We-no-nah vs. Swift

Looking for a canoe and was wandering what your opinions are on the We-no-nah Argosy vs. Swift Osprey??

Thanks for your inputs! Mia

Osprey Thoughts
I’ve been paddling an Osprey for several years.

I’m 5’9" 195 lbs with a background of whitewater solo canoe playboating. I’ve paddled this boat on the Ocean, lakes and rivers upwards of class II+ (I’d try it in harder stuff but I have other boats for rock bashing ;-).

It’s a very versatile boat that feels quite lively in quietwater but stable and dry in rapids.

It is not a fast boat. I cruise at 3 - 4 mph on flatwater. But it’s nearly effortless to hold that speed for miles and miles.

It’s not as nimble as my Mad River Outrage but it is nimble enough to make playing in class II rock gardens fun. It’s the best boat I’ve ever paddled for attaining upstream in rapids.

Conversely it’s not a hard tracking boat. It requires constant attention to your heading.

I consider it a kneeling boat. Folks who find it unstable almost all seem to be sitting. Kneeling I find it rock steady to within several inches of the gunnels. I can’t get it to lean over more than that without shifting my whole self to the side

On bigger stretches of open water with a wind coming from behind over my shoulder I find it wants to turn broadside to the wind and waves. It takes some effort to maintain a heading then.

All in all I’m pretty happy with it but like anything you should paddle before you buy.

But if I followed that advise I wouldn’t own this one so Good Luck with your search!

what can I say?
The Osprey has a sliding seat and the Argosy not (standard). So I could trim the Osprey for optimal performance when test paddling these boats empty. This makes a true comparison difficult.

Both canoes felt a bit too big for me (@170 lbs) when paddling without a load. Still it seems like the Osprey handles more load better than the Argosy, but better to control with only me aboard. But this could also be because of the sliding seat. For my wife (@132 lbs) the Osprey really is too big when paddling without a load. Don’t know about the Argosy, as she didn’t test paddle an Argosy.

I don not consider both boats to be unstable, even though I prefer to paddle sitting :wink:


Difference is in style and ride

– Last Updated: Jun-18-08 2:30 PM EST –

I'm the same size and OC1 background as TommyC1, and I agree with his summation of the OSPREY. The Wenonah Argosy is a favorite of mine because it is fast, turns well, holds a line well through Class II wave trains and darts back and forth through rock gardens with ease. I find it a pleasure to thread the needle through rock and ledge type rapids. Eddy turns and peel outs are quick and positive. The downside is the lightweight Royalex scratches and dents easily and in my opinion the seat is industrial, ugly, noisy, frustrating to change positions and totally uncomfortable. I took mine out and replaced it with a better hanger system. I've paddled the Argosy about 100 miles loaded with 70 pounds of gear through Class I-II and I'm totally pleased with the performance. Initially I was concerned the narrow bow profile would dive into waves and be a wet boat, but I didn't find that to be much of a bother after I'd paddled it a while. I only sold my Argosy (and my Swift Osprey) because I'm spending more and more of my paddling time in whitewater kayaks and in sea kayaks.

I paddled my Swift Osprey for several trips and many evenings lillydipping and found it to be a delightful, easy paddling canoe that looks and feels and acts the way I think a solo touring canoe should. Which is to say; easy to get in and out, acceptable primary, solid secondary, turns quickly and positively, paddles easily on flats and gets compliments everywhere it goes. Some paddlers say the Osprey is not particularly fast, but it is definitely faster than some other 15's such as the Wenonah Wilderness and the Mad River Guide. A characteristic of the Osprey that is a John Winters design trademark is the ease of paddling. It just takes less effort to keep one of his boats at cruising speed. I've paddled his designs the Raven, Osprey, Shearwater, Enlightened T-16 and I currently have his Bering Sea. All of them are a pleasure for cruising.

If I had to make a choice between a composite Argosy and a composite Osprey I would take the Osprey. The Argosy may be a tad faster but the Osprey is prettier, has a much better seating arrangement, is easier to paddle and more comfortable. If I had to choose between any of the 14-15 foot Royalex solo canoes I'd take the Argosy. It's a delight to paddle and it does everything it is supposed to do with a quick and positive response.

A Royalex Osprey!
No Such thing but I wish there was.

