Item # 850149
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Made in USA.
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Reviewed by 1 customer
Displaying review 1
Comments about Mad River Explorer16 LT Royalex Canoe:
We bought a Mad River Explorer 16 LT from REI Bailey's two weeks ago.
Now I know what oil canning is. No fault to REI. No number of paddle reviews could have prepared me for the disappointment that resulted from our first time out. Mainly because they all tend towards the same, bland summary - great all around canoe! Ha! If you are considering this canoe, read and re-read the following sentence. It is fundamentally inappropriate for two adults on a lake. With close to 200 pounds at either end of the canoe, and very little ballast in the middle, the "versatile Shallow Vee Hull" inverts - it pops up in the middle - becoming convex instead of concave, and losing what ever tracking benefit one supposedly gets from the quasi-keel effect theoretically afforded by initial shape of the hull. In fact, this hull is so flimsy ("flexible"?) that, when the front paddler moved to a middle position, directly in front of the yoke, in the bottom of the canoe, that only served to pop the front half back down. The back half was still distorted. The hull is rated at 1,100 lb capacity. It is stunning to think that I might need to always add 300 pounds of ballast in the middle of the canoe just for the hull to keep it's "usefull" shallow vee shape. Every pleasant breeze that came up affected the tracking. I suppose I will now have to take it down a river and bounce it off or slide it over a few rocks to actually appreciate it. I did not experience any noticable "superior rigidity for increased hull efficiency" as claimed by the manufacturer. I would hate to experience less rigidity. Perhaps the first piece of gear I add to this will be an anchor. That will serve the dual purpose of 1) ballast, and 2)"becalming" in a breeze when trying to hold position along a shoreline. I guess I better not forget charts and depth finder. OK. The battery for the fish-finder/depth-finder will add even more ballast. Heh, heh. I am already visualizing a retro-fit with some sort of aluminum inner keel with a vertical center brace. Ha!
Seriously, this canoe might be fine for heavy load exeditions down river or for "families" on a lake, but I will have to change something about the canoe or my approach to canoeing in order to satisfyingly experience the primary function we had in mind - two adults enjoying flat water, gentle rivers, and streams. Review after review praised the durability of these canoes, so I will undoubtedly have plenty of time to experiment and perhaps learn to appreciate it's merits beyond being large and light weight.
A big shout out to Big Ginger at Bailey's Cross Roads for helping us feel secure in transporting the canoe on the Yakima after-market crossbars and keelover canoe pads.
Keep in mind that the "bottom line" above is based upon my limited experience. My opinion may change with time, but I feel my comments have been fair, accurate, and submitted in the proper context that I am new to canoeing.
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