08-20-2012Submitted by: meanderlee
Reviews for Rendezvous Canoe by We-no-nah Canoe
Based On: 20 Reviews
- Rating: 2 of 10 Cons: very tippy & not very maneuverable considering, can't carry much load considering length and weight, oilpans more than some other Royalex boats (acts more like Royalite but without lightweight characteristics), ugly metal seathangers, ugly battleship gray interior, ugly maroon exterior (if I wanted an ugly boat, I'd buy a kayak), noisy metal gunwales.
Pros: hmmmm... can't think of any right now.
This is strictly an Expert Boat, not because an expert would ever buy one, but because it takes an expert to know how to compensate for its design flaws. Of the boats at our livery-- Bell Northwind and Northshore, Old Town Penobscot, Mohawk 14'-- this is by far the least favorite, and the only boat that has managed to dunk every guide (we don't put clients in it). It fails the stand-up-paddle test and the water-entry test. It wants to roll like a log but doesn't have the agility you'd expect. A Mohawk 14' in Royalite is a much better/lighter small solo boat, or for the Rendevous' weight/length I'd much rather be kneeling solo in a Royalex Bell Northwind or Old Town Penobscot. A nice fellow from Denver told me, "it's tippy when bow heavy. Has to be trim of bow up." Whatever... If you inherit one of these, condolences.
- Rating: 7 of 10 I bought my Rendezvous 3 years ago.
It's royalex with the adjustable seat. The hull design emphasizes quite a differential in what the boat looks like above and at the waterline so handling is actually friskier than appearances may suggest. The shear of the front keel reminds me of the Cigarette boats on Miami Vice..radical slope there!..why so much? who knows. It doesn't seem to affect handling under normal conditions and maybe it means a drier entry in ww.
The Rendezvous makes a good long distance tripping boat and is a nice compromise in the tracking/maneuverability trade-off; easy to paddle and adequately nimble . My biggest complaint is with the adjustable seat which is for me a annoying nuisance. It's hard/impossible to adjust while in the boat, may increase tendency for things to get caught in its mechanism and would probably slip out of its settings on a portage if the boat were upside down . If I were taking this boat on a serious wilderness trip , I would drill out the seat rivets and junk the seat for a (better) normal hung seat or pedestal.
06-07-2010Submitted by: Scott
With a better seat I would give the Rendevous a higher score of 8.
- Rating: 9 of 10 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 donít intend to anymore. Also I had the opportunity to fish the BWCA four times in Rented Kevlar Wenonahís. 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 Yellowstoneís, 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, Iím 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 Iím 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.
03-20-2006Submitted by: Konga Man
- Rating: 9 of 10 Now that I've had the boat for several years, I'm in a position to provide an amended review. After multiple overnighters up to class III+, it was clear that the boat wasn't as dry as some others. Although I had no trouble maneuvering the boat, it seemed that it would take on more water than other boats following the same line.
So, last year I decided to make the mods that Eric Nyre described in his review (new web page: http://www.canoecolorado.com/canoeing/wenonah/rendezvous/modification/). I had previously relocated my rear thwart to accommodate specific gear, so I used the original rear thwart as the front thwart (increasing the beam ~2.25"), moved the seat back ~4", and relocated my rear thwart back another 4" (which was the same as installing a longer thwart). Big difference: much drier in the waves and much more controllable with better trim when paddled empty.
However, I went a step further: I noticed that the bow was still slightly pinched in by the front grab bar. It still didn't shed water as well as one might hope. As such, I made a new grab bar that was about 1.5" longer than the original. Now we're talking! This is the ticket. The boat is *much* drier, with no apparent loss of maneuverability.
All in all, I still like this boat - but now I like it even better. If you've got a chance to pick one up on the cheap, make the move.
08-08-2005Submitted by: thepalins
- Rating: 8 of 10 Iím adding this to my last review on this boat. This is a great boat if you want to take a dog with you but only if you put them behind you. The boat is steady enough and actually handles better with the dog placed behind the paddler. In the bow makes the stern way to light and to hard to control the boat. I have also found that itís easier to keep the boat under control with stern strokes rather than bow.
