Wenonah Voyager with med. size paddler?

Recent threads mentioning the voyager have sparked my interest in this model. Giving up some initial stability for something narrower and faster than the prism seems like a good trade-off. I’d appreciate comments from any paddlers in the 150 lb range who have tried this canoe. Is it difficult to handle without more of a load? Most of the reviews and comments seem to be about larger paddlers and/or loads. Is it suitable for long distance day trip cruising on flatwater with a medium sized paddler? Thanks in advance for your comments.

probably too large

– Last Updated: Mar-13-06 12:46 AM EST –

I paddled a Voyager for a couple of years, and I always thought it was better suited to someone a bit larger. I weighed around 220 at the time, and I had as much as 330 lbs. in it and still had a lot of reserve capacity. My wife weighs around 135 and found it to be more boat than she could comfortably handle. I did like it more than the Prism for the two reasons you mentioned - narrowed and decidedly faster.

Although I know of one paddler who weighs around 165 who paddles a Voyager, my personal opinion is that you would probably be happier with something smaller. A Savage River Otegan or a Grasse River Classic would be two excellent choices. I think that an Advantage is also probably closer to what you want.

Hopefully some of the Voyager paddlers who are closer to your weight will chime in. I could be completely off the mark, but those are my initial thoughts.

I was going to ask the same question.
I stopped by the Wenonah booth at Conoecopia today and was sitting in a Prism and the Wenonah rep said he thought I’d be happier in the Voyager. I’m 5’6" and 150 lbs. He said a 115 lb lady had stopped by earlier and said she loved her Voyager. He seemed very confident that I’d have no trouble handling the boat and would love the speed.

I would like to test paddle one sometime soon to see if I like it Better than my Summersong. The Summersong is shorter in the bow and stern and still is a challenge to handle in strong winds.

I liked the sliding pedestal seats in Wenonah composite boats that I sat in today better than the other boats I tried out.

I also talked to David Yost, the designer of the Bell Magic, among others, and he strongly suggested that I try out a Magic before making any purchase decisions. He seemed to think I’d like it better than the Voyager. I trust him to know the design characteristics of his own hull design, so I plan to try to find a Magic to test paddle also.

You might also want to try out the Magic since we’re both about 150 lbs.

With a 750 lb capacity , I don’t think
it matters whether you weigh 150 or 220 in a Voyager.It is like riding a fishing bobber with no other load.

My experience
I’m a little heavier than you, I weigh in around 180 or so. I’ve had my Voyager since late January. Previous canoes include a Savage River Otegan and a Sawyer Summersong in recent years. I had an Advantage and a Rendezvous years ago.

My thoughts: The Voyager seemed large at first, and my first couple of trips in wind were a little tough. Since then I’ve learned to handle the boat better in wind (lots of freeboard, but it can be dealt with). The boat is fast, probably faster than anything else I’ve owned. It might feel more stable with a load in it (I always paddle it empty), but that extra freeboard is just great when you get in rough water. I like this canoe better than any other I’ve had. Don’t be scared of the size. You need to find one you can rent or borrow for a while to give it several test paddles. I’m going out in conditions now that I wouldn’t have dreamed in taking those other boats in and I’m feeling pretty comfortable doing it.

Thanks for the feedback architectx and
for the encouragement to give one a try. I hope to find one within a couple hours of central Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) to try out sometime in the next month or so. Anybody have one within a couple hours of me? I’d like to compare it to my Summersong.

I would take a look at the Advantage . Tougher to find these days, but it is still one of the fastest boats out there. I have paddled both the Advantage ( 10 years ) and Voyageur ( 2 years ) extensively . For long trips with a load, Voyageur hands down . For day trips , I still prefer the Advantage . It rides lower, so it is less susceptible to wind . And long term, it still makes a fine long distance tripping boat - week long trips aren’t a problem, especially in your weight range .

You are certainly correct to try before you buy . The Voyaguer is a great boat, but if you paddle in unloaded on a windy day ( my first day out in my brand new one ) it can be a bit humbling til you get used to it.

I have both, the advantage has been on two extensive solo trips in the quetico-one 10 day and one 18 day and handled all the gear just fine… on the 18 day, I had enough gear for 23 days with me… I have not had the voyager up north but plan on getting it out this year and my fiance around 230 plans on paddling it solo up north next summer… I love both… but then after a black hawk zephyr… anything seems stable…lol

Blackhawk Zephyr…
You should get rid of that “nasty old hulk”.

I know somebody who is “dumb enough” to want one; I’m a glutton for punishment.


Yanoer, sounds like we are looking
at the same boats! I was following your thread about the Clipper Packer back in Dec. because that ad had caught my attention also. Good to hear the comments from canoecopia. Wind sounds like the major drawback to the Voyager.

Speed wasn’t such a consideration to me back when the people I paddled with were in old 15 ft. aluminum canoes. Now that many of the paddlers I know are kayakers, getting a speedier/more efficient canoe is a higher priority!