Choose the Cygnus if you want the lightest possible canoe, or you primarily use your canoe for day trips / lighter loads, or mixed solo-tandem use.
The Cygnus is our best model for smaller paddlers*. At 16 feet, the versatile Cygnus is small, light and maneuverable, while maintaining good glide. Cygnus is surprisingly fast for a smaller canoe. Cygnus can be configured with two or three seats (center seat for solo paddling or a small passenger traveling with two adults). The standard 2-seat Cygnus can also be solo paddled from the front seat facing backwards. Max recommended load, 550 lbs. Gunwale width is 31″.
-Stock: 2 seats, amazing lightweight, nimble and easy to paddle.
-3 seat: Mixed solo / tandem paddling with removable yoke option
* Cygnus 16 versus Leo 17 canoe: Nighthawk Canoes recommends the Cygnus canoe for tandem paddlers who are under 180 lbs, or solo paddlers of any size.
Cygnus 16 canoe
Solo Paddling, Cygnus 16
Cygnus 16, Epoxy Color Blue
Cygnus 16, solo paddling
Cygnus 16, Epoxy Color, Indigo Blue, 3 seats
Cygnus 16, Blue ‘glass and silver trim
Cygnus 16, Solo Paddling
Cygnus 16, custom color and configuration
Cygnus 16, 3 seats
Generally, if you are a taller or larger paddler (say over 6 feet or over 180 lbs or so), you will be more comfortable in the larger Leo canoe. But, taller paddlers can also more easily solo paddle the Leo canoe. I.e. The Cygnus canoe can be a solo canoe or mixed use solo-tandem canoe for paddlers of all sizes, but as a tandem canoe, it is best for paddlers of average size or smaller. The Leo canoe can be a tandem canoe for paddlers of all sizes, but it can also be a mixed use solo-tandem canoe for taller or larger paddlers. Larger paddlers may still use the Cygnus canoe successfully in the two-person set up, but may need to be more mindful of balance (and / or use the low-mount seat option), limit max load, or avoid very choppy conditions to a greater extent than would be required in a larger canoe.