04-12-2004Submitted by: thepalins
- Rating: 9 of 10 I recently bought a royalex rendevous and what a fun boat to paddle it is. In the beginning I to thought the seat was in the wrong place because occasionaly I would have trouble betting the front end to respond to bow strokes. I moved the seat back an inch and that didnt seem to help because while it made the front end lighter I lost some reach while doing bow strokes. So then I moved the seat an inch forward of the stock position and the front responded better but that made the stern to light and harder to control. I think the boat could use a little less rocker in the back to make it more controlable. I moved the seat back to the original position and now that ive gotten more used to it she does fine.However this boat is a blast to paddle once you get used to it Ive found that if you do vertical strokes or use a c-stroke it will track very nicely you just have to be aware of how much your leaning it. She moves along easily turns on a dime when you want it too and has the best speed of any royalex boat that ive paddled so far. If I was going to have only one boat this would be it for paddling rivers although I would go Kevlar because I'm spoiled.
03-22-2004Submitted by: Eric Nyre
- Rating: 8 of 10 There is some confusion when people compare Royalex and Kevlar (or Tuffweave) Rendezvous. While the boats may look similar, their performance is different.
The Kevlar Rendezvous is actually fairly fast. It requires one to switch sides frequently, but with good paddling technique it scoots along quite well. My GPS topped it out at 6.2 mph, with a cruising speed of 5mph. The Royalex Rendezvous is not nearly as nice. The blunt entry pushes water, and the fixed seat makes adjusting trim difficult. The Royalex Rendezvous is better suited to moving water, while the composite is more versatile.
We-no-nah removed the Kevlar construction from their catalog. It is still available, with the same prices/ options as a comparable Prism.
If you have a Royalex Rendezvous bought before 2004, you may have noticed some problems with the boat. We have built a site at www.canoecolorado.com/canoeing/wenonah/rendezvous/modification.htm that gives guidelines on how to fix those problems with some simple modifications.
10-20-2003Submitted by: g2d
- Rating: 7 of 10 Tried an ABS Rendezvous on a lake, in moderate wind. Before going further, let me state that I am primarily a whitewater paddler. I have a MR Guide, a MR Synergy, which I often solo, a Millbrook Wide Ride C-1, and a Dagger Zealot slalom C-1. I am not an expert, just an experienced intermediate.
From my perspective, the Rendezvous seemed quite fast and easy-tracking on the lake. On the other hand, it did not turn NEARLY well enough for technical whitewater use. I weigh 215, and by leaning way back on the seat, I could get the bow light enough to force it to one side or the other, but then the stern was digging in seriously. It was not possible to sink the stern enough to loft the bow and get it to pivot.
While this boat could cruise well in wavy class 2 rapids, and could crash through some class 3 rapids like the Nantahala's Lesser Wesser, it is NOT a maneuverable whitewater boat. My Mad River Guide puts it to shame. I can actually run easy slalom gates in the MR Guide, while the Rendezvous would be hopeless on any slalom course I have seen. To put the case even more clearly, I would rather run whitewater in my 16' 10" Bluewater Chippewa, nominally a tandem boat, but much easier to maneuver. Glad some of you are happy with the Rendezvous in whitewater, but in the interest of protecting consumers, I have to say, this is a real decent, fast river boat, but not for cruising whitewater.
06-23-2003Submitted by: TW
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought a used expedition layup Kevlar Rendezvous on a whim, before I knew about the rocker. But during a 246 mile river trip, I learned that with the proper paddle, it propelled me for 34 reasonably comfortable miles per day. Purists, you can stop reading now, because it was a long carbon fiber sea kayak paddle that made the difference. I had purchased the paddle just to provide variety during my 10 hours in the boat each day, but after 1.5 days, I realized that the kayak paddle added a full 1 mph to my pace, not to mention being easier to handle in headwinds. My three canoe paddles rested for the remainder of the trip. I'll do the 213 mile Suwannee this fall, carrying one canoe paddle as my backup. (Fortunately, where I paddle close to home, no one really knows what is supposed to be correct anyway, so I get no odd looks.) Seriously, the rocker problem disappears with a light, long kayak paddle.
08-12-2002Submitted by: SHOOTER1982
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have kevlar rendevous with a center rib that runs most of the length of the canoe. There is not much I can not do with this boat. I agree with most about wind on a lake, but find me any kind of paddle powered craft that handles well on a windy lake (I just slow down and j-stroke my way home). I have run this boat through class II and lots of rivers and lakes, it turns very well, tracks well, when I sit and switch and dont go over three strokes a side, it is not a speed demon, but I do keep up just fine with my bro' in his prism. He in fact has been looking to get a copy of mine because of its all around versatility. I really like the tractor seat and have it set to be adjusted for sitting or kneeling, I slide it all the way forward when I kneel and then back 3 notches when I sit. I have demo'd many other solo canoes and none has yet to compare to the versatility of my kevlar rendevous.
