Spirit II vs Boundary Waters
Posted by: BWO on Mar-07-13 10:20 AM (EST) Category: Canoes
Would like to get peoples thoughts on these two Wenonah canoes. I have narrowed my search down to these two.
Usage would be mostly New England flatwater, fishing, family paddling, camping, bi-annual BWCA (and similar), and fishing. Stability, tracking, and capacity are important, but wouldn't mind a little bit of extra speed on the big lakes. Both seem to be very similar. BW has 1" rocker vs the 1.5" of the Spirit II. BW has 20" bow and stern where the Spirit II is 22" 19". I am also thinking of putting on a minnkota 50lb thrust when the family is around, and I can only afford the kevlar ultra-light :) Another factor is that we pack light but there is (and will always be ) a dog, fishing gear, and camera equipment on board, that is why I kind of lean toward the BW, but it seems the Spirit II might handle the big lakes a bit better. The MN II I feel is a bit to dedicated for the big lakes so I tend to shy away from that one.... The tough part is trying to test drive these two since there is very limited (if at all) availability in proximity to where I live (Beantown). So any thoughts?
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Spirit II, Minnesota II|
Posted by: pblanc on Mar-07-13 11:32 AM (EST)
I have tripped in a Spirit II and it is a very capable flat water tripping boat. The Spirit II has been Wenonah's all purpose tandem for many years, with enough rocker to give it a bit of maneuverability but pretty efficient for lake travel as well.
note seating differences|
Posted by: TomD on Mar-07-13 11:47 AM (EST)
Spirit (composite) uses bucket seats with a very helpful sliding bow seat to adjust trim depending on paddler or conditions. On the other hand, you can't paddle backwards from the bow to use as a solo. BW uses fixed hung web seats with no trim adjustment, but easier to use as a solo?
Tom, there are probably few Wenonah|
Posted by: ezwater on Mar-07-13 11:29 PM (EST)
canoes where the bow seat is far enough back to use for solo paddling. And I believe that is an asymmetrical canoe anyway, so sitting on the bow seat will leave the narrower part of the hull sunk down even deeper.
Spirit II vs Boundary Waters|
Posted by: plaidpaddler on Mar-07-13 11:37 PM (EST)
Neither of these canoes paddles well backwards due to their assymetry, so the buckets seats of the composite Spirit II is not a drawback. Neither is a good solo since both are wide in the middle. I have soloed the Spirit for many miles from a drop-in seat and it can be done, but its nothing like paddling a true solo. The Boundary Waters has an edge in stability and cargo capacity since it is wider over more of its length and the bottom is flatter. The shearline is lower and flatter, rising just at the ends. I didn't like it as well in open water, the Spirit is faster, and seems to handle waves better. The differences are slight. Either one will handle what you intend to do. If stability is #1, then the Boundary Water has the edge. If speed is #1 then the Spirit is the choice.
Do I flip a coin?|
Posted by: BWO on Mar-08-13 11:14 AM (EST)
Thanks for the input.... I do not intend to solo paddle the canoe so I am not to concerned with that aspect.
Posted by: plaidpaddler on Mar-08-13 4:19 PM (EST)
One other item that might swing the choice is a sliding bow seat. If the Boundary Water is not available with the sliding bow seat; take the Spirit.
... But in contrast to that,...|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Mar-08-13 4:37 PM (EST)
... some paddlers prefer to kneel as much as possible, in which case the standard seat would be a lot better (and of course it can be adjusted to fit, just not adjusted "on the go" for varying conditions). I don't recall any comment by the OP about sitting versus kneeling. For sitting paddlers, the adjustable seat sounds like the optimal setup, and I've never heard anything but good things about the Spirit II as a general-purpose boat.
Why paddle them backwards? |
Posted by: ezwater on Mar-10-13 1:40 AM (EST)
It isn't hard to put in a kneeling thwart or a pedestal in the proper place, close behind the yoke or center thwart.
point taken re solo paddling!|
Posted by: TomD on Mar-11-13 1:51 PM (EST)
Posted by: mr_canoehead on Mar-10-13 12:57 AM (EST)
I vote Spirit II. That said, they are very similar.