Wenonah Argosy (Kevlar Flex-Core);

L: 14’6”; W: 30.25”; 43 lbs.
($2,299 with wood trim, $1,999 with aluminum, wenonah.com)

Remember that boat I built a few years ago and have been paddling as if it were Royalex? It’s an Argosy. Like the Phoenix, it was designed to be a versatile, all-around canoe. Its dimensions are similar to the Phoenix, but in true Wenonah form it’s a bit faster. The Argosy may be slightly less stable as well, but it’s barely noticeable enough to warrant a mention. It is another good candidate for your only canoe, if you’re unfortunate enough to have only one. I have paddled an Argosy in the Boundary Waters with a load, and it performed quite well. Empty, it handles smaller streams effortlessly.

Any bad habits? None that I could feel, but then I am used to this canoe and it has become my legs when I’m on the water. Frankly, it’s hard to review a boat that you have a few hundred hours paddling in. Complaints? Only a small one, and that’s aesthetic, so open to debate: The bow and stern stems are unnecessarily straight, possibly to make it easier to remove from the mold. If the boat were to be redesigned, I think the shape of the bow and stern could be re ned a little.

I didn’t take this canoe and beat on it because I didn’t have to. The experiment I did with my Argosy for the last two years was ample evidence that the Kevlar Flex-core is a suitable material for moving water scattered with rocks and logs, up to Class II-III rapids (not recommended if you’re new to solo canoeing). After a day on a shallow river, there were a few more scuffs and scratches but again, all superficial.

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