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Thread: Something properly light as a second canoe?

  1. #1
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    Default Something properly light as a second canoe?

    Afternoon all. Many will have seen my thread on the collection & renovation of Red Kite's Lapstrake canoe recently, which will always have pride of place in the fleet, as it were - and in comparative terms is actually surprisingly light (32.5kg on the scales post renovation - but I was generous with the paint!). I've had an issue with the nerves in my left arm* for about a year, which has meant that we've been two-man handling her, which should be easy, but my wife has issues with arthritic fingers, so it's not easy for her (other tales of woe are available...)

    Imagine my delight when said wife asked rather casually if there were lighter canoes available, and should we perhaps get one of those, too

    We're always going to be paddling flat water, usually 3-up, incl a 9 y.o., and sometimes with a couple of smallish dogs too (they were remarkably well behaved on their first paddle down & up the Dart recently). We don't have the space to accommodate anything longer than 17ft (I haven't measured to the mm, but there or thereabouts), and I'd define light for us as sub 25kg, lighter the better.

    Leaving aside budget for the moment (it'd have to be a s/h purchase, involving some patience), what should we be looking at, given the above criteria/family requirements, do you think?


    *Old war wound, don't like to talk about it.**

    **actually, one of our ruddy dogs was running towards another dog of dubious look and I rather stupidly stuck my arm out to stop it, with unfortunate results

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    Lightweight generally equals expensive and often difficult to find. Budget aside, there are two British-built canoes that I am familiar with available in lightweight layups - the apache 16T-CKV (aka apache 16 if you're looking for reviews on here) which comes in at a quoted weight of 27kg (not 'properly lightweight' but quite reasonable at the price) and £1600 unoutfitted, and the mega outlander 16 in super light layup at 19-23kg and £1540. There are lighter layups available for the outlander at increased cost.
    I have paddled both, and own an old outlander which is still going strong. Of the two, I prefer the outlander for tandem trips as it feels a bit more predictable two-up than the apache. Neither seem to come up secondhand often, though I did see an outlander in carbon/kevlar on Ebay recently going for around £800 (a bargain for whoever got it)
    Both boats will do equally well solo and make good general purpose tourers, and the outlander is my first choice of boat for nearly every trip I make.
    While we're in the British-built composite bracket, the quetico from Solway is a good touring pocket tandem which can be made very light. I only know of this by reputation though, and it is quite a bit more money.
    Other 'properly lightweight' (for the sake of argument around 20kg or less) hulls are available from various manufacturers but are all imports, expensive and rare. I expect someone will be on shortly to sing the praises of the various Swift hulls, which are very good indeed but very costly as a result.

    Having written all that, I just reread your post to note there will be a third crew member. That would mitigate against the apache and the quetico. I have had the outlander loaded with a large adult(me) a large teenager and a large, mobile dog, total load around 32 stone. It was manageable, but behaved better with a load of around 25st (ie without the dog!) As my son is now bigger and heavier than me, we now paddle a nova craft cronje in tuffstuff, which although the longest of my boats is also the lightest. It makes for a very good flat/open water tourer, will carry a good load and yet if paddled from a kneeling thwart positioned reasonably centrally is also quite pleasant solo. It was a special order with ash gunnels, and was around £2000 when I bought it (exchange rates may've changed since then). Other reasonably light and more widely available nova craft hulls would be the ubiquitous prospector, either 16 or 17' in tuffstuff. Again, not cheap, but much more available, sometimes secondhand, and they would fit your requirements.

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    I've not weighed mine but a NovaCraft Prospector 17' RxL might suit ... it'd have to be second hand as they aren't made anymore
    Last edited by Potty Paddler; 8th-September-2019 at 07:09 PM.
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    Not sure you will get one second hand yet, but Northstar canoes can come pretty light. Speak to Craig @ marsport.

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    Good advice above.

    I'd also be looking at a Novacraft Pal in Tuffstuff, which should come in at about 22/23kg. Not going to be many about secondhand yet though. Really nice canoe for still waters, but still with enough manoeuvrability for twistier stuff. An older Pal in Royalex will still be pretty light too.

