Hello everyone. I’m new to canoeing and recently found a 1990? MRC Whistler 17’ 4" canoe in decent condition on craigslist for $300. I found MRC’s catalogue online so I have stats for the canoe but would like to know approx. what the canoe cost new and also any opinions on the canoe from anyone who has experience with them. We will mainly use the canoe for day trips but might want to occasionally do a 3 or 4 day slow river trip. How durable are these canoes? Any known problems with them? Good canoe for a beginner? What is the purpose of the sliding plastic seats? I like it because it only weighs about 50 lbs so it will be easy to cartop and carry. It has one small hole inside on the bottom that does not go all the way through. What is the best way to patch it?
I test paddled one years ago. It was surprisingly stable but not all that fast. The layup is very tough for a hull with a foam core. The price is a bargain. Probably around 1500 new. I would guess 450 to 500 pounds as a maximum happy capacity. The river needs to be calm and slow to make this a reasonable choice. With a load, turning will be difficult and eddy lines will be tricky.
Whistler was a neat boat. I t was an early swede-form rec boat, coming after Pat Moore’s Peter Pond II and Sawyer’s Yost designed X-17 and Dagger’s Scarborough designed Interlude.
It wasn’t as fast as expected but was a nice ride and featured a neat Jim Henry design concept. There is more variation in men’s weight than women’s and guys are usually bigger. [At least in our community.] Cool! Jim put the slider in the stern where it belongs.
I thought Whistler and Interlude shared a marketing issue. Both had low shear that made bow paddlers feel exposed. I miss 'em both too!
Test Paddled One…
...in the late '80's or early '90's. I loved it and it seemed fast to me. But I was used to aluminum boats and had also owned a 42" Great Canadian Canoe. So, relative to those, it was VERY fast. Of course, going from those kind of boats my wife felt it a bit "Tippy." I don't think she would today, and I felt it had pretty good stability. I think some of her insecurity may have been the fact that it had a bit of a lower freeboard compared to the canoes she was used to also.
As I recall, the stern was straight up and down or maybe even turned in like some of the Blackhawk Canoes? It seemed a bit radical compared to everything else in the Mad River line.
Sounds like a bargain, I'd snatch it up. Especially if it was in the interesting turquise color like the one we paddled.
I have one
I got mine for free off of free cycle. It needed new gunnels, which came with the boat, and I replaced the rest of the wood. I cronicled that here, http://free-canoe.blogspot.com/
After some unexpected tree branch damage last fall, I've had to do some extensive repair on some cracks, and it's getting a paint job.
Anyway, I like the canoe, it's very comforable for the day trips I used it for. It behaves well on larges lakes, which it seems it was made for. I'd say it's a nice cruiser. It does feel a bit tippy as mentioned, but as soon as it heels 5-10 degrees WHAM, it feels very stable. It takes some getting used to, but you never feel like it's going over. The low freeboard also isn't an issue, as you never get the feeling that it is going to be a problem. The sliding seats are too adjust the trim.
Here is the catalog for 1990, Whistler is on the last page.