Thoughts on Wenonah Argosy?

G

Guest

Guest
Looking for my first solo canoe. Will use primarily on small lakes and rivers (AuSable, upper Manistee, etc) here in Michigan, but no white water. Primarily to use to travel to/from holes on these rivers (and to just get away and relax). The Argosy is on my short-list. Wondering if those who have experience with this model would share with me their experiences and thoughts based on what I want to do with it.

Thanks,

FM
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,392
Location
Raymond, ME
Your height? Are you sitting or kneeling while fishing? Will you be camping? The Argosy is a bit tender for a first solo.. If you happen to tilt the hull too far it will pitch you in if you are seated. Its wild tendencies can be tamed by carrying gear aka camping for a few nights. Kneeling it is tamer..

Personally for a first time solo and fishing I would pick a platform with more secondary stability and still a flattish bottom. The Vagabond is a better entry level solo. Both are still small boats. Less than fourteen feet long at the waterline.

Remember if you sit, and never kneel you can increase stability by lowering the seat in any boat.
 
G

Guest

Guest
6'1"/245 - pretty big guy. I'll sit 50% and kneel 50% but with a pad and the ability to have my back against the front of the seat I would probably spend more time kneeling, especially if the seat is relatively high. Stability is a concern of mine. I actually prefer some of the Bell designs but don't have access to a retailer here in MI. I would like to see several boats before I make a decision.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
425
Location
Maryland, USA
Fish Monger,
Take a look at the Wenonah Wilderness. It is a big guy solo. I have one and I go about 230. I paddled one that I didn't own about 20 lbs ago and it was fine. I have the seat locked in it's lowest position as I don't kneel (knee operations in my youth and subsequent adventures) and that increases the stability a lot.
Regards,
Dave
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
405
Location
Wyoming
I agree with Dave. I'm a lightweight at 170# but I'm 6'2" and the Wilderness fits me nicely. I have the seat at its highest angled position as I'm a 70/30 kneeler/sitter. I also have a CCS seat pad and foam knee padding glued in place which makes for an incredibly comfortable kneeling position.

It seems folks either love or hate the Argosy. I've only paddled one a couple times thus should reserve comment on its behaviour. The Wilderness is a stable platform that I fish from regularly and I do quite a bit of photography from it, too. Excellent all-arounder especially for the larger paddlers.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Fish Monger,
Take a look at the Wenonah Wilderness. It is a big guy solo. I have one and I go about 230. I paddled one that I didn't own about 20 lbs ago and it was fine. I have the seat locked in it's lowest position as I don't kneel (knee operations in my youth and subsequent adventures) and that increases the stability a lot.
Regards,
Dave

I agree that the Wilderness is a good choice for a big solo, but don't get the Royalex layup. It's stable but doesn't handle for beans. Whatever you do, test paddle first.

Also agreed that the Argosy is not a good choice (in my opinion, the boat is a designer's mistake). It's too squirrely for anything but a warm day on a shallow pond.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,392
Location
Raymond, ME
Gavia is probably expecting my latest rebuttal re the Argosy.. I have one and my thought was "what is this boat supposed to be all about?" Its embarrassing to run class 2 and get windowshaded on a mild ledge..Frustrating to get soaked when the bow knifes into the waves (even with float bags..all wound up in my lap)

I agree... a mistake.. And about that warm day on a shallow pond. Here is such a day.. its warm and the lake is pretty shallow..

 
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
182
Location
Lower Saranac Lake, Adirondacks
There aren't many solos build for bigger guys. The larger amongst us tend to sit to remove pressure on the knees but compromising stability and control. Foot pegs/braces help but we need hulls wider than 30" with tumblehome to reach the water while sitting. The sitting position also compromises control, so bigger guys need differential rocker, less in the stern to track and more in the bow to turn. Few solo canoes meet these criteria, and, of course, we'd prefer composite for lower weight and greater efficiency.

The lamented Bell Rockstar, 15'5" by 31" with 2.5/1.5 differential rocker was made in composite and RX. Try to find one.

Colden has pulled in Starfire, differentially, to narrow the hull to 15'X32" and generate differential rocker. Composite and top of market.

Hemlock pulls in Eaglet to 15'X31.5", rocker remains symmetrical. Composite

Mohawk's solo 14, 14' X 31" had less symmetrical rocker, not stellar but workable and only in RX. Inexpensive, but maybe hard to find with the end of RX upon us

NorthStar's new NorthWind Solo is 15.5 X 30", a little narrow with differential rocker; composite only.

Swift's Shearwater is 16.2' X31" with differential rocker, composite only.

One might include Swift's RX Raven, 15'3"X 32" but it's huge with too much rocker for OP's intensions. and a very heavy 60 lbs.

WeNoNah's Wilderness is 15'4" X 30.5 with minimal rocker, composite or RX. Extreme stem layout shortens waterline length to nearer 14-14.5 ft.

So there's the range, depending on where the OP lives some will be ~unavailable as they come from beautique shops; only three are from major builders and one of those has been closed for a while. Worse, only four meet our best design criteria and one of those is narrow. So it goes.
 
Last edited:
G

Guest

Guest
Thanks for the suggestions so far. It's pretty sad there are so few manufacturers. FYI; I am in SE Michigan.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Sounds like the Wilderness is something you should look into, unless by chance something else pops up used.
 
G

Guest

Guest
I would really like to find a used Bell Rockstar. I have always been a fan of Bells designs.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,392
Location
Raymond, ME
Thanks. Not holding my breath.


You know you can always buy the Argosy as an interim boat.. And be an ambush predator for the RockStar.. Agreed it's going to be a long wait. I am having enough trouble finding a Yellowstone Solo.. Meanwhile the Argosy got foot pegs today. Its been a long wait..the wait continues.

At least I am out there. Might not be the perfect boat.. but am out there.
 
G

Guest

Guest
I was going to say the same thing... a boat in the water is worth two in your head. I didn't mean to be a jerk, I just meant to be practical. A Rockstar is a hard find, a Wilderness is a boat you could easily find and test in your area.

The Argosy I don't know? Surely test it if you can find one.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
405
Location
Wyoming
I agree that the Wilderness is a good choice for a big solo, but don't get the Royalex layup. It's stable but doesn't handle for beans. Whatever you do, test paddle first....

An interesting observation. I didn't find any appreciable differences between my Tuff-Weave Wilderness and the Rx version when I owned both. A friend recently talked me out of the well used Rx Wilderness thus I'm paddling only the composite now. My skill level may not be high enough to have discerned the differences between the two constructions but they seemed fairly similar to me. I do like the Tuff-Weave Flexcore for its weight and it feels a bit faster but I quite dislike the aluminum trim. Noisy and hot in the summer. Getting ready to replace the thwarts and carry handles now with ash and may work up a set of gunwales and deck plates this winter when our waters are iced over.
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2013
Messages
18
Have you checked out H2O? They have a 15' and 16'6" solo. Made in Canada, available in composites, and pretty looking boats. Heard good things from the three people I've spoken to that have paddled them. Something a little different...
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,820
Location
Schenectady, NY
Where did you go, Mr. Monger?
I have a custom designed, custom built DY Special for $1,000 firm. 31 lbs, very pretty, very fast, 16'8" lg.
Take a look...PM me if you are interested.

DSC_0523.JPG


DSC_5521.JPG


DSC_6596.JPG
 
G

Guest

Guest
Where did you go, Mr. Monger? I have a custom designed, custom built DY Special for $1,000 firm. 31 lbs, very pretty, very fast, 16'8" lg. Take a look...PM me if you are interested. Would like to find out more about your canoe. Please pm me with contact info. Thanks.
 
Top