Wenonah Escape vs. Minnesota II

I would like to know how big difference there is between Escape and Minnesota II in efficiency, steadiness and seaworthiness?

I guess Escape has more maneuveribility than Minnesota II due to shorter hull. Is Escape suitable for river use including class I whitewater? How about class II whitewater with Escape?

Is Minnesota II suitable for river use at all? Can it handle class I rapids?

I guess Minnesota II and Escape are intended to be primarily used in flat water, but I’m interested how versatile canoes they are.


Check Wenonah website or catalog
Wenonah has comparison charts on their website and in their catalog, along with a writeup on each boat that describes what they were designed to do. It’s nice to talk to folks who have paddled both, but you can answer most of your initial questions by looking at the catalog or website.

Wenonah Escape vs. Minnesota II in river
I have new Wenonah 2004 catalog. I have studied Escape’s and Minnesota II’s specifications and compared them.

Yet I have quite little information, whether Escape or Minnesota II can handle class I or class II whitewater. Unfortunately catalog cannot give answer to this question.


In a race
We have shot rapids in a Minn2On th eClinton I guess they were class1. I saw no differnce in the diffuculties btween the Minn2 and the escapes. We were not playing on the current we were using it. On an Chattanogee race we ran class1-1.1/2. Didn’t see any escapes in the race so I can not tell you how they did. The Mill 2 had no problem. Please be aware my bow bow man is VERY good and we work well together.

If you have a regular paddling team you should be alright.


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Don’t expect much difference in turning
ability. The M II sits lighter on the water than the Escape. And in shallow rivers, the M II will draw less water.

I’d have to say, though, that unless I were racing, I would rather use a Spirit II or Champlain for lakes and easy rapids. Our old 18.5 Moore Voyageur is pretty fast on the lakes, but by virtue of a good deal of rise in the ends, it is decently maneuverable. My wife and I got it down Chattooga section 3 at a level of 2.1. We ran everything except Dick’s Creek (class 3 and very technical) and Bull Sluice (low class 4 and technical). Oh, I should admit that I solo’d the boat over Second Ledge, a 6 foot sheer drop.

Another piece of advice about composite boats on rocky rivers: Wenonah’s Kevlar Flexcore or Tuffweave Flexcore would be OK. Their ultralight layups are not up to hard whacks. Their is no substitute for a certain amount of beef in a river canoe. Our old Moore Voyageur is an all fiberglass layup, over 80 pounds, carefully done. It took a little stern damage going over ledges on the Chattooga, but was never broken on any other rocky Georgia river.

Wenonah Escape and Minnesota II in river
Nice to hear that Wenonah Kevlar or Tuff-weave Flex-core layup in enough stiff for occasional river use.

I have already Mad River Explorer for smaller streams and 2 - 3 class whitewater. It is ok for me if Escape or Minnie II can handle 1 - 1.5 class white water. Then I would be able to use either of them on flat water and easy river routes. I guess their speed would be something different than Explorers… :slight_smile: