Your #1 source for kayaking and canoeing information.               FREE Newsletter!
my Profile
Product Reviews > Canoes > We-no-nah Canoe > Sundowner Add Your Review Now!

Reviews for Sundowner Canoe by We-no-nah Canoe


Rated: 9.23/10 Based On: 13 Reviews

Canoes
Research Canoes in the Buyers' Guide!
Canoes Image
Canoes Image
Canoes Image

Select Canoe to View in Buyers' Guide



08-27-2007
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have a 1987 Sunny 18 that I purchased used from a friend at work. It was in absolutely perfect condition. He said he and his wife paddled it three times and she felt uneasy about the stability. They were paddling it empty and are relatively small lightweight people (for Wisconsinites).

For a couple years the boat sat pretty much unused as I have several solo canoes that get used a ton, but then a friend and I were going for a 4 day river trip on the Wisconsin river and decided there was no better tool in my fleet than the Sundowner. We started using it for day paddles and couldn't believe what a joy it was to paddle empty. It's a genuinely fast canoe !

I am used to backpack style camping, bringing minimal gear (what's a sleeping bag?) and generally did the same in a solo canoe or kayak. We decided we had room to do luxury camping in the Sundowner including real folding chairs, a small gas grill and so on. We had a pretty good load going and I was a little nervous about how much less freeboard we had, but the boat paddled great with that 'big car ride' and we made exceptional time.

We even ran into some submerged logs and it handled it with aplomb. We took in a quart of water on a big incident, but the Sunny was very easy to handle in tough times and came away without even a mark. This year we did a similar trip covering 90+ miles in four days at a time when the locals were saying it would be tough going with the low water levels. We packed light to stay high in the water and by staying in the current and off the sand bars we were fairly flying.

I have 9 canoes and kayaks, and while my Wenonah Advantage solo canoe is still the one I paddle the most, the Sundowner is my favorite boat of the fleet when a good bow paddler comes along. I would consider it better suited as a day paddler for average to larger size people than to big gear hauling tripping, but for a bit lighter weight paddlers or if you pack reasonably it makes a fine tripper as well.

Submit your own review!

Win a Kayak or Canoe
10-14-2005
Submitted by: TAGSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I recently purchased my Sundowner 18 used, and I have taken it out several times on the large lake that I live around. It is the standard Tuf-weave version. Overall, I am very pleased with this canoe. I find that it handles very well in both smooth and choppy water, and I was surprised at how well it can be turned for such a long canoe while still having excellent straight line tracking characteristics. The initial and secondary stability are both very good, although it might seem a bit tippy to the total novice, and the paddling ease, speed and glide are much better than one will find in the average run of the mill canoe.

It also holds a lot of payload, and compared to the Old Town Tripper which I previously owned, it is certainly a heck of a lot more fun to paddle! Amazingly, I have found that it even handles well as solo canoe as long as you don't try to go too fast. It is certainly not the ideal solo boat, but it is usable. The weight of my particular canoe is about 65 pounds, and I have little trouble lifting it, although I would probably want to shave off 10 pounds or so if I had to portage it for any distance. All in all, I'll rate this canoe a 10 out of 10, not because it is perfect, but because it is very versatile and does so many things so well.

Submit your own review!

03-02-2005
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased my Kevlar Sundowner used a few years ago. The previous owner indicated that his wife (and paddling partner) was freaked by the 'poor initial stability' of the canoe - so he was going back to an aluminum canoe. My experience with this craft however has been very good. We use it primarily for wilderness tripping on flatwater in the BWCAW and Quetico. Two adult paddlers and gear for 11 days fits easily into the canoe. It handles all weather and waves I've tossed at it and tracks well. It's fast, portageable and although it's probably 12 years old now shows no signs of ageing - apart from normal gel coat scratching that comes from this type of use. I've read earlier complaints about bow seat room....neither my 6' brother nor my 6'4" son have ever complained - so let me suggest that this is probably not really an issue. I like it and would recommend it to anyone seeking a tripping canoe. These are commonly available used at reasonable prices.
Submit your own review!

12-05-2004
Submitted by: JCSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased my 18' Sundowner in the Ultra-light lay-up back in July of 2001 and have paddled it in many conditions over the past 4 paddling seasons. This is an impeccable boat built by an even more impeccable company. Back when I first purchased this, I had been having a running e-mail conversation with someone at Wenonah on a used and much older model Wenonah canoe I was thinking about purchasing but could find no information on it. In the end I ended up finding and buying a new Sundowner at a great price. I happened to comment to my contact back at the factory that I thought the older models had a little better lay-up quality (cosmetic only). Mike at the factory called to offer me a brand new hand picked hull and to have it delivered right to my house. I really never expected such and extraordinary display of factory support to make a customer happy. My new boat was delivered in perfect condition, and my wife and I have enjoyed this magnificent boat ever since in many types of water conditions and it has always been a flawless performing boat. Very fast, only the kayakers in our club keep up with us, and that's when they're working at it. It tracks like it's on rails, easy to turn with the proper strokes, and stable in even very nasty and confused waters. It also holds a huge amount of gear. A very confident boat for most any flat water conditions you can put it in. Wenonah, thank you for going way beyond that which was required in the first place. Trying to find factory service like that these days is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Submit your own review!

