Submitted: 06-07-2010 by Scott
When I was looking to purchase another canoe I found this website as well as the forums very informative. For that, I will do my part to input my own thoughts. My write up involves the purchase of a Royalex Wenonah Rendezvous.
For people trying to figure out if a boat is correct for them is difficult as posters have all different interests, skill levels, etc. I am extremely happy with the handling, speed, and stability of the Rendezvous. Having said that let me explain my interest and background.
I am 41 and have been paddling rocky creeks around SW Mo and NW Ar for many years. I do a lot of camp floating carrying much gear as well as fishing small creeks in the middle of summer in low water levels. In my younger days I paddled the upper Buffalo many times in high water as well as Hailstones. Paddled some WW rivers out east, and many others. With that said, I did my share of swimming and have not paddled WW rivers in some time and don’t intend to anymore. Also I had the opportunity to fish the BWCA four times in Rented Kevlar Wenonah’s. However, a good two or three day camp float on the Buffalo at Ponca with a foot of air space is certainly still in my sights.
Myself as well as all my buddies have owned several boats over time, but at this stage we have sold all of our bathtub rockered WW boats and stick with 16 footers with 36" widths and still have a hoot.
Over the last several years I have found myself paddling my Mowhawk Intrepid 16 by myself more often than not. Great boat, but solo I thought I might look for a smaller boat. I wanted a narrower boat for more efficient paddling strokes, a faster boat, Rocker between 1 to 2 inches, but did not want to sacrifice the ability to run down river and hit big rollers and did not want a shallow boat.
After researching boats it was evident that the canoe builders put slightly rounded bottoms on down river boats. That spooked me as far as stability, and low water fishing and swimming trips. Also, these boats were a great deal narrower than what I have been accustomed to and I did not want a tippy WW boat. I found myself looking at the Wenonah Argosy, Rendezvous, Bell Yellowstone’s, Nova Craft Supernova, Mad River Freedom Solo, and the Mohawk Odysseys. These boats are narrow and I was hesitant due to the stability factor as well as most of these boats have rounded bottoms and people consider them WW boats.
Well I found a nice Wenonah Rendezvous for sale used. Doug in KC had it and I decided to head north with cash in hand and give this northern/Canadian style boat a try. Paddled it the other day and I was pleasantly surprised with stability. Trust me I had my doubts about such a narrow beam width. This boat was great so I started fixing the skid plates as well as installing some anchor tie down points in the hull.
The boat is a typical Wenonah design with pointed and narrow ends for speed, but the bow of this boat is very deep and flares quickly to keep you dry in rollers. The boat had already been modified by increasing the bow width and moving the seat back a few inches per Eric Nyre at canoecolorado.com.
Now having paddled it, I’m glad I did not get a shorter boat such as the argosy or the yellowtone solo. This boats feels small and short when paddling and I need the camping space. Comfortable on the seat, but when technical stuff is coming I plan on dropping down to the knee pads
I still will float my trusty Mohawk Intrepid, but when paddling alone no way. Bring on the camp floats, and a mixture of water conditions and I’m set. I will also try to post my experiences with skid plate installation over the years, Epoxies, do-it-yourself tie mounts, & knee pads in other sections of the forum.