    Slightly more common are things like Wenonah P15s in Royalex, which come in at about 27kg I think, but do get snapped up quickly as they're very popular as an all round or river running canoe.

    Most other Royalex canoes will be closer to 30kg if you're looking at 16'.
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    Just had a quick look (dream) on the Northstar site and a Northwind 17 in Blacklite layup is about 20kilos. I’ve got a solo Phoenix on order and can’t wait for it to arrive on our shores.

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    I've been out for a brisk (and long) dog walk and just revisited the thread. Really helpful information all, thanks, do keep it coming!

    It occurred to me that I do have plenty of outside space where I could put a well-sheltered rack up to store another canoe, so the 17ft limitation is moot, really (but the wooden boat will always be indoors, of course)

    I did see an 18ft Kevlar (IIRC, or at least some other wonder fibre) boat linked a day or two ago, but when I looked at it it seemed rather sleek and narrow, and likely unsuitable for us. Is that a correct view do you think? Just re-read that and it's about as vague as it could be, but I'll have a truffle for the link and post it later.

    ETA
    This one: http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...evlar-for-sale
    Last edited by Bonefish Blues; 8th-September-2019 at 07:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonefish Blues View Post
    I've been out for a brisk (and long) dog walk and just revisited the thread. Really helpful information all, thanks, do keep it coming!

    It occurred to me that I do have plenty of outside space where I could put a well-sheltered rack up to store another canoe, so the 17ft limitation is moot, really (but the wooden boat will always be indoors, of course)

    I did see an 18ft Kevlar (IIRC, or at least some other wonder fibre) boat linked a day or two ago, but when I looked at it it seemed rather sleek and narrow, and likely unsuitable for us. Is that a correct view do you think? Just re-read that and it's about as vague as it could be, but I'll have a truffle for the link and post it later.

    ETA
    This one: http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...evlar-for-sale
    If you're after something fast in a straight line, its the bees bollocks (to mix my metaphors). However, it will be less suited to those more gentle bimbles. Not inherently unstable, but less so than most other things you're likely to come across. And it won't turn in a hurry...
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  9. #9
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    We don't turn in a hurry, based on our recent experience in a Hou 17, a bit of current and (quite a lot of, to be fair!) a crosswind...

    Tell you what though, our 9yo turned out to be a real demon for speed in a canoe, really competitive in a group!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonefish Blues View Post
    ... so the 17ft limitation is moot... I did see an 18ft Kevlar (IIRC, or at least some other wonder fibre) boat linked a day or two ago, but when I looked at it it seemed rather sleek and narrow, and likely unsuitable for us. Is that a correct view do you think?
    Before seeing your original length limit I thought the 18ft Jensen in the SoTP Classifieds would be perfect for you. I've not paddled one, but £1,400.00 is a good price for a canoe of that quality - and like others have said, the lightweight/exotic canoes don't come up for sale too often.
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.

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    That one has gone now.

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    Sub 25 kgs and you're looking at a composite boat, so you really do need to state a budget. The old adage "the lighter the boat the more it will cost" really does apply here.
    If you have deep pockets there'll be something in the Nova Craft or Wenonah stable that will fit the bill and will probably take 3/4 months to arrive. Even deeper pockets and a longer wait will bring you a Swift of your choice.
    Having had a couple of Mega Outlanders, whilst being a fine boat, I wouldn't recommend one for your stated usage.
    Since Apache have regrouped and raised their prices, I've paid them little attention, but that's not to say that they're not good value in the current market. However, the 16' will be too tippy for you, but it might be worth asking if they could make a Tribe that comes in under 25kgs.
    There are other North American/Canadian manufactures who make lightweight boats, but imported on an individual basis will make them very expensive. It might pay to speak to Greg (gregandginas) to see if he could get you something suitable.
    As already mentioned, a Northstar boat via Marsport might give you what you want, but again it won't be cheap.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  13. #13
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    Indeed, those boats are fiercely expensive - not helped by the Pound's current travails.

