Today I bought a well used 1989 Wenonah Whisper in the skin coat ultra light construction and would appreciate some advice on repair maintenance of the skin coat. The boat has all aluminum trim. This is my first skin coat boat other than some Phoenix kayaks, which don’t seem to need much maintenance.
The hull is in pretty good condition except for a few small areas where the kevlar cloth is exposed and most of the surface is not as smooth and shiny as I expected - it’s slightly rough.
My questions are:
- For the exposed areas of cloth, do I need to do anything other than squeegy on a thin layer of polyester resin from the automotive section of the hardware store?
- For the remainder of the skin finish, do I need to do anything other than apply some 303 every now and then if I plan to leave the boat on top of my car for several days, or maybe even weeks at a time for use for exercise before work? Hopefully the slightly rough surface won’t add too much drag to the boat, I need all the efficiency help I can get.
Do I need to track down a travel cover for the boat if I plan to keep in on the car for long periods of time, or will the skin coat fininsh be ok with just 303 applied?
I did take it for about a 10 minute test paddle on a nearby small retention pond in very calm water and still winds and the boat seemed very stable, appeared to have some speed to it (I’ll have to get it on a familiar course and compare it to my Sawyer Summersong), turned well enough with a bit of a lean and seems to paddle better with sit & switch than with control strokes. I left the seat and foot brace where the seller had it and didn’t try adjusting trim at all. The seat seemed lower than expected and lower than necessary and lower than comfortable for kneeling - which I could do easily with all of the room along side the seat.
I’ve been looking for a while for a relatively small ultra light canoe for exercise before work that would be much lighter and hopefully of similar efficiency to my goldenglass Sawyer Summersong and hopefully this Whisper will fill the bill. At 29" max beam, the Whisper is wider than I’d like, but hopefully it won’t prove to be too wide for comfort and efficient strokes with the bent shaft Zaveral. It’s the first used boat that roughly fit’s my search criteria that’s popped up within a couple hours drive and the price seemed reasonable for the boat’s condition. It also came with a couple paddles (one is a 50" Wenonah Mastercraft composite bent in very good condition), throw bag, seat pad and a couple PFDs.
I’m 5’6" and 150 lbs and there aren’t any reviews for this boat on p.net, but I did find a couple threads with good info:
Posted by: plaidpaddler on Dec-02-04 9:18 PM (EST)
It is an older Jensen solo, mid-80’s. It was smaller and narrower than the Solitude.
Todd Finley at Oak Orchard Canoe can fill you in on the specifics, he had one for years and i have seen him with a Chesapeake retriever in his hunting ducks. We fished together many times on the Oak Orchard River with him in the Whisper and he could paddle with one hand and flip a small Rapala with his spinning rod in the other.
I paddled the hull and found it a bit too narrow for my less than perfect balance, the solitude was better suited to my skill level. But with a light limber paddler the boat would move, straight line or around midstream rocks.
The Vagabond in composite is as close as they make something today.
Posted by: Dirk_Barends on Dec-03-04 10:14 AM (EST)
15’6" (472 cm) long
29" maximum width
22" gunwale width
27.5" waterline width
16" bow height
12.5" stern height
28-46 lb. depending on lay-up and outfitting
none or at least unmeasurable rocker
For a very strong paddler, with good paddling technique, this canoe
can be paddled very fast. For such a fast touring canoe the Whisper
is quite dry in waves and maneuverability is also higher than
one would expect. Tracks well enough when paddle fast, but at
‘normal’ speeds tracking suffers too much (for me), especially in wind
and waves, which also hampers speed then. Stability is more than
enough for me, so I can’t comment on that, but I wouldn’t really
call it tippy, unless you plan to do FreeStyle maneuvers in it…
While this boat isn’t for paddlers over 85 kg (187 lbs) in my
opinion, it also doesn’t work for paddlers below 60 kg (132 lbs),
as I have noticed when my wife paddles this canoe.
Thanks in advance for any insights to the care and maintenance of the Whisper as well as any other general info on the boat that you might care to share.