Used whitewater canoe?

My primary boat for the last 10 yrs. has been a 16ft. Blue Hole canoe. I am now in the market for a used white water canoe to learn to paddle more aggressive water. Does any one have recommendations on what’s a good model to look out for? What was the “in” boat 5 or 6 years ago? There are lots of boats for sale in the $500-600 range, so I want to get something that will find itself on top of the car on weekends, not on the rack while the old Blue Hole gets to have all the fun.(my kayaks almost always stay home.)Thanks.

various Daggers all good non-specialized ww boats.

This site is good to ask the same question.

What’s available in your area?
Doesn’t matter what people recommend if you can’t find it. Might be better to ask about the boats that are available.

For what its worth, my advice would be not to be too picky. Just find something that gets you out on the water, and worry about finding the perfect boat later. I just replaced my old Impluse with an even older Encore. Once you start paddling regularly and meeting people, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to trade up.

Who knows, maybe you’ll get luck and find the perfect boat right away. Good luck.

WW Solo…

– Last Updated: Dec-25-08 10:14 AM EST –

Don't know your size; that matters.
Don't know your skill level; that matters.
Don't know what class water you'll paddle; that matters.

Those 3 things should definitely be taken into consideration. That being said; here are a few that I would suggest:

Mad River Outrage
Mad River Outrage X (good for a big old boy)
Mohawk Probe 12 & 13
Dagger Rival & Impulse (good for beginner)
Mohawk XL 13 (good for beginner)
Mohawk XL 14 (good for a big ol boy)
Dagger Caption (good for a "real" big old boy, or as small tandem)

I paddled an Outrage X for about 5 years.
Paddled a Mohawk Probe 12 for about 4 years.
Loved both; expecially the Probe 12.
I am 6'4", and 200 lbs.
Did class mostly 3.

Try before you buy if possible.


For Class II-III
in your area I’d recommend something lighter and faster than the Impulse and not as edgy as the Ocoee. I know where there’s a Mad River Outrage you can try, but coming from a blue Hole tandem you may find it a tad tippy. The one I’d recommend for your style is the Esquif Vertige. Big enough for whitewater camping, fast enough to cover the flats quickly, and turns well and surfs like a dream. No bad habits IMHO. With a little practice you could even surf it standing up like you do you BH.

Unless you’re a really big guy
(like 225+), I’d look for something in the 12-foot range.

My #1 choice would be the Outrage, but the Rival, Probe 12, and Shaman would all be good choices.

These boats all have soft chines, so the transition from your Bluehole won’t be too tough. Still, either one of them will feel like a sports car after your Bluehole.

Something like an Ocoee or Viper would be a bit more high-performance, but the hard chines on these boats will give you a tougher (meaning “swimmier”) learning curve.

I’ve got a lead on a boat
I found a Mohawk XL 13 for a really good deal. How does this model boat suit me? I’m 5’10", 175lb.I have tried several WW canoe models in the past year, thanks to the kindness of fellow paddlers. They all felt very natural.

go for it

– Last Updated: Dec-25-08 6:46 PM EST –

good basic boat, logical progression. It will be a step up in sportiness from the bluehole, yet still a far cry from anything radical.

If that’s what you can find, go for it
Staple, easy to paddle – but a big boat compared to some of the others recommended above. It will get you on the water, but you’ll probably be looking for something sportier pretty quick. Then again, my dad paddled an XL-14 as a solo for years and loved it.

There’s Evergreen Canoe Co. You can
find the write-up here on Pnet in the Gear Guide tab. Use the dropdown and go to Evergreen. I had a Sequel, it sounds like what you are looking for.

In my area, the most frequent ww boat I see being sold used are Probes. They are good boats, although for some reason people like to move on to something else. I see them come up for sale, fully outfitted, at very reasonable price. I like the Viper, by the same maker, but I’ve seen some paddlers that were masters in a Probe get thrashed by the Viper. Viper seems to want to side-surf, and once in that position, it is a tender ride.

