New Canoe - Wenonah Prospector 15

Lepmeister

Richard Proenneke
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Hi Everyone,

So I have been looking around at canoes over the last week, thinking that I deserved at least a little bit of a spend out of the tax return :malefico:

My main items on the wants list were …. Light (easy to load), rocker (so it looks the bushcrafty part) and secondary stability (so I can get it up on its side when solo paddling).

I started shopping with weight being the main priority and after always wishing for a Royalex canoe I was on a mission.

The Wenonah range had a couple of options that seemed to be candidates. So I made contact with Paddle and Portage Canoes (No affiliation, but I do highly recommended). After a few phone calls with Travis I decided that I should head down to Robertson to check a few of them out.

It was a line up between the Heron and the Prospector, both 15' and the same weight. The Heron was already out and he had his own personal 16' Prospector out so I could see the lines of both. I had the option of taking either of them for a test paddle on a nearby lake if I wanted, but I didn’t see the need in the end. We looked around his shed there were he has canoes of all types, many high performance Kevlar racing ones which was interesting and others still wrapped in the packaging all the way from Winona, Minnesota. We spoke about the two canoes I was looking at and discovered that a key factor for me between them was the initial and secondary stability; the Heron has good initial and less secondary with the Prospector being the opposite. He asked if it was the green or red that I was looking for (his 16' is red and the Heron he had was a custom order for a hire place and it was blue) Green I said. As it turns out the green Prospector 15' arrived in the most recent shipment and was still in the wrapping from the states... Was cool to be the person who unwrapped it :). We got it out and I played with it a bit lifting it into my shoulders, which was a breeze. I think that I got caught up in the moment and was just sitting there for a minute looking at it as if ‘oh I wish I could….’ And then realized that was what I was there for, the longing was over!
Whilst having a look through the shed of dreams (the Paddle and Portage canoe warehouse / workshop) a paddle hanging on the wall caught my eye, it was a Wenonah stamped Ottertail paddle in cherry. These paddles are made by Grey Owl Paddles and have also been on my dreams list for a while and have been the inspiration of the few paddles I have made myself. So I grabbed one of those too…. Just happened to pull a paddle out of the shipping box with the nicest grain I’ve seen in a while.

Thinking I may be able to get home and have a really quick test paddle in at Berowra, I was off!

803254_10151909335204879_1712903538_n.jpg

So up the highway I headed, stopped in at home just to grab my pack and i was off to Berowra. All full of excitement and butterflies I got there and had to take a couple of deep breaths... Getting it off the car and placing is softly on the ramp (foam pad underneath) was just a ‘WOW’ moment. Pushed off and was really happy with the stability when flat and then started to get myself into the paddle and tilt it up. It just felt natural... Fast.... And with it up on the edge I dint really feel like I needed to use a corrective stroke to keep it straight.

565880_10151909335194879_1100247875_n.jpg

Roll around to this morning and I was all set for a good paddle to get to know the new Canoe. I had oiled the new paddle and was looking forward to seeing how it felt.

I headed to Bobbin Head and shot upstream, it’s about 5 k’s each way – nothing massive but enough to get a feel for it. Starting at the Canoe launching area, and easily popping the Prospector on my shoulders and getting away, I was looking forward to getting past the marina and into the paddle rhythm.
I was amazed at how easy it was to make good time, keep it straight and have the canoe tilted on its side so the Wenonah sticker on the side was getting wet and still have all the control in the world. Maybe it was just my excitement that helped, but I paddled the whole way up without any breaks in paddling on the same side.

1174982_10151917070759879_1106763449_n.jpg

All in all - Its everything I was hoping for. From getting all excited researching, the service and enthusiasm of Travis at Paddle and Portage Canoes to my first couple of outings…
 

hillbilly

Lofty Wiseman
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Gotta love a canoe, congrats on the new craft. If you are on your own carry a big rubber tub/bucket, has many purposes but i also use as ballist in the front full of water, keeps the nose down and straight espeicially in windy conditions. Also good to keep weight in the bottom of canoe for balanvce. One of my most important items in my canoe.
 
