I have a kevlar Flex-core and a slightly blemished Royalex in inventory. Get a discount with a 1/2 down payment on an order or one from inventory. I have a classic, all Ivory with black trim, Kevlar Flex-core ( list $2099 but on sale for $1799) in inventory and I have one in green Royalex. If you can only own one canoe (heaven forbid) THIS is the one to own. This is a great price for the finest general purpose canoe made. Balanced is the best word to describe the Spirit II. It travels distances easily yet maneuvers well. It's capable on rapids, and on open water, too. It's big enough for trips. It's also very stable.
So, does this canoe obsolete all others? No, because if you want an elevated level of a certain attribute, say tracking or capacity, then a specialized design may suit you better. But if you need a canoe that delivers a good level of all types of performance, the Spirit is ideal.
When Canoe & Kayak Magazine tested it, they concluded, "...this canoe is simple and functional. If you could have only one canoe to serve all your paddling needs for the rest of your life, the Spirit would be one of very few candidates."
This model has the longest history of any in our line. Its full name is "The Spirit of We.no.nah II." Our first canoe in 1968 was named simply "We.no.nah." It was a highly-versatile yet performance-oriented hull. Today's Spirit II is a third-generation refinement of it.
At 17' long, it strikes a good balance between the efficiency of a longer hull and the maneuvering of a shorter one.
The Spirit is safe and roomy, too, having the capacity for medium-heavy trips. With two large people it draws just 4," leaving lots of reserve buoyancy for gear. With more load it becomes more stable yet still handles well, even on waves.
Should you have a Spirit? If no single We.no.nah model seems ideal due to its specialization, you likely need the wide versatility of our Spirit, or its cousins, the Heron, or Aurora. All have similar design aspects but differ in length. The Heron is the most agile and lightest, but the Spirit suits the greatest range of uses.
Also, you may consider the Champlain in certain cases. Similar in concept, this hull is significantly larger. It can better suit larger people, heavier trips, or families with multiple children. The Spirit, though, is more manageable.
We make the Spirit in three composite versions that deliver excellent paddling. We also make it from Royalex, which is the sensible choice for canoe-camping if rapids or rocky streams will be a factor.
Canoes are available in several kinds of materials and with different construction methods:
Royalex is a very tough and durable but still a reasonably light weight plastic laminate. A 17 foot Royalex canoe will weigh about 64 pounds compared to 75-85 pounds for other plastic or aluminum.
Composite materials include Tufweave, a fiberglass and polyester hybrid that outperforms ordinary fiberglass types S or E. Kevlar is a an extremely tough material that is also very light weight. Graphite is even lighter than kevlar but not as abrasion resistant.
Flexcore construction uses several layers of either Tufweave or Kevlar with a specially designed hull reinforcement in the bottom of the canoe. This reinforcement is designed to be quite stiff to retain the design shape but able to flex rather than break on obstacles. This is a very tough construction method but not as tough as Royalex. It's advantages are lighter weight and better performance. It is easily repaired if you manage to damage it.
Ultra light construction uses fewer layers of specially reinforced Tufweave, kevlar and or graphite to build the lightest canoe that is still practical for everyday use in reasonably demanding conditions. It usually does not have a color applied to the hull unless you ask for it. The gel coat (color) adds about 5 pounds to the canoe. This is the stiffest construction method, resulting in the best performance. It is not a good choice for a steady diet of hitting rocks and gravel unless light weight is a very high priority for you. It is especially good for lake and large river trips where carrying the canoe is over portage routes is necessary. Some smaller people and those with less upper body strength appreciate the light weight in all circumstances. It is reasonably easy to repair in most cases.