Submitted: 08-22-2007 by JNeal
I purchased the 16'6" Wenonah Prism in the flex-core Kevlar layup with optional footrest in March of 2007. The boat arrived in a timely fashion but with several dings in the finish and some black spots which I believe to be overspray from painting the gunwales. I also ordered the portage yoke but have yet to receive it five months later; the factory reps have been very cordial and prompt in answering my emails but the yoke still has not arrived.
The Prism is fast -- my GPS clocks it at 4.5MPH without pressing when using the double-bladed kayak paddle, and it has exceeded 6MPH downwind in a current. I generally get about 3.5MPH when using the traditional single-blade canoe paddle. A recent solo trip demonstrated the boat's speed, which surprisingly was almost as fast fully loaded. Incidentally, the Prism handled like a barge fully loaded until I rearranged the gear to improve the trim, after which it was fine; the sliding seat definitely helps the trim, especially when lightly-loaded.
This boat is designed to track extremely well, which means that it is definitely NOT suited for whitewater use as it cannot be turned quickly enough to be safe in a rock-strewn rapid, especially when loaded. However, last week I found myself in big water with a 25MPH wind and two-foot waves (not recommended for any paddlecraft!) and found the boat to be extremely steady and seaworthy. In summary, this is an excellent touring and tripping solo canoe for flatwater use which I would definitely recommend to anyone. If whitewater is your thing, however, look elsewhere as this boat is just not designed for it.