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It sure is a good looking boat.
 

Lepmeister

Richard Proenneke
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Gotta love a canoe, congrats on the new craft. If you are on your own carry a big rubber tub/bucket, has many purposes but i also use as ballist in the front full of water, keeps the nose down and straight espeicially in windy conditions. Also good to keep weight in the bottom of canoe for balanvce. One of my most important items in my canoe.
Nice tip, thanks for it.

It sure is a good looking boat.
I have found myself in the garage just looking at it :)

Nice one Lep! Definately looks the goods! and by the review sounds that way too :) Cheers
The look and feel of it was a big part of the selection, so glad it went as well on water as it does to the eye... Thanks
 

Mickldo

Ray Mears
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Sweet canoe and that paddle ain't half bad either. I had never heard of this brand before, thanks for the review. I love the look of this canoe and it looks like it would be a sweet one to paddle. I have a kayak but the wife and daughter have been after me to get a double kayak so they can join in too. Recently though I having been thinking of getting a Canadian canoe instead. This one is the first that I have seen that I really like. I had been leaning towards an Old Town Saranac or Guide but I am liking this one a lot better.
 

Mountainwalker

John McDouall Stuart
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Sweet canoe and that paddle ain't half bad either. I had never heard of this brand before, thanks for the review. I love the look of this canoe and it looks like it would be a sweet one to paddle. I have a kayak but the wife and daughter have been after me to get a double kayak so they can join in too. Recently though I having been thinking of getting a Canadian canoe instead. This one is the first that I have seen that I really like. I had been leaning towards an Old Town Saranac or Guide but I am liking this one a lot better.
Yeah I have been thinking about getting a canoe for the same reason, kids are interested. From what I understand the Wenonah brand is from Minnesota. If any one knows how to design a good canoe you would image they would with the Great Lakes at their doorstep. Lots of great stuff comes from that region including Frost River packs.
 

Lepmeister

Richard Proenneke
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No offence but I'd buy the canoe for that paddle, its bloody beautiful!
Hahaha it was buy chance that i ended up with such a nice one. I knew it was special when Travis pulled it out of the box (looked like there was another dozen at least in there) and took a second look at it before commenting on how nice it was. I suggested that his afternoon was going to be spent looking through the rest of them to find one like it.
 

Lepmeister

Richard Proenneke
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Yeah I have been thinking about getting a canoe for the same reason, kids are interested. From what I understand the Wenonah brand is from Minnesota. If any one knows how to design a good canoe you would image they would with the Great Lakes at their doorstep. Lots of great stuff comes from that region including Frost River packs.
Yeah they are based in Winona (south of Deluth of where the Frost River Packs come from, nice packs too!)

The whole Wenonah story I found engaging and really made the choice of what ‘brand’ I wanted to own a lot easier. I had always been thinking that I would end up with an Old Town but the Wenonah story made me feel like it meant something to own one, rather than being a product from a manufacturer.

The Wenonah web site has their story and a YouTube has some interviews with Mike Cichanowski the Owner and founder.
 

Dean

Russell Coight
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Hey Lepmeister
Seems we may have a bit in common,
I too picked up my new Wenonah Prospector15 from Travis at Paddle and Portage a couple of weeks back from his latest shipment.
Like you I did a lot of research before buying my new boat. I went down to see the canoes at Paddle and Portage, Travis kindly took
us for a test paddle in a couple of his canoes (a Prospector16 in royalex and a Aurora16 from memory) and I went away to make my decision.
I did more research and finally decided on the Prospector15 in Tuf-Weave flex-core. I'm fairly new to paddling but I really love the new boat.
I chose the Tuf-Weave flex-core over the royalex because Travis reckons it'll be just as strong, it's a bit lighter and it was not much more $$$ than
the royalex model. The downside was that I needed to wait for it to be made and imported from the States which ended up taking a few months from
when I placed the order. I'm keen to progress to a bit of down river stuff, grade 1 to grade 2, so I hope the composite boat will take as much punishment
as the Royalex model.

