Wenonah Spirit II Canoe Review

by Brian Johnston

We are paddling effortlessly. Quick cadence. Canoe gliding.

The evening light is trying to burn though the thin canoe skin. The tow-coloured canoe is at home in the golden evening light, as are all the geese that we share the Fort Whyte Alive pond with. Our day is slowly slipping away. Fading into dusk.

Determined, the bow of our test canoe, a Wenonah Spirit II, knifes and shimmers ahead of me parting and displacing little water while it’s length and stern tracks straight. In the stern, the foot brace was helpful as the canoe was empty—without gear and packs. Likewise, the sliding bow seat is an advantageous feature.

After a perimeter tour of the pond we paddle towards the swimming platform. It is well peppered with goose droppings and not yet ready for summer swimmers. That’s fine with us. The platform is a suitable object to manoeuvre around.

Clockwise, then counterclockwise, we circle the platform. The Spirit II maintains momentum and is easy to control. Its lightness means we are using less energy to keep the speed on compared to a heavier canoe. We notice this on the water. It will be even more evident and appreciable when carrying the canoe, especially at the end of a paddle.

Too soon the daylight fades. We get chilled and it’s time to end our evening paddle.

Inline with the Manitoba Spirited Energy tourism theme, the Wenonah Spirit II is well suited to our waterways and a jack-of-all-trades canoe. You will find comfort using it for cottage touring, day paddling, and wilderness tripping. It’s a bestseller, out-selling the Wenonah Prospector. The Spirit II is available with web or bucket seats.

The test paddle evening started warm. As the sun set temperatures dropped. Our adventure is over. We don more layers before loading up all the watercraft onto the boat trailer.

I contemplate loading the Spirit II onto my vehicle’s roof racks—I’d be ready to paddle lakes and portage between them. That of course, is what it does best.

Specs & Details:
Wenonah Canoe, Spirit II
Length 17 feet
Width at gunwales 35 inches
Depth bow 22”, centre 14”, stern 19”
Rocker 1.5”
Material Kevlar (Ultra-light, natural skin coat)
Weight 42 lbs.