Wenonah Advantage?

Anybody out there with any experience with the Advantage? Not too many reviews recently that I could read up on. Have considered it as a step up from my Vagabond. How would the tuffweave stand up versus the Royalex I currently have? I have gotten quite a few nicks, cuts and scratches in my less than vigilant view of rocks and concrete while paddling. Is there a tremendous difference in turning and stability? I would assume there isn’t a great deal of wind effect difference since the bow and stern measurements are very similar between the Vagabond and Advantage. Any thoughts on comparing the two or just thoughts on the Advantage would be gladly read.


Tuffweave is just that. Like any 'glass’
cloth,it is easily repaired. Can’t speak to the handling of an Advantage. My Voyager is Tuffwaeve.

The Advantage is a great hull. I had an older one in Tuffweave (about 45lbs) which I just sold as I had acquired 2 other lighter solo’s (Grasse River Classic & Voyageur, both in carbon-fiber)

I chipped the gelcoat on my Tuffweave stem in a # of places when I’d hit rocks. The Tuffweave below was unaffected but this layup is no where near as bombproof as Royalex

Don’t know the Vagabond but the Advantage is an awesome cruiser. In competent hands it’s capable of handling class II raps & will carry enough gear for week+ trip

check the reviews
you’re getting a touring/racing kayak so it’s on the edge of the bell curve compared to the Vagabond which is in the middle. I saw a fellow FLY by me on one.


Anybody out there with kevlar on their Advantage? How does it handle the rocks and etc.?

Any more input on the Advantage?

Vagabond vs. Advantage
Very, very different boats! The Advantage began as a C-1 racer (in the 70s) and in its current form is still a fast boat. I’ve taken mine into many different situations, but for a day paddler or weekend cruising it is hard to beat. In my opinion its greatest strength is a wonderful glide; there are lots of fast solos out there (the Vagabond is not one of them) but few have the smooth, long glide that the Advantage has. For a fast solo you can turn it easily with good technique and I find it a surprisingly stable boat. Note that the Advantage is now found only in the Wenonah Racing catalog, so a new one is essentially a special order. Find one to paddle (in any lay up) before you take the leap, because, as I said, they are quite different. My guess is you’ll love it.

wenonah advantage
I have owned a Wenonah Advantage for seven years and can testify to its great glide. It was the fastest production solo on the market when I bought it, but it is designed for flat water, …not whitewater, rock gardens and the like. It has no rocker whatsoever.

Because it has an extreme tumble home it is quite narrow gunwale-to-gunwale, so it is easy to paddle solo from the standard tractor seat using the hit-and-switch paddle technique.

To get it to turn requires a lot of heel, which the tractor seat is not designed to allow you to do easily. You could kneel, of course, but that is not comfortable to do if you have Size 12 feet like I have because there is very little room between the seat rails and the side of the canoe. Also that would put you in bow-down trim, which you would have to compensate for because the Advantage is very sensitive to trim.

It is a very stiff boat as far as primary stability is concerned, but the tumblehome is quite low on the hull and once its max width slips below the surface you will find yourself swimming in the blink of an eye!

The Advantage is definately not designed to be a “Royalex” kind of canoe, and was never built in anything by tuffweave,kevlar or graphite. . Mine is a skin coat kevlar layup and weighs in at 33 lbs.

From what I can gather from your query, the Advantage would be a very unsatisfactory boat for you.


12 years and ticking
I have owned a Advantage in Kevlar Ultralight for a 12 years . Have used it for everything between a day cruiser and week long trips . It will feel like a Ferrari compared to your Vagabond , and like a Ferrari will turn heads when you glide by other canoes, even most tandems . I have not found it that hard to turn myself - 4 days on the Oswegatchie River gave me lots of practice ! Durability wise, I am pretty careful but despite have hit the odd rock . The bottom is pretty scratched up, but no holes or repairs have been needed since I owned it.

It has since been replaced in the Wenonah line by the Voyageur . The Voyageur is a better long trip boat, as it is a bit deeper and longer for carrying gear - and it’s even faster than the already fast Advantage . That being said, I still think the Advantage has a place in the stable and haven’t gotten rid of mine - still my preferred day tripping boat, esp on windy days like this past weekend.

Glen, did you just get the Voyageur ?

Love my Advantage
You can find them used…i just saw one on Seattle Craigslist for $1200. I found mine on ebay and got it for $600-ish. Mine is kevlar, and as i’ve posted here before, it is surprisingly light at 26 lbs. Can carry it down to the lake with one hand.

Regarding its ability to hold up to rocks, etc., i would say it is somewhat fragile. And i have a special ability to find those odd chunks of concrete that are just under the surface of the Columbia River where i paddle my wood strip C2. Nonetheless, i’ve also learned how easy it is to repair, and i’ve done repairs on both of my canoes. So, if i were in your situation, i would still go with the Advantage even if you plan to get some gouges in the hull.

As you’ll read in reviews, the Advangage is a quick boat. I use mine for training and have recently started fishing from it. I use a bent shaft paddle, and the frequent switching took some time to get used to. The boat is extremely sensitive to wind, so you need to play with the trim. Only recenly have i been able to tune it in successfully. So it can be frustrating. On the other hand, once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that a little wind and some chop on the water just make it more fun.

One thing i still need to do is experiment with leaning. I lean the boat on turns, but i haven’t REALLY tested its limits to see just how much lean i can put into it before flipping. Its 105 here in eastern WA today, so i might just give that a try tonight.

Go out and get one!

Have had a Kevlar Ultralit Foamcore
version of the Advantage for 14+ years and it has hit plenty of rock and looks fine, albiet a bit scratched. The stuff is tough! If you have any worries about Kevlar on a Wenonah hull, then think about going with a Kevlar Flexcore lay-up. It will take hits much better than the Cored version as it does flex over an obsticale better than the Foamcore, which tends to ‘deflect off’ more, possibly presenting stability issues. The Advantage will track like it’s on a rail, which can be a handful in stiff cross winds. The boat weathercocks and wants to go were it wants to go, requiring considerably more strokes on one side (I’m talking something like 3 on one side vs. what seemed like 30+ on the other!), which at times can be tiring. I had the same problem with a loaded Prism, which is essentialy the same hull with a wider gunwhale and H2o-line width, in Ontario. It wore me out one day! I can facilitete a good edged turn in the Advantage by locking my knees under the wood gunwhales on flat H2o but it gets bothersome to keep up in wind. If you are touring, or the boat will be used in wind frequently, I’d recommend a Bell Magic. It WILL give up some speed to the Advantage. being 16’ vs. the Advantages 16.5’, but since it goes were you want it to with ease (I’m talking looking were you want to go and ending up there kinda ease!) it may actually be a faster hull for windy travel. The Advantage has absolutely no rocker and the Magic has differential rocker, meaning more in the bow than the stern. I have no problem turning it in wind and keeping it going were I want to go. I will never unload either hull, kinda like having different tools for different jobs.