Wenonah Kevlar Canoes

It’s getting to be about the time in middle age to upgrade from my Royalex canoe to a kevlar. It will be used mainly for Boundary Waters type of tripping. I have other options for rivers.

I like Wenonah canoes, and am considering a 16’ Aurora. I like the thought of portaging their 39# ultralight. The regular kevlar is only a few pounds lighter than what I have now. Not worth it for the price hike. My gear load is refined to the point where a 16’ boat works very well.

I am interested in opinions from those who’ve paddled Wenonah’s ultralight kevlars - Strength? Flex? Pro’s and cons?

Thanks a lot. One more trip yet this fall, then everything gets put away! Jim

I love my brothers 18ft 6in sundowner. Loads of room for 2 or 3 and at 44#, it has been a great boat. I love that style of canoe camping and tonight on travel channel was watching show on boudary waters. Have a good one!

Kev Boats
I’ve been paddling a We-No-Nah Kev/ultralite core ‘Odyssey’ for over 13 years with some very hard miles of use/abuse in Ontarios Quetico and Wbakimi parks. We are talking over 2,000 trouble free miles. The boat has taken some severe knocks and has never torn, cracked or anything else except get pretty scratched up. I’ve hit submerged rock hard enough to bring the boat to an instant stop from a fast pace with a full load. Scary but no damage. The stuff is the bomb! Ya… it looks a bit peach-fuzzy on the ends from abrasion but it hasn’t stopped it yet. Have no fear of using this lay-up in confidence! I’d recomend the Minnesota II or the Odyssey (yes… they WILL still make you one!) though you won’t find it in their catalog. The Odyssey has a bit more volume and bow flare than the Minnesota II but dimensions width/length are close, I’d take the Odyssey over the Minnesota on bigger lakes, rougher H2o or with long trip loads. Don’t worry about the UV bit, use 303 regularly and that issue is taken care of. It is a great UV inhibitor.

flex and lightweight kev
I am on my second Kev canoe, and both have been pleasures to portage and paddle. The tumblehome area on both was very lightly constructed which worried me initially, but it certainly has not been a problem.


– Last Updated: Sep-07-05 12:13 PM EST –

i totally agree about the durability of uL kevlar.

i have over 5k hard miles on my we-no-nah ul prism and tho the bottom is a tad ugly it has held up great... ive hit more than my share of rocks, deadheads, gravel bars etc all miles under extremely heavy loads and i never had a problem.... the stuff takes a hell of a beating.. i also added no extra skidplates

kevlar is not a material to nose into the bank or beach, extra care should be taken and its not recommended to be able to carry weight over land like a royal-x.. could stress fracture the hull.. also resting a loaded canoe on rocks could possibly fracture the hull... again, no problem w just a bit of extra care

Check out the new Escapade, as well,
it is 16.5’, and a bit more streamlined than the Aurora. My new kevlar version is a pleasure to paddle, and if that is what you are primarily after, give it a try. Initial stability is a little light, but only felt when my 80 lb. dog shafts quickly from side to side. The secondary stability stiffens it up quickly. HIghly recommended. Good Luck! MickJetBlue

Wenonah Kevlars
Thanks for all the terrific discussion! This is exactly what I had hoped for.

I am fortunate in having 3 canoes in various hulls, plus a kayak. I try to take very good care of my Royalex, and usually get my feet wet getting in and out. It sounds like what you all are suggesting for Wenonah’s UL kevlars is pretty much what I am already used to. I cringe every rock I hit, unless I am in the Coleman (which I won’t drag down the road!).

I have not paddled any of the discussed Wenonahs. The Aurora sounds about right based on the write-ups, but I will certainly give serious consideration to the other suggestions. My brother-in-law loves his Spirit II, and as pointed out, the Aurora is just a 16’ Spirit II.

One more weekend trip is coming up this fall in the Royalex. It’ll be hard to put the boats away, this has been a great summer!

cYa Jim

250 boats on the start line Friday AM
This is the big weekend for the Plaid Paddlers. The Adirondack Classic 90 Miler takes off from Old Forge NY on Friday morning. 250 boats, canoes, kayaks, guideboats, War Canoes. Lots and lots of Kevlar, Carbon Fiber and woodstrip. Only plastic will be kayaks, unless some real masochist wants to haul a Discovery 7.5 miles on his shoulders.

There will undoubtedly be some kevlar left on rocks and stumps along with a lot of gelcoat. Everyone will try to shave the corners as close to shore as possible and go straight thru the “minefields” of flooded stumps above the locks on the Saranac River. Collisions with underwater obstacles will be at full speed, and usually at least one hull will be holed on something, duct taped over and paddled to the end. But most boats will come thru intact with new battle scars from the encounters. And a lot of paddlers will look at their hulls and marvel at how little damage they took from such a monster hit.

Enjoy your trip.


Stop it Bill…
You are making me cry!

Not so many cheers,


PS: Good luck to all of you