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    If light really matters then there's a strong case for considering skin on frame.

    Dave Gentry has a range of plans and is an amenable chap well worth talking to.

    http://gentrycustomboats.com/Home.html
    This post may vanish at any moment.

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    Hi

    If you like your current boat John from Valkyrie craft also does the skin on frame canoes

    Here's a few video clips of the one he made for me

    http://valkyriecraft.com/overview-of...ght-open-canoe


    And his webpage listing the weight of the boats
    http://valkyriecraft.com/overview-of...ght-open-canoe

    Ewan



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    My Swift solo canoe comes in at 12.5kg but judging by your response #13, it is likely too dear for you. Swift available in Austria, come up second hand very infrequently.

  17. #17
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    A left-field option might be a second hand Ally folding canoe. Mine is about 20kg.

    Doesn't paddle as fast as my Prospector but it sure feels lighter to portage!!!!
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  18. #18
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    What about a homemade stich and tape?

    My Peterborough is 24kg, complete and that's including epoxy inside and out and fibreglass sheathing. You could probably forgo the sheathing for open water only use.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

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    If you were going down the make one route and wanted ultra-light, you could look at the airolite boats. One of the Snowshoes should fit the bill.

    https://gaboats.com/boats/snowshoetraveler18.html
    "Oh, Eeyore, you are wet!" said Piglet, feeling him.Eeyore shook himself, and asked somebody to explain to Piglet what happened when you had been inside a river for quite a long time.

  20. #20
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    Tutorials and building supplies for skin on frame are also available from

    Skin boots School
    https://www.skinboats.org/

    And

    Plans and video tutorials from
    https://www.capefalconkayaks.com/canoes.html

    If you're interested in trying a home build I'm likely to be thinking of ordering some fabric or polyurethane from skin boots School in the next few months so perhaps we could combine postage.

    Ewan

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    Back on thread and gosh again, lots of thoughts views opinions and options, thanks everyone for taking the time!

    Things to eliminate no. 1 - building my own, not yet awhile, anyway. I'd love to, and I got huge pleasure from the renovation (mild as it actually was, tbh) of the canoe that Graeme gifted me. That said, looking at the Snowshoe as an example I do wonder if that can be built in the 100 hrs claimed? It doesn't seem much/enough time to me.

    Another Valkyrie skin on canoe? Perhaps, but I'm a little reticent about their durability - a couple of boisterous dogs might not be exactly the ticket (but that's an opinion based on perception, not fact, so please disabuse me of my prejudice if wrong!)

    Swifts? Kidney anyone? I've seen them before, in all their drop-dead gorgeousness, but I fear that it might be one of those "if you have to ask the price" scenarios.

    Meccano craft, sorry Ally craft? That's to the left of leftfield, and a really good suggestion actually, but no, the aesthetic is important to me/us, I'm afraid so that's not taxiing, never mind flying

    Budget? well, with a bit of man maths in the interim, something with a 1 on the front, but not a 2, iyswim.

    Any and all further thoughts welcomed.

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    Not sure I would want a couple of dogs in a skin on frame boat

    How about biding your time and waiting for or a good offer on a second-hand light wooden boat. Perhaps Cedar strip. They certainly look aesthetically pleasing although I wouldn't want to try building one.
    The wooden canoe heritage Association uk chapter have a Facebook page where people advertise from time to time.

    I presume this wasn't the sort of Aesthetics you were thinking of.
    http://www.darksidecanoes.com/thedarknessduet.html

    Ewan

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    Not quite the aesthetics I was thinking of Ewan, no! A Canoe-shaped stealth bomber, seemingly

    Time and patience is on my side, for sure. If only our dogs would wear those little protective bootees, but there's absolutely no way the little bludgers would keep them on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonefish Blues View Post
    Budget? well, with a bit of man maths in the interim, something with a 1 on the front, but not a 2, iyswim.

    Any and all further thoughts welcomed.
    Just to tempt you, and put some numbers to thoughts... https://www.kayaksandpaddles.co.uk/c...-tuffstuff.htm

    Just under the £2...!

    Or my preferred solution to the problem of (relatively) affordable lightweight flatwater load carrying hulls: https://www.norfolk-canoes.co.uk/can...aft-cronje.htm
    With standard gunnels rather than ash it might come in under £2000

    Have fun with your choice - I spent a happy few months exploring the world of high performance lay-ups and lightweight boats with much pipe dreaming of exotic boats before mundane matters such as cost reined things in a bit and I settled on the cronje. To be fair, I haven't regretted the choice.

  25. #25
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    Of the two, the Cronje is the better choice for us, as it was you, but I'm going to spend a while longer playing Fantasy Boat Buying - sounds like you're familiar with it too!

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    If you're passing through S Yorkshire anytime and want a trial run in the cronje, drop me a line.

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    What are snake river knocking out these days?

    When I enquired about their 12ft boat a while back, he replied saying he could make them with a lighter or heavier layup as required. Reckoned he could get the 12ft down to 16kg. I wonder how light he can go on a 15/16footer?

    Or Apache? The Trekk 15 in carbon Kevlar is 25kg, the Tribe 16 is 27kg. Within your pricepoint.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

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    Have you checked with MattT ? He had his fleet of Swift canoes up for sale in January - there may be a straggler left. He’s a proper gent and will probably not mind you asking.
    I like canoes ......

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    There is a Nova Craft 16' Prospector down here in Cornwall in Tuffstuff going for £1000,rrp is £2,099.Looks like new in a nice sand colour.24.5kg in weight.

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    The Wenonah Spirit 2 is well loved in the states and has been around forever so there are lots of used ones over here. 17 feet, good capacity, speed, handling and stability. Can't go wrong with one.

    The Swift Keewaydin 17 would be an excellent choice. It's a versatile modern design with fine performance. They are not inexpensive but if you go lift one the 17 kg weight might encourage you to find ways to fund it. Don't they have banks in the UK that you could rob?

    Both would fit in your garage where they belong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stinkwheel View Post
    What are snake river knocking out these days?

    When I enquired about their 12ft boat a while back, he replied saying he could make them with a lighter or heavier layup as required. Reckoned he could get the 12ft down to 16kg. I wonder how light he can go on a 15/16footer?

    Or Apache? The Trekk 15 in carbon Kevlar is 25kg, the Tribe 16 is 27kg. Within your pricepoint.
    I could be mistaken here or have things the wrong way round, but I think Mel sold or moved on part of his business and just retained the 12 mould. Either way, I think two different people are making the 12' and the larger sizes.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus2 View Post
    There is a Nova Craft 16' Prospector down here in Cornwall in Tuffstuff going for £1000,rrp is £2,099.Looks like new in a nice sand colour.24.5kg in weight.
    I spotted that on FB and the guy sent me some pictures and a video. It's got a few superficial scratches (that you'd get the first-time out anyway) but it looks like it's been stored outside under a tarp so some of the woodwork is a little discoloured.

    It's a very keen price though and I might have been interested if more local but he needs it gone in the next day or so and I can't justify taking the time off. I think if someone could collect it tomorrow, he'd be open to offers

    I don't need another boat and I should probably not get another sand coloured one anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigyellowtractor View Post
    I spotted that on FB and the guy sent me some pictures and a video. It's got a few superficial scratches (that you'd get the first-time out anyway) but it looks like it's been stored outside under a tarp so some of the woodwork is a little discoloured.

    It's a very keen price though and I might have been interested if more local but he needs it gone in the next day or so and I can't justify taking the time off. I think if someone could collect it tomorrow, he'd be open to offers

    I don't need another boat and I should probably not get another sand coloured one anyway.
    He's a very well known footballer in these parts,didn't have a clue that he paddled too.

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    He's told me it was bought for his Mum's (now ex) partner.

    It's a good price. If you're local, you could buy it and make a few quid by selling it on. :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigyellowtractor View Post
    He's told me it was bought for his Mum's (now ex) partner.

