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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      solo canoe question     

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drrick
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01/25/2015 10:38PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
Is there much of a difference in the Wenonah Prism compared to the Wilderness as far as tracking? Also stability while on the move. Is one or the other better when traveling with a 45lb. dog ? Most of my local trips are on wide flat rivers here in SC. Any help will be appreciated ? Rick
 
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barracuda
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01/26/2015 08:15AM  
Love my prism! Have not paddled the wilderness but it is a foot shorter so is not supposed to track as well.

I have both a 50lb and a 60lb dog and when I take the 50lb he seems to barely effect the trim. Have also been amazed at how stable the canoe is (fully loaded) when the 60lb accidentally walks backward out of the canoe (while I am paddling) or jumps in/out at a portage awkwardly (she can be a ditz).

I like how my prism tracks and paddles, having a boat a foot shorter mainly intrigues me on the smaller creeks. If no gear bring a dry bag and fill with h2o to trim the boat.
 
barracuda
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01/26/2015 08:40AM  
double post
 
01/26/2015 09:05PM  

Both solo canoes should provide adequate initial stability with a medium to large dog and gear in my opinion.

In simplest terms; the Wilderness would be a better all-around solo canoe for rivers and lakes, shorter length at 15' 4" with 1.25" of rocker compared to the the Prism at 16' 6" with essentially no rocker.

The Prism is more of a sit and switch style solo canoe and has better tracking and performance than the Wilderness. The Prism has more tumblehome, a sliding tractor seat and footbrace standard, which again, is more geared to sit and switch paddling with a bent shaft paddle.

The Wilderness, with the canted web seat and slight rocker would be better suited to a paddler that prefers to kneel, and maybe favors a straight shaft paddle and more traditional, corrective strokes. That's not to say a bent shaft is inappropriate, but the Wilderness would be better suited to a straight shaft paddle, and a paddler that rather use a j-stroke than sit and switch.

Both are good BWCAW solo trippers IMHO. The Prism compares more closely to a Bell/Northstar Magic, whereas the Wilderness is more comparable to the Bell Rockstar or Northstar Northwind Solo.

If I had to chose, I'd go with the Prism, because I like the way the Prism paddles and handles compared to the Wilderness. That said, I'm admit-ably bias. I prefer the longer, leaner sit and switch style solo canoes. To that end, I paddle a Wenonah Voyager at 17 6", which handles my 90-pound Golden Retriever, my gear, and me quit well.

If you have the opportunity, try to paddle both canoes with your dog before you decide.

Hans Solo

 
drrick
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01/27/2015 12:39PM  
Hans, Thanks for the excellent reply. I'm curious about the ease of turning the Prism. With no rocker are you just able to paddle on one side to have the boat turn away from that side or is some type of modified stroke "draw type" needed ? I'm happy that ignorance can be cured. Rick
 
01/27/2015 07:37PM  

quote drrick: "I'm curious about the ease of turning the Prism. With no rocker are you just able to paddle on one side to have the boat turn away from that side or is some type of modified stroke "draw type" needed? Rick"

The term "Sit and Switch" can sometimes be a bit of a misnomer. That is, although you're switching sides to efficiently propel and guide your solo canoe from Point A to Point B, other techniques (i.e., heels, edging, draws, pitches, etc.), are necessary for more precise turns.

Long, straight tracking solo canoes with pronounced tumblehome, like the Wenonah Prism, Advantage, Voyager and the old "classic" Sawyer solos, such as the DY Special and the Shockwave, can be turned effectively when you roll the side of canoe up on the tumblehome sides and employ proper draws or other maneuvering strokes.

Of all the solo canoes I own, or have owned, Sawyer Canoe's DY Special at 16' 8" is still one of my favorites. I love the way the DY paddles and tracks, but it's also what many paddlers hate about it. There are probably few solo canoes that track as well as the Sawyer DY Special. (pictured below) The DY Special compares to Wenonah's Advantage at 16' 6".

I've successfully paddled the DY Special on some fast, twisting streams, often with gear. These rivers include the Namekagon River in Northwest Wisconsin, and the Eleven Point and Jacks Forks River in Missouri.

My point is, if I can effectively paddle a DY Special down the aforementioned rivers, a Prism can also easily maneuver those waterways with proper technique.

Hans Solo

 
drrick
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01/29/2015 12:47PM  
Hans, I forgot to say. That is a sweet looking boat man. It looks like it rides low in the water. Is that so and how does that work in "heavy seas" ?? Rick
 
01/29/2015 07:13PM  

quote drrick: "Hans, I forgot to say. That is a sweet looking boat man. It looks like it rides low in the water. Is that so and how does that work in "heavy seas" ?? Rick"

It handles heavy seas much better than you'd think, especially from the stern.

I've paddled the DY in some large, followings seas down Saganaga Lake, across Gabimichigami Lake, across Cache Bay in Quetico, just to name a few. Although the stern is low, the waves from following seas tend to lift the hull up and the DY just rides them down. That's has also been with a load and often with the 59-pound English Setter pictured above. Seems weird, but that characteristic about the DY Special's hull never ceases to amaze me.

The sharp entry lines tend to slice oncoming waves though and drop a good deal of water into the bow section. Quartering the oncoming waves just right tends to lessen the "slice". It's not so much the bow depth, but the lack of bow flare that makes for a wet ride.

I eventually plan to outfit one of my DY Specials with a CCS canoe cover, much like butthead did for his Wenonah Advantage. With the CCS cover, a Sawyer DY Special would be close to the seaworthiness of a touring kayak in my opinion.

Hans Solo
 
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