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Ice Wolf

New Canoe

31 posts in this topic

Need some help on picking out a new canoe. Use will be for fishing, small portaging,with two men. It must be tough and stable.What length and what type?

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For a reasonably priced fishing canoe, you can't beat old town plastic canoes. I like plastic as it's much quieter for fishing, and very tough. The discovery is the cheaper (heavier) model, while the Penobscot is made from Royalex and is quite a bit lighter, and more $$ of course.

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Go with a Penobscot. I've used them all over Minnesota and a few places in Ontario. Open water on Lake Superior, the Miss and Croix to unnamed lakes and rivers. After using one for nearly 10 years here's my break down:

Cost: Moderate- there are cheaper and lower quality boats

Weight: Moderate

Stability: Excellent

Durability: Excellent

Ease of portage: High -could be lighter to get excellent rating

Touring: High

People question the stability of this canoe next to shorter wider canoes. So we tested this. I've push this canoe to the limits many times with out going over. So we took 3 adults onto Caribou Lake near Lutsen to find out what it would take to roll this canoe. We had one person standing on the rails on each day of the canoe and it wouldn't tip. So the 3rd person stood up and all 3 of us moved to the same side of the canoe at the same time. Still no go. We all stood on the rail on the same side before it finally tipped over. Thats nearly 600 pounds standing on one side rail before it finally tipped. Now thats a stable canoe.

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I agree with traveler go with one of the old town discovery canoes. they are heavy but for small portages they arnt a problem at all. Our scout troop has 6 or 7 of them and they are nearly indestructable. I would have to say they are very stable and worth the money.

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There is an old saying, "Don't buy cheap boots or canoes."

I would be looking at something in the 16 to 17ft range, probably like a Spirit II from Wenonah. Good versatile hull.

wenonah_spiritII672_cust.jpg

Quote:
A very versatile tandem, with excellent performance and easy handling

"Balanced" is the best word to describe the Spirit II. It travels distances easily yet turns extremely well. It's capable on rapids, and open water, too. It's big enough for trips. It's also very stable.

So, does it obsolete all others? No. If you want an elevated level of a certain attribute, say tracking or capacity, then a specialized design may suit you better. But if you need a canoe that delivers a good level of all types of performance, the Spirit II is ideal.

Canoe & Kayak Magazine tested it, and concluded, "...this canoe is simple and functional. If you could have only one canoe to serve all your needs for the rest of your life, the Spirit II would be one of very few candidates."

At 17' long, it strikes a good balance between the efficiency of a longer hull and the maneuvering of a shorter one.

The Spirit II is safe and roomy, too, having capacity for medium-heavy trips. With two large people it draws just 4", leaving lots of reserve buoyancy for gear. Loaded it becomes more stable yet still handles well, even on waves.

Should you have a Spirit? If no single Wenonah seems ideal due to its specialization, you likely need the wide versatility of our Spirit II, or its cousin, the Aurora.

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There is a lot to know about canoes. Where is a good place to look at different brands in MN.

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Check out Midwest Mountaineering. You can email me with any questions. I worked in retail selling a few of the top brands for 4 years and have used 3 of the top brands on many BW trips over the last 12 years. Send your questions to me at mikelandscapeguru@gmail.com

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I have the Spirit II and I have to say it is an outstanding boat. I have used a 15' guide in the past and solo paddling the 17' spirit II is a bit more work but it is worth the effort for what I get out of the boat. I installed a third seat by replacing the rear thwart with a seat. I paddle from there when I am out alone or with my son. Most of the time though we are fishing and I throw a trolling motor on back to get him to some lilly pads and get his bobber in the water.

I debate selling it every spring since I don't use it as much as I would like but its such a nice boat I never can bring myself to do it. When fishing out of it with two adults I would not want anything smaller.

There is an old saying, "Don't buy cheap boots or canoes."

I would be looking at something in the 16 to 17ft range, probably like a Spirit II from Wenonah. Good versatile hull.

wenonah_spiritII672_cust.jpg

Quote:
A very versatile tandem, with excellent performance and easy handling

"Balanced" is the best word to describe the Spirit II. It travels distances easily yet turns extremely well. It's capable on rapids, and open water, too. It's big enough for trips. It's also very stable.

So, does it obsolete all others? No. If you want an elevated level of a certain attribute, say tracking or capacity, then a specialized design may suit you better. But if you need a canoe that delivers a good level of all types of performance, the Spirit II is ideal.

Canoe & Kayak Magazine tested it, and concluded, "...this canoe is simple and functional. If you could have only one canoe to serve all your needs for the rest of your life, the Spirit II would be one of very few candidates."

At 17' long, it strikes a good balance between the efficiency of a longer hull and the maneuvering of a shorter one.

The Spirit II is safe and roomy, too, having capacity for medium-heavy trips. With two large people it draws just 4", leaving lots of reserve buoyancy for gear. Loaded it becomes more stable yet still handles well, even on waves.

Should you have a Spirit? If no single Wenonah seems ideal due to its specialization, you likely need the wide versatility of our Spirit II, or its cousin, the Aurora.

