I am getting old - aren't we all? - and have been having trouble lifting my 80 pound Old Town discovery 164. I still can carry and paddle but lifting is no longer an option. My adult son and I still race and rally with it; He carries. I digress...
I got the Fusion for the times I want to paddle or fish alone I am pretty pleased with the boat. It fits my style mostly. THERE are 2 small issues though. I don't care for kayak paddles. I adjusted my paddle length to shorter than I use in the tandem. I am too big to sit high in the folding back rest seat Wenonah includes with the boat and the low seat works well, until I want to kneel. I can't get my feet under the seat.
The seat is also the cause of my other concern. It is in the exact place where there should be a portage yoke. I'd be interested in learning if I am the only one with these issues.
By and large I am happy with the Fusion and would not take it back. A Portage yoke would be a good thing...I purchased the Fusion after much research, for the purpose of fishing/exploring small lakes(solo). Prior to this, I owned a Lincoln Little One (11'x37"x 44#), an Old Town Pack (12'x32"x33#), and a Nature Bound (11' 10"x32"x43#)and 4 tandems (14',14'6",15',16').
Wenonah has hit one out of the park with this boat, for my purposes and I think, many others. The Fusion, in Royalex, weighs in @ 45#, is 13'x32". The centered seat is mounted low, the canoe is stable,manueverable, and quick. The Lincoln waddled, inspite of a keel, the Nature bound was ok, but turned hard, and the Pack was just too light and tender with the cane seat height (however, with a lower seat this is a good canoe for portage at 33#). I have a P.O. Wheelee canoe cart on the Fusion which effectively reduces the 45# to 22.5# for the purposes of portage and cartopping (end mounted with 16" wheels, rolling the canoe upside down);I can get to any water with this combination.
Wenonah wisely gave the canoe a lot of forethought, the 13'length and 45# weight improve the stability over the other short canoes. The depth, low shear, and hull configuration are ideal, seat's nice and wide too. I'm 6',175 and an intermediate skill paddler. I'm very pleased with this canoe. They have a foot brace arrangement for those who want to cruise, and perhaps use a kayak paddle, I took the bar out, I switch side paddle and usually am not in any rush. I was concerned about the 4 rivet holes in the hull which hold the bar tracks, but it hasn't leaked thus far, if it does, I'd put some duct tape over the rivet head, until I found a better solution. The bar seems unnecessary, this is not a cruiser. I make the P.O. Wheelee and see a lot of canoes, this one's a peach.Great boat, love it. I started paddling with an 11' Dagger, then purchased a Prijon Motion 15', the Dagger is ok but slow & ill equipped for serious fishing, & the Motion is great in wide open lakes fast & tons of storage for those long excursions, but too long to get in those tight little spots in the Adirondacks that you just have to investigate, not to mention the difficulty in portaging. At first I felt a little exposed & out of control coming from a kayak. The foot braces took care of that in a matter of minutes.
I paired my boat with a Bending Branches High Angle telescoping paddle, Slice Glass Plus 225-240cm,with a nylon reinforced blade, more weight but more durable against those push offs. They also make it in Carbon. The Fusion tracks straight, love the seat, very comfortable, is stable & is soooo easy to load/unload & portage. The ability to have all my gear within my reach for fishing or otherwise is something that I missed in a kayak, plus there's room enough to take my grandson. It doesn't get any better.