08-29-2011Submitted by: SM
Reviews for Advantage Canoe by We-no-nah Canoe
Based On: 20 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 Last year I purchased a Tuf Weave Spirit II as my first canoe. I used it a couple times last year and was able to adapt to this style of boat after having a dory for over twenty years. This year I have been out every weekend in both rivers and marshes and I have been very happy with the Spirit II for both speed and agility. This model of canoe has made me a canoe lover for life.
08-20-2011Submitted by: jr
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just happened across these reviews and am happy to see others who also enjoy this boat. With fifty years of paddling experience, both whitewater and flat, I can say that our two Advantages (lt. kevlar layup) have given us near perfect performance for 24 yrs. We picked them up used (but in great shape) and have them overhead in our garage. They are the go-to boats whenever heading out alone or with a paddling buddy (usually one of my daughters).
These light boats are a dream to get onto the car and riverside (people are always amazed at how easily they are conveyed). They jump forward with each stroke yet are easily maneuvered (I have paddled in Class II with them). A beautiful boat that brings much pleasure while on the water.
09-18-2010Submitted by: DRG
- Rating: 10 of 10 Being a former paddle shop owner and a boat junkie for close to 50 years, I've paddled everything from K-1's and surfskis to Grummans and have personally owned over 30 boats. I believe my long term search for the "perfect" boat ended when I bought a barely used Advantage about a year ago.
I paddle most every day and use the boat in 4 different modalities. Trips to the Adirondacks and the BWCA are an absolute delight with the kevlar Advantage. Easily portaged, swift and comfortable, it is the perfect solo tripper. At home on the lake, somedays it is a C-1 speedster with my ZRE bentshaft, other times I get my freestyle jollies satisfied with a straight shaft freestyle paddle (the Advantage absolutely spins when laid over to the gunwales), and when a different work out is called for, the kayak paddle comes out and this golden hued beauty cruises at 6+mph.
Weathercocking issues are a concern of the past. This boat is as neutral in the wind as anything I've paddled.
08-23-2007Submitted by: bigspencer
My only gripe is: What the hell am I supposed to do with all the other boats?
- Rating: 9 of 10 2006 Wenonah Advantage, ultralight(kevlar) layup.
If you've been "around the paddling block" a while, you enjoy a lean, efficient hull for those single day trips and group-socials... If you enjoy kneeling...give Wenonah a call to order their kevlar racing seat...just slides onto the rails while providing 2" more space per side/leg...a very comfortable boat for kneeling in if you're ~200 or less. The most responsive boat I've ever been in...
04-30-2007Submitted by: Yetiman
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have an ultralight kevlar Advantage, I think it's a 2002 model. I am very satisfied with it, and of the 9 canoes/kayaks in my garage it is by far the one I paddle most.
For flatwater and modestly wavy lakes and slower rivers it is a joy to paddle. It has great secondary stability and decent initial stability.
I used to have a Sawyer Shockwave in glass layup which was a very comparable canoe. Truth is, if the Shockwave were still made I would have bought one over the Advantage because the seat had adjustable height and angle and the footbrace could be adjusted in seconds with no tools. (Wenonah has just redesigned their foot rest and the new design is excellent). The Shockwave was slightly faster as well, but by an un-important amount.
I am on the heavy side (250 lbs give or take) and it paddles just fine for me. I also have a Wenonah Voyager which is a foot or so longer and narrower with more freeboard.
The Voyager is a better boat for extended tripping with a lot of gear and is faster (longer narrower), but I feel (as do 7 or 8 people who I have had paddle them back to back) that the Advantage is a more pleasurable boat to be in.
With an improved footbrace and seat mount I would give it a ten.
06-15-2006Submitted by: twosherwoods
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought my Advantage about 6 months ago, and I consider it to be one of the best purchases I have ever made. I had an Old town Guide before, but I hardly ever went out because I could not load the boat by myself. Now I can go out for an hour or two whenever I want. I carry this kevlar boat under one arm to the water. The handling is supurb...what tremendous glide! I use a kayak paddle and find the going almost effortless. I haven't turned the boat over yet. In another month or two I will put on the swim trunks and roll it just to see where the stability goes. If you want to paddle solo, this is a great boat.