I do wonder how it would compare to the composite.

what does your wife paddle??
I’m questionning b/c I’m also 130# and was thinking the boat would be appropriate for my size!! Mia

Looking for light weight!
I don’t want a Royalex just b/c of the weight! It would not work for me. However, I don’t want a 20# boat either!! I don’t think they would track well in the wind!

I appreciate you guys feedbacks about the sitting arrangement as it is also very important. I do like kneeling to paddle!


I’d compare the weights then

– Last Updated: Jun-18-08 10:03 AM EST –

Wenonah makes their royalex boats light. I'd compare the weights of the Argosy and Osprey in your price-point layups. You might be surprised.

any specific paddling scenario?

– Last Updated: Jun-18-08 6:25 PM EST –

Any specific paddling scenario?...solo only, flatwater [+ light meadering current] or flatwater and moderate current...? Also consider that the very lightest boat..~carbon...**EDIT: "MIGHT" have a little trouble in wind(WILL on big, open water), regardless of length. Once under ~45lbs performance, with design(obviously) can vary more within 10lbs...than the dead-carry-weight.
Here's an Argosy link:
Osprey link:

Don't think you'd lose with either Mia...(just mho)..

I edited my post above
I edited my post to say I concur with TommyC1 about the Osprey (vs. the Argosy)

I also checked weights and prices for Argosy kevlar ultra light 32# and $1900.

the Swift Osprey Kevlar Fusion is 36# and $2400. so there is a $500 price differential and it’s not totally clear if it will be worth it to you until you try both of them. I’m a big fan of Swift Canoes and kayaks, having just recently purchased the Swift Bering Sea kayak in kevlar fusion. The kev fusion is much stiffer and appears to be more resilient than the kev light from other mfrs.

…the kevlar Fusion process…
In talking to rep with another company(Bluewater…the left-hand of Swift) about the “Fusion” process, it’s been their latest and greatest hull manufacturing successes…as far as producing a stiff and light hull.

any thoughts on impact resistance?
but I’m curious if the impact resistance is the same or more or less with the fusion

“Fusion” is vacuum infusion

– Last Updated: Jun-18-08 10:21 PM EST –

Swift's "Fusion" is a promotional name for Closed Cavity Vacuum Infusion or Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer. Currently Bluewater, Nova Craft, Placid Boats and Swift are infusing hulls, each with their own, proprietary, methods, although PB and Swift are similar because we worked together developing the technique in winter 05/06.

Gel is sprayed in the mold or a hand laid skin coat applied. Once a stage 2 cure is achieved, the several pieces of carbon/kevlar/FGlass that comprise a boat are laid in dry. [Rails too, if the Placid boats / Swift CobraSox / foam rail system is selected.]

A nylon film or silicone bag with perimeter vacuum is applied, sealed and an atmosphere of vacuum is drawn. A resin line is opened to a bucket of Vinyl Ester resin, and the vacuum pulls resin through the dry laminae. Infusion yields a 56% fabric; 44% resin matrix. This compares favorably with hand lamination, ~40% fabric and wet bagging, ~50% fabric. Infusion is greener than hand or wet bagging, 90% VOC are captured rather than let into the atmosphere. Infusion yields a lighter, stronger laminate with fewer flaws. All good and more impact resistant if the resin system and laminate engineering are sound.

Re those boats: Osprey has almost a 15 ft waterline while Argosy, with exceptional stem layout, has a waterline under 14 feet. Osprey's greater length and differential rocker improve tracking and glide at the expense of maneuverability. Argosy is better compared to Wild Fire. [See Bell reviews.]

All three hulls are 30 inches wide, ~ max for solo canoes. This is fine for larger individuals, but smaller paddlers have difficulty getting a vertical paddlestroke across the relatively wide hulls.

I've a spec comparison sheet of all composite solo canoes, both single and double blade that I'll share if you email me at charliewilson610@adelphia.net.

Moving water and flat water
I’m looking for a boat that will be appropriate for moving water up to about class II and for lakes.


she prefers to paddle bow :slight_smile:
she is 5’6", 132 lbs and found the Osprey too big

as you can see here:


easy to paddle though, unless there is much wind.

For size she can handle a canoe like the FlashFire better,

which I like too, but feels a bit too short for my paddling aspirations.