What's your favorite Canoe?

I posted this in another forum, but then realized this was probably the right forum to post it in.

Here my post:

What’s your favorite Canoe?

I’ve owned a 14’ Raddison for almost 14 years…

she’s lightweight, she’s wide and she’s slow, but she’s my sweetheart.

in all those years, I have never tipped that canoe. not once. not even when I accidentally misplaced my foot and stood on the side of canoe, flipping her up, showing everyone on the lake the inside of my boat. lol

I drool over other canoes, wanting something smoother, faster… but i’m not sure which is “best” so I thought i’d start a thread here and see what canoe is the “people’s” favorite.

we always carry too much gear and the kitchen sink. we usually have 2 large dogs with us too. Bad weather doesnt stop us. Oh, and we stay off of whitewater. Tried it once with the Raddison… which was a big mistake. lol

Thanks in advance for your replies. :slight_smile:

18 Grumman
Big tough and no worries about what the sun sap and fish guts will do to it.are you anywere near Lake wallenpaupack or pecks pond

I knew I should have kept that canoe!
funny thing is… I got rid of my 18’ Grumman when I got my Raddison! :slight_smile: that thing was like a tank… lots of fun. still dont know why we got rid of it.

Yeah, i’m very close to Lake Wallenpaupack. a little further to Pecks Pond. I’ve never put my canoe in either, but spent a lot of time with it in Lake Shohola, Promised Land State Park & a timy place called Greeley Lake.

I have paddled many wenonah canoes. My favorite is either my new vagabond solo because it is the first canoe I ever bought, or the echo. I grew up paddling the echo with my dad and still paddle it today. In fact I just came off a river day trip in it. I am also a big fan of the Minn 2 for flat water tripping.

The other forum was the correct one.

Wennonah Minnesota II
But I have to say that the Grumman 18 is also on my short list. Both of these are BIG boats for lakes and long trips. Neither is particularly pretty, but then beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

16 foot Mad RIver Kelvar
Explorer. Light, tough, good in moving and flat water, attractive, carries a lot.

all grummans should be recycled and turned into beer cans. they’s serve a much higher purpose then. i vow to never paddle one again as long as it’s not a life-threatening situation. just my opinion.

in the other category i mentioned IF i could afford another boat right now it would be a bell magioc…black gold. BUT…aint gonna happen for a while. besides, i recently changed my mind to an old town kineo 158. hear me brent? :slight_smile:

Like the Minn 3 better then the Minn 2
My wife and I test paddled many canoes before buying our new Minnesota 3. It’s much more stable especially with two dogs then the Minnesota 2 and faster then the Itasca with as much capacity once you remove the center seat.

2 choices
mad river kevelar explorer best all around boat. Wenonoa minn II for fast lake travel and great portage boat.

My input
Just because a canoe is good for one person, it does not mean it will be good for you.

I love the look of the Merlin II. I had a chance to paddle it. Kneeling was great, but when I switched to sitting, the gunnels hit painfully on my lower legs. I am a big guy, I need a deeper boat.

For me I got pretty lucky. I really do like my Supernova. It is deep, turns nicely, tracks well and isn’t a dog on the straight sections. Best of all–even while sitting, it’s comfortable.

Easy …

– Last Updated: Aug-19-04 8:31 AM EST –

love the one you're with

favorite canoes eh’…

solo: Bell Magic, but haven’t paddled Wenonah’s Voyager…

tandem: Bell Northwoods/Jensen 18’

ww: Esquif’s Detonator(WoW!)/Nitro

Hey Vic …
Is “love the one you’re with” (great tune!) similiar to “dance with the one that brought you”?

It is impossible for me to narrow it down to just one “favorite” boat. That would go against my “justification” for buying “different boats for different rivers”.

“You can dance with the river, but you have to know the steps”.


Its so subjective
It sounds like you’re interested in large capacity, stable, all-arounder type boat, but don’t need white water capability particularly. My favorite in that catagory is a Bell Northwind. There darned manuverable, handle a load and have very good stability including initial and final. I just like the Bell feel too.

Have fun finding your own next favorite.

I love my Northwind, for all the reasons you mention and more. I can’t believe how maneuverable it is, incredibly stable and FAST!! I’m one of those guys that stops looking when he finds what satisfies his needs, so I can’t speak for other designs but this one is a winner in my book!


Our Wenonah 17’ Jensen
Ultralight kevlar. It weighs 39 pounds and is a delight to paddle as a C-2.

I sold my 13 foot solo, and gave the Old Town to one of my daughters.

If I wasn’t into kayaking, I would be looking for a longer solo but enough is enough.

Or is it?



I mostly paddle solo, so I don’t have a favorite tandem. My favorite solo is a Bell Magic.

Depends on my purpose
I primarily do flatwater and mild river and some open water trips so I’ll not address class II+ paddling.

If I’ve only one tandem boat to choose I’d select the Wenonah Sundowner 18 composite. It’s faster than a Jensen 17 & nearly as fast as a Jensen 18 yet provides a drier more comfortable ride in open water. In comparison to the Minn II, the Sundowner lags a bit in efficiency but I’ve found it to be more maneuverable. Overall the I find the Sundowner swift, capable, with sufficient volume for tripping, fishing, or up to four person day paddles. I’ve even comfortably solo paddled, stern forward, while my 5 year old lilly-dipped from the safety of the area between the stern and the rear of the stern seat. Unfortunately Wenonah seems to have decided to exclusively produce the Sundowner in a river running 17’ Royalex hull, (the Champlain seems to be the reasonable replacement for the Sundowner 18 - although I’ve yet to paddle one).

As for dedicated solo paddling, the sense of unity between boat and paddler is highly desireable and a boat tuned to conditions and purpose will help to achieve this objective. I do agree with C2G, for all around use, the Magic is one of the best feeling boats I’ve paddled (even though I generally prefer longer hulls). I’ve not had the opportunity to paddle the Hemlock Falcon series (Peregrine/Kestrel) but I am told that those hulls just might dislodge the Magic from it’s primacy.

For more specific flatwater solo use I prefer the Wenonah Advantage for it’s balance between speed and comfort. Paddling from the kneel while straddling the pedestal the boat will take on open waters and confidently cover miles swiftly and comfortably. It’s a fine warm weather ride.

For efficient tipping with everything including the kitchen sink there’s just no comparison to the Wenonah Encounter. The Encounter simply swallows up pound after pound of gear without a complaint. The boat’s handling characteristics in open water actually improve when burdoned with hundreds of pounds of gear and the hull design allows the boat to simply laugh at big lake and bay waves. The surefooted nature of the Encounter makes this my primary choice for cold weather paddling.