Wenonah Prism question

-- Last Updated: Aug-23-08 10:32 PM EST --

I picked up a used ultra light Prism to be an excellent fishing platform and general touring boat. After playing around with it on a Maine lake for several days it appears it will fit my needs just fine. The question I have is what do people consider as conditions that are beyond this boat's design and intended purpose, The reason I ask is I took it out in 15 -20+ winds and waves higher then the gunnels with their tops turning into whitecaps for a day to simply see how the boat would respond. What I ran into was once in the troughs of the waves and broadside to them, I couldn't effectively turn the boat and get it to run down wind in those conditions or be able to do a 180 to head back to the camp. I ended up crossing the mile wide bay and having to almost exclusively paddle on the up wind side of the boat to keep it from weather-cocking . To return to the camp I hugged the coastline in a clock wise paddle. To have tried turning the boat by leaning on its' side would have had me dropping the gunnel of the side of the boat facing the oncoming waves which would have pretty much insured that I would have gone for a swim.

Thoughts, suggestions or personal experiences??


– Last Updated: Aug-23-08 11:54 PM EST –

"what do people consider as conditions that are beyond this boat's design and intended purpose"

If you are going to be paddling in marginal conditions, never, never, never let anyone else tell you what is safe and what is not. You have to get to know the boat and, more importantly, what you can do with the boat in different kinds of conditions. Since other people will have different skill sets and different comfort zones, asking them to tell you what will be safe is not fair to either them or to you.

Prism in the wind
As stated above you’ll have to find your own comfort level for taking that boat out. I’ve had my Prism out in steady 20 mph winds with gusts into the 30’s. It’s sort of fun beacause the boat can handle it and playing in the waves is a challenge. Turning can be a drag. I typically paddle mine with a straight and bent shaft single blade. Broadside in the troughs can make the Prism hard to turn. I’ve found in higher winds that using a double bladed paddle helps control the Prism much better. With a single blade I’ll let the wind push me and rudder off the bow to get headed back upwind. The Prism is great at slicing up wind and won’t waiver off course much.