My friend and I have been doing some canoe races and we are in the market for a “stock boat” canoe. Bow paddler is 190 lbs stern paddler is 170 lbs. I am considering a Wenonah Jensen 18, Wenonah sundowner 18, Wenonah Minnesota 2, or a sawyer cruiser all ultralight.What boat will be the fastest? Or other suggestions? Thanks
Fast Stock Canoe
I have a Wenonah Jensen 18 and a Savage River Susquehanna. The Susquehanna is a much better canoe. More stable, better handling and much faster than the Jensen 18. Mine Susquehanna is carbon/ Kevlar with a bailer and bow and stern sliding seats. I have not done any tripping with the SR but I am sure it will be great.
The 18’Jensen and MinnesotaII are about dead even, with the Sundowner and Cruiser a tad slower and about even with each other. Deciding factor between MN-II and Jensen is water conditions and team weight. Light team on smooth water in a Jensen is tough to beat. Rougher water with a beefier team and the MN-II has the advantage. Downstream on a tight course and the Sundowner will close the gap between it and the MN-II and Jensen. Most stock class racers in NY use the MN-II cause its also a good tripping canoe. There are those who swear by the Savage River Susquehanna and do well in it; and some race the Grasse River Monarch and do well. Teams I know paddling both of these hulls had 18’Jensens and I think a lot of their success has come on big water where the Jensen could not be paddled as hard.
Empty I would rate them: 18’Jensen, MN-II,Cruiser,18 Sundowner. Loaded heavy it goes: MN-II, 18’Sundowner,18’Jensen, Cruiser.
Its all pretty close compared to anything Mad River, Bell, Old Town, Swift,etc.
My vote would be for the Jensen 18
and throw a Susquehanna into the mix too.
The Susquehanna has been one of the top finishers in the ADK 90 miler stock class for quite a while, and at your weights would be ideal.
My wife and I race a Jensen 17 in the stock class and have won or placed several times in our class, but we are quite a bit lighter than you.
Monarch and Min II
The Min II is the standard Adirondack stock racing/tripping canoe, but I am seeing more and more Savage River boats in the mix and they seem to be gaining in the market.
Wenonah makes limited numbers of Monarchs, the same mold as from Grass River. I trial paddled both the Grass River (in carbon) and the Wenonah (in kevlar) at Mac's Canoe Livery, fully intending to buy the GR carbon boat. Surprisingly, I found the GR to be a bit mushy feeling, and I also preferred the slightly higher mounted seats on the Wenonah. Brian (Mac) agreed. So I bought the Wenonah Monarch instead. The difference between the Min II and the Monarch is slight, but reportedly the Monarch is faster and a bit more maneuverable.
My daughter and I paddled the Monarch in the 90, and I liked its performance very much, able to hold a fast straight track as well as great maneuverability in passing many other boats in the twisty Brown's Tract. Since then, I found a great deal on a pristine used Min II that I bought for my daughter, so now we have both.
Thanks for the replies. Now it I can find a used Jensen 18 I will be set. See you on the water
All of those boats are pretty fast. I would chose the Jensen 18. I used to have a Sawyer Cruiser for years.