From a non-kneeler...
Posted by: Al_A on Oct-22-12 10:22 PM (EST)
Original post didn't say what kind of rivers. In any river that's class 1 or which has only occasional class 2, I would always opt for the boat that tracks better. I can make a decent tracking canoe maneuver well a lot easier than making a highly maneuverable boat track well. On the Ozark streams I usually paddle, I'd opt for the Wilderness strongly over the Argosy, and it would seem to me to be the better boat for lake paddling, and hold more gear easier.
I know kneeling and leaning and heeling is cool and all that, but unless you're competition paddling or just want to play around with your boat, I don't see a lot of advantages in doing so, other than kneeling in heavier whitewater to put your center of gravity lower. Seems to me that you're not going to be doing a lot of stuff that requires leaning and heeling if you're on a multi-day river trip with a loaded boat.
I own a Vagabond, along with a couple of old Oscoda Codas. I can make any of those boats do anything I want it to in rivers up to Class 2...mostly without heeling and leaning.