Here's a photo of the new boat.
IMG_1891-2.jpg
For more photo's and a bit of a write up go to: http://www.siamhome.com.au/SiamHome_CooeeII_Blog.htm

Regards,
Dean.
 

Sheepsfoot

Russell Coight
Joined
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Melbourne
Hi Everyone,

So I have been looking around at canoes over the last week, thinking that I deserved at least a little bit of a spend out of the tax return :malefico:

My main items on the wants list were …. Light (easy to load), rocker (so it looks the bushcrafty part) and secondary stability (so I can get it up on its side when solo paddling).

I started shopping with weight being the main priority and after always wishing for a Royalex canoe I was on a mission.

The Wenonah range had a couple of options that seemed to be candidates. So I made contact with Paddle and Portage Canoes (No affiliation, but I do highly recommended). After a few phone calls with Travis I decided that I should head down to Robertson to check a few of them out.

It was a line up between the Heron and the Prospector, both 15' and the same weight. The Heron was already out and he had his own personal 16' Prospector out so I could see the lines of both. I had the option of taking either of them for a test paddle on a nearby lake if I wanted, but I didn’t see the need in the end. We looked around his shed there were he has canoes of all types, many high performance Kevlar racing ones which was interesting and others still wrapped in the packaging all the way from Winona, Minnesota. We spoke about the two canoes I was looking at and discovered that a key factor for me between them was the initial and secondary stability; the Heron has good initial and less secondary with the Prospector being the opposite. He asked if it was the green or red that I was looking for (his 16' is red and the Heron he had was a custom order for a hire place and it was blue) Green I said. As it turns out the green Prospector 15' arrived in the most recent shipment and was still in the wrapping from the states... Was cool to be the person who unwrapped it :). We got it out and I played with it a bit lifting it into my shoulders, which was a breeze. I think that I got caught up in the moment and was just sitting there for a minute looking at it as if ‘oh I wish I could….’ And then realized that was what I was there for, the longing was over!
Whilst having a look through the shed of dreams (the Paddle and Portage canoe warehouse / workshop) a paddle hanging on the wall caught my eye, it was a Wenonah stamped Ottertail paddle in cherry. These paddles are made by Grey Owl Paddles and have also been on my dreams list for a while and have been the inspiration of the few paddles I have made myself. So I grabbed one of those too…. Just happened to pull a paddle out of the shipping box with the nicest grain I’ve seen in a while.

Thinking I may be able to get home and have a really quick test paddle in at Berowra, I was off!

View attachment 13012

So up the highway I headed, stopped in at home just to grab my pack and i was off to Berowra. All full of excitement and butterflies I got there and had to take a couple of deep breaths... Getting it off the car and placing is softly on the ramp (foam pad underneath) was just a ‘WOW’ moment. Pushed off and was really happy with the stability when flat and then started to get myself into the paddle and tilt it up. It just felt natural... Fast.... And with it up on the edge I dint really feel like I needed to use a corrective stroke to keep it straight.

View attachment 13013

Roll around to this morning and I was all set for a good paddle to get to know the new Canoe. I had oiled the new paddle and was looking forward to seeing how it felt.

I headed to Bobbin Head and shot upstream, it’s about 5 k’s each way – nothing massive but enough to get a feel for it. Starting at the Canoe launching area, and easily popping the Prospector on my shoulders and getting away, I was looking forward to getting past the marina and into the paddle rhythm.
I was amazed at how easy it was to make good time, keep it straight and have the canoe tilted on its side so the Wenonah sticker on the side was getting wet and still have all the control in the world. Maybe it was just my excitement that helped, but I paddled the whole way up without any breaks in paddling on the same side.

View attachment 13014

All in all - Its everything I was hoping for. From getting all excited researching, the service and enthusiasm of Travis at Paddle and Portage Canoes to my first couple of outings…
hello just wondering what the 15 is like solo paddling > speed and tracking. I have the exact canoe as you but in 16 foot , thinking of changing to a 15 footer . ...cheers !
 
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