Wenonah Solitude vs. Clipper Solitude

I’ve was wondering, with the same model name, the same designer (Jensen), and the same length - are these the same hull?

I don’t know when Wenonah discontinued theirs or when Clipper introduced theirs; If those dates overlapped or not. Nor do I know how proprietary are the designs or model names in the canoe world. It seems like models switch over when a company goes out of business, but I don’t know if designs get bought and sold between active companies. I imagine you folks in the industry or close to the industry would know.

To the eye they sure look similar, and the specs, while also very similar, are not identical. They are listed as the same length, but the widths are slightly different, and the depth measurements are inches different in bow and stern.

Solitude - Wenonah specs (spec sheet sent to me by Wenonah)

Length: 15’6"

Width Max: 31.25"

Width Gun: 27.25"

Width Water: 30.5"

Depth Bow: 19"

Depth Stern: 16.5"

Depth Center: 13.5"

Solitude - Clipper Specs (from Clipper’s web site)

Length: 15’ 6"

Width Beam: 28"

Width Waterline: 30"

Bow Height: 16"

Stern Height: 14"

Center Height: 13"

Does anyone know the background on this model? If they are the same, were they active at both companies at the same time, or how it came to be that it transferred from one to the other.

Differences could be from
different decisions about how to trim the mold and the hull when it was popped from the mold, small differences in thwart length and position, and measurement variance when getting dimensions from the result.

I think you are over-analyzing the issue. Both companies are good about specs and procedures. The real issue is, was the designer the same?

Wenonah Solitude
There are two distinct Solitude hulls. Both 15’6".

In the 1988 catalog the dimensions for the original version are:

Length: 15’6"

Waterline width: 30"

Maz width: 31.5"

Gunwale width: 27.5"

Bow depth:17"

Center depth:13.5"

Stern depth:14.5"

The 199i7 Catalog lists:

Length: 15’6"

Waterline width:30.5"

Max width: 31.25"

Gunwale width:23"

Bow depth:19"

Center depth: 13.5"

Stern depth: 16.5"

The later version has more noticeable tumblehome and a narrower paddling station. Bow and stern depth were increased. Put them both alongside a Clipper version and they are all slightly different trims of the same hull. Put them in separate room and walk back and forth and you will have a hard time telling them apart aside for the more pronounced tumblehome bubble on the later Solitude.

On the water I can discern no difference and I have paddled them all. Mohawk at one time had a version of the Solitude, but did not get to call it Solitude.


The designer for both was Gene Jensen.
The question of who the designer is isn’t in question. Jensen was identified by both Wenonah and Clipper as the designer. I suspect you’re right that the difference in specifications comes down to things like what you’ve mentioned, and the hulls are probably otherwise the same. Though I don’t know that for sure.

Still makes me wonder about the background of the model. If it transferred from Wenonah to Clipper or was in production in both places at the same time? Curious if the designs are owned by the manufacturers or the designers and how designs would change hands from manufacture to manufacturer?

Just a byproduct of my work life I suppose, that has me interested in the business side of the sport. Lucky for me I can get enjoyment out of more than just the paddling aspects of this hobby.

There seems to be so much industry knowledge from the members on this site and I thought someone might know. I often find the history and insider information that sometimes comes out on this board fascinating and I always appreciate learning more about the sport.

Solitude production
Both Clipper and Wenonah produced the Solitude for many years. Wenonah replaced the Solitude with the Prism and Vagabond. Though the Wilderness is closest in size, it is an entirely different style hull.

Clipper produced their version of several different Jensen designs. Since they were a Canadian/West Coast manufacturer, they were not a direct competitor to Wenonah.

Who knows?

– Last Updated: Apr-29-15 10:59 AM EST –

Same Jensen name, presumed same hull, but a pull here or there by different manufacturers, or maybe different strippers tooled and molded?

Largely, Who cares?

Mike Galt was approached at an 80's clinic by a lady asking for help getting her Solitude to track. Mike tried the boat and couldn't get it to track properly either. Later, Mike was on Florida's Atlantic coast and paid a courtesy visit to Gene in late 80's. Genes backyard was fenced and full of boats, including a Solitude with a surfboard skeg epoxied to the stern quarter. Mike calmly asked, " What's this Gene?" The response, "Thats a surfboard skeg as you know damn well. I can't get the thing to track without it"!

Not much analysis, but a neat old story to remember about two important friends who have left us to suffer on without their contributions.