Wilderness Avenger Canoe

I was looking at getting this boat for class II and class III whitewater. Does anyone know anything about the brand or model?


Looks like a Blue Hole OCA/Prowler
or at least off the same mold.

You can google Blue Hole OCA if you want to get some more info.

The OCA is an old design dating back to the 1970s. It has relatively little rocker compared to modern whitewater tandem boats and the recurved stems really don’t add much to the design except weight.

But the Blue Hole OCA has been paddled extensively on whitewater of just about all levels of difficulty. If you are not looking for a real maneuverable boat but something that is stable and relatively dry it might suit you well.

I would check into just how the damaged area was repaired though. Fiberglass repairs on ABS boats sometimes delaminate depending on what resin was used and how the hull was prepped.

It’s basically a Blue Hole
Others here will know more about Blue Hole canoes. I don’t think there were more than two or three models. They were very popular in the 1980s among whitewater paddlers, even though it’s a very non-specialized (for whitewater) design. Since then, new designs have come along which are more popular with the whitewater crowd.

The price seems reasonable, and if the repair were poorly done it could be re-done. It’s probably a perfectly serviceable general-purpose canoe, and Blue Holes were known for being pretty tough. Just remember that old Royalex is old Royalex, and it may be more brittle now than it was when new. That shouldn’t be a problem for most scrapes and bumps, but it may make a difference for really hard crashes.

I’m not sure what you mean by Class II and Class III, since most beginners set their sights on whitewater a lot more difficult than what they will really do, and since the method of rating varies depending who you talk to. Even using the more conservative rating methods (those you can look up in books or online, rather than those used by hard-core whitewater paddlers), installation of float bags is virtually a necessity for Class III whitewater and highly recommended for Class II. And since you call yourself a beginner, even Class II is something you should work yourself into very gradually or your boat might have a short life (you can get lots of advice here about developing your paddling skills!).

Thing about the Blue Hole OCA is that
with just one paddler aboard, it sits rather light on the water, and has a flattish bottom, so that in spite of lack of rocker, it is more maneuverable than one might expect at a glance.

A good friend of mine who has a lot of strength and talent won the first (only?) open canoe downriver race on the middle Ocoee in an OCA. On another occasion, he entered the “medium” class in the open canoe slalom Nationals on the Nantahala in an OCA. There were a number of experienced racers in composite high rocker canoes designed for slalom. He came in third, with several good paddlers and boats in his dust.

Still, the OCA is a tad long and heavy in the ends, so that to those of us accustomed to more modern whitewater boats, it feels a bit ponderous. On the other hand, it is a decent tandem and can carry some camping gear as well. I’ve paddled borrowed OCAs both solo and tandem, and always enjoyed it.

Thank you for the replies. I got the exact info I was looking for. This may be the most helpful community on the internet.

re: It’s basically a Blue Hole
Right now it would be used for small rivers. The chattooga section 2 and 3, the natahala, tuckaseegee, etc…

Put some bags and kneeling pads in it and it will be a fine boat for all of those streams.

Looks like a 15’ Blue Hole OCA
If so, it is a relatively heavy but very serviceable whitewater canoe both tandem and solo. Back in the late 70’s and 80’s virtually everything that could be run was run in OCA’s.

My first solo experience soloing an OCA in whitewater was on a class 3-4 section of the beautiful Hood River in Oregon. I was very surprised at how maneuverable and dry it was even without much rocker.

The Blue Hole is also decent on flatwater. I once had a very pleasant day soloing the maxi Blue Hole OCA (about 18’-19’ long) on Moxie Pond in Maine.

One more Blue Hole fan
I owned a Blue hole Prowler for a while and used it for a solo trip on the Allgash Waterway in Maine. The boat was loaded for a week by a guy who can’t pack light. I had no trouble with it in the rapids or on the flatwater. I sold it cause I had too many boats and it was a tad heavy for an old guy. I miss it. I agree with all the favorable comments above.