Tested a KUL (Kevlar UltraLite) Adirondack, did not buy. Here's why...
1) Fast for a 16' boat.
2) Super light, the lightest of any I tried.
3) Great secondary stability.
2) Initial Stability.
I tested this boat on a windy river with a few open straights in calm conditions. I found the boat to be quick and efficient but had trouble getting it to maneuver on tight stuff. It definitely like to be steered from the bow, but still always felt a bit drifty and not really tracking where I wanted it to. Initial stability is something I didn't like. I almost went in the drink a couple times with this boat, not because it felt twitchy or rolly, but because it has low sides and doesn't give the feeling it is going over. It all seems line until it as at the point where water is starting to come up over and you realize you are in a huge lean. I felt this way about the handling, very disconnected. I'd rather the boat tell me what it is doing, I didn't get that from this boat.
Speed and straight line tracking was great in the spurts I had. Would be a great lake boat although I question how well it would do in rough conditions because of the minimal rocker and low sides. This is our first Canoe. We acquired it from California Canoe & Kayak at Jack London Sq. in Oakland. Keith Miller - the owner of California Canoe and Kayak is a great guy and was trying to offload this one and a couple of others that were previously sold to the Save The Bay Foundation. Essentially he rented it to us for a pittance and said if I like it I can keep it for $300. Since it was in pretty good condition we took him up on it.
All in all not for me.
The Adirondack is designed as a medium volume "performance tripping" boat. The boat is light on initial stability particularly unladen which lends to its efficiency and glide. Secondary stability is quite good though and very confidence inspiring. The boat tracks well and glides easily yet it remains relatively agile with two paddlers. I had no trouble handling the boat myself on my first solo experience and first river experience on my 7day Green river trip. The boat will turn well from the middle, and ferrys easily as well. However, with it's minimal rocker and unflared stems it is by no means a whitewater boat. In class I or flat moving water though it is very capable.
To read more, please visit:My only complaint about the Adirondack is that the 16' Royalex layup has a bottom that is way too flexible and it oil cans if a fish burps. I have had this boat in every type of water that one can imagine and the floor visibly flexes when lake waves move under the boat or if you bounce up and down in your seat on a river, you can actually see the bottom roll. This is a problem with most Wenonah Royalex lay-ups. Mohawk and many other manufacturers have the smarts to put several reinforcing strips of Royalex at several points along the boat to stiffen the hull. It costs a few pounds more but you gain efficiency. There is no doubt that the non-rigidity of this hull will cut down on its efficiency on anything other than glass water.
Other than that, nice design. Can be paddled solo by flipping the boat around. I added a center seat (mimics the Wenonah Solo Plus) and it works great. And the good news, it actually is available in something other than green or red.I've owned my Adirondack for a little over three years. It's very versatile and stable. Our kids grew up in this boat and we've never dumped in it. Initial and secondary stability is great. I've used it solo to fish and camp from and can even stand up in it with no problems. It's efficient and easy to paddle and control. My friends who paddle with me have often commented on how well they like this boat.
Recently I took a shake down float in my new vagabond and my buddy paddled my Adirondack solo, from the bow seat. Trimmed properly, he said this was his best canoe fishing/camping experience he'd ever had and he's done a lot. The Adirondack is a great all around boat, efficient, fast and I know I will never get rid of mine. It doesn't have tons of volume, but if you pack reasonably you should be able to carry plenty and still have a great experience.This is the ultimate canoe for tandem camping/fishing or solo canoeing with a load. It is very stable and handles class 1-2 rivers with no problems. It turns very quickly for it's length. It paddles great solo with gear. However, I bought a wildfire after a frustrating windy day on the river paddling solo with no gear. Pros: You can pack everything you want in this canoe. Wife child and dog. Even with my son and dog bouncing from side to side there has never been an uneasy moment.
Cons: Not the ideal whitewater or solo canoe.I have owned the Kevlar version for two years. It was my second canoe -- my first being a cheap, heavy, plastic monster. I paddle about once a week, normally on quiet water. I usually paddle solo and take along my 5 year old son and sometimes my 9 year old daughter. The weight of the boat is very nice. And, like others have mentioned, this boat is great to turn around backwards for solo use, giving the kid(s) a large play area. The kids in the front trim the boat nicely. With just my son, or solo, I often turn the boat backwards and sit on the floor of the canoe. The boat feels really good sitting on the floor, but shorter people may have trouble. (I am 6-2, 195 lbs.)
Overall, great if you bring small children along, but I'm still searching for the perfect solo canoe that will make it easier to keep up with the kayakers and tandem canoists. The Savage River Otegon has caught my eye, but I have never paddled it. Any reviewers out there?I own a Royalex Adirondack, purchased this spring for lake use and easy river running. I turn it around backwards and put my 8 year old in the front to trim it up square.
I have used this canoe on a very rocky river in north Georgia nearly every weekend in mostly Class I rapids (a couple of class II when the water is high). The rocker makes it very easy to maneuver. We tried a class II-III river, but the canoe wasn't ideally suited for that level of whitewater. All in all though, it's a great boat for the money.