I am all out of the discontinued Royalex models. The price shown is for the very durable and light Tuf-Weave Flex-core model. The Vagabond is most comparable to the Argosy. It will track a bit straighter, feel a bit more stable and catches the wind a bit less. The Argosy will handle rough conditions a little easier and provide more maneuverability. Call about discounts on different lay-ups Wenonah's designs always excel. The Vagabond is no exception. If this canoe is the right size for your purpose, you will love the performance and light weight. This is a great day canoe for a smaller to medium large person (at 220 pounds it is pretty good without much load for me) or a good canoe for a smaller person with a load. I love how easy it is to handle off the water too. A small, maneuverable canoe for sight-seeing, fishing, or exploration on moderate waters. This is an awesome design that shows how light a nicely designed graphite lay up can be at just 28 pounds. Excellent for a small person who does not want to hoist a heavy canoe onto the car. It also comes in all the other construction/materials.
The Vagabond is only moderately wide but is full from bow to stern, giving good stability and volume for its size. Though only big enough for short trips, it holds plenty of gear for fishing and casual use.
The Vagabond is manageable and enjoyable for new paddlers, and its small size makes this canoe very easy to car-top and carry, and convenient to store.
The Vagabond also responds well when used with a kayak paddle for improved performance on calm water of better control in inclement weather. The Vagabond is lighter than any kayak of comparable length and when paddled this way, also easily out-performs a kayak of similar size.
A longer hull will haul more, track straighter, and easily outpace a canoe of its size, but a smaller boat has other appealing virtues. One obvious advantage is light weight; a small canoe is easy to portage and to lift onto your car. Also, a smaller boat takes less storage space. Quick turning is another advantage. The Vagabond delivers all of these virtues, yet has enough efficiency and capacity to be enjoyable in a variety of conditions.
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.