Wenonah Minn 2 Hull Type

-- Last Updated: Mar-29-11 8:17 PM EST --

Hello--I have an opportunity to buy a used Minn2 for $1000. It weighs 48lbs. Here is the description of the ad.

Reinforced with extra carbon and kevlar sheathed foam ribs. Mast foot for sail mast. Carbon decks. Kevlar skids on ends.

I plan to use this to take my two boys 5yrs old on camping trips down rivers. There might be a class 1 or 2 rapids along the way. Can this hull stand up to class 2 rapid? Or should I stay safe with a royalex hull for these type of outtings?

Thank you.

ask yourself
Are you really going to be running any rapids worthy of the same with camping gear and two five year olds in the boat?

If you are going to be carrying the boat around these rapids, the lighter it is the better.

As for choice of hull materials for a river boat, the classification on the rapids is somewhat immaterial. On bigger water rivers you might find Class IV or V rapids in which you couldn’t find and hit a rock if you tried.

On smaller, technical rivers Class II rapids might and probably will be rock gardens.

The virtue of Royalex is that it is more flexible and less likely to crack if it hits a rock hard. It is, however, not very abrasion resistant at all and a lot of whitewater creek boaters have pretty much given up on the material after wearing out a new boat every year or so. Any boat big enough for canoe camping with kids is going to weigh a lot more in Royalex than composite.

I vote NO on Minn II
Minn II is designed to go straigt on lakes - for rivers, you want a boat that is designed to turn easily, so you can avoid obstacles; other design features of a river boat are “flare” and “rocker” both with the purpose of helping/allowing the bow to rise over waves - the sharp bow of a MN II is designed more for cutting cleanly thru the water - cut cleanly thru a set of standing waves in a river, and you fill your boat full of water

I would suggest you spend a bit of time researching on canoe manufactureres websites, and look at thier “how to choose a canoe” and canoe types dialogue, to get a better idea of the design features you would want for river travel

given the choice between on Old Town Disco 169 (85 pounds or more)just for example, in polyethelne material and a MN II in any material, I would choose the poly Disco.

You might want to name the river(s)

… and the section(s) you’re talking about. As has been noted here recently, new paddlers often don’t really know what class I, II, or III are. I know I was guilty of it when I started.

It could be that the Minn II is fine for the river you’re talking about, or perhaps it’s not really appropriate. If it’s TRUE class II, I suspect it’s probably not, given your current skill level and that of your crew.

If you tip over in Class 1, isn’t that a Class 5 to you?

The canoe should be able to handle it; whats your ability to paddle it in Class 2?

Hull design
The Minnesota II really was designed as a fast, flat water, canoe camping sort of boat, and it is one of the premier ones.

It is true that it will not be as maneuverable or dry on rivers as other designs. If you are paddling a long boat like that with small children who can’t really effectively assist you in maneuvering it, that could be a real liability but it really depends on the rivers you anticipate paddling, and your skill level.

Having said that, I would rather have a Minnesota II and carry it around every riffle and bend in the river than have a whole shed full of Old Town Discoveries. But that is just me.

I have found a used OT Penebscot 18’6" canoe made out of royalex. It weighs 75lbs. I see that it has 21.5" bow height (rocker?), 14.5" depth, and 34" width at the water line.

The Minn 2 has a 20" rocker, 12.5" depth, and is 33.4’ width at the water line.

I can now connect the dots between your comments and the specs. I think I would be unhappy on a river trip with water coming over the bow and unable to steer the canoe effectively. Maybe I should stick with the OT and buy a canoe cart to help me on portages.

Think of “rocker” as a rocking chair

– Last Updated: Mar-30-11 11:42 AM EST –

... except that its purpose isn't to rock. It's to lessen the water's resistance to turning the boat. The more "rocker", the less resistance to turning.

Here is an illustration showing it on just one end. It would also exist on the opposite end (not shown).


Thank you for the link. It was helpful. Another question. Can a royalex canoe be stored safely outdoors? Will the sun destroy it? Maybe I could get a canoe cover to protect it?

2 boats
Buy the Minnesota II and then look for an OT 174 to use as a beater. Since your new I wouldn’t be taking any of my kids on any class II. If the boat goes over your chance of helping save the kids won’t be very high.



Storage options in order of preference (for me at least)

  1. Inside storage
  2. Outide in a make-shift shed
  3. Outside under a tarp kept off the hull and off the ground
  4. storage outside in the shade, think north side(watch out for

    falling limbs!)
  5. storage outside in the sun

    Most people can come up with something to keep their boats out of the majority of the strongest rays/weather. If you can’t your boat will suffer a bit, like everything else does with exposure.

    If you don’t have dry storage I’d stay away from wood gunnesl.

    Just my .02

It is always best to store boats out of direct sunlight if possible but if the outer color layer of the Royalex (which is vinyl) is intact, it will protect the structural ABS plastic of the interior of the Royalex from UV radiation. If the vinyl gets extensively abraded off and the ABS exposed, long-term UV exposure can cause it to degrade. Sunlight will fade the pigment within the vinyl color layer, however.

Royalex boats with wooden gunwales which are secured to the hull with stainless steel screws are subject to differential expansion and contraction during changes in temperature. For these boats stored in cold climates in unheated environments, the Royalex and wood contract to different degrees and the screws holding the gunwales on can stress the hull and cause it to crack (“cold cracks”). Many makers recommend backing the gunwale screws out a bit before winter storage for this reason.

Cold cracks are unlikely to occur in a Royalex boat with aluminum or vinyl gunwales secured to the boat with pop rivets, however.

The Penobscot is a design more geared toward river usage. But once again, in a long boat like that, if you are sitting on the stern seat paddling and your sons are in the front and unable to assist much with maneuvers you will have a hard time controlling the boat. You might be able to paddle the boat stern first by sitting on the front seat facing the stern of the boat and having your sons at the other end.

A better option might be to install a third seat or kneeling thwart near the center and have a son sit on each standard seat.

I was talking to my Dad the other night and he’s all in to go camping and canoeing with us. My kids love him and he loves them. Its all good. Two adults paddling with kids and gear in the middle. In a couple of years the kids will be big enough to help paddle.

I can’t wait for the summer to get started!!!

Sure, just cover it with a tarp
a silver one is best, with the silver side out.

Jack L

I am with Brian. Get the Mn2, but for what you want to do with the kids, pick up a used OT Disco 168 (or 174); or a Tripper if you can find a used one. The Mn2 is a great boat but generally not suited for rivers with rapids and or shallow stretches; or if kids will be moving around reaching for frogs etc. I see the Mn2 with 2 adults and 2 kids in a swift river as trouble.

That said, have a great time !!