07-01-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 6 of 10 Of my current three canoes, the Rendezvous remains the ugly stepchild --very hard to love. Plus side: extremely tough, quite stable, fairly maneuverable, vast cargo room. A great boat -- theoretically -- for wilderness whitewater river expeditions. However, in the real world of weekend trips on the pokier home rivers, this is not a happy choice. On quieter water (including some Class I rapids) this boat is a barge. Extremely slow, especially with head winds of any consequence. Problem persists even while kneeling and using strong forward strokes with proper vertical shaft placement. Frequent corrective strokes can't be avoided, which, of course, cuts the speed while doubling the effort. Weight of boat is also problematic; difficult for smaller folks (I'm 5'5", 150#) to heft on/off car top racks without assist. Ditto for carrying to/from put-in/take-outs. All 'round: a disappointment from We-no-nah.
05-06-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 7 of 10 The Rendevous is the best compromise I've found. I use mine mostly on the Middle Fork Salmon River and have run Marsh Creek at low water as a sort of prelude. It is a bit long for end of season creeking but if you want it bad enough the Rendevous will get you there ... and back. It's tough. It has suffered abuse ... on my second set of skid plates ... that no canoe should have to endure, been dragged up cliffs on a rope, battered on rocky shorelines, you name it ... even had a few bouts with saltwater ... and it's still sound. The boat of choice when you want a craft that will get you home from whatever.
05-06-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 More on the Rendevous: the first thing I do to any Wenonah that I'm going to use in difficult whitewater is to replace their wimpy thwarts. I've been substituting 3/4 inch red oak flooring which is strong, easy to grip for re-entry and allows you to mount a rod holder for fishing. I also add contoured knee pads and triangular foam wedges under the gunnel as thigh braces. I don't use knee straps. You can remove the bench seat (provided you beef up the thwarts)and install a pedastal. If you do this though, you should coat the inside of the hull where you are going to mount the D-rings with some epoxy. Otherwise, the inside of the hull will develop stress fractures ... at least that is what happened on my Wenonah Sandpiper.
With respect to the seat placement, I've experienced all the problems that other reviewers noted. However, I believe it's due to the asymetrical shape of the hull and the specific water conditions in which you are paddling. I've found that when the Rendevous is acting squirrely ...and this tends to happen on flat, moving water ... the key is to weight the "off side" (not the paddle side) of the canoe and use good technique (near-verticle paddle, minimum of correction etc.). So, I think that Wenonah puts the seat in exactly the right position for this craft. If you move the seat back, it's harder to get fore/aft trim right (you need to add weight in front of you to balance the craft. Also, you must increase the amount of correction you apply on each and every stroke, no matter the water conditions. To me, these are unacceptable prices to pay for avoiding the problems which other reviewers mentioned.
Finally, I replaced the bench seat with a pedastal, didn't like it and went back to the bench. The only modification I've made to the seat is to raise the back and angle it downward so that it's set up for kneeling and makes for an easier exit/re-entry. This is especially important for running steep, rocky stuff at low water when you want the ability to eject yourself from the boat ... like bull riders at the rodeo.
08-03-2001Submitted by: Konga Man
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had my Royalex Rendezvous for about 5 months, and I would echo Al's comments about its river running capabilities. I've taken it on several multi-day trips, and I can fit every bit of my gear in below the gunnels - and I don't travel light. For the pool and drop rivers that I run (Greenbrier, New, etc.) it's got a great combination of tracking and maneuverability, and it's dry through the waves, even with a full load.
The only drawback is the trim of the boat. As others suggest, it does seem to be a bit bow-heavy. It's not as much of an issue for me, because I travel loaded and just shift gear around, but if you're running empty you have to make sure you're back in the seat and sitting up straight (not leaning forward) or kneeling with your butt on the seat as opposed to resting against the front edge.
That small complaint aside, I have yet to see a better boat for my purposes. I had a chance to compare it with an MR Guide on a recent trip. The Guide turns more easily and seems to have a little shallower draft, but the Rendezvous tracks better, is faster, hauls more gear, is drier, and has a bigger cockpit (which we long-legged people like).
All in all, if you want a solo river runner, I'd say buy a Rendezvous.
