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minnesota II vs 18 Jensen (Read 8060 times)
09/17/10 at 14:36:41

savvyaggie   Offline
Future Participant

Posts: 1
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Hi, I am new here and would like to get some opinions. I just finished my first race, the CR100 in Texas. I have just paddled for fun before this. I really enjoyed it and I would like to get a faster rec. style canoe. I currently have  a dagger 16 reflextion(royalex), and I have been looking at the wenonah minnesota IIs(42 lbs version) and the the Jensen 18(ultra light 39lbs). I weight 185 and my partner weighs 175. We are interested in running a few more races including the texas water safari, cr100, and maybe a few others. Would yall please give me some input on this?

thanks

jordan
 
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Reply #1 - 09/21/10 at 10:09:09

Los Humungos   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
Sometimes wears a Wally
Werderich costume

Posts: 1365
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Jordan:
I have extensive racing experience in both the Jensen 18 and a Minnesota II.  Here are my 2 centavos for what they are worth.  Both the Minn II and the Jensen 18 are two of the best boats out on the market.  Why?  Their versatility.  You can race either and be competitive in the touring/rec canoe class on Saturday and then you can take the family fishing with the canoe on Sunday.  In my opinion, you have hit the sweet spot when it comes to where you should look for a boat when it comes to canoe racing as a beginner.

They are both fast canoes and very comparable.  The Jensen 18 was made to race and is thus a bit faster than the Minnesota II.  The Minnesota II was made for tripping, so it is more stable than the Jensen 18.  The Minnesota II is longer (18 feet vs. 18.5 feet), and has a bit more volume.  Right off the top of my head, I do not remember how Wenonah sells the canoes new, but I think that the Min II comes with a slider in the front and a stationary seat in the back.  The Jensen has sliders in both the front and in the back.  If this is in fact the case, the Jensen gets the edge here because it provides more versatility in terms of trim.  If you are looking for these models to purchase and you have them both available to buy, this is something you should look for.  That being said though, not having both front and rear sliders is not a killer.  You can do most of the balancing necessary with just a front slider.  The Minn II I have raced has a bow slider, but not a rear slider and we never had any problems.

Side by side, if I had the choice I would buy the Jensen 18 if my purpose was to buy a boat to compete in the rec/touring class (I think in TX they may call that the standard class).  The Jensen 18 is a better racing boat.  Keep in mind though that it is a bit tippier.  If I wanted to buy a boat and wanted a fast boat for racing and also a boat that I could take my kids/family on a camping trip with I would buy the Minn II (it has more versatility).  

These are both great canoes that in a text book world should be the starting point for someone just getting into canoe racing.  They are fast enough to compete for the podium in their class, and they are stable enough to learn the technique necessary to develop a quality canoe paddle stroke that will make you a better racer if and when you want to move to a different racing class.

Is there anything specific I can further answer for you?  I hope this helps.

Hut,
Wally "Mastodontico" Werderich
Los Humungos Paddleos  
« Last Edit: 09/21/10 at 14:47:35 by Los Humungos »  

Sometimes when you are man, you wear stretchy pants...its for fun... -Nacho   
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Reply #2 - 09/21/10 at 11:46:15

kaufmanjd   Offline
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2X Gritty Fitty Veteran
2X Kawlloween Veteran
Kawlloween Record Holder

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I can't argue with Wally. 
Wenonah allows you to get a rear sliding seat with a new MNII -or you can add one.  I had a factory MNII with both sliders and although the rear slider didn't move a whole lot, we could trim a pretty large weight discrepency.  I loved that boat.....it was a good racer and regret leting it go. 

The advantage of the MNII over the jensen 18 is that you should be able to find a used one easily.....a very popular boat especially up north.  It is a more "seaworthy" boat, with a fair amount of extra freeboard.  I have never paddled a jensen 18 but I imagine you'd have a little better access to the water.  The 18 is THE standard class racer.

I have never been in one, but if you are buying new a third option is the savage river susquehanna, which I get the impression slpits the difference between the two wenonah boats.  At very least its another fast touring/racer that is becoming more popular in the standard class.

If racing is the primary interest also consider looking for a used USCA competition cruiser (4x32) like a wenonah v1a.  These are specialized racing boats that aren't used as much anymore, and so you can often find one for sale.  Although you can't use them for camping, they are moderately stable (for a race boat) and even a relative novice should be comfortable in it pretty quickly.  They are ligheter and faster than the above boats with the added advantage of having much better access to the water and being more manuverable.  The down side is that they are tippier and have much less freeboard (so large waves can be a real problem).  I moved into a cruiser from the MNII and found it much more rewarding to paddle hard -and prefer it for everything but loaded touring and rough water.   







 
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