02-23-2006Submitted by: Patrick Stoneking
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have paddled a kevlar Advantage since 1991 and have nothing but great things to say about it. I have paddled it all over Maine, Minnesota, Washington State, Arctic Canada, and Alaska and have never had a single problem. Loaded, it handles well in large waves/wind and responds well to the J stroke. It holds plenty of gear for a 3-4 week trip and is easy to portage. It has also survived running rapids, smacking rocks, and living on my roof rack for 15 years with only a couple of cracks and chipped gel coat. In my opinion, this is the perfect solo canoe for either a quick paddle or an extended adventure.
09-15-2004Submitted by: sailingdan
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought my Advantage in 1995(?). It is the Kevlar version with the stiff reinforced foam floor and ash gunwales. I raced marathons in the late 70s and early 80s and I was looking for something that I could train in, race and possibly do the paddling leg of triathlons, etc. For that purpose, it has fallen short. Solos built later are more efficient (faster), so I am not competitive and, here in the Pacific Northwest, everyone has a kayak (of course a 17ft kayak will go faster because of the waterline).
However, I love the boat. I use it for workouts on local rivers and lakes and for exploring. Although no longer competitive for racing, it is very fast and efficient. Efficiency means you can go farther and see more in a 2-hour paddle. It tracks, I lean it like a kayak to turn. I agree with the comment about secondary stability-I am not comfortable in large waves (though I have surfed motorboat wakes). I also like the comment that a boat like this deserves a high-end paddle (mine is carbon ZRE). I think it is good looking and I still get comments ("jeesh, what an intense canoe"). The workmanship is fantastic, it still looks new except for some Seattle moss and a little wear on the bow from paddling though ice sheets on local lakes. I will never sell it.
09-14-2004Submitted by: zimbob
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought a new adavatage about a month ago and I love it, it's fast and easy to paddle, a very fun boat. It has great primary stability compared to the other solos I have tryed out and is about the fastest of them. The only thing I don't like about it is that the liberal tumblehome gives it very poor secondary stability that gets worse as the paddlers weight or load increases, like one of the others noted, he spent too much time looking at something and dumped it over. I took mine out and dumped it, just to see how easy it goes over and once it decides it wants to, it goes over fast once you hit about 3-4 in of freeboard. But it's a love/hate relationship, what makes it a dream to paddle also reduces the secondary stability. I am not a boat engineer but I think if they would extend the flare in the middle up an inch or so making it larger, it would help out alot and still maintain its speed and easy paddling. As one other reviewer said keep it light, keep it low. Would I buy it again? You bet I would! Only in carbon for the weight and neat looks.
01-05-2004Submitted by: joeh2pro
- Rating: 10 of 10 My Advantage is an 87 vintage tuff-weave version at 50#.the glide and speed of this canoe still amazes me and fellow paddlers.this boat always seems to attract several people at put ins. Paddlers and non-paddlers admire its =sleek design.on the water this boat moves along with little effort,it out paces tandem canoes and keeps up with the sea kayaks on most river trips. handles class 1 rivers and open lakes equally well.as a novice to canoe racing last season, I was able to pass all but 3 tandems before the finish and came in 1st in the solo category in a local race for performance paddling this canoe is a fine choice for soloist with some prior experience who have the need for speed. some day I will replace my Advantage with one of the kevlar versions.
07-16-2003Submitted by: Dick
- Rating: 10 of 10 I finally broke down and purchased an Advantage, which for this area (Southwest Virginia) is not quite as easy as it may be in some other parts of the country. This is not really flat water country, so no dealers feature a boat like the Advantage. So, I read the reviews posted here, read the manufacturer's literature over and over, and ordered a boat that I had never even seen, much less paddled.
