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I also own a Wenonah Jensen 18 in kevlar, a boat renowned for its speed, but the Cruiser feels faster. So much so that I picked the Cruiser to use in a small, local canoe race. My brother-in-law and I, who were both about 50 at the time, took first place, beating out a bunch of college-aged guys. Of course most of them were paddling assorted Royalex boats, but still....
I am not sure the canoe was called a 'Cruiser' back then...it was just big and very stable... weighed around 70 lbs...around 19 ft. long. I carried that canoe on a Volkswagen bug...very handy as the canoe could be easily handled by 2 people standing upright both ahead and behind the car at the same time. Used it for fishing, floating, lake cruising many years. It had molded seats that were very comfortable.
Only problem I ever had it was hard for one person to paddle as it was so long. Once took some boy scouts to a lake where they were to practice uprighting a turned-over canoe...the trip was a bust because they could not make the canoe overturn! Lost that canoe to an x-wife who only wanted it because she knew I would have kept it forever, if possible. She just left it out by the alley until somebody finally stole it. Hope they appreciated what a prize they got.
I don't know if Cadillac is the correct analogy but this is the fastest and easiest canoe that I have ever paddled! We took a class from someone at the show on "power paddling" and put that technique to work. It gets up to speed quickly wether empty or full. It is always a pleasure to "pump wood" in this boat and glide through the water.
I also disagree that this boat "turns on a dime" though. Most of our paddling is flat water but recently we took a multi day trip down to the Current river in Missouri. The gravel and many turns really took its toll. A gel coat break the first day resulted in a leak that required a makeshift patch on the river. But overall the boat handled the load, rapids, and rough water well.
My only gripe is that the gel coat is so fragile. I guess that's the price you pay for speed. If I could find a boat that was nimble, fast and indestructible I would be in heaven. But I think Physics is against me.
My dad is a expert canoe racer. When we went to New York to pick it up the man thought he would have to teach us to use the canoe. When we pulled up the man was surprised to see the Pro canoes on top of our van!
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