I just bought an old 88 Wenonah Advantage in decent shape. It needed a couple of small dings fixed, and the seat and foot rail pins/wing bolts replaced. It is tuff weave and has been in the sun a fair amount but the gel coat has few cracks although faded. I have read the reviews, but have yet to paddle it (tomorrow afternoon maybe?). I have a few questions, but first here is what I know. It is 16’ 6” long and 29.5 at the widest which is near the bottom. It doesn’t have any rocker. Looking at it I think it may have an asymmetric hull. The stern is nearly a right angel with the bottom of the hull which looks like it might act as a fixed skeg. It is supposed to weight 50#, but feels lighter to me. It is a Kruger design. I would like to know what is the recommended size of a paddler for this boat? Also what is the weight limit for efficient paddling with a camp packed in it? Does it handle waves OK? I’ll use my GPS when I paddle it to determine my speed/effort in this canoe. I would like to also hear from anyone with experience paddling an Advantage.
We have a Wenonah Advantage.
I’d say it’s best for an average to smaller sized paddler. I say this based on the fact that I’m a larger paddler (6’4”, 280#) and it’s too small for me to be comfortable in for very long. At my size, I found it to have less primary stability than I was comfortable with. It’s still a great boat, just not for me. We’ve kept it around for my wife who is on the small side. It is fast, easy paddling, and straight tracking. It’s good with a double blade paddle as well as a single. Without any rocker, it’s a bit stiff to turn. It reminds me of the Voyager I used to have, just downsized. I don’t have the spec sheet, but it’s a smaller volume than my other canoes. Lower sides, bow, and stern all around. I’m sure it would still carry a fair amount of stuff, but it’s not going to be confused with a big tripping boat. I never faced any waves in it and can’t speak to that. I’d compare the Advantage more to a sports car than an SUV. Have fun with your new find.
I like the way it paddles!
Well I finally found a chance to paddle the Advantage. I used a 52” bent shaft paddle, and a 240cm double blade paddle. The canoe is much more maneuverable than I thought a straight keel would be. I think it is the fact that the bottom is somewhat flat at the wide point helps with this. It edges like a sea kayak and turns as well as or better than one doing this. It is impressive with acceleration and glide. I forgot my GPS so didn’t get speed readings, but it seems fast for the effort. It seems very stable and the adjustable tractor seat and foot rail reminds me of my sea kayaks. I liked using both the bent and double blade paddles with it. The gunnels are narrow enough that if you manage your double blade stroke you won’t get water in the boat. I even used my 57” Grey Owl guide. Nice canoe to paddle.
My dog Maggie doesn’t share my good opinion of this canoe. She finds the narrow front gunnels confining to such a degree that she can’t turn around. She also hesitates to jump in there. I was surprised that I could control the canoe with 46# of dog in the bow. I did adjust the seat as far back as it would go. The heavy bow made it harder to turn the front, but easier to turn the stern. I think I could carry 100# well trimmed without much trouble. I weight about 185#.
I think this may become a favorite for me if not Maggie. I like the way it paddles.
I am also reminded of the Wenonah voyager. The advantage has sides 2 1/2” lower, and the length 1 foot shorter, and 3/4” wider than the voyager.
One of us p.nutters paddles an
Advantage, when he is not paddling his Rockstar, and can move right along. He is at least your size.If I had gotten an Advantage instead of a Voyager,I might still have it.
If your weight allows the hull to be
reasonably light on the water, it can retain decent maneuverability.
Your experience is kind of like mine, when I first jumped into a slalom racing boat. I was prepared to find it ornery and twitchy, but instead it was as agreeable and easy to control as any “cruising” ww boat I had tried. Or more so.
Thing about canoes made for speed, though, once you get them up to speed, the sides tend to lock in and the boat is a lot less likely to make major adjustments in direction. That’s when one needs to be ready for surprises. Shouldn’t be as much of an issue in a straight line speed canoe, though.
I’ve had my Advantage for nearly 30 years. It was the first boat I ever bought. It is made up with the fiberglass Kevlar combination and weighs about 40 lbs. I love my boat, I’ve used it for flat-water racing as well as throwing in a weeks worth of gear and camping with it in the Adirondacks. I’ve paddled it in 2.5-3 ft. white caps on large lakes and has handled them fairly well with a little technical paddling. All in all I find it to be a very versatile canoe.
That boat is made for kids, maybe 80 pounds max, with no extra gear. Flatwater only, with no waves or wind. You don’t want it. Let me know where to pick it up, I’ll get it out of your way and you can look for something better.
Check out the pnet archives; use Wenonah Advantage as the key words.
You’ll find about 250 thread responses related to the Advantage. What’s not covered in those responses is probably not need to know.
Thanks for the all the input.
I have paddled it a good bit now and find I really like it. Maggie has found it acceptable, but I need to tip it a bit so she can more easily get in. I thing it well worth the $350 I payed, and will keep and eye open for a used Kevlar version.