1st canoe --- suggestions?

I am shopping for my first canoe… one that can hold my wife, out 7 year old daughter, and me… one that we use on local bayous, lakes, rivers (general, all-around use). One that caught my eye is the Madd River Adventure. Thoughts, suggestions, and sources for best prices?

I really don’t like it
I just can’t list all the things I don’t like about the Adventure. For a little more they make an Explorer 16TT that is a far better boat. For a nice boat you’ll never outgrow get a royalex Explorer by Mad River OR look at the royalex Old Town Penobscot

another alternative
what about the old town doscovery 158 or 169?

Entry level canoe
The Mad River Adventurer is an entry canoe, and it has two major drawbacks compared to more expensive cnoes. 1) It is heavy, as are all the other plastic entry level canoes. Canoes in the 80# range are heavy to carry. Ok from car to launch, but tough coming back uphill after paddling. 2) The permanent center seat is right where a carrying yoke should be. This canoe needs two people to carry it.

It strong points are its low cost, its built in cup holders, seat backs, and most important, it does paddle well. It has better stability than the Pelican entry level canoes,a more rigid hull, and better glide.

It will get you on the water, and when you upgrade, you will not lose much money.

Do buy good PFD’s, and good paddles.


look around for a good used boat
such as a Blue Hole Prowler or Mohawk Intrepid. Both are versatile and stable. Royalex is the way to go.

You certainly can’t have this subject without throwing in this great brand. If you have a dealer nearby, or even have to travel a little, make sure and check them out!!

Better than the adventure
While the discos are heavy poly boats as well, they at least come with a carry thwart so you can carry and load them solo if you are strong.

Also they have standard seats so you can kneel or sit. The adventure I was in had sit only seats. I’d rather have no seat than a non-adjustable sit only seat.

First canoe!
We bought our first canoe 1 year ago this month.

We chose The Bell MorningStar. It is made of Royalex and weighs in at 58 lbs. It is 15’6" in length.

We like it very much. We feel it is very stable and tracks well. We do primarily slow moving rivers or small lakes. Usually it is just the hubby and I but sometimes we take along a friend who weighs in about 160lbs and all works out fine for the three of us!

Good luck with your search. This particular canoe runs about $1100.00.