Wenonah Prospector 16 canoe

By Outdoor staff 12 June 2015
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A versatile, all-rounder with a design that’s been perfected over centuries

Wenonah’s Prospector 16 is a boat with a story to tell. Are you sitting comfortably? Right, we shall begin. Back in the days when wild North America was first being explored by Europeans with an insatiable appetite for gold nuggets and beaver pelts, the rivers were the only way anyone could get around with any degree of speed.

The vehicle of choice was what has become generically known as the Prospector canoe – aka the “workhorse of the north”. These boats were designed to be nimble enough to deal with fast-flowing water, but stable enough to be paddled along unmapped rivers and streams.

These days, a number of canoe manufacturers have a model they call the Pioneer. For its version (the Prospector), Wenonah went right back to the historical records to find out exactly what genuine prospectors had been paddling. They based their design exactly on what they found, and it quickly became a classic river runner.

It’s the only Wenonah boat that is totally symmetrical, so it can be paddled in either direction. This versatility makes it the down-river touring boat of choice. With good primary and secondary stability, it still has a decent rocker, so is manoeuvrable over rapids, but not so responsive that it becomes a snaking nightmare to paddle on flat water.

If you’re looking to charge sections of Class V whitewater, this isn’t the boat for you – but if you want something that will get you through Class II and III rapids, it’s perfect. The ample storage space makes it the ideal overnight downriver boat, or the perfect canoe to chuck the kids and dog in for a family day out. It can be paddled solo or tandem.

The design is available in a variety of materials, from Royalex (30.8kg), to the nimble Kevlar Ultra-light model, a dainty 18.1kg.

An all-rounder with a design that’s been tried, tested and perfected on real rivers across several centuries, this is a boat that’s not going to let you down.

RRP: From $2075 (Royalex, 30.8kg) to $2850 (Kevlar Ultra-light 18.1kg)



  • Guide to canoeing
  • Carrying systems for watercraft