Submitted: 04-03-2008 by yetiman
I have had my Voyager for about as long as anyone. I bought the first one sold (the second one built) and have paddled it a fair amount (as well as several other canoes) in the years since. I paddle it empty for day trips quite a bit, and find it handles a LOT better with a few gallons of water in a jug placed in the stern.
The real beauty of the voyager comes when paddling it loaded with gear though. Empty, it is a bit twitchy and my hips get a workout from the initial stability. The secondary stability is fantastic though. With a load in it, the Voyager settles in and is very comfortable and stable. It paddles just about as well, and doesn't get blown around any where near as bad as it does empty.
I don't really have any reservations about using it as a day paddler, but would choose my Advantage over it for that use. But when going for a trip the Voyager is an awesome solo craft. I paddle the Wisconsin River a couple times a year in it, often accompanying friends who are paddling my Sundowner 18. Granted, I am a stronger paddler than them, but I never have any trouble keeping up (in fact it's sometimes the other way around).
As a solo tripper, it's a 10. As an empty day paddler I would rate it an 8. The Voyager is very seaworthy and a lot of fun to play with in waves. I am very seriously considering a cover for it for windy days, but I don't like the idea of drilling it for snaps.