12-29-2000Submitted by: JK
- Rating: 7 of 10 I own a Royalex Rendezvous. I totally agree with Tom's statement about the stock seat position being much too far forward. The boat has an unusual tendency to fight my attempts to control it. Once it begins turning even strong sweeps will barely bring it back the other way. Only a strong rudder stroke stops the turn, at the expense of the loss of speed. It has on occasion spun completely around 180 degrees with no eddy in sight! This phenomenon is worse in flat water than in riffles or rapids. No other boat I have ever paddled has exhibited this tendency. Some of the people I paddle with have mentioned that the boat appears bow heavy in the water. I have noticed that when I carry the boat to the river the seat rests on my head. With my other boats the seat is behind me when carrying. My temporary solution is to put all of my gear behind me to help trim the boat. I will eventually remove the seat and re-position it several inches back from the original location. In it's defense it is reasonably fast for a Royalex boat and looks like it will haul a lot of gear. Once I move the seat it should be a pretty good wilderness river tripper, which is why I bought it in the first place.
12-28-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 My Rendezvous is Royalex. I have a number of boats and I'm amazed at how much I use the Rendezvous since I have several "hotter" boats. My take on the Rendezvous - amazing versatility (ideal for rivers but also fine for lakes), good speed and glide, huge capacity for a solo, very safe in whitewater due to 15 inch depth, and ideal for taking the dog.
Downsides? It's not a feather (it's every bit of 52 pounds) and it's not very graceful if you try to freestyle it (it does not need to be leaned to turn, and if you lean it way over it will scare you).
My opinion is that the stock position of the seat is MUCH too far forward and this is why many readers find the boat hard to control in the wind. When I put my 70 pound dog in front of me in this boat - I could not control it...it just spins out...the only boat that has ever been so uncontrollable. I removed the seat and replaced it with a Bell kneeling thwart placed about 3 inches back from the stock position, and I also removed the rear thwart and replaced it with a Bell kneeling thwart. If I'm solo I sit in the stock position (3 inches rearward from original position) and when I bring the dog (Jessie - 70 pound black lab) I put her in front of me and I sit on the kneeling thwart where the rear thwart used to be...the trim is perfect with the dog. The boat is much more controllable and friendly than stock.
Royalex is fun...you can ram your friends.
10-23-2000Submitted by: Al
- Rating: 10 of 10 An awesome river boat. This boat excels in current. This boat will handle almost any runnable whitewater out there but will also get you down river to the next drops quickly. If your focus is strictly whitewater look at Dagger's lineup but if you want to do rivers this is the boat. Mine is 10yrs. old, center rib kevlar that I just can't destroy. I've also used mine on about a dozen solo trips to the pro-facto wilds of NW Ontario covering lakes and rivers loaded and under extreme conditions. There's not a better solo for extremely rough conditions. My Bell Magic is a better lake boat by far but if I could have only 1 solo this is it.
09-26-2000Submitted by: incanoe
- Rating: 10 of 10 Purchased my Rendezvous in Royalex mainly due to lower cost. Not overly heavy @ 52 lbs. Paddles well sitting or kneeling. I have the web seat which is canted slightly forward (never did care much for Wenonah's tractor seat). Turns well for a boat almost 16' lg. Tracks well too, considering the 2.5" of rocker. Nice stable paddling platform, especially kneeling. Doesn't 'slap' the water as noisily as my other Royalex boats when running wave trains. Great boat running w/ a light load up to Class II, or to Class III w/ bags. Haven't tripped in it yet, but appears that it will be a real gear hauler. I agree w/ other reviewers that it is affected by wind, especially w/ a light load. Definitely a river boat rather than a lake boat.
06-15-1999Submitted by: Mark
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have a rendevous with the kevlar center rib design with a foot brace. The boat tracks excellent in a river with a current. It is rated for class III whitewater, and I have taken it out in the open ocean in 4-5 foot waves (lots of fun). It is an excellent play boat for rivers; it will catch an eddy as fast as you can heel it over. Very stable and agile. It tracks OK in still water, but it is not a good lake boat. With 2.5" rocker, it is affected by wind a lot. The bow has 14" of rise, so it is a sail in a head wind. For any kind of river running up to 4 foot waves, I would recommend it for the most versatile boat for one person to own. It runs, it camps, it tracks, it catches eddies, It's the most fun you can have by yourself (in a canoe).
04-08-1999Submitted by: Don Carkhuff
- Rating: 10 of 10 I do rivers exclusively in this solo. It is designed and noted to be easy to turn. Emphasis on easy. It carries alot of gear. Enough for a 2 week trip if you have access to fresh water. Very poor choice in the wind of a lake.
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