Submitted: 01-08-2007 by KenE
I have the ultra light Kevlar Encounter. Iím not impressed, but perhaps I am using it wrong. I used it for a 5-day BWCAW trip. It was way too much boat! It never sat down in the water for me. It always felt like it was bobbing on the surface and caught way too much wind. Perhaps it needs to carry 3 months of gear plus trade goods (like a Franklin stove). I guess I should have better heeded Wenonahís classification as it being an expedition canoe.
To come close to trimming the canoe I had to slide the seat as far back as it could go plus put my large pack behind me. Those that say the seat needs to be mounted 12" further aft are correct. Furthermore, the placement of the foot brace is all wrong. With the foot brace moved as close to center as possible and the seat move forward as far as possible, my feet barely reached it. Granted I am not tall, but to have the seat set to where it trims the canoe (ie as far back as possible) youíd need to be seven feet tall to reach the brace even with it set as close to center as possible.
I found the canoe to be neither efficient nor fast. I found it be non-responsive and a tug to paddle. I will say Wenonah is correct saying that it is buoyant and stable.
To those thinking I have a grudge against Wenonah, I donít. I am a happy owner of a Wenonah Prospector 16 (great boat), am a former owner of a Sandpiper, and have enjoyed paddling the Vagabond, Solo Plus, Spirit II, Adirondack, and Escapade. The Encounter is one of the few Wenonahs that I havenít liked.
If you are looking for a solo, work boat that needs to carry a very large load, this may be right boat for you. If you want a tripping boat for canoe camping for less than a month, this boat is too big.