I got the kevlar ultralight layup, which seems lighter than the manufacturer's stated weight. Now loading is a snap! I decided against the carbon version because it is not supposed to be quite as durable as the kevlar models.
But on to the paddling - - this boat is fantastic! I've never paddled anything quite like it. Even an old guy like me can make it move along pretty well. Of course it won't turn on a dime, but it turns much better than I expected it to. It handles better in winds than any canoe I have ever paddled - tandem or solo. I haven't had it in any really rough water yet, but I've been in enough power boat wakes to become very confident in its stability in such conditions. The jury is still out as to just what kind of waves might cause it to start taking water.
The design of the slider seat is great. It has one easily movable clamp to limit backward movement. This leaves the seat free to move forward easily for the quick changes in trim that you need on a solo canoe. To move further back, you just move the clamp. I do wish I could adjust the height of the seat too, but I can see that such a capability would be difficult to incorporate into the design of the seat assembly. So, I'm OK with it the way it is.
Tracking of this canoe is really good. You can never get away from stroke and switch on a solo, but this is the best I've paddled. A boat like this really deserves a good paddle, so a good bent shaft paddle is in order.
Stability of the boat has been a very pleasant surprise. In fact, that stability has brought about a negative for the boat. I quickly determined that I could fish from it. The negative part is that when I have a decent fish on, the fish can pull the boat too easily. I've had a couple of pretty funny escapades resulting from that. I should stop fishing and get back to my paddling! But, that's a pretty good indication of how easy it is to move the Advantage in the water.
So, my final conclusions are that this boat is more than I expectd. It is fast, tracks very well, has good initial and great secondary stability, not bad in turns, handles wind beautifully, and so on - - - . I have had some experience in solo boats, so that obviously has helped me adapt to the Advantage pretty easily. It may be a little hot for a beginner, but someone who will be patient and methodical in learning the boat will have a lot of fun with it. Part of the fun for me has been smoking the tandems and kayaks I have encountered. The other part of the fun is paddling a well-designed, well-made product.
One final comment - - a tip actually. For those of you who might occasionally encounter a bit of discomfort due to bringing toys home a little too often, I had an easy sale on this one. Being a recent cardiac surgery patient, I stressed the light weight and easy loading of the Advantage to my wife. That's awful! Sometimes I have no shame! But, I do have an Advantage.
10-22-2002Submitted by: meeced
- Rating: 9 of 10 I just bought a used We-no-nah Advantage, its about 13 years old in tuffweave. The first trip was a 9 mile trip on flat water creek with some turns and a few downed trees. The canoe was sleek and fast and I was able to keep up with a 17 ft kayak with no problem. I encountered some head winds when the river widened and the Advantage was great. I plan on taking in on a week long trip soon and it should handle all my gear.
09-26-2002Submitted by: Tim
- Rating: 10 of 10 My previous solo was a Prism by Wenonah which was great for everything it is advertised for but I longed for a faster boat. I sold my boat this past summer and decided I didn't have the time or money to spend on another. By the time the end of the summer had come around I missed canoeing so much that I decided to order a new one. I made the logical choice of the Advantage without hesistation knowing it was the boat for me. The only question that I had was what material to get. After talking with a few other advantage owners the kevlar ultralight was gonna be my choice until I layed eyes upon a graphite one. I decided then and there that the graphite advantage was worth the extra money and one of the most beautiful boats I've ever seen. Paddling it for the first time was a truly amazing experience. I was overwhelmed with joy and have no doubts in my mind that I have found the perfect boat for me. It is the fastest but still most user friendly boat that I have found. My only regret is that my friends need faster boats now because even with two of them in a tandem Wenonah they dont stand a chance.
