Wenonah VS. Mad River Canoes

New registrant. First post. I have narrowed my research down to a Wenonah Prospector 16 Royalex and a Mad River Legend 16 Royalex canoe. Will use for mostly Kentucky/Indiana river paddling Class 1-2 and some flatwater/lake paddling while camping. What are the pros and cons of each and which canoe would you actually buy regardless of price? I really need some candid input from experienced canoe paddlers and owners of these boats. Thanks very much in advance!

Have you considered Nova Craft?

– Last Updated: Sep-10-11 8:28 PM EST –

Dear Ron,

I own neither of canoes you are considering, but do know that they are considered to be fine reputable makers. However, I do own a Nova Craft 17 Prospector. I am the third owner and first owner was a canoe rental outfit here in PA.

The canoe is a 2005 and it did not lead a sheltered life. It was rode hard and put away leaning against a tree for much of it's life.

The canoe is scuffed and scarred on the bottom from being beaten against rocks, but the seats and gunnels are in fine shape and the canoe floats high and true. I'm confident the canoe will last me until I decide I want something else.

When I do look for a new canoe it will be short list of contenders and Nova Craft will be at the top based on the robust construction shown by my well used model.

Nova Craft offers a 16' Prospector in several different materials that might be worth a look for you.


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs

Can’t go wrong
Choosing between those two boats, you’re unlikely to go wrong for the purposes you stated. They’re both good boats and well suited for fishing. Any choice of which is “better” will be entirely a matter of personal preference.

See if Al A pops in and gives an opinion, and if he does listen to it.

  • Big D

MR legend
Not sure about the 16’ but I paddle a Legend 15 in RX on the narrow streams in the Ozarks. I can tell you from my experience keeping it on moving water is important.

When I’m in between riffles or on a lake, the paddling experience quickly declines. Add a little wind in there and I’m spending more time doing corrective strokes than fishing.

I know the rocker is 2.5" so it’s intended more for moving water, and I’m willing to sacrifice those times where I’m in the dead water for the way it handles in the moving water.

It’s been beat up pretty good, but the RX seems to take the rocks and logs pretty well after 2 years. It’s light and has plenty of storage for me on overnight trips ( I paddle it solo exclusively)

Like I said, don;t know much about the 16’ but can’t imagine they are entirely different…