How does this beast handle in a mild current? Hopefully NOT like it does in a wind. I’m thinking of taking it down a river with a few turns in it and don’t want to be in strainers all day.
It can be done…
It performs okay on “slow” moving rivers, but my experience is limited to those rivers without any level of rapids. It did well on a somewhat tight river, but I had to be aggressive with draws and sweeps a few times to keep it off the banks. Is it fun on this type of river? It is if you enjoy a challenge, but not for a leisurely paddle.
I’d suggest the back-ferry
Last year I got moderately flamed by one very fussy ex-racer for suggesting that a beginner learn to back-ferry to negotiate curves in the river without being grabbed by the eddy and spun. Well, with a canoe that doesn’t respond well to turning strokes, back-ferrying can save the day for avoiding obstacles too. You should be able to avoid just about any strainer in the average river with this method, because once your angle is set, which you probably can do in advance, the hard tracking of your boat is no longer a such liability. There’s no way you can use your type of boat for repetetive, tight maneuvers with very little set-up time, but for typical one-time dodging of obstacles, and especially for those strainers having the main current leading right into them (where even turning in time might just mean you get sucked in sideways), back-ferrying will usually keep you well away from the obstacle. I think you said once you have a copy of “Path of the Paddle” and that has lots of examples of using the back-ferry, so I won’t explain how it’s done. If you are new at this, the hardest thing to learn is to relate to the direction of the current, not to the orientation of the river channel. Stop thinking of the river as a path to follow in the same way a car drives down the road and start thining about getting the the boat orientated properly with regard to actual direction of flow, and you’ll do fine.
String - Use it for Boundary Waters
Forget about the rivers. Just use it as intended - on big inland lakes (with or without portages).
Stick with Bell, Swift, etc., for rivers. You’ll be happier.
Voyager is a specialized beast…
Fastest Canoe on Open Sections, Though
String, I stand by my last post, but thought about something I saw last spring.
A veteren canoer/kayaker paddling a Jensen 18, solo, down (and up) a small river.
So, I guess your Voyager would work, too…
Thanks for the input.The river trip got
postponed so I am taking it to the lake for some more practice.I’ve only had it out 3 times.
The Malecite is a great river boat so I’ll probably stick with it for that purpose.
If some Wenonah Solo Plus owners
can run class 1 and 2 and brag about it, I’m sure you can do it in your Voyageur. Did you know that downriver racers in their 14+ foot decked kayaks and C-1s have considerable trouble turning them? The key is anticipation. You have to learn through experience where and how to enter a rapid to get through OK at the bottom. The Voyageur will at least be sitting fairly light on the water, which will make it easier for you to draw it sideways, or to lean it to force a turn.
g2d , I looked up one of your
earlier E-mails and you had given me some good advice then also. Thanks.
I’ve just got to get out and practice.