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Reviews for Odyssey 14 Canoe by Mohawk Canoes


Rated: 9.47/10 Based On: 15 Reviews

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08-05-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased my Mohawk Odyssey 14 about seven years ago. I had paddled a Mohawk Solo 14, borrowed from a friend, and decided that I wanted a solo canoe to use on the small twisty streams in North Florida. After doing some research and talking to some more knowledgeable paddlers, I started looking at the Odyssey 14.

This boat is a little heavier than the Solo 14, but it has has more (limited) whitewater capability. I picked up my new boat directly from the Mohawk factory, when it was in Florida, as a blem. I was told that there was some stray burlap fibers adhered to the bottom of the hull, but I knew that after one or two paddles there would be nothing to see. I had the helpful factory staff lower the seat and install adjustable foot rests. This is now my go to boat. I paddle the streams and rivers of North Florida and South Georgia.

The boat is fast, stable and can carry a load of camping gear. The boat is tough, as I have dragged it over or around many downed trees. Like I said, it is my go to boat (I also paddle a tandem canoe and a sea kayak).

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01-26-2011
Submitted by: buhorobuhoroSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've been a recreational canoer/kayaker all my life. In the last few years I have gotten more serious about the sport. I bought this canoe used over a year ago. Since then I have had many opportunities to paddle it on local streams and lakes since it pretty much lives on top of my truck and is there whenever I feel the need to get out on the water. My experience with solo canoes is pretty limited; most of my experience is paddling solo in tandem boats.

Initially, when paddled with the cheap-o plastic Carlisle paddle, I liked the boat, but wasn't really in love with its performance. I felt it tracked a bit loosely and could have been a little faster. Recently, I have switched to an otter tail-type paddle and discovered I really love the combination of paddle and boat. The new paddle, with more surface area, allows for easier course correction at the end of the stroke and better application of power (analogous to using a higher gear on a bicycle after previously being limited to lower gears). It also makes paddling much more silent.

I use the boat under varied conditions: alone (I weigh 165lbs), carrying a small child (50lbs) or with a 70lb black lab in the bow, paddling on flat water and slow moving streams. A couple of times I have been caught out in squall-like conditions with whitecaps and the boat performed very well – even being broadsided with waves as I turned the boat wasn’t too much cause for concern. As a platform for fishing it is great – it has enough stability when you need it for standing and casting (if you have good balance). It also has enough stability to pole it in shallow water, though you will realize very quickly it is not as stable as a tandem canoe. No boat is perfect, but this is a great canoe that does a lot of different things sufficiently well. I recently learned Mohawk will be also be making these in yellow and blue, which might convince me to buy a new one for myself and keep the other as a loaner.

A couple things to keep in mind when evaluating any canoe: use the right paddle for the job (cheap-o plastic for bumping down a rocky stream, a nice ottertail for deep water) and learn the correct stroke (I spent half my life paddling "goon style" before I understood the mechanics of the J and Northwoods strokes – you can stream many of the Bill Mason films from the National Film Board of Canada to learn the proper technique).

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01-06-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had this boat for about 5 years and love it. It is one of 6 boats in my flotilla. I bought the boat from a guy that said that he couldn't keep the boat right side up. I lowered the seat about 4-5 inches (as I do in all of my solo canoes) and I haven't been for an accidental swim yet. Handles very well in Class I-II. It has been down most of our windy MI rivers and has been beaten to pieces and it still comes back for another day. I have the Royalex Lite (R-84/5) and it has survived the MI rocky/gravel rivers just fine.

This boat actually fell off our canoe trailer (part way) and was dragged for 1/2 miles eating a hole through the bow stem that you could put your hand through. A visit to the Mohawk website, a fiberglass strip and some Bodo, and the boat is still water tight after 4 years! It just looks like I added a skid plate! That is a tuff boat. I can even add gear to the boat to trip for 3-4 days. Great boat. The only other boat of comparable characteristics but much heavier and 4" longer is the Mad River Freedom Solo which has a bit more rocker.

