Wenonah Prism

I need some information or reviews for anyone that has paddled a Prism. There is a used one for sale locally and it’s Kevlar Flexcore about 9 years old in good condition for $600. This boat is not for me but for a friend who is 150 lbs a woman and is an avid photographer will be using it for day trips in flatwater and extended tripping in coastal estuary type flatwater. She presently owns a Vagabond and wanted to trade up for a better touring boat.


i own a prism and have used it for everything from narrow twisting blackwater streams and rivers to extended trips in the bwca. it is a very seaworthy and capable boat. initial stability is a bit lively. secondary stability is quite good. the canoe is reasonably fast, carries a large load with ease, and paddles well. in summary i’d buy another. another canoe she might consider would be a mohawk 14 solo. about the same price and a bit more manueverable in close quarters. i’ve not paddled one but a number of people in the canoe club i belong to do and like them a lot. good luck to her on the choice.


boat weight will be an issue
Too heavy for her and it never gets used. What can she lift? A kevlar prism might be a good choice. Good price too.

44lbs is too heavy!?
Give me a break…most women have no issues at all with this weight.

Yes if the boat is too heavy its less likely to be used.

presently owns a vagabond
the vagabond weighs 42lbs in royalex this prism according to the seller is 44lbs so not much more. I am more worried about a woman being able to control the boat in higher wind which is unfortunately the problem in our coastal area around winter time (camping time). The prism is a pretty long and has higher stern/bow than the vagabond. She seems quite capable with the vagabond even in rough water and wind.

Get the prism
She sounds like she’s very comfortable paddling the vagabond. I think she will really like the prism with it being faster, a better paddling boat being significantly narrower at the gunnels, and at least as stable as the vagabond. Tell her to get the boat, but keep her vagabond for a while. Then she can put the prism to the test. It’s a good price and she should be able to sell for equal value if the boat doesn’t work out for her. Maybe the one thing going against this boat for a wildlife photographer might be the bright red color.

did not even think about the color!
Well, you are absolutely correct the color would not work for her photography work. I just spoke to her and she’ll wait then and keep the vagabond until something comes up.

Dang, it was a good deal. Anyway, if anyone in Miami, FL is looking for a good solo look at craigslist in miami for the prism.

Canoe Color and Wildlife
I wouldn’t worry at all about the color of the boat scaring away wildlife. Most wildlife species are more tuned into movement than color (many species even appear to be color blind). She should be able to get up close to wildlife if she has developed a smooth paddling stroke especially if she has perfected an underwater return.

Buy the boat on it performance characteristics and desired use, not color.

I still fail to see this as a problem

– Last Updated: May-04-08 7:04 PM EST –

Women often are faster to correct boats yawing off course in the wind..

That is key..and understanding why it happens..catching it early.

Its about technique and not at all about brawn.

I paddle a Swift Raven sometimes in Florida in the Gulf because its a very dry ride. Its a comparatively large whitewater boat.
Chief downside is that it is slow because of its shape and bow fullness.

I do not know the effect of color on wildlife.. I know some do not see color as humans do.

I have seen red and green canoes mauled by bears.

And loons have no fear of my red boat.

Movement may have more to do than color.

give who a break?
No clue as to how much the boat weighed, I was speaking in relative terms. Your reactive assumption was too large a leap.


why not a kayak? She’s already an owner of a good canoe, why not get a day tripping kayak and she’ll have the best of both worlds. Seems to me the wind factor should be taken into account more and that’s where a kayak could be beneficial. Calmer days it’s a canoe, windier days it’s the kayak. It’s oh so simple. Lastly, a deal isn’t really a deal if you’re not really meeting your needs and the Prism doesn’t sound like it would be the ideal purchase.

kayaks not as comfortable
We actually own touring kayaks and do use them but prefer the solo canoes. They are more comfortable especially for photography and also for fishing.

The reason I commented about the wind and the Prism was for fit. With my solo canoe I am able to control it in high winds and rough water as well as I can control my kayak. It fits me very well and is very responsive.

In books I have read on solo canoeing, the thought is to fit the boat to the paddler. Since the Prism is a 16-6 canoe it is larger and longer than a canoe she is comfortable in which is basically a foot shorter and has less depth at bow and stern than the prism. As a kayaker and canoer find that added profile height = more profile to wind. But as kayamedic pointed out, the paddler is key to control as well but what about the “formula” of fit for solo canoeing?

Leg length
Doesnt matter at all the length of the boat, depth depends on where you will take it.

As you are centered in the boat…you need to be able to “stack” your hands one over the other over the rail to attain a vertical power plant for your forward stroke.

If the boat is too wide for you you will only be able to do sweepy strokes, which are not efficient.

If you are a kneeling paddler, you should be able to kneel with one knee in the turn of each chine and not feel over stretched.

this prism not a good bet
A paddling buddy of mine drove 6 hours south to Miami to buy this boat and it was in his words “a piece of junk”. It had been left outside since 1997 and the gelcoat was blasted by the Florida sun everyday for 11 years. The alum on the boat; footbraces etc., were all totally corroded. The owner totally missrepresented the condition of the boat as “excellent”. I however just bought a new, never used kevlar UL skincoat Prism off craigslist for $1000 so deals can be found out there, just be careful to determine the condition before commiting time and gas to the deal!

I have a Voyager for sale. The Prism’s
big brother.


– Last Updated: May-07-08 8:36 AM EST –

The seller told my friend it was in "excellent" condition so much so that he would not lower the price on it! HA! She never saw it and asked me to go with her to see the boat. I thought I would get more info on it being better suited to her than her Vagabond. Glad we did not waste our time going over there. I guess your friend should've asked for pictures before driving six hours. This is a good lesson for all of us. I'v been known to drive more than that for a good canoe deal.