Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Souris River Wilderness 18

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Souris River Wilderness 18

    Maker's Spec

    Length: 18'
    53 lbs (Duralite)
    46 lbs (Kevlar/Epoxy)
    44 lbs (Carbon-Tec)
    Gunwale Width: 34"
    Depth Bow: 20.5"
    Center: 14.5"
    Stern: 18"

    Maker's Write Up
    Since coming on the market, the Wilderness 18 has become one of our most popular canoe models.

    The hull, designed by Keith Robinson, is fast and stable. This canoe carries a "truckload" of gear and handles extremely well in rough water. The tracking is straight, but it can be easily turned when needed.

    This design is becoming the canoe of choice for outfitters in the Boundary Waters and Quetico.

    Simply put...
    "the Wilderness 18 is the ultimate canoe for wilderness tripping".

  2. #2


    uuuups, you guys are fast! Well here's my little review once again:

    Quote Originally Posted by floatingToolbox View Post
    I happened to purchase a used SourisRiverCanoe 'Wilderness18' the other year here in Germany. I am quite sure it is the only Souris that has found its way over to Europe (in a removal-container). It is in Kevlar, 23kg (I added a kneeling-thwart and a deep-dish yoke thus making it slightly heavier) and it is not less than 5,50m long. A large boat.
    [...]this is a boat for long trips and heavy loads (though I do even enjoy solo-trips and poling in it). The Souris system of 'flexible ribs' works really great. My used boat (approximately 10-12 years old) has a lot of scratches in its bottom but not any repair. In the water the material is quite stiff but if the boat touches rocks or anything hard under water the form flexes.
    I was surprised at how easy it was to get into eddies in this long boat. It turns on the prick when leaned. loaded and with two paddlers it tracks straight like any long boat should do.

    This is a picture of the boat at the time I got it.

    This is the added kneeling-twart (not like any other kneeling-thwart, I know, but quite comfortable!)

    My carrying-yoke (not really more comfortable than the carrying-pads but less bulky while loading the boat on the car-roof)


    Some more info on the 'Wilderness18':
    I am really happy with this king-size canoe.
    P A D D E L B L O G______________Bunděn er bŕtlaus mađur (Bound is boatless man)

    "Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing" - Henry David Thoreau

  3. #3

    Default We love Souris River canoes !!

    So this could indeed be the one and only Souris River canoe that got to Europe. We visited Red Rock back in June to try out various Souris River models and our favoured one is the Quetico 17 in Kevlar Epoxy layup - and for looks .. the le Tigre in red !
    Joe of Red Rock told us that he had once shipped a Souris River canoe to Germany. We then bought a canoe and tried to get it back to the UK, Joe kindly crating it. Our shippers said that kiln-dried timber would be OK for the crate (which is what they use at Red Rock, so they can shape a canoe-shaped crate for lighter weight.) Unfortunately on the day it was due to be collected, the freighting company declined to collect, saying they had made a mistake and it had to be fumigated by a certified fumigating company or in a heat-treated crate. This would put the weight up and cost up by several hundred, so we aborted the whole thing. This is still the canoe we want - we have paddled a lot and nothing in our expereince handles as well. This spring we used several Wenonah models as well as the Quetico 16, even this being better than the Wenonahs.
    By the way, in the Boundary Waters, the 18ft canoes tend to be normally used as 3-seaters, as BWCA rules say maximum party size is 4 canoes and 9 people, which is only achievable if one canoe has 3 folk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    The 18 foot length is handy as VIA Rail in Canada classifies it as "canoe" and charges ten bucks for a certain trip.

    If you have an 18.5 foot boat the same trip will cost you $352. Its classified as "freight" not canoe.

    It hauls a ton of stuff and the flexible rib system is handy where there are no portages and you have to run rapids.

    The downside is that the stern stem is quite high and in a quartering wind from the rear and the resulting waves...the boat wants to broach. It takes a bit of work to keep it in line.

    Excellent wave shedding ability. Its designed for huge lakes farther north than BWCA..such as Lake St. Joseph and Savant Lake.

  5. #5

    Default Unusual characteristics

    I've paddled many canoes, many days. I owned one and have tripped with every boat mentioned.

    The Wilderness 18 is stable, tracks well, has good capacity, is predictable, and is well built. The Kevlar/epoxy with a layer of glass on the outside is in my experience the best built canoe for being tough, light, and re-finish-able. Great durability and longevity mixed with performance.

    Compared to the Prospector 17' from Souris river, the Wilderness 18 is not as maneuverable, which is no surprise, but, and this is surprising, it is also not as fast. I was amazed to discover how a longer, straighter boat with a similar waterline width would be slower. It is, I assure you, not a fast design. It may be the entry line fullness which also lifts it over waves (though it is no dryer than the Prospector, both being very good in waves). This won't matter to most, and it is a great boat for those who switch rather than steer with strokes, or those who are new to steering. For my money, the Prospector 17 is a far better craft, being both faster and more responsive. Strange that they don't seem to make them anymore.

    Compared to the Quetico 18.5 the W18 is perhaps a bit more seaworthy but carries less, has less initial stability, and doesn't seem any faster.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    Hmmm..In our Wilderness 18 we carry two Ostrom Wabakimi packs and a 60 liter barrel and chainsaw, gas and oil. No way do I want to portage any more than that. That canoe carries plenty.

    When will Wenonah come up with a train friendly design at 18 feet ..not 18.5 feet?

    I agree the W18 is no pocket rocket..but to be fair our experiences are anecdotal. I have not run GPS tests with it to compare with our Odyssey..which we think is faster.
    "Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing." WS-prophecy about internet postings.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts