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Thread: bell vs wenonah

  1. #1
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    Default bell vs wenonah

    does anybody out there have any experience with any of the following canoes?

    -bell chestnut prospector
    -wenonah prospector
    -bell alaskan

    it'd be a family canoe mainly, my wife, son and dog. mainly paddling rivers, some lakes. what would be the most versatile canoe? i like the prospector style, and have heard some good things about the bell alaskan. any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    thanks,
    chris

  2. #2

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    Hi Chris

    Are you talking about the royalex versions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattail View Post
    Hi Chris

    Are you talking about the royalex versions?

    Rattail,

    My mistake. Yes, I'm interested in the royalex for all the models I mentioned.

    Chris

  4. #4

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    I have a Novacraft 16 prospector in standard royalex(75 lbs and tough) that works great for your described use. They are available in several materials up to 18 feet and have good reviews. Sorry, never tried Bell or Wenonah prospectors. The prospector design is better on rivers because they catch the wind but also gives capacity of 1000 lbs and keeps the waves out. Put some ballast weight in front for windy lakes and it tracks better.
    I also stand and cast sometimes and pole...versatile with great secondary stability.
    I got a good buy some time ago and was not as concerned with brand as the design and it worked out well.

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    All three are fine canoes for what you are doing...450 ktm about covered it....wind will throw the prospectors around a bit more than the Alaskan....all have good river-running rocker...Bell Canoe is out of business...beaver sports may have a couple Bells left in stock...Wenonah is a solid brand also....

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    I should start a new thread on these Canadian made canoes, they deserve a look....My friend Ev at Beaver Sports in Fairbanks, Alaska just got a half-dozen of these canoes in. I was checking them out yesterday..... www.clippercanoes.com .... The 18' square stern deserves a look by anyone contemplating that type of canoe....

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    Clipper Tripper is a great flatwater canoe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    I should start a new thread on these Canadian made canoes, they deserve a look....My friend Ev at Beaver Sports in Fairbanks, Alaska just got a half-dozen of these canoes in. I was checking them out yesterday..... www.clippercanoes.com .... The 18' square stern deserves a look by anyone contemplating that type of canoe....
    i was in beaver sports the other day and took a brief look at the clipper canoes. probably shoulda paid more attention although they're 'officially' opening up the warehouse tomorrow so i'll have to go back and take a look. look pretty well-built, just not sure about the fiberglass compared to royalex? only have experience with aluminum and kevlar and kevlar is outta my price range. what do you guys think about royalex vs fiberglass? appreciate the replies by the way.

    chris

  9. #9

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    unless you are going to only paddle lakes, i would highly suggest a royalex canoe. fiberglass and/or kevlar are bit stiffer and thus have slightly better performance handling characteristics. i have both royalex and kevlar boats. on alaska rivers you will ding them up on rocks. i've had to re-gel coat my kevlar twice in the 20+ years i've paddled here. its not a big deal, but its still maint. in contrast, there really is nothing you need to do with a royalex hull. i have friends whose boats are 30-35 years old and have taken a beating and the royalex keeps ticking. another factor with fiberglass/kevlar is that they can be busted in two. whereas you can wrap a royalex boat around a rock, pry it off and still float (how ever ugly...) down river. as anyone who has floated the delta and gulkana will attest, there used to be a time that fragments of fiberglass boats greeted you along the way.

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    thanks for the reply. i'll steer clear of the fiberglass. i think that the wenonah 16' prospector in royalex is the safest bet. the clippers are nice, but i know that i'm going to ding this canoe up some time down the road and i'd feel better with the royalex, for the reasons you mentioned. just any fyi to anybody looking at the clipper canoes at beaver sports, the company doesn't cover the shipping like wenonah does; the one i was considering was $400 more than list price. costs them $360 to get it up here

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    Canoe, I also have both Kevlar and Royalex canoes. My Kevlar is a solo flatwater racer. I also prefer the Royalex for rocky bottom rivers....the ClipperCanoe's Kevlar Duraflex process though looks interesting, there is no gel coating, structural foam or ribs incorporated in the process...there are just Kevlar layers (up to ten) with a more flexible epoxy. Look at the Duraflex hammer videos on their website...I'm thinking of trying the Duraflex in a Prospector model....

  12. #12
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    I have no experience with either canoes, but have you considered an Old Town Penobscot RX? It was a great paddling canoe. I had purchased on when they used to use this beautiful full-length gold striping decals, I staked out my land using this thing for travel:

    Attached Images Attached Images

    matnaggewinu


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    I've been using a Wenonah Kingfisher in Royalex for the last 6 years, and have thoroughly abused it (respectfully) without a problem. A great canoe and maker. Wenonah has better paddling models that may suit your needs. But Wenonah is a first-rate, hard-use canoe. Ev, at Beaver Sports, is the best source of qualified advice on Interior canoeing, with over 30 years of Alaskan experience. Happy Trails.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    I should start a new thread on these Canadian made canoes, they deserve a look....My friend Ev at Beaver Sports in Fairbanks, Alaska just got a half-dozen of these canoes in. I was checking them out yesterday..... www.clippercanoes.com .... The 18' square stern deserves a look by anyone contemplating that type of canoe....
    Nice. Ya gotta love a company that will make a 41 foot long canoe. Wow.
    Dear whatever doesn't kill me, I'm strong enough now. Thanks.

  15. #15
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    Yes, the 18 ft. clipper Mack-sport is a great boat. I've been on a test drive in Boudarc's 18 ft. His model is a kevelar and it's a good boat, but the Esquif Cargo is much better for shallows. The Clipper's laminate construction is top-notch, unlike anything I've ever seen before. They leave the inside unpainted, so you can marvel at their perfection.

    matnaggewinu


  16. #16

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    my kevlar boat doesn't get damaged by impacts like the "hammer test". rather its gets damaged by scraping along sharp rocks. pretty cool. but, i'd like them to take the claw of the hammer and scrap it along hull. then show the results.

    but, cool video nonetheless.

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