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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My New Boat: Wenonah Wilderness Kevlar

I was trolling around for awhile looking for a solo canoe, but wasn't having much luck.  Thankfully I stumbled on an end of season sale and found this baby!

It looks even better in the water than on my van...

Why a Solo Canoe?

A tandem canoe is great when there are two people.  When there aren't it's not so great... especially our boat, at 18 feet long!

I thought briefly about a kayak, but I want to use this as training for my regular canoe activities, so really wanted to paddle canoe-style with as close of a set-up as possible.

Why the Wenonah Wilderness?

I looked at a few other options, but in the end I already own a Wehnonah, and this one ticked all the boxes.  Just 32lbs, nice adjustable seat, foot brace.  Price was right!  I combed over reviews and everyone seemed quite happy with their Wilderness, at least the Kevlar version.

When I hit the water I was grateful I didn't go any narrower (as I had been tempted to do).  30.5" is plenty narrow and it feels quite a bit tippier that our Jensen 18.  I got used to it pretty quickly, though.

It has a bit of rocker, and without the second person it wants to turn quite a lot, especially in wind.  That will take some getting used to, and I definitely need to learn a proper "J" stroke!  I was switching sides as often as every 3 strokes at times, especially into wind or current.

I can't believe how light it is.  I can throw the thing around so easily, pop it up on the roof, no problem.  I ordered a yoke (regular wood one) to make a removable yoke out of for portaging and such.

This boat had me grinning like an idiot - it was just so much fun.  Very happy I bought it and can't wait to paddle it again!

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