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06-19-2008
Submitted by: njtSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is the perfect solo boat for flat water up through class 2 whitewater. It tracks reasonably well on flat water and has reasonable glide. But the slight rocker and moderate depth means it can handle some whitewater too. Mine came with the factory whitewater rigging which is really nice. Boat is very light by my standards. Has enough capacity for tripping if the paddler is not real heavy. A great all-around design and you can't beat the price.
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05-03-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I had a Mohawk Odyssey R-84 for a little over two years and really enjoyed it. For background, I've been paddling regularly for about 6 or 7 years, I'm 6' 4" and hover around the 200 lbs mark. This is one of the most stable canoes I've ever paddled. It accelerates and tracks exceptionally well too. I mainly used it for fishing and tripping on streams, rivers and lakes. It has plenty of room for a few days worth of gear and handles well when loaded down. I ran some mild whitewater a few times and wasn't overly impressed with it's turning capability, those really hard, last- second turns were difficult. I wouldn't suggest this boat for anything over Class II whitewater. I found the R-84 material to be every bit as durable as my Royalex canoe. Overall, I think this is a wonderful canoe. Also, the service and delivery from the factory was excellent. I received my boat within a couple of days after ordering and shipping was really cheap. If you're looking at the Odyssey 14 I would suggest that you also take a good look at the Solo 14. There is very little difference between the two boats, except for the price.
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12-16-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My royalex Odyssey has become my favorite canoe. I agree with all the positives listed below with one addition. It makes a great little sail canoe too! I have outfitted mine with several different rigs and last summer took it down the Missinaibi River to James Bay in Ontario. With 25mph winds this boat hums! The Odyssey solo 14 is a great all around canoe at a decent price. Don't be put off by the mail order aspect of this boat. Mohawk gives great service.
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09-29-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     Update!!! I have paddled this boat on numerous rivers and I'm still happy with it. I have been on the Buffalo, Current, Jacksfork, Eleven Point, Hatchet, Silver, Juniper and many more streams. The only, thing to go wrong with the boat so far is I have worn out both end's of the boat and had to install Kelvar strips both front and back. I will continue to use this boat for many years.
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02-24-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is a follow-up report on the Odyssey. I have owned the boat for just over a year now and it is a great boat. I have used it on ponds, streams and white water up to class three. I have used it for canoe camping for up to five days. Even at my heavy weight it floats high in the water, this is the only canoe that I havent turned turtle in. I have since out fitted it with floatation bags. I did change the angle of the seat by rasing the rear by 1.5 inches.
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06-26-2000
Submitted by: MartySend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     The Odyssey handles almost as well as a Mad River Guide and costs a lot less. You can lean it to the rail and feel secure and speed is acceptable. It is ideal for rocky rivers and handled Florida lily pads well too. Fun boat.
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03-03-2000
Submitted by: LouSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought the Oddyssey Royalex in early February and have had it on three rivers and a lake. It weights 55 lb. I wanted the heavier layup due to paddling on some rocky streams. It is a great boat, extreamly easy to paddle, very stable and tracks very well even with a stiff crosswind. There is no problem with oil canning as I had read about in other publications. I would highly recommend this boat to anyone.
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12-06-1999
Submitted by: B.G.Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have an R-84 Odyssey and it has proved to be an excellent choice for use on Ozark rivers and streams. We have riffle/pool conditions so a canoe needs to be efficient for stretches of flat water and still be responsive in the fast twisty sections.

I choose the R-84 version because of it's lighter weight. The canoe weighs 45 pounds and that makes it easy to handle on or off the water. I can pick it up like a suitcase and go. The R-84 is lighter and cost less but I understand the trade-off may be in durability.

The canoe is used for overnight small mouth bass fishing trips. The gear I take weighs over 100 pounds yet the canoe only draws 3" +/- of water, which is a huge advantage during low water conditions. In high water this canoe has taken 2' to 3' ledges fully loaded with no problems. It's not a classic white water boat but does perform in those conditions.

This model is narrow between the gunwales (29") which make for easier paddling than some comparable canoes. I ordered the vinyl gunwales and they help to reduce noise when fishing or coming up on wildlife. The canoe also came with a web seat that looks great and appears to be more durable than a cane seat. The seat was installed too low but that's an easy fix.

The canoe has some added accessories that include knee pads (Mohawk), webbed portage yoke that rolls up out of the way (Mohawk), webbed seat back that matches factory seat (Cabelas) and a unique stern mounted anchor system (Bass Pro).

For the way I use a canoe and considering cost, it's easy to recommend the Odyssey.

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09-23-1999
Submitted by: Tom F.Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have a Challenger (now Odyssey) in the R84. This boat was originally designed by Gene Jensen, deity of modern marathon canoe racing design (he also invented the bent shaft paddle).

I pulled the gunwales in almost two inches, moved my seat forward about 2 inches and up 1". This stiffened up the boat considerably, increased the tumblehome for an easier reach to the water, and added some speed and tracking although with some sacrifice to turning and side slipping. It did wonders for ridding the boat of excessive oil-canning. The modification does give the boat a slight "rolling" affect which you will get used to as the secondary stability is still there.

Pulling in the gunwales (try one inch at first) can be done by simply moving the two thwarts to the center about 2 - 3 inches, and re-drilling the seat holes. Use your own judgement with these modifications please.

It is now a different boat. Although the R84 is not as durable as it's heavier cousin, the lightness when paddling empty on grade ii and iii rivers is too much fun. I installed a foot brace and use in sit & switch style with a 54" bent shaft in quiet water (it is significantly more efficient using sit & switch). I installed contoured knee pads and paddle kneeling with a 56" straight shaft for white water. I can go back and forth with these two styles when touring. With these modifications, this is the most comfortable boat I have.

I installed a gear strap down system for portage packs fore and aft. When empty, I install 36" bow and stern flotation bags for white water (could go bigger). I would hate to wrap this boat around a rock, it would not recover. I plan on installing a cover/deck which will give me more confidence in those big grade iii swampers and cut windage on long flat stretches.

All in all, this is the only boat around with this design. Most other Royalex rec solo hulls are a bit too straight with sharp stems for my needs as a WW tripping boat. I use it mostly to tour the rivers in the UP and Wisconsin, and best of all, rivers emptying into the north shore of Lake Superior and in middle/upper Ontario.

The boat allows me to stop on a dime, reverse course, and back ferry to an eddy or alternate chute. It is great fun. For what I use it for, it rates a 9, which is high. It would be a 9.5 if the gunwales and deck plates were a little beefier, but that would add weight.

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09-21-1999
Submitted by: RJFSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I got the Royalex, at the factory as a blemish, saved money. I handles well in all the waters I have put it through, including some with multiple pull overs and tight twisty streams in north central Fl. I use it for tripping and overnights, it easily handles a large load. Initial stability is good and secondary stability is great.
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04-12-1999
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     R84-not very tough-shoulda got the royalex. It oilcans a little. Handles well. It puts my Wenonah encounter to shame paddling empty in wind. Can't beat it for the price.
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03-14-1999
Submitted by: Christine LeoSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The seat is incredibly comfortable. Its many foot holds allow other members of the family to use it without having to make adjustments. It is a stable kayak with plenty of room in the bow compartment for day tripping. For a sit-on-top kayak you stay pretty dry. It is fantastic for touring on fresh water lakes.
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