    It's a good price. If you're local, you could buy it and make a few quid by selling it on. :-)
    I'm about 25 miles away and £1000 short

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon G View Post
    If you're passing through S Yorkshire anytime and want a trial run in the cronje, drop me a line.
    Thanks, that's a kind offer.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytripper View Post
    The Wenonah Spirit 2 is well loved in the states and has been around forever so there are lots of used ones over here. 17 feet, good capacity, speed, handling and stability. Can't go wrong with one.

    The Swift Keewaydin 17 would be an excellent choice. It's a versatile modern design with fine performance. They are not inexpensive but if you go lift one the 17 kg weight might encourage you to find ways to fund it. Don't they have banks in the UK that you could rob?

    Both would fit in your garage where they belong.
    Not only have you been in my garage you appear to have been in my mind too...

    Beautiful canoes, stupidly light, very inexpensive.

    Well two out of three ain't bad!

    ETA
    I had cause to consult an import duty calculator, entirely coincidentally. Useless pound!
    Last edited by Bonefish Blues; 10th-September-2019 at 09:19 PM.

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    I think someone mentioned a Nova Craft Cronje, but that gets my 'real world canoe' vote. Just under 25kg and you might get a new one for less than £2k. Trouble is, finding one already in the UK, otherwise you're in for a wait until next spring. I love the look of the Swift Keewaydin and the Northstar Polaris, but can neither afford one, or be bothered waiting ages to get my hands on one. Maybe there's a secondhand Cronje out there somewhere.
    .
    .
    Last edited by Duck Feet; 12th-September-2019 at 03:58 PM.
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dunc View Post
    Just had a quick look (dream) on the Northstar site and a Northwind 17 in Blacklite layup is about 20kilos. Iíve got a solo Phoenix on order and canít wait for it to arrive on our shores.
    I have Northstar Phoenix too - you won't be disapointed. We will need to form a Northstar owners Club.

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    Just for your awareness the NW17 is actually 17.5 feet so maybe it would have to be on a slight angle to fit in your garage.

    I used to own a Bell Northwind which is the same boat as NW17. It is a stable, friendly, high capacity boat with wonderful handling. The boat's efficient weight range is 350-650 pounds and in my experience the boat likes to have around 500 pounds in it (or at least 450) or it may feel a bit bigger than needed and be a bit affected by wind. If your total load is under 500 pounds you may well prefer NW16. I've got a Polaris and love it. If you have a way of test paddling I suggest that you also try a NW18 (18.5 feet) since it has more speed/efficiency than the 17 (even with light loads) and can handle pretty much any load and any conditions easily but you'd have to leave your car outside. The 17 seems the most family oriented while the 18 feels a bit more sporty.

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    Thanks, helpful info.

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    I'm finding it hard to look past Northstars and Swifts in terms of the ultralights, as it were. A Cronje would also suit. The Wenonahs don't have a model which seems right for us, unless I missed something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonefish Blues View Post
    The Wenonahs don't have a model which seems right for us, unless I missed something.
    That's ^^^ a good shortlist. I think Wenonah has a gap in their line-up for those of us who want an agile, flattish-water tandem, that paddles nicely solo, but isn't as big and cumbersome as a prospector.
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.

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    What surprises me is that people make huge compromises with craft paddling solo, boats designed as tandems and then get really picky about little things.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonefish Blues View Post
    The Wenonahs don't have a model which seems right for us, unless I missed something.
    Are you looking at Wenonah directly or just UK resellers of Wenonah?

    Unless I'm missing something, this would just about fit your requirements especially if you can run to one of the more exotic constructions:
    https://www.wenonah.com/Canoes.aspx?id=18

    As already noted if you want a canoe for solo/tandem/3 including 9yo/2 or 3 plus dogs then nothing is really going to fit the bill in any weight, especially as the 9yo grows up, but then you may find you are needing to take both canoes on every trip anyway - I know several under 10s who are happy paddling their own craft (kayak)...