I never paddled any of the Outrage models, although I spend a lot of time in MR’s Fantasy, which was the predecessor model. The Fantasy was quick but wet (easily took in splashes and waves) and tippy. It left me not in a hurry to rush into other MR ww boats.

I have no experience with the Esquifs. I went to a 5-day ww class once and several of the others in my group had Esquif Zephrs, so they are well thought of in Canada. One guy had only recently gotten started and was getting trashed on almost every move. Mid-week he took the instructor’s advice and got out of the Zephyr and into a Bell Prodigy, and did much better.

Good luck, with it, and I’m with the other guys that say the main thing is to get a boat and get on the water. Ho-humming over all the makes and models won’t get you too far. Once you are on the water, you will figure out what works for you. With used boats, you can almost always move them for about what you pay for them, so it is pretty low risk.

I would, however, avoid boats with pink hulls. And don’t buy them at night under a sodium light, because I can tell you that what you think is mango by sodium light will be freaking pink hull in the morning light! Gadzooks, man, don’t let that happen to you!


So, uh, Chip…?
Whatever happened to your pink canoe, anyway?

I agree with all the above about the XL13, it’s a great step up from your Blue Hole. I am also a big fan of the Prodigy (X). I paddled one for several years and traded to the Esquif Vertige to get the gear hauling room and dryer sides. The Prodigy for me tends to be a tad wet in big waves.

As fer as WW solos
ah’ kin only tell yer about de limited number o’ true WW canoos ah’ use(d) so take dis wit a grain of salt…

De Dagger Encore wuz a great boat. Went swimmin’ outta dat boat more than any udder but it waar fun. Still kikin’ me’self fer sellin’ it ta some Frencher-Canadian fro’ Montreal.

Ah’ now paddles a Mohawk Probe 12 which ah’s still gittin’ me sea legs in. Good beginner ta intermediate canoo.

Fat Elmo

dang it FE

– Last Updated: Dec-26-08 8:16 PM EST –

keep quiet about the Encore, would ya'? Thats my son Aarons, mine,and Eckilsons boat of choice these days, and TommyC1 picked one up this year too, and seems to like his as well.I think Chips got one as well, and you don't see any of us recommending that mis-handling heavy warhorse. Anyone finding one of these boats should let me know so I can keep it away from little kids,innocent women, and the like. I don't swim much at all in mine anymore; 3 runs down New Boston
with a torn neck gasket this past october forced me to stay upright, and actually ummm, my last swim was where Eckilson, Aaron, and I will probably be paddling tomorrow.
Eriks, Aarons and my Encores here.
Last video is my "minuteman swim" routine.;-)
Oldie but a goodie; mines near wore out and I'll need another.

Real men paddle pink boats

– Last Updated: Dec-27-08 6:28 AM EST –

Kent Ford paddled a pink Encore in his Solo Playboating video - how bad can it be. (Actually - he paddled an XL 13 and a MR Fantasy as well.) Fortunately, the Encore that I bought from OC1 is red - one of the first questions that I asked before I bought it. Not sure I'm ready for a pink boat. ;-)

Trouble with used boats is that they are cheap enough that you don't have to sell the old boat when you buy a new one. Got an email last week from a guy interested in my old Impluse, but I'm not sure I'm ready to part with it - look what happened to Fat Elmo. Guess that's why people around here have so many boats.

Used OC1’s
Coming from something like the Blue Hole my first choice would be an Outrage. At 200 lbs I feel as though I’m oversized in mine though. So if you are that or more I’d look for the Outrage X.

I looked for an X but couldn’t find one up here near Boston. I did find an Encore for a reasonable price. The Encore has the volume I wanted and turns quite nicely. You have to lean it HARD to get it to carve. It’s a bit bit slow compared to the Outrages but not terribly so.

I’m not a fan of the XL series but otherwise I pretty much agree with everything that’s been said above.


I picked up a Mohawk XL-13, ready to paddle for $300.00. Looks like I’m out there and ready to paddle, hopefully New Years Day.

Good on you Ronnie
I can’t wait to see you stand up and pole that sucker:)

Good luck
Let us know how you make out.

Could there be class IV
in the future for the vertical one? Vertically…of course! :slight_smile: