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The Kevlar Boundary Waters carried a good load, was fairly easy to portage, and performed well in the water. I purchased this model (which I bought new) because it does not have a thwart behind the bow seat, enabling stern-first solo paddling when desired. It is also light enough for me and my wife to load on the roof of our vehicle. While car camping this summer, I soloed relatively calm sections of the Yampa, Little Missouri, Mississippi, St Croix, Illinois, and Platte Rivers without issue. It was sluggish while carrying 650 pounds of people on the Snake River in strong current but that was not unexpected.
I am very disappointed in Wenonah however. While lifting the boat out of the water on the second day of our BWCA trip, my adult son cut his thumb quite badly on a jagged end of a pop rivet under the gunwale in the bow. The injury, which has completely healed, was bad enough that we lost a day off our trip to a recovery layover and were significantly slowed for the remainder.
I contacted Wenonah, explained the issue and asked what went wrong in their manufacturing process. They sent me a bag of replacement rivets but offered no explanation. I contacted them twice more, asking what happened and how they were going prevent it in the future. They did not respond.
I won't buy their products again.
It is not a fast canoe – we averaged a bit less than 3mph but we were not pushing for speed. The Boundary Waters has a bit of rocker (1" according to Wenonah) and we found it easy to turn for a 17' canoe, yet it tracked well. I paddled it solo both upright and heeled and found both exceptionally comfortable.
This model is a very versatile canoe. If you are looking for a stable canoe with good carrying capacity, yet will track well, you might give this one a paddle.
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