For the past four years I have been soloing in a royalex spirit II. I know this is way too much boat for solo canoeing and am thinking of downsizing and getting a solo canoe. I dont think I can afford the kevlar models so I have been looking at the royalex models. I was wondering if anyone out there had any experience or reviews on royalex solo canoe models? I was looking at the solo plus and rondevous from wenonah. I also wanted too know if the vagabon from wenonah, or yellowstone from bell were big enough to trip in? Are there any other options out there that I should consider? I'm a pretty big guy at 230 lbs I dont know if the 14 or 14 1/2 footers would be big enough. I think I should consider something in the 16 foot range. Thanks for the help and advice.
I have no complaints about the solo plus. Stable and can cruise.
It's definitly more solo than tandem but I've used it in just about every application from tandem in some class 2-3, solo trips, tandem river float trips loaded down with coolers, and a couple wilderness trips tandem. She no longer makes the BW trips since I've upgraded... a little heavy and can be a bear on longer portages.
I use a penobscott 15. I like it. Unfortunately, Old Town no longer makes it. Sometimes you can find a used one.
You're a pretty big guy, I think the Solo Plus would work for you. I like that canoe though it isn't the fastest. Still, I think it is a good solo, flatwater, tripping boat.
I am also familiar with the Vagabond. A little smaller. Handles well on flatwater. But may be a bit undersized for you. Still, it can work if you pack light. I don't know the Yellowstone, but I would guess it is the same.
Look at the Wenonah Encounter. I am six foot and 225 pounds. My Encounter has capacity for myself and two large packs and still handles exceptionaly well. You can save a little money by going with the fiberglass layup or look for a used one
The search is over. I just got back from picking up my solo canoe in La Crosse, Wi. Found a great deat on paddling.net. A Wenonah kevlar solo plus ultralight for $750.00. I'm so excited this canoe is in great shape and only used two seasons. I never thought I would be able to own/afford a kevlar canoe. I can't wait to get it in the water and try her out. The trip worked out well because I was able to visit with my mom while I was in La Crosse. This will sure beat soloing in my royalex spirit II.
Now for the next question what do you solo canoers use for a yoke. I have seen the ones that clamp on the gunnels or the ones that clamp on to the seat. Any thoughts or ideas? Thanks.
Seeing its a Wenonah do you have a tractor seat and is it on a pedestal or mounted to the gunwales.
I have a Wenonah Prism with pedestal mount tractor seat and I use a CVCA (Chosen Valley Canoe Accessories) pedestal mount clamp on yoke. It takes about 10 seconds to attach or remove at a portage. It gets the canoe up off my shoulders for visibility and they are pretty darn comfortable. They have solo yokes designed both for pedestal mount and gunwale mount. The gunwale mount takes a little longer to attach but still looks like it works great.
CVCA will be at Canoecopia in the Wenonah space. You can also check them out online-link below.
I have no commercial interest in CVCA. I do know the owner who is a great guy and fellow paddler and I love his stuff.
Ditto on the CVCA yoke... if it's the one I'm thinking(Ragamuffin???)
I beat mine pretty hard on it's first trip and had to do some repairs to keep it going. I gave it a semi harsh report on another site... a while later the designer contacted me about my report and asked for input. I was impressed by that. He sent me modifications for my yoke and I haven't had issues since.
Good for you, tony. Congrats. Regarding the Solo Plus, I have never seen one with tractor seats. Web seats are standard, so I assume Tony's is as well. Still, contacting Rags at CVCA is a good idea. I know he also makes yokes for non-pedistal seats.
Tony, are you heading to canoecopia? If you are I know that Rags will be there - probably at the Wenonah area. That would be an excellent time to take to him about it.
I'm just not sure how a clamp-on yoke would work with Wenonah's gunnels ... if they are aluminum gunnels. If they are wood gunnels, then a clamp-on yoke will work fine.
Unfortunately I have to work and will be unable to attend Canoecopia. I do not have the pedestal seat. The seat I have is the standard hung web seat and the gunnels are aluminum. If I reemember right is'nt CVCA from a little town south of Rochester, Mn? Any one know if they have a store front or are they strictly mail order?
tony; I have used both the web seat mount from CVCA, and an gunwale mount from WENONAH, identical the CVCA item. The gunwale mount is quicker to attach/detach and more stable IMO. Some people have complained about the pads but after I adjusted mine the are comfy and stable. To keep the adjustments from slipping put a hose clamp around
the the 2 tubes that the pads mount to.
Happy paddlin' enjoy your new boat!
“There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”
? Frank Zappa
FYI-most of the solo yokes (pedestal mount, seat mount or gunwale mount) that Wenona sells are made by CVCA and distributed through Wenonah. Its possible the gunwale mount yoke you had from Wenonah was also made by CVCA. CVCA has also made more traditional wood gunwale mount yokes if you would rather. Check with Kevin at CVCA for this option as it is a little more of a custom job.
"When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known."
Sigurd F. Olson