    How hard can it be?

  46. #46
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    Canoe & Kayak Store have an ultralight kevlar Wenonah Solo Plus in stock, if that's of interest - not sure it would take two adults, dogs and a 9yo, but I demo'd one last year (and it's very stable), so I'm sure they'd let you try it first.
    Last edited by Duck Feet; 13th-September-2019 at 05:20 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimW View Post
    Are you looking at Wenonah directly or just UK resellers of Wenonah?

    Unless I'm missing something, this would just about fit your requirements especially if you can run to one of the more exotic constructions:
    https://www.wenonah.com/Canoes.aspx?id=18

    As already noted if you want a canoe for solo/tandem/3 including 9yo/2 or 3 plus dogs then nothing is really going to fit the bill in any weight, especially as the 9yo grows up, but then you may find you are needing to take both canoes on every trip anyway - I know several under 10s who are happy paddling their own craft (kayak)...
    Thanks. I'd looked at that, but it's all rather slender and a bit short too. We enjoyed the extra space of the Hou 17 - everyone and the dogs fitted, plus a hefty boat bag too, so something of that kind of dimension would be right.

    It's something we would be paddling 2, 3 or 5 up, iyswim, but never solo.

    Just apropos of buying 'in stock' items, I've seen one of the big boys routinely advertising 15% off any in stock canoes. Are discounts available on non-stock orders, do you, or anyone else know?

    ETA
    Any of these guys, really:

    https://www.adventuresportsnetwork.c...cronje-review/
    Last edited by Bonefish Blues; 14th-September-2019 at 10:25 AM.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonefish Blues View Post
    Are discounts available on non-stock orders, do you, or anyone else know?
    Generally no.
    Buying stock in bulk can get a discount from the manufacturer and reduces the shipping cost per boat, therefore there is a better margin for discount on boats that have been bought in for stock than on a custom order boat which is likely to have to be shipped to the retailer on its own (or possibly direct to you if it doesn't need partial assembly by the retailer).
    However, nothing in business is always completely true for every transaction, you might get lucky and get a discount on a non-stock boat, I was recently indirectly offered a discount on a custom built to order boat (racing kayak, not a canoe), but unfortunately I am not really in a position to order one just now so will likely end up paying full price when I am.

    How hard can it be?

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonefish Blues View Post
    Are discounts available on non-stock orders, do you, or anyone else know?
    I doubt you'll get a discount from a dealer if you've never bought from them before, especially for a canoe imported specifically for you. When I last spoke to a Nova Craft importer he said he expected prices to rise significantly for the next round of shipments (spring 2020) because of the weakness of sterling. On that basis, it strikes me that buying a stock canoe now(ish) rather than next spring already represents a discount against a weakening currency. Newly imported US-made canoes will now be 25% more expensive because of the US/EU tit-for-tat trade tariffs.
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by stinkwheel View Post
    What about a homemade stich and tape?

    My Peterborough is 24kg, complete and that's including epoxy inside and out and fibreglass sheathing. You could probably forgo the sheathing for open water only use.
    Weston will build to a customers length pre requisites amongst much else. Weight for a 3 seater is 30kg, but my 2 seat boat is 26 kg. AS I paddle mine mostly two up, we find it goes really well (review on this site)

  51. #51
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    Thanks Duck & Jim - I was just feeling my way in terms of what the norms are v-a-v purchasing new boats.

  52. #52
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    Are you willing to travel?

    Maybe a bit small.
    https://www.kajak.nl/explorer-ultra-...itvoering.html
    but great boat for most stuff i can think of.



    https://www.kanoshop.nl/wenonah-escape-kevlar-flex.html
    i think it ticks a lot of boxes
    more tippy then the explorer but more glide as well
    not sure about your budget. but a new wenonah on a discount is nice.
    Propper writing in English. How do you do that? with dyslexia, bad hand eye coordination, ect. and in a foreign language.
    Sorry for all the mistakes.

  53. #53
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    Thanks for looking those two out, it's very much appreciated.

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