01-07-2002Submitted by: PJ
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought the Advantage in the Kevlar Ultralight lay up. I ordered this canoe for the sole purpose of spending 2 months in Quetico. Fast, stable, adaptable, and most important, fun. The bigger the waves the more fun I had. You can surf on the waves with this unit. Race tandems- no problem. Turn peoples heads- always. I had to hide it behind my tent, it drew crowds. You learn it's dynamics fast. Having spent more time focused on a bird then I should have resulted in a recouvery session. I never did right the canoe. I could'nt get in or on it. It kept spinning in the water. If any one knows the technique post it. I was able to spend 3 hours of continuos biss paddling due to the amazingly comfortable seat. I found cross wind had little effect. Trim is easily adjusted with the seat or using your paddle to push your dry bag up a few inches toward the bow. If you are a backpacker your experiences will serve you well. Tech Tip: weight transfer is very important. I packed 2 bags. One for the day and one for the night. Each bag lived at the bow and stern.
11-29-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have paddled the Advantage and the racing canoe that preceded the Advantage. Both are excellent canoes for cruising. The later version of the Advantage is more stable and sea worth and can be used on a greater diversity of water types.
I have used the Advantage in rough bay waters with 20 plus knot winds and was able to make progress and feel comfortable. In strong winds it can be as hard to paddle against the wind as with the wind if the waves are close together (because you end up in wave troughs), but with good technique you can get across some uncomfortable windy and wavy inland waters more suited for a sea kayak.
What the Advantage is most suited for is cruising, and that it does well in both versions. The earlier one has a bit of an advantage in speed that later in versatility. It is great canoe on flat water with and without a current. There is something nice about a good solo and the advantage has many of the nicest for flat water.
I have used both versions of the Advantage as a tandem canoe on several occasions. While not as great as some it will do in a pinch, if not wavy. The worst part is that it is a bit cramped and much harder to steer. It is also tippy if you don't have people more in the center and low down. With racing version I have put my friend behind me, and paddled solo but on other occasions split up more like a tandem.
I have tried the Advantage in Tuffweave and find it really nice especially in Florida waters where there is lots of limestone and oysters. I own the precursor in kevlar and find it fast and easy to carry. Either version is good for different purposes.
01-22-2001Submitted by: Tim
- Rating: 10 of 10 My father introduced me to paddling at a young age. We paddled many different types of waterways from the Atlantic Ocean to the Suwannee River in my home state of Florida. As I got older, we raced together occasionally and I really developed a love for paddling. Now that I'm an adult I still love to paddle and race canoes. Because it is hard to find consistent partners I race mostly solo canoes or what is known as C1 boats in the marathon canoe racing world. I also love to fish and about 2 years ago I got the idea to fish from a canoe instead of the motorized aluminum john boat I had at the time.
Many of my fishing trips are to Cedar Key, a small fishing town along the Big Bend section of the Gulf Coast. This territory has a lot of good fishing near oyster bars surrounded by shallow areas that are tough to navigate with outboard motors. The idea of using a canoe to get around these shallows, in stealth mode, seemed like a good one. Because my solo racing canoe (a We-no-nah SSS-J202 at the time) would be much too unstable, I looked for a recreational type version that would still be efficient at cutting through the water. The We-no-nah Advantage fits these requirements perfectly.
At 16'-6" in length and 29.5" wide the We-no-nah Advantage is compact enough for one person to easily handle loading and unloading from the transport vehicle. Due to the narrow hulls and gunwales at the paddlers position in racing canoes, I'm accustomed to keeping the paddle shaft almost vertical and the blade in tight to the hull. Because of this, the 22.5" center gunwale width suits me well. I think most others would find this desirable since it can become quite tiresome when bringing the paddle out far to clear the gunwales. The tumblehome which creates the narrow gunwales also makes for a very attractive shape. This hull looks as good as it moves through the water!
The other feature of the Advantage which translates well from my racing boat is the seat. It is horizontally adjustable in order to trim the boat and is of, what many call, the "tractor" style. These formed seats do a much better job, I feel, of supporting the posterior than the flat bench style ones. I always line my seats with three layers of ½" thick foam used for camping pads for even more comfort. It can be applied with waterproof contact cement. I have been comfortable sitting in the boat on day-long fishing trips.