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How much leg room for the front person. (17'spirit canoe) is there. I am tall. Ball park how much $ for one of this.

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You are asking a lot of the right questions IBEW!

One thing you really want to do is to test drive whatever models you are looking at prior to buying. There are a couple of places up in Ely that allow you to test out various canoes, Red Rock Wilderness Store and Piragis Northwoods. Google up their websites, look at what they have, and give them each a call.

There is a weekend (usually in May) where Piragis hosts a day of paddling called Sunsplash, where people try out the various models.

Legroom, seat styles, stability, speed in the water..... Lots of variables!

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Depending on where you are located most places will do some sort of demo. Thats the best way to find out what you are really looking for.

Be careful though, as a canoe behaves much differently with just you paddling around a calm lake than when you and your buddy have it loaded down etc.

So find a canoe that does what you want it to do, and stick to those models.

I would avoid the River Ridge canoes, or any of those really heavy fiberglass boats. Those are short and made for river floating and not much more. Besides they are HEAVY.

Those Royalex boats can take a beating, but man, I am really craving a nice kevlar one.

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Actually, kevlar canoes are somewhat delicate. I'd never hit shore at ramming speed in my kevlar like I did all the time using my plastic OT Discovery. I got 20 yrs of hard use out of my Discovery, it would take a beating, even went airborne at 70 mph on 94 once with just a few more added scratches. But it was somewhat of a heavy beast, most guys that tend to purchase a kevlar canoe have reached that point in life where they would prefer carrying around something lighter.

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Roylex is pretty much plastic, very durable as it will just gouge out. Not quite as tough as aluminum, but pretty quiet and the hulls are generally more efficient.

I fish the rivers in SE MN a lot, and roylex is perfect as we do a lot of dragging through the shallow rapids.

Kevlar is essentially a fabric (bullet proof vests) that is laid out to make the hull. Weigh next to nothing, and are fairly tough. They wont fall apart on you, but the fabric could tear or get punctured on a big rock, also you dont want to drag it across rocks either.

Kevlar*

Extremely light and strong

This is the well-known fiber used in aero-space vehicles, and to make bulletproof vests. Kevlar is amazingly light and strong. We use it to make superlative canoes to satisfy the most-demanding paddlers. If you want a hull that's light, tough, and quiet, you want a Kevlar canoe. Get one that exhibits the superb design and construction offered only by Wenonah Canoe, the world's largest maker of Kevlar canoes.

*Kevlar® is a registered trademark of DuPont.

Tuf-weave*

Very tough yet low in cost

Our unique, patented, inter-woven fabric of 50% polyester and 50% fiberglass. Like an alloy, the combination of both materials outperforms either. We use Tuf-weave to build hulls that are tough and light (but not quite as light as Kevlar or graphite). Compared to the fabrics used by others to make composite canoes, notably plain fiberglass, Tuf-weave is stronger and lighter yet costs no more. Our Tuf-weave canoes deliver exceptional value.

*Tuf-weave® is a registered trademark of Wenonah Canoe.

Graphite-hybrid

Limited-edition ultra-light canoes

This is very similar to our Kevlar Ultra-light construction but uses graphite fabric as the outer layer of the lamination. weight-saving techniques are employed with this layup, such as making the hull thinner, and eliminating the air flotation tanks, which can save a couple pounds in some of our models. Graphite Ultra-light construction is ideal for paddlers who desire more stiffness in their composite canoe or simply enjoy the aesthetic appeal of a black graphite canoe, and when high degrees of impact or abrasion resistance are not required.

Royalex® is a highly durable canoe material that is strong, flexible, and abrasion-resistant. It is the preferred material for a canoe to be used on large, tumbling rapids, or on shallow, rocky streams. Royalex can also be a wise choice if you will encounter those threatening conditions occasionally.

Royalex, however, isn't generally noted for being light, nor for creating fine-paddling canoes. Many builders, it seems, feel that toughness alone is enough to make a Royalex canoe saleable, so they devote little attention to achieving lightness or performance.

We take a different approach. We've built a reputation upon canoes that are lighter and perform better than others of similar type. Our Royalex canoes are no exception.

A Wenonah canoe - every Wenonah canoe - is designed first to meet paddling goals. To create most of our Royalex models, we began with proven hull designs that we had already perfected while building them as composite canoes. In some cases, duplicating those shapes using Royalex was a challenge. But we have succeeded, and the result is that our Royalex hulls are sleeker and more-efficient than is typical. While our Royalex models don't quite match the performance of our composite versions, they are much more rewarding to paddle than Royalex canoes from other builders.

In addition, we've found inventive ways to make our Royalex canoes lighter without compromising durability. Our internal reinforcing scheme is one way, and you can learn about it in the Royalex Canoes, Structure section.

Our Royalex canoes are durable, to be sure, but we aren't content for that to be their only attraction. When you select a Wenonah Royalex canoe, you get performance and lightness that exceed the norm, and you also get the high durability of Royalex material

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My Penobscot went flying off the roof of a car once on the way to Grand Marais for a BW trip. It took a few scratches and never needed any repairs. We took it the rest of the way up and for 5 days in the BW without any issue.

