case you capsize. So worry less about the hull design and more about your ability to paddle it and how it is set up to survive capsized on the river. I’ve wrapped two boats- both incidents happened because I wasn’t using float bags, or at least an air mattress, or some other float aid. (wrapped a alumicraft canoe at slade rips, roll dam, and a tripper on wassatoquoik stream, both in the 80s). When you gamble sometimes you lose but I also won a lot as well.

If you got bad knees your probably not wanting to kneel for very long. That’s the case with me. So first and foremost pick a boat that’s comfortable. Again, I don’t have any insight into your perspective boats and their seating arrangements, tracking, or hull designs but all of this is making me wonder if your best bet is to try some boats out before purchasing. I usually skip that step myself and buy somebody’s left overs that I can get cheap. If I don’t like it after a year or two I sell it.

I used to tease Roy Hunter about making his canoes out of salvaged parts he found on the river, which he truly did. He had one little boat he made that looked a lot like a “ledge” only it had a very slight planing hull, probably because it was oil canned under the saddle. It only took 35 years for the manufacturers to catch up to Roy, a boyscout working at a camp in Maine.

I used to listen to some wild eastern european talk about male and female ww kayaks at the put in below summersville dam. I was about the only one who listened (I had a lot of time on my hands waiting to film rafts which were backed up to put in below the tubes) while everybody just assumed he was nuts (including me) with his ranting about his three or four funny looking boats. Now 90% of the ww kayaking crowd is paddling a boat that has female components of his designs.

So worry less about the practicality, what others think and pick the boat you think will be the most fun or the biggest challenge. Make your own rules! Live on the edge because your wanting to run ww! In short, sc### the pansies who say get a flat water boat. Live for the moment, even if you gotta struggle through the flatwater to get there.

My do it all canoe is the mad river poly adventurer. I rarely paddle it and when I do I just pretend I’m on an episode of star trek as I shape shift through the ww. Actually, the poly has held up well and the boat paddles fine. Mostly I ww kayak, raft, or ducky - its a knee thing and that poly is a b##ch to load.

get ya a explorer, cause that’s what I wanted 30 years ago

or get ya one of them much maligned crossover kayaks- which sucks at everything except at having a good time. Embrace the dark side.

Buy two boats
Maybe three, and a portage cart…

For tripping with your son I’d recommend a longer boat – at least a 16 feet. Tandem paddling is easier and more a lot more fun in a longer boat. Some people pack lighter than others, but you will also need room for camping gear and food, which takes up more room than you thin. This was a weekend trip a couple of weeks ago with TommyC1’s Mad River Malecite (another nice boat)

I also had the opportunity to paddle an old Mad River T-W Special a couple of weeks ago. This boat is eighteen-feet long with minimal rocker, and it was designed as a tripping and down river racing boat. It paddled like a dream:

Sounds like you are looking for a shorter boat so you can paddle it solo on occasion. I know a lot of people do that, but a tandem that is enjoyable as a solo boat probably won’t be the best as a tandem tripper. Boat two is a solo boat.

As for those class III rapids, in a tripping boat with gear, most people would probably portage those. You can take a tandem tripping boat down class III rapids, but you are likely to end up with your gear floating downstream (and maybe your boat pinned on a rock). Get a portage cart for those rapids. Boat number three is a whitewater boat with proper floatation if you really want to get into whitewater –like your old Probe 12.

I’d by the boat that you will use most often. May you can borrow or rent the others.

Weight is a consideration

– Last Updated: Oct-08-14 7:16 AM EST –

The OP said he definitely wanted Royalex and a boat that weighed 63 lbs or less, which will rule out most 16 footers and anything longer.

I suppose…
but it doesn’t seem like that should be the primary consideration for buying a boat. His son can help him lift it :wink:

Yeah, that’s a pretty restrictive
weight limit for a trip capable tandem. I have a sixteen foot Explorer and it clocks in at 68 pounds (wood gunwales and decks though). Here’s a brand spanking new Prospector in KC. Not sure where you are, but it’s a beauty.