Wenonah Kevlar Weights - older

I saw a canoe listed for sale.

Wenonah Sundowner 18’ Kevlar.

Weight is listed at 74lbs.

This sounds more like their glass layup.

Were the older kevlar boats that much heavier?

This one has gel-coat. Did wenonah gel-coat their kevlar typically?


My Sunny 18
weighs 72 lbs in glass cross rib construction (Built in 1987). The inside is a sand color which might be mistaken by someone as kevlar.

Kevlar models were available with gel coat, but the weight is too high.

When I bought my kevlar Jensen, I had…
the option of getting it with gel-coat or without it.

All the gel-coat did was add color and weight, so I opted for it plain, and am glad I did.

What you are talking about seems like a lot more additional weight than the few pounds that it would have added to my boat.



sounds just like my
old Sundowner 18. Great boat, tough as nails but tuffweave cross rib, not kevlar. If I didn’t try to portage it one trip about 4 miles I would still have it. After the last portage that trip I started looking for kevlar boat.

not kevlar
Wenonah’s kevlar 18’ sundowner with gel coat and cross ribs weighed about 55lbs. My dad had one with wood trim that approached 60 on the scale. I had the foam-cored glass version with gelcoat that weighed 55lbs. A glass sunny with cross ribs, gelcoat and wood trim might approach 74lbs.

Seller claims . . .
I phoned the fellow, and he seems really sincere. When I asked about the weight, he said that it was kevlar, but he figures the weight came from the optional wood trim. He also said it was from 1986, and was the “standard” rather than the lightweight lay-up.

I believe that he believes this, but I suspect either the canoe is not 74 lbs or it is not kevlar. I am going to have a look next week, so we shall see. I suppose the only test is to bring some sort of peacemaker and see if it really is bulletproof (kidding, of course).

Thanks, as always.

Extra Stiffened
Wenonah did a fiberglass layup called “Extra Stiffened” which did not have a core or ribs. It had extra layers of fiberglass woven roving in the bottom of the hull where the core is placed in a flex-core layup. It added thickness, lots of reinforcement and more weight than any other Wenonah layup. But it was less expensive and was used on the most popular touring hulls as the basic fiberglass layup. The inside was painted with a sand color and as the hulls aged and the color darkened could be mistaken for kelvar . The coarseness of the woven roving and lack of ribs or core is a giveaway for the extrastiffened layups.

74 pounds for a Sundowner in extra stiffened is right on the money. The cross rib and center rib layups in glass would be in the low to mid sixties.

Heavy, but really strong with all the fabric layers in the bilge. Still on a par with the other 18’ fiberglass layups of that era, and much stronger than most.


Has ribs
The seller says his boat has cross-ribs (after I explained what cross ribs were).

That extra stiffened sounds like Clipper’s Ranger layup, which seems like it would be both durable and repairable.

Thanks for the info.

Interesting development . . .
I think the boat is almost certainly kevlar. It has a kevlar 49 sticker on it, and the inside is exactly what all the kevlar I’ve seen looks like.

The seller told me he was unsure of the weight, but that it was a standard layup. I picked it up and did a few shoulder presses, and thought it was quite a bit heavier than expected, but still reasonably light.

I like the canoe and will likely buy it.

I assume these substantial older lay-ups are still quite tough. Does anyone know of a reason I would want a new tough-weave over a 1986 kevlar?


Is it wood trimmed
If this is a cross-rib Kevlar layup and has wood trim it will be close to 60#. The gunwales on a cross-rib hull are thicker than those on a PVC core stiffened hull and add more weight than the stock aluminum gunwales. If it does weigh more than about 60# either it was made on a bad day at Wenonah, or it has some extra cloth and resin. Gelcoat is standard on cross-rib and center-rib hulls so there is a big weight difference between these layups and the core-stiffened hulls.


Does anyone know of a reason I would wan
"I assume these substantial older lay-ups are still quite tough. Does anyone know of a reason I would want a new tough-weave over a 1986 kevlar?"

Buy it ! Seriously nice canoe. I love my glass one, but dream of finding one like your looking at for a reasonable price. There has been one listed on Craigs list in Wisconsin for a bit more than I consider reasonable. I hope it sells soon so I can get some rest when I go to sleep at night :slight_smile:

I’ll take it!
So I am going to get this one, and see how I like it. I have much much more experience with more classic river-tripping designs (Prospectors, Trippers etc.), so the straight keel will be interesting.

I pulled this quote off the Red Rock site. I find it a bit hard to believe: "

We like the Wenonah’s except they are miserable to turn if you are doing any river/creek paddling, and frankly they are not that much, if any faster than the old Grumman if they are loaded up for a trip." (http://www.redrockstore.com/ponderings/newponderings/Q-17comparisons.htm)

Not much faster? How could this be?

You have to take Mr. RedRock with a grain of salt at times.

Out of his flippin mind !

– Last Updated: May-30-08 9:37 AM EST –

I would disregard everything written after that ! You will be AMAZED at the speed of a Sundowner. Even heavily loaded it cruises quite nicely, and we have never been passed by a grumman while we had paddles in our hands.

With two reasonably good paddlers (or even a decent paddler in the stearn and a novice in the bow) the Sundowner turns very well with some input.
My friend I paddle with is always amazed at the way we can make mine turn, especially after hearing people say it's a hard canoe to turn. We have been down some pretty twisty creeks (and back up a number of them too in fact) and while it takes some skill and work it is a lot of fun to carve turns with.

Test Run . . .
Went several miles of river with a friend.

Turns fine, stable, predictable. Exceeded expectations. Does not turn as well, and is less stable than my Hellman Slocan, but I dare say it is faster, and easier to get a comfortable stroke.

I like it. Glad I bought it. Thanks all for the help.

How much does it weigh?

not sure.
Well, I didn’t get the scale out, as it was raining pretty hard. I am confident it is in the low sixties, though, just from carrying it around.

62 lbs.
On the bathroom scale, it is about 62 lbs. Not bad, considering the chunky wood trim, yoke pads, and foot brace.

It doesn’t seem as “fast” as I might have hoped. At a comfortable cruising pace, loaded with weekend camping stuff, we are going about 6-6.5 km/h, and at maximum effort with this gear, it hits just over 10 km/h. I haven’t tried other canoes in the same conditions, but it just doesn’t feel faster while cruising. Perhaps we need to muscle up to enjoy the advantage of that long water-line.