Vermont Canoe Encore?

Anyone have any experience with the Vermont Canoe and Kayak Encore model?

I don’t see any reviews/discussion of the Encore in the archives or buyers guides. Their solo model, the Tupper, sounds like an interesting boat from some of the archive discussions I found, but I need a tandem for me and the wife.

We’d use it as a tandem most of the time, but I’d like something I could manage solo too. Calm water paddling on lakes and ponds in Vermont and the Adirondacks would be the primary use, but it would be nice to have something that can comfortably handle gusty conditions on larger lakes around here. Might do some river tripping as well, but I’d say little to no whitewater.

We are at a beginner/intermediate level of skill and have gotten tired of lugging our 80lb Old Town Discovery so we want something lighter that we can grow into as our skills progress.

Here’s a link:

Happy to consider any other recommendations folks might have for relatively lightweight canoes suitable for the kind of paddling we’d be doing.

Thanks for any info!

other models
Swift Kipawa (my favorite lake-tripping tandem) (available in Collinsville, CT)

Other Swift possibilities: Dumoine (perhaps too river-oriented), Winisk (perhaps too long and too narrow up front)

Bell Northstar

Mad River Malecite (perhaps too low-volume), Explorer (perhaps too river-oriented)

Old Town Penobscot (only a ten-pound weight savings, but cheaper than the above)

I’m less familiar with Wenonah’s offerings, but the Spirit II might be worth looking at.

– Mark


– Last Updated: Aug-29-08 1:49 PM EST –

you mention you were beginner/intermediate paddlers, and I'd have to say you'll like the Encore - you'll get a bit more comfortable in the stability department right away, and making it track with that shallow V will be simple and intuitive. It's a great boat for what you see as your skills, and it'll be plenty of fun right away. I'd put the Morningstar or a 16' Prospector in the came category, but some wouldn't.

The Northstar does run a little more tender - only in feel, not in actuality...they're both likely just as stable, but you'll find spending more time in the boat is necessary to get the same comfort level with stability that you would in the Encore right away. If you're planning on using it as a solo option, the Northstar does well with the kneeling thwart, too, and of the VERY limited time in an Encore, I might venture to say the Northstar feels more like a solo when using that option. Its only an inch or so difference, but it makes for a different feel.

Spirit II...I'm not a fan, so best bet is try one and form your own opinion. some love it, some don't.

if you're building your skills as paddlers, then I'd recommend stepping into a canoe that feels a little more advanced than you need right now. If you're just going to go paddle, then get what you're comfortable in right away.

good boat
It is well built with a design that works well for either tandem or solo paddling.

Just don’t believe that 1100 lb
"freeboard capacity." They must mean 6" freeboard, which is a jackass overload condition. I would not carry over 550 in that boat.

Also it looks like it has virtually no rocker, so if you want to turn it, you’ll need to lean it onto one side to pull the ends up out of the water. It looks like a good, although kinda pokey, lake boat that can do some duty on very easy whitewater.

I hate load capacity specs…
It’s a bad habit of stating those capacities that is a carry over from my early days at MRC. When people ask me about capacity I tell them no one in their right mind would ever put that much gear into a canoe. That would be, as you say, “jackass”. I have seen some Darwin Award type activites in canoes, though.

She’s got enough rocker that when leaned, she turns quite well. But then again, that’s how you turn a vee bottom hull.


I should say that an old friend used to
campaign a Royalex Tripper on very difficult whitewater in the Southeast. Lightly loaded, it is very impressive what that hull design can do.

Thanks for the information everyone.

We purchased an Encore last weekend after doing a demo at Umiak Outfitters in Stowe, VT and have been out a few times since. Really enjoying it compared to our old canoe. It seems much easier for us to paddle in windy conditions with the new Encore.

Now we just need to figure out how to rearrange our bicycle collection in the garage rafters so we can hang it indoors :slight_smile: