Submitted: 09-29-1999 by Big Al
Two paddling neighbors have had the Royalex Sundowners for several years as well as a number of other boats including Kevlar Wenonah cruisers, Dagger Royalex canoes, and even an old Prospecter. So, when I joined up with them to be part of a relay team (NECRA) at the General Clinton Race from Oneonta to Binghamton this past May – an aluminum canoe 35-mile race done in 100 degree weather in “suckwater”- I knew of their fine appreciation of this craft. The race take out is at the General Clinton Fairgrounds and where there are a number of canoe vendors. I spotted a good deal on a new Sundowner with black anodized aluminum adjustable tractor seating. With great encouragement from my colleagues I purchased it and we loaded it up on my friend’s truck for the 2-hour ride home. I was shaking with excitement as I finally joined my Sundowner brethren, knowing I could now sell my Old Town Discovery 169 – not a bad boat, at all, just too tubby for me.
The main intent is to use it for White Water racing and playing. I’ve rigged it with Kevlar skid plates, and a foam spray band around the bow gunnels. I want to make the stern seat adjustable to make it more of a “mixer” because my two daughters are only about 75 lbs. each and it’s virtually impossible to have the boat trim.
I rank this boat a “9” as it meets my current need for a WW racing/playing canoe. If money were no issue I’d love to have the yellow Kevlar version, as it looks real sleek though it’s at least 1-2 times more expensive. I can’t ever see myself selling the Sundowner. However, in the coming years I see myself adding both a solo cruiser and solo playboat as paddling solo in the Sundowner would require some serious re-rigging which I’m not prepared to do.