The Advantage is very stable for me. Because I wanted to use it for fishing, this was a major consideration. Part of the reason why this canoe may feel this way to me is my experience with racing boats which are capable of going over with the slightest error. I would urge other, less experienced paddlers, to compare this boat with other models such as the We-no-nah Prism or Solitude. I have never paddled one of these canoes personally but I'm certain they are even more tip-free due to their greater widths. The trade off, however, is efficiency and speed! The Advantage was originally designed for racing. Its heritage is evident. The We-no-nah J-200 I currently own is certainly faster but not by much. I can maintain about 90% of the J-200 speed in the Advantage. The reduced effort needed to paddle the boat around makes for a much more pleasant day of fishing. I believe that most people would soon acquire a good feeling in this canoe and in the end, fall in love with the ease in which it moves across the water.
My boat is of the Ultra-light Tuf-weave version and weighs about 43 lb. My original thinking for choosing this lay-up was for value. Tuf-weave is We-no-nah's 50/50 composite of polyester and fiberglass fabrics. It provides a good strong hull at a lower cost than graphite and Kevlar. While I'm happy with my decision, my goal is to some day purchase an Ultra-light Graphite model at 28 lb. The lighter weight will make it even easier to transport and even faster on the water, making a fine canoe even better.
05-10-2000Submitted by: Mal
- Rating: 10 of 10 I wanted a solo that could keep up with tandem canoes, and the Advantage more than fills the bill. I think if I got a spray cover or flotation bags to cut down wind resistance, and used a double paddle, I could keep up with sea kayaks too. Has surprisingly good initial stability, so even somebody unused to such a narrow boat will feel comfortable immediately. The tractor seat is ok, and you will need it to slide back and forth to keep the boat properly trimmed if you are bucking or running before a fair breeze. My boat is the kevlar skincoat construction, advertised and 33 lbs., but actually only weighs about 31 lbs. (Wenonah sez the weight they advertise for their boat models is actually a few pounds more than the actual production average.) Anybody who wants a solo that flies should check out the Advantage. It's at the head of the class!
11-01-1999Submitted by: SC
- Rating: 10 of 10 High tech cruiser. The hot new solo racer, in mid-eighties. Used to take on and smoke Jensen 18's. Now a great solo cruiser and easy water tripper. Watch out for standing waves and big ledges on moving water and running waves more than 2-3 feet on lakes. It gets wet. Moderate initial stability and deep tumblehome equal skilled driver, but if you are not up to it, you will learn very quickly. Virtually bombproof at speed, will ride its own wave and carve a long and graceful turn if put up on its edge. Paddle this with a 15 degree bent for speed and a 5-7 degree bent for accuracy. Extra light weight without gel-coat and very well made as are all We-No-Nah products. Not a beginners recreational canoe, but great for intermediate through expert drivers in the 220# and under bracket. Bigger drivers may want to drop the seat to retain some level of stability.
04-18-1999Submitted by: CS
- Rating: 10 of 10 Paddled from Crane Lake to Ely, MN two weeks solo. First trip I ever went on. Will do another week along the border route of BWCA June of 99 in same canoe. Not in the best of shape, the canoe's light weight made the trip possible. Bell, 7 miles south of my home had nothing to offer any better for me. No give if you hit something and lose your center. Practice stowing equipment well before leaving on expedition to balance canoe. I moved every other day along the border and stowing gear in such a small space for this adventure was crucial to its success. Keep it light,low, and forward!
02-04-1999Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 A great first C-1 for someone wanting to get into flatwater racing or solo fast tripping. Well built and a JOY to paddle. Good secondary stability for practicing those tight turns. I'm getting a cover fitted to mine for some extended trips this spring and summer. It sits pretty low for standing waves and white water. Cover should solve the wetness problem. Enough speed to stay up with tandem fellow trippers.
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