Life asks a lot of some canoes - like be ready for anything. The Heron is a compact, maneuverable tandem canoe that answers all requests. It's the smallest tandem canoe in the General Touring family. Inexperienced paddlers like its stability, while adept paddlers appreciate its efficiency. Because of it's smaller size, the Heron is a practical boat for day trips on lake, while also performing well on smaller rivers and streams. Keep one at the cabin for the kids, or keep one for leisurely float trips down your favorite trout stream.
I recently purchased a Heron in the ultra-lite kevlar version. I have paddled canoes of many other brands and have paddled other Wenonah models including the Aurora and Wilderness solo. I chose the Heron primarily because I wanted a very light weight canoe. I am in my sixties and tired of carrying heavy royalex canoes. But I also wanted a versatile canoe for both solo and tandem use on lakes and rivers. The Heron is only 33 lbs. and very easy to load, unload and carry. In my opinion it is also a very good "all around" canoe. Some would argue that a relatively short (15') and wide-beamed (36") canoe would be very inefficient, tiring to paddle distances, and track poorly. However, given the very sharp entry lines and nicely tapered hull at the bow and stern, I think the Heron is much better than any other 15' canoe as far as glide and efficiency. I find that it tracks surprisingly well when paddling tandem, and with the canoe reversed and paddling solo from the bow seat it tracks fine with a bit of weight up front (my dog works great). Although shorter wider canoes may be more challenging to paddle under windy conditions, the relatively low profile of the Heron (only 13" center depth and 18" bow depth) makes wind much less of an issue. It's primary and secondary stability are also very good for a small canoe. For what I was looking for, Wenonah hit just the right balance for me with the Heron.
All in all, this is fantastic canoe and it has served me well from the Boundary Waters to Lake Powell.
My wife and I have zip for experience. We feel very stable in it. Not to tippy at all and tracks fairly well. Our lake is fairly calm, we only take it out when it is calm because of the wind. We fish a lot out of it about 99% of the time. I have a high powered fishing boat so when the wind is up I can afford not to kill myself fighting the wind back to the cabin.
I am a recreational paddler, fishing, and photography is why I own this canoe. When I am not fishing with my wife (5'4" 125lbs) I go with my brother in-law he is 6'6" 250lbs and I an 5'6" 190lbs, we have no problem with my Heron. The only thing I don't like about it is the floor has more flex than I like. I seem to think it would be more efficient to paddle if the floor was firmer.
We take it to different lakes rather than pulling my power boat out of the lake and tow it all over, in and out again and waste 2 hours. I keep the rear seats out of my Caravan all summer and we just put the Heron in the back of it hang on and go. We have 26 lakes within 15 minutes. So we get to experience many different lakes.
I have nothing to compare it to, but no one has complained yet about it. I bought it for fun and exercise and getting close to the Loons for photography and that is what I am getting out of it. Actually the Loons get close to me I just sit still and they pop up within feet of the canoe. It makes for an awesome day.
Sometimes my younger family members come up to the cabin and they take it out for a few hours. With that bright yellow it's not hard to find them on the lake. And they are very visible to larger watercraft. It is a very good quality product. We use it fairly often over the past 3 summers and it still looks great. No real signs of wear and tear other than the reasonable bottom scratches mostly from loading and unloading. It fit's our family needs.
I like to fish, and despite being advertised as suitable for sportsmen, this canoe has been a major disappointment for me. "Tipsy" used to be a nice feeling when I was younger but this canoe gives a whole new meaning to the word. Ugh! It's also very uncomfortable, as the cane seats are set pretty low to maintain stability. I will probably try to sell it (it was pricey -new) and get something else -something perhaps a little heavier but with more stability. -Am tired of tipping! But I blame myself for buying it without trying it out first. The dealers here in Western Mass aren't into it but I will Never buy a canoe again without trying it out first.