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Ibew110- if you want to try it out come spring let me know. I'll happily take you out some time.

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I have the Spirit II and I have to say it is an outstanding boat. I have used a 15' guide in the past and solo paddling the 17' spirit II is a bit more work but it is worth the effort for what I get out of the boat. I installed a third seat by replacing the rear thwart with a seat. I paddle from there when I am out alone or with my son. Most of the time though we are fishing and I throw a trolling motor on back to get him to some lilly pads and get his bobber in the water.

I debate selling it every spring since I don't use it as much as I would like but its such a nice boat I never can bring myself to do it. When fishing out of it with two adults I would not want anything smaller.

Originally Posted By: Chode2235
There is an old saying, "Don't buy cheap boots or canoes."

I would be looking at something in the 16 to 17ft range, probably like a Spirit II from Wenonah. Good versatile hull.

wenonah_spiritII672_cust.jpg

Quote:
A very versatile tandem, with excellent performance and easy handling

"Balanced" is the best word to describe the Spirit II. It travels distances easily yet turns extremely well. It's capable on rapids, and open water, too. It's big enough for trips. It's also very stable.

So, does it obsolete all others? No. If you want an elevated level of a certain attribute, say tracking or capacity, then a specialized design may suit you better. But if you need a canoe that delivers a good level of all types of performance, the Spirit II is ideal.

Canoe & Kayak Magazine tested it, and concluded, "...this canoe is simple and functional. If you could have only one canoe to serve all your needs for the rest of your life, the Spirit II would be one of very few candidates."

At 17' long, it strikes a good balance between the efficiency of a longer hull and the maneuvering of a shorter one.

The Spirit II is safe and roomy, too, having capacity for medium-heavy trips. With two large people it draws just 4", leaving lots of reserve buoyancy for gear. Loaded it becomes more stable yet still handles well, even on waves.

Should you have a Spirit? If no single Wenonah seems ideal due to its specialization, you likely need the wide versatility of our Spirit II, or its cousin, the Aurora.

You let me know if you ever want to sell it. I am sure we could work something out where you could come and use it when you want to.

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My issue with Royalex boats made by someone other than Old Town is that they seem be slightly higher priced for comparable boats.

Reason: I was told by the Old Town Rep that in the late '90's Old Town bought the manufacturing rights/patent/company to Royalex. Old Town owns and controls Royalex. All other canoe makers must get it from their competition at Old Town.

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I would go with a river ridge custom canoe made in rochester mn they are the ultimate river fishing canoe made of fiberglass they are very tough and the extras on the canoe are awsome i love the boat seats on them rather than sitting on a bench all day

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Quetico,

The long history of Royalex is pretty simple. There has been only one factory in the world that produces all of the Royalex material for all of the canoe manufacturers in the world.

Royalex was developed by Uniroyal, the tire guys(where the royal in Royalex came from), long ago. The first canoes produced were called Warsaw Rockets, produced by a thermo former in Warsaw Indiana. At about the turn of the century, the factory and division of Uniroyal that produced Royalex was acquired by a company called Spartech Plastics. The accounting office moved to Warsaw, and the name on the invoice changed. To the best of my recollection, Johnson Worldwide Outdoors (Old Town’s parent company), the S.C. Johnson Company Division, does not have any interest in Spartech Plastics.

Each canoe manufacturer has their own engineer that designs their own sheets for their canoes. Each manufacturer has their own standard for how their canoe sheets are designed. When I was designing Royalex sheets, I had a simple formula for the design of touring, river touring and whitewater designs. There were slight variations between models, but it was all pretty standard.

I am no longer in the business, but I would venture to say that today’s canoe prices are relative to the stiffness of the bottom of the canoe. More stiffness equals thicker material in the bottom. The thicker the bottom, the more plastic there is in the end product raising the price. When I designed sheets, I used to place more value in stiffness and durability that economy.

I think that the only thing that “Brand O” has a patent on it the triple dump cross linked polyethylene rotational molding technology that they developed.

I cannot speak for the canoe reps out there, but I know that the guys on the design side of the business are all pretty straight shooters!

Gas Man

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Years ago a friend of mine and I did a boundery waters trip with a old town plastic canoe and it was like portaging and elephant and I have not been back sense. but I really like canoeing so a couple of years ago someone I do business with was selling a Wenonah kelvar for $500 so I snatched it up. A little scratched up but the price was right. If you look around you should be able to find a good canoe at a good price. This summer I plan on giving canoeing a try again with my daughter now that I have a canoe that doesn't weight more than me.

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I would go with a river ridge custom canoe made in rochester mn they are the ultimate river fishing canoe made of fiberglass they are very tough and the extras on the canoe are awsome i love the boat seats on them rather than sitting on a bench all day

I disagree. Theyre nice boats, but only if you are floating the Root, Zumbro or whatever. They weigh a ton, are way to short to take out on big water (they ride waves like a tank), ride low, the balance is all weird with the high seats, and are tough to load with anything other than a days fishing gear.

Plus they are expensive for what you get. Theyre nice canoes, but really only if you use it exclusively on the Root.

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