05-08-2001
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I am the proud owner of an 18' Sundowner (kevlar). This canoe is without a doubt the most versatile canoe I have ever owned,( I've had eleven different ones). It is amazing in rough water, carries a good load with ease, and is a dream machine to paddle solo. I have yet to put my 2hp Gas engine on it because of the above reasons but I am really looking forward to trying out the antique sail kit I bought at a garage sale. This is one purchase I wish I would have made 20 years ago!
Submit your own review!

01-22-2001
Submitted by: TWSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have a 16 year old 18' Sundowner that I purchased used about 8 years ago. It was my first of several quality composite canoes. It is Tuf-weave construction and weighs about 70 lbs. . I have paddled it mostly tandem on flatwater rivers and bayous and large, shallow lakes. This is an excellent performing hull. It tracks great even in windy conditions with 2' waves coming from rear at 45 degrees yet it turns quite nicely and responds well to an outside lean. The shallow arch hull with no rocker has very good primary and secondary stability and is fast and efficient. I have never had a problem with speedboat or barge wakes or heavy chop. It has always been a very dry and safe canoe. I think this canoe would be an excellent choice for nearly any touring or tripping application short of heavy or technical whitewater. Of course a lighter kevlar layup would be much nicer to carry or lift. This is a very nice paddling canoe that I have been very satisfied with. Over the years when talking with other experienced canoeist I've never heard anything but good things about the 18' Sundowner. It is a classic.
Submit your own review!

01-17-2001
Submitted by: DT
Rating: 4 of 10

     I am not a fan of this canoe. I bought a Sundowner 18' used in fiberglass/tuffweave. It is not dry in bigs waves (3') and turns very hard loaded. With a stern wind the boat (hate to call it a canoe) has a very narrow angle to keep it straight. Am considering a Bell Northwoods or a Kruger Sea Wind. I have owned over 30 canoes and kayaks and consider this one my "beater boat!" Would not recommend it for serious paddlers. Perhaps good for muskie fishing as it has good initial and secondary stability. It just is not efficient nor does it handle well.
Submit your own review!

08-23-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have an 18' fiberglass Sundowner with PVC core stiffening that I've used for tripping for about 15 years. It has great stability, tracks well and can be packed with loads of gear. A real work horse for canoe tripping and camping. Wouldn't trade her for anything.
Submit your own review!

05-11-2000
Submitted by: FlectorSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     A wonderful tripping canoe. Very fast and stable. Tracks extremely well and carries a butt-load of gear. I have the Tuff-weave (fiberglass) layup and am very satisfied. This is my second canoe. I highly recommend it as a cruiser or tripping canoe. It can easily be paddled all day long.
Submit your own review!

08-23-1999
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just returned from quetico and my first opportunity to use my 18' kevlar sundowner. the canoe is everything i expected. tracked great and carried a large load safely thru some big waves. a fine canoe.
Submit your own review!

02-22-1999
Submitted by: Rich AllenSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Sundowner was our first serious canoe. Since we bought it in "91" we have put well over a 1000 miles on it. I have used it in many type conditions and have loved every mile. We own three other canoes but the "Sundowner" is still our favorite. Built for speed and an excellent tripper. Sure there are newer models but overall the Sundowner is a great Canoe!
Submit your own review!

01-17-1999
Submitted by: JohnlvtSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Our second canoe and our last. Stable, tracks well, maneuverable, very light, and quick. A real pleasure to carry and to paddle.
Submit your own review!

10-01-1998
Submitted by: Brian McDonnellSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The 18' kevlar Sundowner is the work horse of our rental fleet here in the Adirondacks. The boat tracks well, is very stable, holds a significant amount of gear and is user friendly for all kinds of canoeists. Our clients also appreciate the weight at 40#s when it comes to the portages! We've been using the Sundowners for 15 years as rentals. They do the job!
Submit your own review!

Don't Miss the Paddling.net Weekly Newsletter!
Free Newsletter120,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!








Shop Online
Piragis Northwoods Company
Free Shipping on New Canoes from Piragis Northwoods Company or pick up in Ely, MN and get $100 off
Shop these fine Retailers





Follow us on:
Free Newsletter | About Us | Site Map | Advertising Info | Contact Us

©2014 Paddling.net Inc.
Sweepstakes Banjo Shirt