-- Last Updated: Apr-11-12 2:09 PM EST --
1. I've been looking for a lighter weight replacement for my Old Town Tripper as my all-around tandem, but haven't found anything that would be quite as versatile. The tripper can handle both whitewater and flatwater (though it gets blown around in the wind on day trips without much load and can feel like paddling a barge). It is big and stable so it is good for taking beginners out and can carry one or two passengers too, so non-paddling friends can go along. It is a rugged canoe and can take a beating. Old Town advertises it as making whitewater an experience anyone can enjoy and that is a good description. Although I don't have much experience with different tandem canoes, I can't think of any canoe I'd rather have for paddling through rapids with an inexperienced partner.
For all-around solo I'd say a Mohawk Odyssey.
For the other questions I don't have enough experience with different tandems to choose a favorite, so I'll answer for my solo choices.
2. I'd take my Wenonah Voyager with a wind/spray cover, though I haven't tried other options under these conditions.
3. Flashfire. Hemlock Kestrel if the trip is longer distance and/or less maneuvering.
4. For mixed whitewater and flatwater, Mohawk Odyssey.