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Most Recent Reviews
This boat in the Flexcore layup may very well be the optimum combination in weight, efficiency and tracking in a tandem canoe. Flexcore finds a sweet spot for weight and strength for weekend touring on moving water.
My wife and I paddle our Adirondack once or twice a week during the season, and I'd take it on smallish streams all the way to up big lakes. It's a good beginner's boat, but in the hands of an experienced crew it can handle up to class II with a dry ride. Wenonah makes good products and has great customer support.
This boat is a little sweetie. It tracks superbly thanks to its formed-in-hull keel, yet turns quickly due to its length, or lack thereof. It is a great downstream craft. At 42 pounds, it is lighter than most recreational kayaks, yet capable of carrying much more payload. Its poly construction makes it very sturdy indeed--probably on a par with a rotomolded kayak. It can be paddled with a single blade, but frankly it's too much work; a 250cm or longer kayak paddle is a better choice.
Three mods will make this boat a pleasure to paddle:
1) We-no-nah adjustable footbrace
2) a flat strip of wood cut to fit under the gunwale at the boat's widest point, serving as a center thwart and allowing for a solo lift
3) a wedge of wood or plastic lumber which will drop the seat back 2", making for a more ergo seat and better paddling posture.
This solo canoe is a little sweetie. I've paddled rec and touring kayaks for years, but this may become my favorite boat for casual outings. It is not fast, but it handles very well with a kayak paddle (minimum 250cm) and of course has oodles of space for gear and my size 13 feet. Keeps pace with rec kayaks easily. I think this would make a good fishing platform by adding the usual outfitting. I would characterize this boat as a great alternative for folks who just don't feel comfortable with a a rec kayak but want to get on the water nonetheless. I agree with other reviewers that this is an excellent downstream boat, but unlike other reviewers I believe this boat has sufficient initial stability for any paddler.
I suspect this boat will soon be phased out in favor of the Old Town NEXT, so try one and get one ASAP. (It's about half the price!) Dick's has a great deal online at the time of this writing.
I really wanted to like this boat. For the price, it is a creditable craft. Good load capacity, reasonably responsive, stable, and pretty much bomb-proof. If you need a downstream tandem canoe for day or weekend tripping, this is a reasonable choice. Solo paddling, even with trim ballast, is a bunch of work.
Its FATAL flaw, however, is its weight. This canoe is a brick. I'm 63, with above-average upper body strength, and car-topping this brute took every ounce of strength I could muster. Portaging would be impossible for me. I used it one season and gave it to a relative who lifts weights for fun......
I have paddled this boat year-round for 5 years; it is a solid performer; tracks, leans and turns well. Storage space adequate for a weekend. With a skirt you get a dry ride in all but the most severe weather. The deck height and shape makes this boat easy to roll, but initial stability is very good. The Phase 3 seating is, for my backside, the most comfortable I've ever found. This is a low-volume boat; for paddlers over 200 lbs or with feet over men's 10, you'll feel a bit squeezed and draw a bit more water than you'd expect.