Vagabond, Peregrine and Clipper Solitude

-- Last Updated: Jul-31-08 5:26 PM EST --

OK don't jump all over my case! But,which of the above canoes would you rank best for the "best all around" canoe for camping/tripping, fishing, day tripping? Which would have the best intitial,secondary stability? Easier to control with wind? Which would track best? I've looked at the dimensions and have finally padddled the Peregrine, but not the others. Has anyone done a side by side comparison of these? For a person of 6'/200-210lbs.

I own a Vagabond and a Peregrine
I have never paddled a Solitude. Keep in mind my Vagabond is Royalex and my Peregrine is Premium+ lay-up. The materials do make a difference in the way the boat paddles.

Vagabond: Good initial stability (can’t speak for secondary), does not track as well as the Peregrine but turns better. Shorter and has less capacity.

Peregrine: Good initial stability, tracks exceptionally well, turns OK but not quick on the turns, better speed and glide then the Vagabond and more load capacity.

I have had neither boat in heavy wind. In lighter wind (20 MPH or less) the Peregrine is less effected than the Vagabond, although neither has been a particular problem in the wind I have been in.

As for speed, I can maintain about 4 MPH with the Peregrine fairly effortlessly paddling sit and switch. I have attained over 5 mph but must work at it. In the Vagabond about 3.3 mph is average and I have never gotten it over 4.7. Speeds were clocked on calm water with a GPS.

For tripping, fishing in lakes, day travel, I prefer the Peregrine (although I have only had it out on one trip.) If I plan to paddle in rocky rivers or stump infested lakes, I take the Vagabond.

Hope this helps.

Jim Henry’s Independence…
Another great option for your needs.

What I “always say” about the Vagabond

– Last Updated: Aug-01-08 10:39 AM EST –

The Wenonah catalog won't tell you this, but the Vagabond is available as two completely different boats. The composite version is 14.5 feet long, and has something like 1.25 inches of rocker at each end. The Royalex version is 14.0 feet long (not counting a couple inches of overhang of the plastic end caps), and is likely to have absolutely no rocker. The composite version of this boat can be expected to be faster due to sharper entry lines and longer length, and also more manueverable due to the rocker.

If you paddle aggressively while sitting down and you use a footbrace, the center thwart of the Vagabond will drive you nuts as it crunches into the back of your butt (it's too close to the seat). You can fix that problem by slanting the seat as you would when setting it up for kneeling, and that will keep you from sliding back into the thwart. If you paddle while kneeling, or if you paddle lazily while sitting and do not use a footbrace, the thwart won't be a problem. Other solo boats I've paddled have more clearance between the center thwart and the seat.

I can't compare the Vagabond to the other boats you are considering, but I think it is important to note that the composite Vagabond can be expected to perform much more spritely than the Royalex version.

I had a Royalex Vagabond, and it handled fairly well in wind, but but finding the best side for paddling in a crosswind was less predictable than other solo canoes I've paddled (depending on the angle to the wind, sometimes it was best to paddle on the downwind side, and sometimes it was best to paddle on the upwind side, while other solos I've paddled have been consistently easier to paddle on the downwind side, regardless of the angle to the wind). Secondary stability is pretty good but not outstanding, and primary is definately quite "comfortable". It feels quite stable when climbing in and out, and is a good fishing boat.

I can only comment on the Vagabond. I bought it as an “entry level” canoe several years ago, when I came back to paddling after a number of years. Since then I’ve bought 3 three more Wenonahs (Adirondack, Prism, Rendezvouz) which do certain things better than the Vagabond. But the more I use it, the more impressed I am with its versatility and (relative) performance. If I could only have one of my current canoes, this is the one I’d keep.

Where might I find some pics and specs of this Independence?

MR made them for years, soon…
The poster above you will be re-introducing Indies through Vermont Canoe.

For me @~200lbs the Indy is a day boat, light weekend boat. And I luuuuuv it for that use. Some of the prettiest lines ever produced, too.

New Indy
Does anyone know how closely the new Indy will track the specs of the original? Perhaps it’s the same mold, or is it a new one?


Our version is going to be…

– Last Updated: Aug-02-08 9:06 AM EST –

3/4" deeper than what MRC used to produce.

We just picked up the plug from Jim Henry's work shop Thursday night. Jacob started prep yesterday and this coming week we will start spraying and laying up the mold...3 week process. Mad River Canoe long since chainsawed their molds and threw them in a land fill somewhere in North Carolina.

The hull will remain the same as Jim's original design (basically what MRC produced) except that it will be a bit deeper as Jim originally intended.

Stay tuned. We should definately have a couple Indy's at Raystown.